15 Women Serial Killers

Have you ever wondered what drives a man or a woman to serial killings? It is really hard to believe that there are people out there who are on the lookout for their next victim to kill. A serial killer is a person who has killed 3 or more people. The motive of these murders is usually, psychological gratification. The features that can be associated with serial killers are:

  • Average or below average “IQ”
  • Unstable family backgrounds
  • Have usually been abused physically or mentally by someone close (relative or parent)
  • Involved in sadistic activity
  • Have been socially isolated as children
  • Begin with petty crimes

Female serial killers are rarer than their male counterparts. You will notice that quite a few women serial killers are the ones involved in a medical profession more often than not. Women serial killers also tend to kill people who are close relatives, lovers or children. Women serial killers rarely derive sexual pleasure out of serial murders. When it comes to serial killers, there really is no gender bias. Either a man or a woman can be a mentally sick person who thrives on murders. Here is a list of 15 legendary women serial killers.

1. Dorothea Puente

Dorothea Puente

Origin: American

Birth: January 9, 1929

Death: March 27, 2011

Puente was a convicted American serial killer. In the 1980s, Puente ran a boarding house in Sacramento, California, and cashed the Social Security checks of her elderly and mentally disabled boarders. Those who complained were killed and buried in her yard.

2. Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos

Origin: American

Birth: February 29, 1956

Death: October 9, 2002

Aileen was a serial killer who killed seven men in Florida in 1989 and 1990. Wuornos claimed that her victims had either raped or attempted to rape her while she was working as a prostitute, and that all of the homicides were committed in self-defense. She was convicted and sentenced to death for six of the murders and was executed by the State of Florida by lethal injection.

3. Lavinia Fisher

Lavinia Fisher

Origin: Unknown

Birth: 1793 (date unknown)

Death: February 18, 1820

Fisher is widely recognized as the first female mass murderer in the United States of America. Her origins are unknown; however, Fisher resided in the United States for a large amount of her life. She was married to John Fisher, and both were convicted of murder and robbery.

4. Jane Toppan

Jane Toppan

Origin: American

Birth: 1857 (date unknown)

Death: 1938 (date unknown)

Toppan was born Honora Kelley and was an American serial killer. She confessed to 31 murders in 1901. She is quoted as saying that her ambition was “to have killed more people, helpless people, than any other man or woman who ever lived”.

5. Belle Gunness


Origin: Norwegian

Birth: November 11, 1859

Death: April 28, 1908

Standing six feet tall (183 cm) tall and weighing over 200 pounds (91 kg), she was a physically strong woman.She killed most of her suitors and boyfriends, and her two daughters, Myrtle and Lucy. She may also have killed both of her husbands and all of her children, on different occasions. Her apparent motives involved collecting life insurance, cash and other valuables, and eliminating witnesses. Reports estimate that she killed between 25 and 40 people over several decades.

6. Amy Arche

Amy Archer

Origin: American

Birth: October, 1868

Death: April 23, 1962

Amy was aWindsor, Connecticut, nursing home proprietor and multiple murderer. She systematically murdered at least five people by poison; one was her second husband, Michael Gilligan, and the rest were residents of her nursing home. It is possible that she was involved in more deaths; authorities found 48 deaths total from her nursing homes.

7. Bertha Gifford

Bertha Gifford

Origin: American

Birth: October 1872

Death: August 20, 1951

Bertha was a farmwife in rural Catawissa, Missouri during the early 1900s who was accused of murdering 17 members of the local community. Some consider her to be America’s first female serial killer.

8. Nannie Doss

Nannie Doss

Origin: American

Birth: November 4, 1905

Death: June 2, 1965

Doss was an American serial killer responsible for the deaths of 11 people between the 1920s and 1954.She confessed to the murders in October 1954, after her fifth husband died in a small hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In all, it was revealed that she had killed 4 husbands, 2 children, her two sisters, her mother, a grandson, and a nephew.

9. Amelia Dyer

Amelia Dyer

Origin: British

Birth: 1837 (date unknown)

Death: 10 June 1896

Amelia was the most prolific baby farm murderer of Victorian England She was tried and hanged for one murder, but there is little doubt she was responsible for many more similar deaths (possibly 400 or more) over a period of perhaps twenty years.

10. Delphine LaLaurie

Delphine LaLaurie

Origin: American

Birth: 1775 (date unknown)

Death: 1842 (date unknown)

Delphine, who was commonly known as Madame LaLaurie, was a Louisiana-born socialite and serial killerknown for her involvement in the torture and murder of black slaves. Born in New Orleans, LaLaurie married three times over the course of her life. She maintained a prominent position in the social circles of New Orleans until April 10, 1834, when rescuers responding to a fire at her Royal Street mansion discovered bound slaves within the house who showed evidence of torture over a long period. LaLaurie’s house was subsequently sacked by an outraged mob of New Orleans citizens, and it is thought that she fled to Paris, where she is believed to have died.

11. Beverley Allitt

Beverley Allitt

Origin: British

Birth: October 4, 1968

Death: —

Allittis 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 Nurse.She administered large doses of insulinto 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.

12. Martha Needle

Martha Needle

Origin: Australian

Birth: 1863 (date unknown)

Death: October 22, 1894

Martha Needle was known for poisoning her husband, 3 children and future brother-in-law, and was hanged at the age of 30. Martha was convicted for the murder of Louis Juncken, brother of her fiancé Otto Juncken, on 15 May 1894. Although Martha collected substantial sums of insurance money this was not the motive for her own family which was never determined. Several times she stated her innocence, but was eventually hanged.

13. Vera Renczi

Vera Renczi

Origin: Hungarian

Birth: January 9, 1929

Death: March 27, 2011

Renczi was a serial killer who allegedly poisoned 35 individuals—including her husbands, lovers, and one son—with arsenic during the 1920. Before and after that time, the story has appeared in several versions, with varying details. Most sources place the murders at Berkerekul, Yugoslavia(present-day Serbia), but no such location can be securely identified. No date of any alleged event in the story can be confirmed,and the story of Vera Renczi may originate as a fiction or hoax.

14. Margie Barfield

Velma Barfield

Origin: American

Birth: October 29, 1932

Death: November 2, 1984

Barfield was an American serial killer, convicted of one murder, but she eventually confessed to six. She was the first woman in the United States to be executed after the 1976 resumption of capital punishment and the first since 1962. She was also the first woman to be executed by lethal injection.

15. Juana Barraza

Juana Barraza

Origin: American

Birth: 1956

Death: —

Barazza is a Mexican professional wrestler and serial killernicknamedLa Mataviejitas (Sp. “The Old Lady Killer”) sentenced to 759 years in jail for killing eleven elderly women.The first murder attributed to Mataviejitas has been dated variously to the late 1990s and to a specific killing on 17 November 2003. The authorities and the press have given various estimates as to the total number of the killer’s victims, with totals ranging from 24 to 49 deaths.


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