The 7 Most Famous Women Serial Killers

Don't count them out because they are women. Here are seven female serial killers who were beautiful and malicious in all of their ways.

Aileen Wuornos

female serial killers

Aileen Wuornos was a prostitute who turned into a murderer from 1989 to 1990. She killed seven unidentified men in Florida who solicited her services for sexual intercourse. Their ride on the wild side ended in death, and Wuornos told authorities that her actions were in complete self-defense. Unfortunately for Aileen, the courts didn't agree and sentenced her to capital punishment. Wuornos was executed by way of lethal injection in 2002 after serving several years in the Florida State Penitentiary.

Juana Barraza

She is a Mexican wrestler also recognized as "La Mataviejitas," or "The Old Lady Killer." Barraza strangled at least 49 senior women during the 1990s and did not stop until her capturing in 2003. She was found guilty of 16 of the 49 murders and sentenced to 759 years in jail.

Amy Archer-Gilligan

What better way to gain access to your husband's life insurance benefits than to kill him? Amy Archer-Gilligan was a nursing home proprietor who did just that by poisoning her second husband, Michael Gilligan at the turn of the twentieth century. The medical professional also killed five others by way of poison who were in her care at the nursing home where she worked. Although sentenced to death for her crimes, Archer-Gilligan received admittance to a mental asylum where she died in 1962.

Nannie Doss

famous women serial killers

Nannie Doss was recognized as a black widow in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after murdering five husbands. Surprisingly enough, the authorities did not discover her spousal murders until after her connection to other killings in the city was revealed. Doss' mother-in-law, sisters, mother, and two of her children were counted among those murdered. Although sentenced to death by the court, the justice system did not execute Doss due to her status as a woman. She died in 1965.

Jane Toppan

Few famous women serial killers are like Jane Toppan. This nurse had a private practice in Massachusetts that she used to poison patients who depended on her expertise to nurse them back to health. They thought she was a godsend, but Toppan viewed her unsuspecting clients as prey. Police interviewed Jane after arrest in 1901 where she admitted to numerous killings and told the authorities that she had hoped to murder more helpless victims before being caught. The serial killer also said that she was aroused by the act of killing her patients, which is why the courts found her insane and not guilty of the crimes that she committed.

Mary Ann Cotton

Mary Ann Cotton was an English woman who murdered her stepson and up to 21 other people during the nineteenth century. Her weapon of choice was arsenic poisoning, which proved silent but deadly in all cases. Cotton's murders were quite significant since women had very few rights in society during the early nineteenth century. Few expected a homemaker to commit such heinous acts. The consequence for Mary's actions was capital punishment by way of hanging in Durham, England.

Kristen Gilbert

Serial Killers Women

She is often referred to as the Angel of Death. Kristen Gilbert committed four murders and attempted to kill two patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Northampton, Massachusetts. Gilbert essentially gave her patients heart attacks by injecting their intravenous therapy bags with lethal doses of a heart stimulant called epinephrine. The nurse would throw the suspecting minority off track by resuscitating her patients after a coded emergency was put out over the main speakers. Her actions eventually caught up with her as the justice system was ultimately able to put the pieces of the puzzle together and convict Kristen of three first-degree murders, one second-degree murder, and two attempted murders. Gilbert is presently serving a life sentence for her crimes.

Images taken from Jasmin Hirst, Gizmodo, and Thoughtco.

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