Women may have long struggled for equality with men, but when it
comes to evil, there's always been equal opportunity among the sexes
Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (1910 - 1934) was half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo. She was part of a gang of criminals who traveled the U.S. during the Depression. Clyde Barrow and his gang are believed to have killed at least nine police officers and several civilians.
Lizzie Andrew Borden (1860 – 1927) was an American woman who was tried and acquitted in the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. The case was a cause célèbre throughout the United States. Following her release from the prison in which she had been held during the trial, Borden chose to remain a resident of Fall River for the rest of her life, despite facing significant ostracism. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts elected not to charge anyone else with the murder of Andrew and Abby Borden and speculation about the crimes still continues more than 100 years later.
Gertrude Baniszewski (1929 - 1990) was an Indiana woman who oversaw and facilitated the torture, mutilation and murder of a 16-year-old girl she had taken in. She was convicted in 1966 in a case that was described as "the single worst crime perpetrated against an individual in Indiana’s history”. Baniszewski was paroled in 1985 and died of lung cancer in 1990.
Beverly Gail Allitt (born 4 October 1968) is an English serial killer who was convicted of murdering four children, attempting to murder three other children, and causing grievous bodily harm to a further six children. The crimes were committed over a period of 59 days between February and April 1991 in the children's ward at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital, Lincolnshire, where Allitt was employed as a State Enrolled Nurse. She administered large doses of insulin to at least two victims and a large air bubble was found in the body of another, but police were unable to establish how all the attacks were carried out. In May 1993, at Nottingham Crown Court, she received 13 life sentences for the crimes. Mr. Justice Latham, sentencing, told Allitt that she was "a serious danger" to others and was unlikely ever to be considered safe enough to be released. She is currently detained at Rampton Secure Hospital in Nottinghamshire.
Griselda Blanco was a drug lord who ran the cocaine trade in Miami during the 1970's and early 1980's. She committed her first murder when she was only 11 years old. Authorities estimate Blanco killed or ordered the killings of between 40 and 200 people.
Mary Ann Cotton (1832-1873) was a County Durham woman who was tried and convicted for the murder of her own children and hanged in 1873. Few people have heard of the so-called ‘Black Widow’ killer who posed as a wife, widow, mother, friend and nurse to murder perhaps as many as 21 victims, living off her husbands before eventually claiming their estates. Two decades before Jack the Ripper would terrorise the streets of Whitechapel in London, Mary Ann Cotton had already become a killing machine, perhaps murdering as many as eight of her own children, seven stepchildren, her mother, three husbands, a lover and an inconvenient friend. The murders were mainly committed by arsenic poisoning.
Elizabeth Bathory (1560 -1614) was a cruel and sadistic Hungarian countess accused of the deaths of hundreds of young women, whose blood she bathed in to remain youthful. She was convicted, though never formally tried, of killing 80 women, and was walled into a section of her castle where she remained under house arrest until her death. [Read more . . .]
Nannie Doss was an American serial killer who earned the nicknames "The Giggling Nanny" and "The Jolly Black Widow". She murdered eleven people between 1920 and 1954, including four husbands, two children, her two sisters, her mother, a grandson and a nephew. She finally confessed to the murders in October 1954, after her fifth husband Samuel had died in a small hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Despite being an horrific murderess, Doss enjoyed the limelight of her arrest and often joked about her dead husbands and the method she used to kill them. She was sentenced to life for the murder of Samuel Doss. She died of leukemia in 1963 in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.
In one of the most intriguing cases in FBI history, rich heiress Patty Hearst turned from kidnap victim to bank robber after she was abducted by guerilla group the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA).
Amelia Elizabeth Dyer (1838 - 1896) was the most prolific baby farm murderer of Victorian England. A 'baby farmer' was someone who, for a fee, would look after children, usually illegitimate, until a home could be found for them. Parents or needy mothers would pay Dyer to adopt their infants, who she then killed. She was tried and hanged for some of the murders, but there is little doubt she was responsible for many more similar deaths. It is believed that Dyer killed as many as 400 newborns over a period of 20 years. She was hanged at Newgate, London in 1896.
Sandra Ávila Beltrán was a Mexican drug cartel leader, dubbed "La Reina del Pacífico" (The Queen of the Pacific) by the media. She was arrested on September 28, 2007, and charged with organized crime and conspiracy to traffic drugs Some charges were later dropped but she was still held for possession of illegal weapons and money laundering. On August 10, 2012, she was extradited to the U.S. to answer to criminal charges by the U.S. government.
Priscilla Joyce Ford (1929 – 2005) was a mass murderer who was sentenced to death for killing six people and injuring 23 more by driving down a Reno sidewalk on Thanksgiving Day in 1980. Ford had schizophrenia and launched numerous appeals against her death sentence, all of which failed. However, she was also a heavy smoker and she died in prison in 2005 at the age of 75 after suffering from emphysema.
Ulrike Marie Meinhof was a German left-wing militant. She co-founded the Red Army Faction (Rote Armee Fraktion) in 1970 after having previously worked as a journalist for the monthly left-wing magazine Konkret. She was arrested in 1972 and eventually charged with numerous murders and the formation of a criminal association. Before the trial concluded, Meinhof was found hanged in her prison cell in 1976.
Leona Mindy Roberts Helmsley (1920 – 2007) was an American businesswoman who was known for her flamboyant personality and had a reputation for tyrannical behavior that earned her the nickname Queen of Mean. She was promoted by the Beber Silverstein Group and its co-founder Joyce Beber who persuaded her to call herself Queen of the Palace Hotel.
Following allegations by unpaid contractors that work done on her home had been charged to her company, she was investigated and convicted of federal income tax evasion and other crimes in 1989. Although having initially received a sentence of 16 years, Helmsley was required to serve only 19 months in prison and two months under house arrest. During the trial, a former housekeeper testified that she had heard Helmsley say: "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes", a saying that became notorious and was identified with her for the rest of her life. [Read more . . .]
Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood are American serial killers convicted of killing five elderly women in a suburb of Grand Rapids, Michigan in the 1980s. They committed their crimes in the Alpine Manor nursing home where they both worked as nurse's aides. [Read more . . .]
Irma Grese (1923-1945) was employed at the Nazi concentration camps of Ravensbrück and Auschwitz and was a warden of the women's section of Bergen-Belsen. She was accused of torturing and killing dozens of people. Grese was convicted for crimes against humanity at the Belsen Trial and sentenced to death. Executed at 22 years age, Grese was the youngest woman to die judicially under English law in the 20th century.
Karla Leanne Homolka, also known as Karla Leanne Teale and Leanne Bordelais (born 4 May 1970 in Port Credit, Ontario, Canada), is a convicted Canadian serial killer who helped her husband rape and murder at least three women. She attracted worldwide media attention when she was convicted of manslaughter following a plea bargain in the 1991 and 1992 rape-murders of two Ontario teenage girls, Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, as well as the rape and death of her sister Tammy. [Read more . . .]
Audrey Marie Hilley (1933 - 1987) was an Alabama woman convicted of poisoning her husband to death and attempting to poison her daughter for insurance money. She was also suspected of poisoning her mother and mother-in-law. She died after getting pneumonia during a prison break.
Belle Sorenson Gunness (1859 -1908) was a Norwegian-American serial killer. Standing six feet tall and weighing over 200 pounds, she was a physically strong woman who murdered most of her suitors and boyfriends and her two daughters, Myrtle and Lucy. She may also have killed both of her husbands and all her other children, as well as several witnesses. Her apparent motives involved collecting life insurance, cash and other valuables. Reports estimate that she killed between 25 and 40 people over several decades.
Myra Hindley: British woman who, along with Ian Brady, kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused two teenagers and three children between 1963-1965 in crimes that became known as the Moors Murders. Hindley was dubbed by the press as 'the most evil woman in Britain'. Although in later years she claimed to be a reformed character and appealed for release, it was never granted, and she died in prison in 2002 aged 60.
Ma Barker was the force behind the Barker-Karpis gang formed in 1931 whose reckless spree of kidnappings, murders and bank robberies finally led to the violent deaths of all the gang members, including Barker and her four sons. [Read more . . .]