Dangerous Women: Some Known and Suspected Female Serial Killers

Some do it for love. 

Like Karla Homolka, who allowed her boyfriend to rape her younger 15-year-old sister so violently that she died from the brutality (and even participated in videotaping the event) – as a ‘wedding gift’. Or Carol Bundy, who would sit in the backseat of a car as her boyfriend would pick up and murder a Hollywood Boulevard prostitute; and set the hair and apply makeup to the victim’s severed head before her boyfriend would have sex with it. 

Some do it to get rid of unwanted children. Like Dagmar Overbye, who opened and operated a business where she acted as the go-between for families looking to adopt and mothers of unwanted babies. Mothers who had children outside of marriage used this unofficial adoption agency, handing over their money and their newborns to Overbye, with the promise of the infants being placed in the happy homes of loving families. Instead, Overbye murdered as many as 25 children in her care, including one of her own, by either strangling, drowning or burning them to death in her masonry heater.

Some do it with poison. Like Lydia Sherman, an attractive forty-year-old wife of a New York City police officer and mother of six, who after twenty years of marriage, fatally poisoned her husband after he lost his job. She then proceeded to kill her three sons and three daughters one by one over a period of a year. Afterward, she assumed a new identity and married twice more – killing not only the husbands but their children from previous marriages as well.

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Utilizing Peter Vronsky’s, writer of Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters, list of female serial killers, in combination with various internet sources; I’ve comprised the following list of known and suspected female serial killers from around the world.

 

Name # of Confirmed Victims # of Suspected Victims
Agrippina the Younger (AD 15-AD 59) 100>
Sara Aldrete (1964- ) 13 15-30
Beverly Allitt (1968- ) 4
Susan Atkins (1948-2009) 9 20>
Amy Archer-Gilligan (1873-1962) 20 40>
Clementine Barnabet (1894? to at least 1923) 35
Francisca Ballesteros (1969- ) 3
Margie Velma Barfield (1932-1984) 5 6-7
Juana Barraza (1957- ) 16 49
Elizabeth Countess Bathory (1560-1614) 300 <650
Martha Beck (1920-1951) 4 20
Marie Alexandrine Becker (1877-1938) 12
Betty Lou Beets (1937-2000) 2
Mary Flora Bell (1957- ) 2
Kate Bender (?-?) 10 12
Marie Besnard (1920-1980) 13
Catherine Birnie (1951- ) 4 8
Elfriede Blauensteiner (1931-2003) 5>
Cecile Bombeek (1933- ) 3>
Marie de Brinvilliers (1630-1676) 50>
Debra Denise Brown (1962- ) 8
Mary Brunner (1943- ) 9 20
Judias Anna Lou Buenoano (1943-1998) 3
Carol M. Bundy (1942-2003) 2 6
Mary Emily Cage (1803-1851) 1 6
Patty Cannon (?-1829) 25 >
Susan Carson (1941- ) 3
Sarah Chesham (1809-1851) 1 10>
Leonarda Cianciulli (1894-1970) 3
Cynthia Coffman (1962- ) 4 >
Faye Copeland (1921-2003) 5
Mary Ann Cotton (1832-1873) 15-22 +
Theresa Knorr nee Cross (1946- ) 2 3
Anna Cunningham (1873-?) 5
Sarah Dazely (1819-1843) 2 4
Minnie Dean (1844-1895) 2 3>
Catherine Deshayes (1640-1680) 2,500
Nancy “Nannie” Hazel Doss (1905-1965) 4 11
Amelia Dyer (1837-1896) 11> 400
Queen Eadburh (?-802) 1 >
Elizabeth Eccles (?-1843) 3
Marti Enriqueta (1868-1913) 6>
Ellen Etheridge (1866-?) 4
Christine Falling (1963- ) 6
Julia Fazekas (?-1929) 7 100>
Marie Fikackova (1936-1961) 10
Constance Fisher (1929-1973) 6
Catherine Flannagan (1829-1884) 1 9
Debbie Fornuto (1955-2002) 6
Sarah Freeman (1817-1845) 4
Caril Fugate (1943- ) 11
Charlene Gallego (1946-2002) 10
Janie Lou Gibbs (1932-2010) 5
Kristen Gilbert (1967- ) 5>
Amy Gilligan (1868-1962) 9
Delfina Gonzalez (1912-1968) 91>
Maria de Jesus Gonzalez (1924-?) 91>
Gesche Gottfried (1785-1831) 16
Gwendolyn Graham (1963- ) 5
Dana Sue Gray (1957- ) 3
Caroline Grills (1890-1960) 4
Maria Gruber (?-?) 49 200
Belle Gunness (1859-1908) 12-28 48
Anna Marie Hahn (1906-1938) 5 15>
Walpurga Hausmannin (?-1587) 40
Margaret Higgins (1843-1884) 1 9
Audrey Marie Hilley (1933-1987) 3 4
Myra Hindley (1942-2002) 5 10
Karla Homolka (1970- ) 3
Waneta E. Hoyt (1946-1998) 5
Miyuki Ishikawa (1897-?) 25> 103
Mary Jane Jackson (1836-?) 4
Helene Jegado (1803-1852) 27>
Luisa de Jesus (?-?) 28 33
Martha Ann Johnson (1955- ) 4
Genene Jones (1950- ) 1 47
Eliza Joyce (?-1817) 3
Linda Kasabian (1949- ) 9 20
Claudette Kibble (1971- ) 3
Sharon Kinne (1939-?) 3
Tillie Klimek (1876-1935) 1 6+
Patricia Krenwinkel (1947- ) 9 20>
Marie Delphine LaLaurie (1787-1849) >100
Christa Lehman (1922- ) 3
Irene Leidolf (?- ) 49 200
Diana Lumbrera (1976-1990) 6
Anjette Lyles (1925-1977) 4
Sarah Makin (1845-1918) 7>
Christine Malevre (1970- ) 7 30
Martha Marek (1904-1938) 4
Rhonda Belle Martin (1907-1957) 6 8
Stephanija Mayer (?- ) 49 200
Carolyn McCrary (1928- ) 11 22
Virginia McGinnis (1937-2011) 4
Daisy Louisa C. De Melker (1886-1932) 3
Valeria Messalina (17/20-48) 50>
Mary Ann Milner (1819? -1847) 3
Alice Mitchell (1872-1898) <37
Blanche Taylor Moore (1933- ) 5
Patricia Moore (1962- 3
Judith Ann Neelley (1964- ) 12 15
Marie Noe (1928- ) 8
Marianne Nolle (1938- ) 7 17
Susi Olah (?-?) 7 100
Dagmar Overbye (1887-1929) 25
Sandra Pankow (?-?) 3
Bonnie Parker (1910-1934) 12 13
Madame Alexe Popova (?-1909) <300
Dorothea Puente Montaivo (1929-2011) 9
Terri Rachals (1961- ) 6 9
Vera Renczi (1903-1960) 35
Martha Rendell (1871-1909) 3
Sarah Jane Robinson (1837-1906) 8
Amelia Sach (1873-1903) 12
Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova (1730-1801) 38 <139
Antoinette Scieri (1890-?) 6
Lydia Sherman (1824-1878) 10 >11
Della Sorenson (1897-1941) 7
Mariam Soulakiotis (1883-1954) 177
Hieronyma Spara (?-1659) 100>
Maria Swanenburg (1839-1915) 90
Mrs. Szabo (?-?) 7 100
Ginger Taylor (McCrary) (1938- ) 11 22
Bobbie Sue Terrell (1952-2007) 12>
Marybeth Tinning (1942- ) 9
La Tofania (?-?) <600
Jane Toppan (1857-1938) 31 <100
Lydia Trueblood (1892-1958) 6
Debra Sue Tuggle (1958- ) 4
Lisa Jane Turner (1956- ) 3
Sophie Ursinus (1760-1836) 3
Leslie Van Houten (1949- ) 9 20>
Maria Velten (1916-2008) 5
Louise Vermilyea (?-1911) 10
Waltraud Wagner (1960- ) 49 300
Rachel Wallpirate (1760-1789) 1>
Annie Walters (1869-1903) 12
Margaret Waters (1835-1870) 16 35
Jeanne Weber (1874-1910) 8 <20
Rosemary West (1953- ) 10 18
Dorothy Williams (1954- ) 3
Stella Williamson (1904-1980) 5
Catherine Wilson (1822-1862) 5 7
Martha Hasel White (1884-1972) 3
Catherine May Wood (1962- ) 5
Martha Woods (?-?) 7
Aileen Carol Wuornos (1956-2002) 7 >
Lila Gladys Young (1899-1967) 100>
Anna Zwanziger (1760-1811) 3>