Society & Culture

Ten of The Most Evil Female Serial Killers Ever

Evil comes in all shapes and sizes - and certainly both genders. The inhabitants of prisons that you might find on Jail Exchange are old and young, of all ethnicities and nationalities, and male and female. Here's a top ten list of some of the most terrifying women in history.

1) Miranda Barbour


We may never know how many men fell victim to the ‘Craigslist Killer' and her husband Elytte. Officially the tally stands at just one victim named Troy Laferrara, who had responded to an advertisement for ‘female companionship’ before being stabbed 20 times. However the 19-year-old, who showed no remorse or conscience when sentenced to life earlier this year (as reported by the People), has claimed in previous interviews that she killed at least 22 others in a six year bloodbath across the US as part of a satanic cult.

2) Myra Hindley

Myra Hindley

The despicable ‘Moors Murderers’, Hindley and her boyfriend Ian Brady killed five youngsters in England, sexually assaulting at least four of them between 1963 and 1965. The body of Keith Bennett, like three other victims, was dumped in the bleak Manchester moorland, and despite pleas from his late mother Keith's body has never been revealed. Trial Judge Justice Atkinson described the duo as "two sadistic killers of the utmost depravity."

3) Rosemary West

Rosemary West

It's 20 years since the horrific activity at the ‘Cromwell Street House of Horrors' in Gloucester, England was discovered. West and her husband Fred had raped and murdered at least ten people, including her 16-year-old daughter Heather. Her remains were found seven years after her disappearance, along with various bones and carcases of other young women who perished at the home. Chillingly, West is living a happy life in prison, according to the Daily Mail.

4) Aileen Wournos

Aileen Wuornos

Wournos killed seven men in Florida when working as a prostitute, dumping their bodies in woodland or on the roadsides. Her finger prints were on file for multiple other crimes meaning that she was relatively easy to discover once a palm print was discovered in a victim's car in 1990. Wournos was executed by lethal injection in 2002 but her crimes achieved infamy in the Charlize Theron movie Monster.

5) Joanna Dennehy

Joanna Dennehy posing with a knife shortly after some of the murders.

"I murdered three men but it could be worse - at least I'm not fat." So said this flippant 31-year-old killer after sentencing in early 2014, only the third woman in Britain to face a full life term for murder along with Hindley and West. The mother-of-two stabbed three men to death and left their corpses in ditches and wheelie bins around Peterborough-one was left face-down with his backside exposed, wearing a black sequined dress.

6) Beverley Allitt

Beverley Allitt

Nurse Allitt murdered four children and attacked at least nine more across a deadly spell in the 1990s in Grantham, England. Insulin injections were used to kill some of the youngsters before staff became suspicious of the number of cardiac arrests on the hospital ward, and Allitt's crimes were swiftly uncovered. It's believed she may have suffered from Munchausen Syndrome, a condition where the perpetrator pretends to have an illness to attract attention.

7) Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood

Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood

Like Allit, this duo worked in the caring profession - but while the Grantham woman preyed on the young this twisted pair preyed on the elderly throughout the 1980s. These lovers used poems and phrases to choose their victims, kept souvenirs, and even bragged about their work to co-workers at Alpine Manor Nursing home in Michigan, although no-one believed them at first.

8) Jane Toppan

Jane Toppan

Another nurse, Toppan went from caring for patients to experimenting on them using poison in the 1880s in Cambridge, Massachusetts, enjoying the painful and fatal effects. From there she moved to using her toxins on landlords and family members, and was only finally stopped when the family of a victim requested a toxicology report. Toppan, who killed 31 people, was committed to an asylum.

9) Juana Barraza

Juana Barraza

The ‘Little Old Lady Killer’ and former wrestler was arrested in January 2006 after being caught hurrying from her final victim's house in Mexico. It was the only murder she admitted, but estimates of the true total ranged from 24 to 49. All were elderly women, some of whom she worked for as a cleaner. Others were tricked into believing she was a government official.

10) Elizabeth Bathory

Elizabeth Bathory

The oldest crimes on the list by some distance, this Hungarian Countess may be the most prolific female serial killer of all time. Records are fairly hazy from the 16th Century and her tally could be anywhere from 80 to more than 600 young girls, but even more shocking than the numbers was the slaughter itself, as Bathory allegedly bit flesh away from victims and drank their blood.

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