Famous female serial killers are not only in movies. These people exist in real life, and their stories are horrible. The public feels courts are lenient on some sadistic female serial killers. Some people wish all murderers should receive death penalties, but that is not how the law works.
Cases of male serial killers have always been more than women serial killers throughout the history of murder crimes. How many serial killers are women? Nearly one in six (16%) of the serial killers apprehended in the USA are females. Love-related issues are the main trigger for most serial killers. Some plead guilty, while others never admit their wrongs.
List of female serial killers by number of victims
Since looks are deceiving, it was hard for the world to believe that these beautiful female serial killers can hurt a fly. Some were found guilty in a handful of cases even though they were accused of committing more killings. Below is a list of the female serial killers who made the world go crazy:
1. Elizabeth Bathory (600)
Who is the most prolific female serial killer? Elizabeth Bathory got married in 1575, and she was allegedly a bloodthirsty vampire. Her husband built her a torture chamber in their castle for her female servants.
Elizabeth might have killed more than 600 virgins to drink and bathe in their blood to preserve her youth. Her crimes were exposed when she began targeting the nobles’ daughters. In 1611, Elizabeth was confined in a room when found guilty of 80 murders. She died three years later.
2. Amelia Dyer (400)
The widow's killing escapade began with her selling babies their mothers rejected. She even advertised the business in the newspaper. It was later discovered that Amelia would strangle or starve and drug the children to death.
She served a six-month jail term with hard labour for neglecting the babies. Dyer returned to work but kept killing and disposing of hundreds of children's bodies in the river.
In 1896, a baby girl's murder was used as a sample in her case. Six more bodies were recovered, and at least twelve murders were linked to her. It is believed that she killed at least 400 babies.
3. Amy Archer-Gilligan (48)
Nurse Amy Archer-Gilligan was arrested for poisoning five people but was charged with one murder. Over 48 people who wrote her name in their life insurance policies died in the '90s under her care. She was imprisoned for life in 1971 and later sent to a mental hospital. The serial killer died at age 89 in 1962.
4. Jane Toppan (31)
When Jane became a nurse, she started experimenting with drugs like atropine and morphine on her patients before using it on her foster sister, Elizabeth Brigham, and other close people.
Jane confessed to Elizabeth that she killed 31 people because the man she loved at age 16 left her for another woman. The court sent her to Taunton State Hospital for life on the grounds of insanity.
5. Miranda Barbour (20)
Miranda Barbour (19) became one of the most dangerous teenage female serial killers in the US in 2014. She and her husband, Elytte Barbour (22), were charged in Pennsylvania with killing Troy LaFerrara, a man they met online.
She confessed to killing more than 20 others within the US. Miranda stated that she molested a child at age 13 after joining a satanic cult. She later helped the cult leader kill a man who owed him money and later lost count of the people she killed.
5. Irina Gaidamachuk (17)
The Russian woman killed 17 elderly women in Sverdlovsk Oblast between 2002 and 2010. Since her husband never gave her money, Irina would kill her victims with an axe before stealing from them to buy Vodka.
6. Dagmar Overbye (16)
The Copenhagen native in Denmark lied to women about helping them find homes for their children at a fee. Surprisingly, she would strangle the children behind their backs. In 1920, one of Dagmar’s clients grew suspicious when her baby went missing. When the police found the baby’s bones in her stove, she confessed to killing 16 infants but convicted nine due to lack of evidence.
8. Juana Barraza (11)
She was arrested after the murders of 16 elderly women in Mexico City in 2005. Forensic profilers believe Juana was bitter towards her alcoholic mother for marrying her off to an abusive man at age 12. She is still serving a 759 years jail term for 11 murders.
9. Rosemary West (10)
The police arrested Fred and his wife, Rosemary West, in 1994 for torturing and molesting teenage girls, including their daughter. The couple killed and dismembered the bodies. They were sentenced to life imprisonment for killing ten girls, and Fred later committed suicide.
10. Dorothea Puente (9)
Homicide detectives searching for a missing man last seen at Dorothea’s home in Sacramento, California, that year discovered human body parts buried in her backyard. Investigations revealed the bodies belonged to three men and four women aged between 52 and 79.
11. Nannie Doss (8)
Doss confessed she killed her grandson, sister, mother, and mother-in-law but was only sentenced to life for her four husbands’ murders. Three of the five children Doss had with her first husband also died young. The woman died of Leukemia in 1965 while in jail.
12. Aileen Wuornos (6)
The sex worker was sentenced to death in 1992 for killing six men between December 1989 to November 1990. Ailee claimed she shot them in self-defence for they assaulted and raped her. She later revoked the statement, and her story is captured in the film, Monster, where Charlize Theron acts as Ailee. The serial killer was executed by lethal injection on 9th October 2002.
13. Myra Hindley (5)
Ian Brady and his girlfriend, Myra Hindley, audiotaped and photographed themselves torturing, molesting, and killing five children before burying them in Saddleworth Moor, England, in the ‘60s. They were convicted of three murders in 1966 but confessed to two more in the ‘80s. Brady passed away in 2017 in a well-secured psychiatric hospital, while Hindley died in prison in 2002 at age 60.
14. Kristen Gilbert (4)
Kristen Gilbert is serving her jail term at Federal Medical Center, Carswell, in Texas. The Veterans Affairs Medical Center's nurse killed four patients (all veterans) in Massachusetts and almost killed three more using an epinephrine injection. The courts gave her life imprisonment in 2001 as opposed to the death penalty the prosecutors requested.
15. Beverley Allitt (4)
Beverley Allitt tops the female serial killers UK list. The nurse injected 13 children with an insulin overdose in 59 days, and four of them died. She tried to kill three more and physically hurt others. Allitt received 13 life sentences in 1993, even after being diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome. She is currently detained at Rampton Secure Hospital in Nottinghamshire, England.
16. Leonarda Cianciulli (3)
Leonarda was famously known as the soap-maker of Correggio. She lured three female neighbours into her small shop in Correggio, Italy, axed them and boiled the bodies in caustic soda.
Leonarda explained that a fortune-teller asked her for a human sacrifice to protect her children from looming danger. She was diagnosed as a manic but was still sentenced to 30 years behind bars. Leonarda died in 1970.
17. Judy Buenoano (3)
Judy Buenoano, aka Black Widow, got around $240,000 of insurance money after killing her husband, son, and ex-lover. She almost killed her fiancé with a car bomb. She was the first woman in the state of Florida executed in 1848. The woman never confessed to her crimes and was killed in the electric chair in 1998.
Who was the first lady serial killer?
Lavinia and her spouse, John Fisher, belonged to a robbery gang, but they were not killers. Before John's execution, he wrote a confession letter to Reverend Furman, claiming they were innocent. Since it could not convince the jury to pardon Levinia, she jumped off the stand and died. Some locals and tourists believe her ghost haunts the Old Charleston Jail House.
Most famous female serial killers receive just sentences. Most countries banned the death penalty because prisons and courts are for rehabilitating people and not killing them. Are there female serial killers in South Africa? Mzansi might not have experienced as many female serial killers as other countries.
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