Thursday, June 18, 2020

Lady Fu Hao, Serial Killer Consort – China, 1200 BC


Lady Hao “was a powerful woman and military leader during the Shang Dynasty.” While she was highly respected in her role, “unfortunately, historians also suspect her of murdering four young princes who held claims to the throne.”

[Cheryl Bardoe, China: A History, 2019, Field Museum, Chicago]

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Wikipedia: Fu Hao (simplified Chinese: 妇好; traditional Chinese: 婦好; pinyin: Fù Hǎo; died c. 1200 BC) or Lady Hao, posthumous temple name Mu Xin (母辛), was one of the many wives of King Wu Ding of the Shang dynasty and, very unusually for China but not for that time, also served as a military general and high priestess. Minimal evidence detailing Fu Hao's life and military achievements survived the Shang Dynasty, as it preceded the invention of paper and the records may have perished over the course of time.

The Tomb of Fu Hao was unearthed intact at Yinxu by archaeologist Zheng Zhenxiang, with treasures such as bronzes and jades. Inside the pit was evidence of a wooden chamber 5 metres (16 feet) long, 3.5 metres (11 feet) wide and 1.3 metres (4.3 feet) high containing a lacquered wooden coffin that has since completely disintegrated. The tomb of Fu Hao provides the most insight into her life, her relationship with the royal family, and her military role and achievements - as the objects she was buried with provide clues to her activities and interests.

~Biography ~

What is known is that King Wu Ding cultivated the allegiance of neighbouring tribes by marrying one woman from each of them. Fu Hao (who was believed as one of the king's 64 wives) entered the royal household through such a marriage and took advantage of the semi-matriarchal slave society to rise through the ranks to become one of the King Wu Ding's three consorts. The other two were Fu Jing (妇妌) and Fu Shi (妇嬕) Fu Jing was the primary queen while Fu Hao was the secondary queen. Fu Hao was also the mother of Prince Zu Ji (祖己). Oracle bone inscriptions show concern for her well-being at the time of the birth.

The activities of priestess and ritual matters of China only exist in the Shang dynasty, so some evidence is vague. Since each Chinese Character like Fu often has variable meanings, even with the oracle bones of Shang deciphered, it is possible that some women like Fu Hao were originally priestess instead of the King's wife; she just happened to marry to the King later. That is to say, the meaning of "wife" in some contexts may actually refer to a position as priestess.

Fu Hao owns her land. According to the oracle bones, she offered the King remarkably valuable tributes many times. Although the Shang king had control over ritual matters, which constituted the most important political activity of the day, oracle bone inscriptions show that Wu Ding repeatedly instructed Fu Hao to conduct the most special rituals and to offer sacrifices to the ancestors. The Shang Dynasty had two most important activities: ritual matters and battles; Lady Hao played extraordinary roles in both at that time.

~ Military Role ~

Fu Hao is known to modern scholars mainly from inscriptions on Shang dynasty oracle bone artifacts unearthed at Yinxu. From these inscriptions and from the presence of weapons in her tomb, it can be determined that Fu Hao was a general in charge of several military campaigns for the Shang Dynasty.
In her military role, she was responsible for conquering enemies and neighbours of the Shang Dynasty. The Tu-Fang had fought against the Shang for generations until they were finally defeated by Fu Hao in a single decisive battle. Further campaigns against the neighbouring Yi, Qiang and Ba followed; the latter is particularly remembered for being the earliest recorded large-scale ambush in Chinese history. With up to 13,000 soldiers and important generals Zhi and Hou Gao serving under her, she was the most powerful Shang general of her time.

This highly unusual status is confirmed by the many weapons, including great battle-axes, unearthed in her tomb.

While Fu Hao's achievements were notable and unique, other women in this period were also active in military roles; in a similar manner Fu Jing was also thought to have served in the military based on the presence of many weapons and military equipment in her tomb. Oracle bones also revealed records of at least six hundreds of women participating in the military during this era.

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https://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2014/04/women-in-power-aristocratic-female.html


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Novella May Belknap (Dollie Sarver), 13-Year-Old Murderess – Indiana, 1895


FULL TEXT: Little Novella May Belknap, or Dollie Sarver; as she is perhaps better known, has been taken to the Indiana Reform School For Females, there to remain until she is 21 years old; Dollie is the child murderess whose crime, that of poisoning her stepfather, Fleming Sarver, at Brownstown, Ind., some time ago, startled the world. Dollie is now 13 years old. Six years ago she was adopted by Sarver and his wife, a childless, well to do couple. Their own only child had just died, and having nobody to inherit their property they adopted the pretty child with the de­termination to give her a good home with its comforts and finally to leave all their property to her.

It was this determination; no doubt, so frequently impressed on; the child’s mind by her doting foster parents, that led to the tragedy which Dollie is now expiating. They had told her so often that they would leave her their property that her childish mind could not understand why they did not do it. She conned the m atter over, dwelling on the advantages as a great lady she must enjoy with all the property of the old couple until life seemed the delightful time would never come. Why not hasten matters was the thought that broke like a gleam of light on her imagination and solved the problem. Yes, hurry them up. If they’re sick, they’ll make their will. Make them sick! So her girl companion advised her, and so she decided.

One day she wont to town to sell some eggs and then bought some rat poison, saying that she wanted to kill a cat.

The story of how she administered the poison and the incidents that resulted were told by the youthful prisoner herself as seated a t the barred door of her cell, with a huge paper cigarette between her teeth, she chatted with a Cincinnati Enquirer cor­respondent. She said that she had learned to smoke since her confinement in jail.

In answer to the question as to what impelled her to put poison into the coffee­pot she said that she had never thought of such a thing until an associate of hers, whose name she gave, asked her why she didn’t give Mr. and Mrs. Sarver something to make them sick, so that they would think they might die and then Would make a will and leave her all their prop­erty.

A t first she repelled the suggestion. But the prospect was alluring, and she made up her mind to try it. On the 12th day of July, 1895, she concluded to try “just a little bit of it,” as she expressed it. “Taking a little pinch between my thumb and forefinger, I dropped it into, the coffeepot, which contained some grounds, knowing  that the next morning Mrs. Sarver would make coffee without rinsing the coffee pot, as her custom was to throw away the grounds every other day, and that she had done the day before.”

Next morning the coffee was made, and as Mr. and Mrs. Sarver were taking their breakfast they drank freely of the coffee. Leaning back in his chair. Mr. Sarver said he felt a burning sensation in his throat and stomach. Mrs. Sarver complained of similar pains. Novella was sitting at the table with them, but drank none of the coffee, as she never used it. Mr. Sarver becoming worse, the girl was dispatched to a neighbor’s to request him to hasten for a doctor. By drinking freely of milk Mrs. Sarver saved her life. Mr. Sarver continued to grow worse, and the child became alarmed, realizing for the first time she had done a terrible deed. About this time it was learned that she had bought poison a few days before, and upon being confronted with the fact she finally acknowledged that she had put some of the poison in the coffeepot and hid the balance between two stumps in the pasture field. She took parties to the spot, and it was found at the place indicated.

A few hours later Mrs. Sarver breathed his last. After the death of Mr. Sarver Dollie walked to the town of Crothersville, four miles distant, and surrounded herself to J. W. Hamacher, a justice of the peace.

Dollie insists that she did not know the deadly nature of rough on rats. “I knew the stuff would kill rats, but I did not think it would kill rats, but I did not think it would have any effect upon human beings more than to make them sick, and I thought I would try a very little of it to see what effect it would have. Why,” she added, “I wouldn’t have been afraid to take it myself, even a whole spoonful of it.”

Dollie insists that she did know the deadly nature of rough on rats. “I knew the stuff would kill rats, but I did not think it would have any effect upon human beings more than to make them sick, and I thought I would try a very little of it to see what effect it would have. Why,” she added, “I wouldn’t have been afraid to take it myself, even a whole spoonful of it.”

Altogether it Is a most remarkable case. She manifests no contrition, and seems as merry and lighthearted as though her path was strewn with roses. She has no dread whatever of. the long term before her in the reform school. On the contrary, she speaks of her going as if it was like unto a pleasure trip. She says she will act nicely there, and by so doing hopes to shorten her term and perhaps secure pardon after the lapse of a few years. If she realizes the enormity of her crime, she does not evince it in her demeanor.

[“A Merry Mistress – Little Novella Belknap Manifests No Contrition For Her Crime. - Poisoned Her Foster Parents. – Sought to Hasten the Inheritance They Had Promised Her – Goes Gayly to Prison Without Seeming to Realize the Enormity of Her Offence.” On the St. Lawrence (Clayton, N. Y.), Oct. 18, 1895, p. 2]

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2015/11/youthful-borgias-girls-who-murder.html

More cases: Youthful Borgias: Girls Who Commit Murder

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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Rosalia Peter, Serial Killer Poison Seller – Hungary, 1905


FULL TEXT (translated from German): The "FüggetIen Magyarorszag" [newspaper]reports that in Bacs-Petrovoszell [Hungary] poison murders were discovered in a number that reminded them of the famous southern Hungarian poisoning trial.

The farmer Michael Markus died eight days ago.

People failed to believe that his wife, only three days after beginning to share household with her beloved.

As a result of the suspicion, she was questioned and she confessed that she acquired the poison from a farmer's wife, Rosalia Peter, and had eliminated him.

The arrest of Peter had the sensational result that six poisonings of husbands by her had been proven.

But she had also murdered her own 18-year-old mentally weak daughter.

Among other things, she is said to be to blame for the murder of the landowner in Csongrad, whose cook had been arrested on weekends after being reported to be under suspicion of poisoning.

[“Mass poisoning in southern Hungary.” Salzburg Chronicle (Salzburg, Austria), April 20, 1905, p. 4]

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FULL TEXT: Der “Független Magyarorszag" meldet, daß in Bacs-Petrovoszell Giftmorde in einer Zahl entdeckt wurden, daß sie an den berühmten südungarischen Giftmord prozeß erinnerten. Vor acht Tagen starb der Bauer Michael Markus.

Den Leuten fiel aus, daß seine Frau schon nach drei Tagen mit ihrem Geliebten gemein samen Haushalt, begann.

Infolge des Verdachtes erfolgte, ihre Einvernahme und sie gestand, von einer Bauernfrau Rosalia Peter. Gift für ihren Manner hallen und ihn beseitigt zu haben.

Die Verhaftung der Peter hatte das sensasionelle Ergebnis, daß ihr schon bis Her sechs Giftmorde an Ehemännern nach, gewiesen werden konnten.

Aber auch ihre eigene 18-jährige geistesschwache Tochter hatte sie ermordet.

Unter anderem soll sie, die Mitschuldige an der Ermordung  jenes Gutsbesitzers in Csongrad sein, dessen Köchin nach einer offistellen Meldung vorige Woche unter dem Verdachtedes Giftmordes verhaftet worden war.

[“Massenvergiftnngen in Südungarn.” Salzburger Chronik (Salzburg, Austria), 20. April 1905, p. 4]

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FULL TEXT: The "Független Magyarorszag" [newspaper]reports that in Bacs-Petrovoszell [Hungary] poison murders were discovered in a number that reminded them of the famous southern Hungarian poisoning trial.

The farmer Michael Markus died eight days ago.

People failed to believe that his wife, only three days after beginning to share household with her beloved.

As a result of the suspicion, she was questioned and she confessed that she acquired the poison from a farmer's wife, Rosalia Peter, and had eliminated him.

The arrest of Peter had the sensational result that six poisonings of husbands by her had been proven.

But she had also murdered her own 18-year-old mentally weak daughter.

Among other things, she is said to be to blame for the murder of the landowner in Csongrad, whose cook had been arrested on weekends after being reported to be under suspicion of poisoning.

[“Mass poisoning in southern Hungary.” (“Massenvergiftungen in Südungarn”) Salzburg Chronicle (Salzburg, Austria), April 20, 1905, p. 4]

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FULL TEXT: Der “FüggetIen Magyarorszag" meldet, daß in Bacs-Petrovoszell Giftmorde in einer Zahl entdeckt wurden, daß sie an den berühmten südungarischen Giftmord prozeß erinnerten. Vor acht Tagen starb der Bauer Michael Markus.

Den Leuten fiel aus, daß seine Frau schon nach drei Tagen mit ihrem Geliebten gemein samen Haushalt, begann.

Infolge des Verdachtes erfolgte, ihre Einvernahme und sie gestand, von einer Bauernfrau Rosalia Peter. Gift für ihren Manner hallen und ihn beseitigt zu haben.

Die Verhaftung der Peter hatte das sensasionelle Ergebnis, daß ihr schon bis Her sechs Giftmorde an Ehemännern nach, gewiesen werden konnten.

Aber auch ihre eigene 18-jährige geistesschwache Tochter hatte sie ermordet.

Unter anderem soll sie, die Mitschuldige an der Ermordung  jenes Gutsbesitzers in Csongrad sein, dessen Köchin nach einer offistellen Meldung vorige Woche unter dem Verdachtedes Giftmordes verhaftet worden war.

[“Massenvergiftungen in Südungarn.” Salzburger Chronik (Salzburg, Austria), 20. April 1905, p. 4]

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2017/04/husband-killing-syndicates.html

For more than two dozen similar cases, dating from 1658 to 2011, see the summary list with links see: The Husband-Killing Syndicates

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