When the subject of murderers and serial killers comes up, it’s usually men who are mentioned- Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Jeffery Dauhmer – but few people can mention more than one or two notorious female killers. Some killed for love, some for money, but most were just absolutely insane and sadistic. Interestingly, a few have either been set free or will be soon. In the interest of equality, here’s a list of 25 Infamous Female Murderers Throughout History.
Lady Elizabeth Bathory
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Bathing in the blood of virgins”? Elizabeth Bathory is where we get that phrase. It is estimated she killed as many as 650 servant and local young women before she was caught, and she had a special torture chamber built for her by her husband.
Belle was an immigrant from Norway to the US who killed her husbands for insurance payouts before starting to lure single wealthy men to her farm. When the farm burned in 1908, more than 40 bodies were found in shallow graves.
Overbye ran an orphanage in the late 1920’s. She’d take in newborns from desperate mothers for a one time fee, promising they’d be placed in loving homes. Instead, she killed them and cremated the bodies in her stove. She confessed to killing between sixty and eighty children, but estimates are as high as 180.
Mary Ann Cotton
Mary Ann Cotton was a serial killer in Victorian England. She is suspected of killing up to 21 people with arsenic, but she was only convicted of killing her stepson which led to her hanging in 1873.
Dyer was known as the Baby Farmer and is suspected of killing over 200 infants in Victorian England. Again, she’d take babies in from desperate mothers for a fee with a promise to have them adopted, and then murder the children. When she was apprehended by police, Dyer told them, “You’ll know all mine by the tape around their necks.” She was hung for her crimes in 1869.