Top 10 Psycho Female Killers
5. Belle Sorenson Gunness
Belle Gunness was a serial killer of the worst kind. While most women serial killers poison their victims, Belle had no qualms with hacking a man to pieces and cutting off his heads. She would lure her victims under the guise of love or matrimony. She even put ads in the national papers seeking husbands to make happy. They would come from all over the U.S. bringing their life savings with them. It did not take long for them to disappear.
In 1908, after 49 people mysteriously disappeared, someone finally figured out that the people with whom she was involved were missing. Before she could be arrested, her house burned to the ground. They recovered many bodies, hacked into smaller pieces and those of her current husband and children as well. They also recovered a female body with no head, which they assumed to be her, even when a ranch hand told them that the scene had been staged to help her escape and that he had helped. She was never seen or heard from again.
The Story of Belle Gunness
4. Mary Ann Cotton
While we are speaking about crazy people, let us not forget to mention another marble bag with a huge hole in it. Mary Ann Cotton was a real nut job. As soon as she realized what life insurance actually meant, she began to collect it. She brutally murdered at least 21 members of her immediate family with the intent of collecting. Of course, she did not collect on everyone but apparently enjoyed the act so much that she simply could not stop. She seemed to be prone to arsenic poisoning because back in her day in the mid 1850’s, it was a diagnosis that involved some pretty intense tests. Before she was caught, she had murdered four husbands, a secret lover, and a whole wagonload of children. She was also a pretty conniving killer as well. For instance, she moved around so the murders did not all take place in the same area. Another very important fact that she must have been aware of was the infant mortality rate of the time. It was not very uncommon for infants and children to die under such harsh living conditions. Often, the deaths certificates were filled in with a cause of death even though the doctors did not really know what it was. Gastric problems were so common that gastric fever was used quite often.
There is one part of the Cotton murderess story that provides some comfort to those of us who are really bothered when we read about a child killer. Mary Ann Cotton died hard. The executioners of the day had some control over how little… or how much the executed suffered. Cotton’s executioner must have had children because he used the short rope technique that was reserved for men and even then for the most hardened of criminals. With the short rope, the hanged person does not drop far enough to snap the neck bringing the instant death or unconsciousness for which they pray. Instead, the hanged struggles, kicks, and suffers for several long minutes as their life is wrenched out of them by the rope. We can only hope she had time to think about each and every child. After her death, many people in the sizable crowd sang the popular song that had been going around since her trial began.
Mary Ann Cotton,
She’s dead and she’s rotten
She lies in her bed,
With her eyes wide open
Sing, sing, oh, what can I sing,
Mary Ann Cotton is tied up with string
Where, where? Up in the air
Sellin’ black puddens a penny a pair.
“Black puddens” means black pudding, which is a kind of sausage sauce made with the blood of a pig.
In our more modern times, children have changed the some of the lyrics to this:
Mary Ann Cotton,
She’s dead and she’s rotten
She lies in her bed,
With her fingers up her bottom.
Victorian Killers 1/4 Mary Ann Cotton
3. Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova
Here is one woman who got away with murder. She got away with it at least 138 times, in fact. She also got away with torture and other terrible acts against her serfs, young women, and girls of the families that lived and worked as slaves at her estate. She would move many of these women and girls onto her estate where she lived with her two young sons. She inherited the huge estate after her husband’s death when she was 26 years old and began her tortuous ways. Because she married into a noble family and enjoyed a connection with powerful people in the Royal Court, the complaints about her were ignored and often, the families of the girls who complained were punished for doing so. Eventually, so many women were missing that the Empress, Catherine II had no choice but to see the petition of the people and launch an investigation. Because there were so many women and girls involved, dead, and missing, the investigation took six years, during which time Saltykova was arrested and held. She was linked to most of the 138 discovered deaths, mostly due to torture. She was only proven guilty of 38 of them. Since the death penalty had already been abolished and because she was a noble, the Russian Empress had to come up with a unique form of punishment. Finally, it was decided and in 1768, she was chained to a dais for one hour in the public square with a sign hung around her neck proclaiming she was a murderess and torturer. She was sentenced for live in the basement of Moscow’s Ivanovsky Convent where she remained for the rest of her life. She lived imprisoned for 33 years. Some considered this poetic justice because even though the monastery was a prison for noble women, the Nuns there are said to have been practicing Khlysts who beat and tortured the inmates there.
2. Delphine LaLaurie
Delphine LaLaurie and her third husband Dr. Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie. Built a three-story mansion at now famous 1140 Royal Street in New Orleans and enjoyed being counted among the social elite. The mansion had slave quarters attached. While rumors were circulating of her treatment of her slaves, few believed them as when in public, her treatment of them was one of concern. They had even emancipated two of their slaves. Still, reports of how frail and haggard her slaves always appeared seem to fuel the rumors. An Attorney was sent to the mansion to investigate and remind the LaLaurie of their obligations to slaves and the laws governing their treatment. He reported finding no wrongdoing or evidence of wrongdoing. After his visit, a neighbor witnessed a young black female child fall to her death from the third story balcony to escape being whipped. It was investigated and nine slaves were taken from them and sold at auction. Unfortunately for those slaves, a family member of Delphine’s purchased them and gave them back to her. Several months later, a fire broke out in their mansion and that is when it was discovered. When firefighters arrived and wanted the keys to rescue the slaves from their quarters, the LaLauries refused. The Firemen broke down the doors and found slaves that were chained to walls, tortured and torn apart. There were several who had literally been torn limb from limb. The Fireman sent for a judge who acted as an official witness to everything. The slave who was the cook was chained to the stove where she lived. The stories started coming out of the terrible torture the slaves had endured including wearing collars with sharp spikes to hold their heads in awkward, stationary positions. Bodies were found buried in the yard and in an abandoned well on the property. The slaved that were still alive were taken to the local jail where they were put on display so people could see how they had been treated. Mobs stormed the mansion and tore it apart but the LaLauries had disappeared. Delphine apparently made her way to France and died there some years later.
Deadly Women – Delphine LaLaurie (1/2)
1. The Countess Elizabeth Bathory
This one comes as a no brainer to the number 1 spot. No one really knows how many women the countess tortured in her castle but it is believed to be more than six hundred. This sick rich bitch lured the prettiest women from the villages with promises of high wages working at her castle. She lured them with the possibility of getting their families out of poverty by paying them well to work as maids and cooks. When families are hungry, they do not ask questions of the opportunities that offer a reversal of fortune. What is known is that the story of Count Dracula may have been based in part on this real lifeblood sucker. In fact, writings of the time have linked her and Count Vladimir, the Impaler. Her biggest joy was to bath in the fresh blood of her victims because she believed it would keep her young. In Hungary in the 15th century, there was no law that could readily reach a countess. When the law needed to be enforced, it was usually accompanied by a royal edict. No such interference was coming for the poor women who were tortured and bled in the dungeons of The Countess Bathory.
It is unclear of what crimes her final punishment was for but it may have been for her accumulated evil. She was beyond being tried. Four of her collaborators were convicted of torturing and killing 80 women. She was eventually taken to Cachtice Castle where she was bricked into the walls.
Elizabeth Bathory – Part 1/3