10 of the World's Most Evil Female Serial Killers (PHOTOS)

Kiri Blakeley | Jan 12, 2015 Crime
10 of the World's Most Evil Female Serial Killers (PHOTOS)

When you think of serial killers, you think deranged, disturbed, and definitely male. Whether it's Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, or Jack the Ripper, serial killers and the Y chromosome go together like killer sharks and Jaws theme music. But believe it or not, some of the worst serial killers in the world are women. Not only women, but wives and mothers too. Here are 10 of the world's worst female serial killers.

  • Aileen Wuornos


    Famously played by Charlize Theron in the movie Monster, Wuornos killed seven men over a one-year period in Florida. Wuornos claimed all of the murders were self-defense, but police believe one was probably self-defense, and the rest were likely the result of Wuornos's extreme rage toward men. She had been abused and abandoned since she was a child. Wuornos was put to death in 2002.

  • Karla Homolka


    Image © FRANK GUNN/AP/AP/Corbis

    Karla Homolka killed three women while on a murder spree with her husband, Paul Bernardo. One of the women was Karla's own sister, whom she drugged and raped with Bernardo. The 15-year-old is believed to have died while choking on her own vomit from the drug. Homolka served only 12 years in prison and is now a married mother of three.

  • Daniela Poggiali


    Image via Giampiero Corelli/AP/Corbis

    Italian nurse Daniela Poggiali is accused of killing as many as 100 patients she considered "annoying." Police say Poggiali killed the patients with high doses of potassium chloride, and she even took selfies with some of the corpses. She remains in jail on multiple murder charges but denies them.

  • Genene Jones


    Image via Kerrville, Texas Police

    Genene Jones is another in the long line of nurse serial killers. She went to prison for killing two infants, but is suspected of killing at least 60. Suspected of killing babies at a hospital in San Antonio, Texas, the hospital fired her rather than investigate for fear of lawsuits. She then moved to another hospital nearby and is suspected of poisoning six babies. She is scheduled for mandatory release in 2017.

  • Rosemary West


    Image via John Hitchmough/YouTube

    Rosemary West and her husband, Fred, together killed 10 women. One of them was their daughter, Heather, who was abused by Rosemary while Fred raped her. They then killed her at age 16. Another victim was the daughter of Fred and his previous wife. The two would pick up young girls from local bus stops and drive them to their home, imprisoning them for several days and then killing them. Rosemary had eight children, worked as a prostitute (while Fred watched), and also had a sexual relationship with her father. Rosemary was sentenced to life in prison; Fred committed suicide.

  • Leonarda Cianciulli


    Image via Wikipedia Commons

    Leonarda Cianciulli is an Italian woman who killed three women between 1939 to 1940. What defines her as different is what she then did with the corpses: turned them into soap and teacakes. Not only that, she wrote about it extensively in a book she aptly titled An Embittered Soul’s Confessions.

  • Elizabeth Bathory


    Countess Elizabeth Bathory is a Hungarian countess considered by many to be the most prolific female serial killer of all time. She was accused of killing 80 girls between 1585 and 1610 but is suspected of killing up to 650. Despite witnesses and testimony of more than 300 people who saw her killing, torturing, and even eating young girls, not to mention the many mutilated corpses found in her castle, her family's vast wealth and power protected her and she was "sentenced" to a set of rooms in her castle. She was rumored to have killed all of the girls because she bathed in the blood of virgins to keep looking young.

  • Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood


    Image via Wikipedia Commons

    Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood worked together at a nursing home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the 1980s. The two became lovers and then smothered five elderly patients in a twisted "love bond." The murders were intended to create a secret between them that was so great that neither could ever leave the other. Not even that worked, and the two broke up. Wood's ex-husband, who had been told about the murders, ended up going to the police. Graham's new girlfriend also testified against them, as Graham had told her about the murders too.

  • Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie


    Image via Public Domain

    In 1834 New Orleans, firefighters responded to a fire at the LaLaurie mansion and found a 70-year-old woman chained to the stove -- she had tried to commit suicide. Bystanders rushed into the slave quarters and found seven slaves hanging from chains, their limbs mutilated and torn. They had been there for months. On the property, at least two slave bodies were buried. When word got around, locals demolished the mansion but Madame LaLaurie is said to have escaped to Paris.

  • Irma Grese


    Image via Wikipedia.org/Public Domain

    Irma Ida Ilse Grese was an SS guard at two Nazi concentration camps. She helped select which Jewish victims would go to the gas chambers. She had a reputation for selecting the oldest and weakest prisoners, but also loved to pick any prisoners she thought were pretty. She would also randomly torture and shoot prisoners and also sic dogs on them. She was accused of war crimes at the Belsen Trial and sentenced to death by hanging at age 22.

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