Are Women As Violent As Men: Stereotype or Fact?
Recently on the news, it was determined by various organizations that the distribution of emergency relief supplies to earthquake victims in Haiti are being assigned to women since they are by nature, less violent and combative. It was explained that because women are natural caregivers and nurturers, they are better suited to perform the chore. After browsing some sites, I cannot argue whether women are less inclined to commit violent crimes or not, but it is apparent the reasons vary and so do the punishments.
My nagging curiosity lead me to a list of female killers ranging in motives from greed to delusional, as well as psychopathic. None of them killed as part of a team, but simply for their own reasons. Not surprising to this author, the historical character of my latest novel (Dandelions In The Garden) made the cut! Below is a list of notable females who committed unfathomable crimes. These women were caregivers, mothers, daughters and wives.
Beverley AllittAttentive pediatric nurse, suffering from bizarre Munchausen by Proxy syndrome, maims and murders many babies before the hospital understands the problem. Velma BarfieldThis adoring mother and pious Christian grandmother had a secret habit -- she poisoned her husbands, boyfriends, elderly people in her care and even her mother. The amazing thing is how long this Black Widow serial poisoner got away with it. Sue BassoDepraved woman traps mentally handicapped man so she can use him as slave and kill him for insurance.
Elizabeth BathoryThis legendary countess is remembered for murdering women for fun and bathing in their blood to make herself more beautiful. Was there any truth to this heinous legend or was this a story concocted by her powerful political enemies? Celeste BeardSteven Beard, a retired television executive, was startled awake to find his innards lying where his belly should have been. Conscious but bewildered, he reached for a phone on his nightstand and dialed 911 for Austin, Texas. Who would have guessed that his wife Celeste had manipulated her lesbian lover into being the "hit man"? Martha Beck & Raymond FernandezThe story of a desperately lonely overweight woman who lets herself fall into partnership with a man who murders women for money. The so-called Lonely Hearts Murders, entwined in voodoo magic and kinky sex, becomes one of the most sensational cases of the 1940s. Lizzie BordenThis classic has to be one of the most enduring murder mysteries America has ever produced. The bloodiness of the acts is startling. Along with the gruesome nature of the crimes is the unexpected character of the accused, not a hatchet-wielding maniac, but a church-going, Sunday-school-teaching, respectable, spinster-daughter, charged with parricide, the murder of parents, a crime worthy of Classical Greek tragedy. Many people believed she killed her father and stepmother, but recent forensic research suggests that she didn't. Mary Ann CottonMurdered between 15-21 of her close relatives by arsenic poisoning. Why? For money, personal dislike or they got in her way over something she wanted. Frances Creighton & Everett AppelgateNew York classic story of a black widow and a psychopathic ladies man who create havoc in their community with pedophilia, arsenic poisoning and bad parenting. Kathleen FolbiggTragic crib deaths appear to be the reason that Kathleen Folbigg's babies died, but then her husband finds her terrifying diaries. Blue on Blue: Antoinette FrankShe connived her way into becoming a New Orleans cop, now she sits on death row for executing three people, including another cop. Helen Golay and Olga RutterschmidtA pair of elderly women seemingly pulled from the script of Arsenic and Old Lace stand accused of the insurance-motivated murder of two Los Angeles vagrants. Dana Sue GrayFormer surgical nurse with a need for money and an obsession for extravagant shopping sprees kills several women and uses their assets to get her hair done and buy hundreds of dollars of goods. Anna Marie HahnArsenic Anna: Sweet young woman lures older benefactors to their deaths. Jean HarrisHeadmistress of exclusive Madeira School for wealthy girls kills her unworthy lover, Dr. Herman Tarnower, the famous Scarsdale Diet doctor. Marie HilleyMarie Hilley is a mystery. Marie murdered her husband, but it didn't stop there. She poisoned her daughter and other close relatives. Her murderous escapades undermined what should have been the most sacred of family relationships. When it appeared she would finally be brought to justice for her crimes, she disappeared and began life anew with an assumed identity. One persona after another, discarded when it no longer suited her needs. Genene JonesTexas pediatric nurse takes over the care of babies and murders them by injecting one after another. Almost as criminal is how the hospitals and staff ignored the problem until Genene's shift became known as the Death Shift. Katherine KnightKatherine Mary Knight, though not the first person to skin and eat her lover, was arguably the most depraved monster in Australia's grizzly homicidal history. Judith Ann NeelleyEighteen-year-old Judith Neelley lured teenagers to a horrible death, but only after they had been raped and tortured. Dorothea PuenteNo one suspected that the sweet-faced, grandmotherly lady was systematically drugging and killing her frail boarders and burying their remains in the yard she so lovingly tended. She got away with murder for years. Darlie RoutierIn 1997, a Texas court found Darlie Lynn Routier guilty of probably the worst of human crimes: killing two of her natural children in cold-blood. Madeleine SmithDid Madeleine Smith poison her lover? A Victorian mystery. Susan SmithSouth Carolina woman drowns her children in her car so that she will be more "marriageable" to the boyfriend who rejected her. Ruth Snyder & Judd GrayThe real story of lust, greed and murder that inspired the great film noir classics Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice and Body Heat. Marybeth TinningMarybeth Tinning was a familiar sight in Schenectady's trauma centers. She usually came running into one of the city's emergency rooms, confused and hysterical, typically with one of her eight children cradled in her arms, either dead or near dead. All eight of Marybeth Tinning's children died suddenly and usually without any rational explanation. Karla Faye TuckerTexas's controversial murderess Carolyn WarmusAttractive and sexy heiress Carolyn Warmus goes after her man and murders his wife. Aileen WuornosFemale killer preyed upon truck drivers. Andrea YatesWoman drowns her five children -- one at a time after her husband goes to work. Is she psychotic or a monster? Incorrect expert testimony causes murder convictions to be overturned.
True Crime Library