Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Forgotten Serial Killers: Child Care Providers (“Baby Farmers”) Who Murdered Children

baby farm1.) a place that houses and takes care of babies for a fee. 2.) a residence for unwed pregnant girls or women that also arranges adoptions.

Most of the baby farmers listed her were serial killers. Several notable cases involving murder and abuse by baby farmers that are not serial killer cases.

Abbott, Evelyn (USA), 1891 – scores of babies died
Andrasen, Fru (Norway), 1901 – 27 infants
Ashmead, Elizabeth (USA), arrested 1904, 1909, 1911 – 100s of babies died
Atherton, Dr. Bessie (USA), (with Cramer), 1926 – 3 dead babies discovered
Bamberger, Henrietta (USA), 1899 – midwife; 300 est; conv of 1 abort-murder of mother
Banks, Leila (USA), 1925 – 3 babies died
Barnes, Catherine (England), 1879 – 3 babies died
Barthian, Mme. (France), 1893 – 25 babies died
Batten, Annie (Australia), 1904 – “alleged wholesale infanticide”
Batts, Ellen (Australia), 1889 – 3 babies murdered
“Berlin Baby Farmer” (Germany), 1892 – 15 bodies found
Bilien, Valentina (Germany), 1946 – 114 babies killed by severe neglect
Blair, Anne (Australia), 1870 – 1 baby died
Bronzo, Rosa (Italy), 1879 – “several bodies”
Breitschwart, Christine (USA), 1892 – 4 babies abandoned in streets & gutters in winter, 1 died
Calahan, Julia (USA), 1871 – 3 babies died
Campbell, Nellie (USA), arrested 1902 – 8 babies died
Chard-Williams, Ada (England), 1899 – 1 baby died
Chartier, Veuve (France) 1906 – 1,500 babies died
Chivers, Daisy Ellen (England), 1928 – 1 baby murdered; suspicion of others
“Christiana Baby Farmers” (Norway), 1902 – “a small army of tiny corpses were dug up”
Claus, Charles & Catherine (USA), 1890 – 5 babies died
Clayton, Madge (Australia), 1908 – 6 babies died
Compton, Mary (England), 1673 – willfully starved 4 children
Connelly, Matilda (USA), 1912 – 4 babies died
Cooper, Martha & Daniel (New Zealand), 1922 – 3 dead babies discovered
“Copenhagen Baby Farm Couple” (Denmark), 1860 –
Cramer, Marie (USA), (with Atherton), 1926 – 3 dead babies discovered
Day, Gertrude (USA), 1914 – unsolved mystery
Dean, Minnie (New Zealand), 1895 – 3 babies & 1 toddler died
De Jesus, Luisa (Portugal), 1772 – poisoned to death 28 babies
Delaware, Miss (New Zealand), 1889 – many babies killed
Delpech, Anne Gaillard (France), 1868 – murdered 10 babies
Dieden, Maude (USA), 1929 – 10 babies died
Douglas, Amy (England), 1899 – 3 babies died from starvation
Dunn, Honora (Australia), 1881 – multiple babies abused & murdered
Dunne, Maria (Ireland), 1898 – 3 babies died
Dupin, Anne (France), 1869 – Boulouire, France; 40+ deaths
Dyer, Amelia (England), 1896 – 100s of babies died
Eckhardt, Wilhelmena (USA), 1906 – 12 babies died
Fortmeyer, Julia (USA), 1875 – 3-100 babies murdered
Geisen-Volk, Helen (USA), 1925 – 53 babies died
Gobay, Annie & Emma Kitchen (USA),1903 – at least 3 babies died
Grammage, Augusta (England), 1875 – convicted of murdering a child
“Grey Nuns of Montreal” (Canada), 1876 – 631 babies died
Gunness, Belle (USA), 1908 – 21 babies “disappeared”
Guy, Mary Ann (New Zealand) – convicted of manslaughter for one death
Guzovska, Madame (Poland), 1903 – “over 500” babies died
Hanson, Annie (USA), 1892 – at least 5 babies died
Hawkins, Laura & Nettie Van Sarver (USA), 1917 – 1 known death
Holmen, Mrs. (Sweden), 1906 – over 1,000 babies died
Ishikawa, Miyuki  (Japan), 1948 – 103 babies died
Jager, Mari Azalai (Hungary), 1897 – a very large number of babies died
Johannesen, Fru (Norway), 1901 – 27 infants
Julien, Madame (France), 1867 – midwife, many victims
Kadletz, Frau (Czech Republic), 1906 – 50 victims
King, Jessie (Scotland), 1889 – 3 babies died
Knorr, Frances (Australia), 1894 – from 3 to an estimated 13 babies died
Konopkova, Marianne (Poland), 1906 – 30 babies died
Kreis Children’s Home: Ella Schmidt, Liesel Bachor, Kathe Pisters (Ger.), 1946 – 370 babies
Kusnezowa, Madame (Russia) 1913 – 1,012 babies died
Lacroix, Diana (Canada), 1927 – 7 babies died
Laphame, Belinda (USA), 1893 – 3 or 4 babies killed, kept in jars; others killed
“Limburg Baby Farmers” (Germany), 1892 – multiple babies died
Lowry, Mary (USA), 1904 – 2 babies died, 3 babies near death
Lynn, Rachel (USA), 1911 – unknown number of babies died
Mabre, Louise (France) 1763 – 62 babies died
Makin, Jane (Australia), 1892 – 13 babies died
McClosky, Margaret (USA), 1876 – 6 babies in starving condition
McDonald, Cynthia (USA), 1887 – 2 babies died, 2 babies in starving condition
McKenzie, Emily Charlotte (England) 1884 – many babies died
Miller, Mrs. A. H. (USA), 1903 – 2 babies died; additional bodies searched
“Minneapolis Baby Farmer” (USA), 1908 – starving baby rescued
Mitchell, Alice (Australia), 1907 – 37 babies died
Mittlestedt, Pauline (USA), 1886 – “professional infant murderess”
Morris, Jane (USA), 1898 – New York, N. Y.; BF; 5
Myer, Frau (Germany), 1892 – 58 babies died
Newman, Isabella (Australia), 1913 – 3 babies died
“Nijni-Novrogod Nurse” (Russia), 1894 – 17 babies died
Nivison, Symenthe S. (USA), 1884 – 22 babies died
Noskina, Feige (Lithuania), 1892 – 65 babies died
“Odessa Baby Farmer” (Ukraine), 1887 – 10 babies died
Olsen, Fru (Norway), 1901 – 27 infants
“Osaka Baby Farmers” (Japan), 1902 – 300 babies died
“Osaka ‘Devil Woman’” (Japan), 1906 – 100 babies murdered
Ostrovoskafa, Rachel (Ukraine), 1885 – more than 3 babies died; infanticide cult
Overbye, Dagmar (Denmark), 1920 – 11 confessed child-murders
Parr, Agnes (USA), 1877 – multiple babies died
Piard, Annie (USA), 1883 – multiple babies starved to death
Porro, Rose & Margarite Coraldi (Italy), 1873 – 8 babies killed
“Przemysi Baby Farmers” (Austria), 1893 – 27 babies buried in cigar boxes
Reignolds, Mary (USA), 1875 – 5 babies died
Rogers, Frances (England), 1871 – 4 children died, sentenced to 20 years
Roseberry, Edna (USA), 1948 – tortured babies routinely
Sach, Amelia & Annie Walters (England), 1902 – probably 100s of babies died
Sánchez Aguillón, Felícitas (or Sánchez Neyra) (Mexico),1941 40-<100 murders
Scholes, Elizabeth (Australia), 1906 – 2 confirmed dead, probably several more
Seiffert, Jennie (USA), 1889 – 2 babies dead, 4 dying
Skoublinska, Marianne (Marianna Skublińska) (Poland), 1890 – 76 babies
Spinks, Ann (England), 1898 – at least 2 babies died
Tanaka, Mrs. & Mrs Juniki (Japan), 1924 – 8 babies murdered by fake foster parents
Tann, Georgia (USA), 1950 – 1,000s of babies died
Todd, Sophia Martha (England), 1877 – 5 deaths
Tooke, Annie (England), 1879 – 1 child murdered & dismembered
Turner, Maud (Canada), 1909 – suspected of numerous murders
Tydrych, Leontina (Poland), 1927 – 60 babies died
“Villa Vico Baby Farmer” (Portugal), 1854 – 9 babies died
“Warasdin Baby Farmers” (Croatia), 1893 torture & maiming, child trafficking
Ward, Mary Josephine (USA), 1884 – 10 baby died, at least
Waters, Margaret (England), 1870 – 5 babies died
Wiese, Elizabeth (Germany), 1903 – burned babies in stove
West, Mrs. Fred (USA), 1906 – burned babies alive
Willis, Rhoda (Wales), 1907 – 2 babies died
Winsor, Charlotte (England), 1865 – unknown number
Worcester, Rozilla (USA), 1877 – 6 babies died (in 30 day period)
Young, Lila & William (Canada), 1936 – an estimated 400-600 babies died


NOTE: A few of the cases in the list involve non-serial killers: baby-torturers or providers who are confirmed to have killed only one or two of their charges.


Murder Method (when known):

Battery – Geisen-Volk, Noskina

Buried Alive – Ashmead, Wiese

Crushed to Death – Winsor

Drown – Delpech, Overbye, Wiese, Noskina (in cesspool)

Drugging / Poisoning – Dean (laudanum), Jager (poison), Kusnezowa (poison), Mabre (arsenic), Reignolds (laudanum), Sach & Walters (chlorodyne), Topper (poison), West (laudanum), Nivison (morphine, belladonna), West (laudanum), Dean (laudanum), Reignolds (laudanum), Waters (laudanum), Luisa de Jesus, Wiese (morphine), King (arsenic), Laphame (opium)

Exposure – Tann (sun), Chivers (cold), Barnes (no clothing), Geisen-Volk (frozen), Breitschwart (frozen) 

Incineration alive – Ashmead, Fortmeyer, Overbye, Stysinski (arson), West, Wiese

Needle into heart° – Makin (needle, heart), Mittlestedt (darning needle, heart)

Neglect – Ishikawa, Mitchell, Nivison, Rogers, Spinks, Waters, Young, McCloskey, Geisen-Volk

Starvation – Barnes, Barthian, Campbell, Lowry, McClosky, Mitchell, Seifert, Tanaka, Waters, Julien

Strangling by hand or instrument – Chard-Williams*, Claus, Compton, Cooper, Douglas, Dyer, King, Knorr, Ostrovoskafa, Overbye, Turner, Geisen-Volk

Suffocation – Dean, Newman, Winsor, Noskina

Twisting baby’s neck – Eckhardt


Burned corpses after murder: Asmead, Birney, Chivers, Eckhardt, Overbye, "Vivienne Midwife," West, Wiese

+++ +++

* Chard-Williams - Stunned, strangled and trussed up with cords
° Similar method used by nursemaid: Schnell (hairpin into brain)


• Baby Farmers & Baby-Killing Midwives Executed

1763 – Louise Mabre (France)
1772 – Luisa de Jesus (Portugal)
1870 – Margaret Waters (England)
1873 Rose Porro & Margarite Coraldi (Italy)
1896 – Amelia Dyer (England)
1902 – Amelia Sach & Annie Walters (England)
1889 – Jesse King (Scotland)
1903 – Elizabeth Wiese (Germany)
1865 – Catherine Winsor (England)
1907 – Rhoda Willis (Wales)
1895 – Minnie Dean (New Zealand)
1922 – Daniel Cooper (Australia)
1894 – Frances Knorr (Australia)


For a detailed look at a baby farm visit:

This photograph of Frankie Heath, rescued from a Minneapolis baby farmer,   is taken from this post:

“Minneapolis Baby Farmer” (USA), 1908 – starving baby rescued



ALSO SEE the related category of Baby-Sitter Serial Killers


To learn more details about murderous child care providers in history, including baby farmers, adoption agents and baby sitters, see the 2-part article “Death on the Baby Farm,” by Robert St. Estephe, A Voice for Men, July 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

“La Degolladora,” Mysterious Mexican Female Serial Killer - 2015

They call her “La Degolladora” (the throat-slitter). She attacks strangers on the streets of Chimalhuacán, a suburb of Mexico City with a population of 850,000. Survivors describe her as in her early 20s and of thin build.

The mayor believes the ninja-like black-clad female serial killer who is terrorizing his town has been set up to scare the public into submitting to one of the area’s political powers. “Mayor Díaz is convinced that the serial killer is part of a strategy to cause panic because, he said, the second murder was committed in broad daylight at a market.”

Some townspeople speculate. One thinks that she is not really a woman, but a man disguised as a woman. Another has concocted a story of motive, asserting that the killer is avenging the death of a son.

“Between September 14 and 18,” La Degolladora” as El País reports, “ killed two women and has seriously wounded five more people. Witnesses say she approaches her victims from behind and holds them with her right arm, while slashing their neck with a knife in her left hand. The attacks have been taking place in the Mexico City suburb of Chimalhuacán. She holds her victims with her right arm while slashing their neck with a knife in her left hand.”

Let us hope we can soon add more details to this post – following the capture of the throat-slitter of Chimalhuacán.

It is worth remembering that the search for Mexico City serial killer Juana Barraza was extended, allowing more murders, because the woman described as the attacker was thought to be a man disguised as a woman.

[Robert St. Estephe; based on facts found in: Pablo de Llano, “Is a female serial killer behind mystery attacks in a Mexico City suburb?,” El País (Mexico), Oct. 5, 2015]



Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Carol Campbell, California Serial Killer Bandit, 1974

3 deaths:

Jun. 25, 1974 – Richard Pipes, Santa Cruz, Ca.
Jul. 12, 1974 – Louis McNamara, Hillsborough, Ca.
Jul. 17, 1974 – Stephen Russell, Idaho.


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 4): With a nervous smile and a shrug of his shoulders, Barry Austin Brown, 21, received his second life sentence of the day Tuesday from Superior Court Judge Gilbert Perry for the June 25 slaying of Richard Pipes, a 7-11 store clerk.

Brown, a former Santa Cruz resident, received the sentence on top of an earlier lifetime term handed down by San Mateo Court Judge Gerald E. Ragan for the slaying of Louis McNamara of Hillsborough on July 12 and Stephen Russell of Idaho on July 17.

Brown pleaded guilty to all three murders on the condition that special allegations that would qualify him for the death penalty be dropped on Oct. 1.

His co-defendant, Carol Campbell, is scheduled for trial Dec. 2 in San Mateo County. She has pleaded innocent to all three murder charges.

Brown's sentencing lasted no more than five minutes before a small audience and was preceded by joking with a newsman in the audience.

The prison-garbed Brown said nothing after his sentence.

He is being sent to state prison to serve his term, and was turned over to the San Mateo Sheriff's Department after sentencing.

Pipes was killed June 25 after a $70 robbery of a 7-11 food store on Cardiff Place.

Socialite McNamara's death was linked to Brown after her blood splattered car was found abandoned at San Francisco International Airport. Her body was later found in a steep gully near Redwood City.

Russell, an ex-sailor, was killed July 17 after Brown picked him up as he was hitchhiking along Highway 1. His body was found in a gully off Tunitas Creek.

[“Brown Gets Second Life Term,” Santa Cruz Sentinel (Ca.), Oct. 17, 1974, p. 18]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 4): Carol Campbell, the woman who was arrested last summer in connection with three murders, was sentenced to three to 24 years in the state prison Wednesday at a court hearing in San Mateo County.

She still must face charges in Santa Cruz in connection with the June killing of a Santa Cruz 7-11 food store clerk. Her boyfriend, Barry Brown, has already been sentenced to the state prison after entering guilty pleas in both San Mateo and Santa Cruz County.

The Associated Press reported that Campbell pleaded guilty to two counts of accessory and to forging a $1,500 check of one of the murder victims.

She admitted hiding the gun used by Brown in killing Hillsborough socialite Lois Jean McNamara, 57, last July and a discharged Navy man, Stephen Russell, 22, five days later.

Charges of murder against Campbell were dropped. She will appear in Santa Cruz next week to face the third murder charge.

Campbell's attorney contended that she should not be sent to prison because she cooperated with police. AP reported, but Superior Court Judge William Lanam rejected the argument, saying her statements indicated that she "is a pathological liar."

[“Campbell Sentenced To Prison,” Santa Cruz Sentinel (Ca.), Jan. 16, 1975, p. 28]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 4): Carol Campbell, 27, arrested last summer in connection with the shooting death of a 7-11 food store clerk in Santa Cruz, was sentenced today to state prison.

She had pleaded guilty to a charge of being an accessory to the killing.

Her co-defendant, Barry Brown, 21, of San Carlos, has already been convicted of three counts of murder and is serving a life sentence in state prison.

Campbell and Brown were arrested last summer in connection with the slaying of Richard Pipes, a food store clerk.

They were also charged in San Mateo County with the murders of Lois Jean McNamara, 57, of Hillsborough, and Stephen Russell, 22, a hitchhiker.

Campbell pleaded guilty to being an accessory to the three murders, and also to forging a personal check of McNamara's.

Superior Court Judge Donald May today ordered that Campbell's five - year maximum sentence run consecutively with sentences already handed her in San Mateo County. Asst. Dist. Atty. Bill Kelsay commented after the court hearing today that Campbell could spend as much as 20 years in custody.

Campbell's attorney, Larry Biggam of the public defender's office, argued that the Santa Cruz sentence should run concurrently with the San Mateo sentences. He commented that realistically there is no difference in consecutive and concurrent sentences, and the only reason judges impose the former is to "raise a red flag" in warning to prison authorities that the defendant is involved in a serious crime. The raising of that flag was achieved when the San Mateo County judge sentenced his client to consecutive terms, he reasoned.

His argument fell on deaf ears, however. May said the Santa Cruz offense had nothing to do with the San Mateo killings, so they should be treated separately.

[“Campbell Gets Prison Sentence,” Santa Cruz Sentinel (Ca.), Feb. 11, 1975, p. 10]


EXCERPT (Article 4 of 4): On July 21, 1974, Brown and Campbell were arrested in San Mateo County on suspicion of murder in connection to the three homicides. The two were arraigned first in San Mateo County and then in Santa Cruz County for the murders.

Brown eventually pleaded guilty to murder in all three homicides and was sentenced to two life sentences.

Campbell would plead guilty to amended charges of being an accessory to murder and other charges for her role in the murders. She was sentenced to three to 24 years for charges in the San Mateo County murders and five years for the Santa Cruz County murder.

Prosecutors David Sherman and Conor McCormick attended the parole hearing at Vacaville State Prison to argue against Brown’s release.

Brown, who served 40 years of a life sentence, explained he was only 21 at the time and was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Though he confessed to the murders in 1974, Brown now claims Campbell pulled the trigger in all three murders.

The board ultimately denied parole and Brown will not be eligible to apply for the next five years.

[Calvin Men, “Man convicted in Santa Cruz County of three 1974 murders denied parole,” Santa Cruz Sentinel (Ca.), Jan.16, 2015]


Monday, September 28, 2015

Emma LeDoux, American Black Widow Serial Killer - 1906

Emma LeDoux, born Emma Head in 1871, tall and beautiful, was a Vamp – a sexual predator. She married five men during her matrimonial career. Four of them died (according to one source). The first she married At the age of 16. They each met their deaths in remote places where Emma was known to nobody, then she moved on.Charles Barrett, no. 1, died in Mexico. The widow claimed he had been killed by bandits. William Williams, no. 2, according to one source, died in Arizona under mysterious circumstances leaving the widow a large sum of money.

It was in 1902 that she married no. 3, Albert N. McVicar, who, when he discovered her with another man, separated from her. She became, it was said, a prostitute. Then, without any intervening divorce porocess, came No. 4. While still legally married to McVicar, and staying with her mother in Stockton, California, Emma took on another husband on August 12, 1905, Eugene Ledoux, an elderly fellow.

On Mar. 11, 1906 she accidentally came across McVicar, not telling him about her bigamous marriage to LeDoux, and they ended up reconciling. Emma purchased some cyanide and that was the end of him. His bloodied corpse was found at a train station. The trunk was traced to Emma and she was tracked down and arrested. She never admitted guilt and was tried for bigamy and murder. She was found guilty on both counts: a prison term for the lesser count, a death sentence for the greater. She managed, nevertheless, to forestall execution and in 1909 trade a confession for commutation of sentence.

After parole in 1920 she was in and out of prison, having been caught violating parole. It was the illegal selling of the property of her late post-prison husband, no. 5, a Mr. Crackbon, whom she is believed to have murdered, that sent her back to prison for good, where she died in 1941.

[Robert St. Estephe; Based on facts found in: Ellery Queen, “The Body in the Trunk,” The American Weekly, Jan. 20, 1957, p. 10; Jay Robert Nash, The Great Pictorial History of World Crime, Volume 2, 2004; “Bigamy”]


Article from 1931:

FULL TEXT: For the third time, Emma Le Doux is in California’s San Quentin Prison, under life sentence.

Although she now is faded and close to 60, men and romance brought about her latter-day downfall just as they did in the days when, as the “trunk murderess,” she was known all over the United States.

Emma LeDoux achieved notariety as the “Stockton trunk slayer” in 1906. She also was the first woman sentenced to hang in California. Also, she was the first woman to be paroled, break the parole agreement, and win yet another chance. Now, she faces the prison walls for the rest of her life.

Men and romance have figured in her life for 30 years. Her great regret, as she returned to prison, was the blasting of her latest romance.

“I’m afraid it ‘s all over now,” she said. “We were to he married next month. He is a Portland contractor, whom I met several months ago.

Romance blossomed early in the life of the woman, born to parents of comfortable circumstances on a California ranch. She was little more than a child when she married. She divorced this husband. Her next husband was Jim Williams. He took out heavy life insurance in his wife’s favor, and died suddenly.

Then she married Albert N. McVicar, miner, Arizona. And it was his death that has given the woman so much prison life.

The LeDoux “trunk murder” was one of the most sensational criminal cases ot 1906, attracting oatioDwide attention.

~ Ships Body in Trunk. ~

A trunk, left at the Stockton, Calif., station for shipment to San Francisco, was left behind, because it was not properly labeled. A baggageman became suspicious and called police. They found the body of a man, dead from poison.

He was identified as Albert N. McVicar, undivorced husband of Mrs. LeDoux, with whom she had been at Stockton several days. Mrs. LeDoux was traced to San Francisco, where she met a man infatuated with her, and was arrested later, hiding in a small town.

At the trial, the prosecution brought out the fact that Mrs. LeDoux left McVicar, and married Eugene LeDoux in 1906 without getting a divorce. She and LeDoux lived on her mother’s ranch.

Early in 1906, she met McVicar. The latter was working in the Mother Lode mining district. Mrs. LeDoux joined him there, apparently reconciled. They ordered furniture in Stockton to be shipped to the mining camp. The furniture shipment was ordered delayed, and soon McVicar quit his mining job to go, he told friends, to his mother-in-law’s ranch as superintendent. In Stockton, they ordered more furniture, this to be shipped to the ranch. A few days later, McVicar’s body was found in the trunk.

The prosecutor contended that Mrs. LeDoux. was fearful of having her bigamous status exposed. They coupled the furniture purchases to support their theory that she sought the furniture for herself and LeDoux, and poisoned McVicar to get him out of the way.

~ Given Parole ~

After conviction and sentence to hang, a new trial was granted by the Supreme Court. Just before this, she entered a plea of guilty, and won life imprisonment.

In 1920, she won parole. But freedom was short-lived. Within a year, she was in trouble again, and back in San Quentin. Five years later she again appealed for parole. She was 52, and wanted to live a life of usefulness. She was given another chance by the parole board.

Little was heard of her until her marriage to L. A. Crackbon, a California rancher. The couple lived quietly until Crackbon’s death in 1929.

Of recent months, parole officials have received disturbing reports. Court records showed her in and out on minor charges, mostly check cases.

Then came word, according to parole officers, that at 68, she still was a lure for gullible men; that through a matrimonial bureau for which she was sole correspondent, she was hearing from scores of lovelorn men with money.

She was arrested in Oakland on a minor charge, and given a suspended sentence. Parole officials began a search for her. And now the woman, who was sentenced to hang and. twice paroled from a penitentiary, faces incarceration the remainder of her life.

Emma has made three requests of the warden, now that she’s back for the rest of her days. She wants her old prison number again. She’d like to have the same cell she occupied so many years. Also, she wants to again be given work as a prison seamstress.

[“California Woman Goes to Prison For Life Term for the Third Time,” Indian Journal (Eufaula, Ok.), Jun. 4, 1931, p. 5]


Husband No. 1 – Charles Barret; married ca 1887; died in Mexico (or divorced, as was claimed), ca. 1891.
Husband No. 2 – Jim Williams; married ca. 1896; died ca. 1902.
Husband No. 3 – Albert N. McVicar, divorced; married. Bisbee, Arizona; Sep. 1902
Husband No. 4 – Eugene Ledoux; married Aug. 12, 1905.
Husband No. 5 – L. A. Crackbon, married ca. 1925; 1929.


When arrested, Emma said, "I expected it, but I did not think I would be caught until I reached my mother's home in Jackson."


1871 – Emma Head born.
c. 1887 – marries Charles Barret, (Emma Cole [sic] was 16).
Sep. 1902 – Husband No. 3 – Albert N. McVicar, divorced; married.
Aug. 12, 1905 – Husband No. 4 – Eugene Ledoux, elderly.
Mar. 4, 1906 – E. L. purchases cyanide.
Mar. 15, 1906 – E. L & McVicar arrive in Jamestown.
Mar. 21, 1906 – McVicar quits his long-standing job.
Mar. 24, 1906 – McVicar body found in trunk.
Mar. 26, 1906 – E. L. arrested; Antioch, Ca.
Jul. 4-23 , 1906 – trial; convicted for bigamy & murder, sentenced to death.
Aug. 7, 1906 – sentenced to be hanged.
Arp. 10, 1907 – stay of execution secured.
Oct. 9, 1907 – scheduled date of execution.
Jan. 13, 1908 – case argued in Supreme Court.
May 1909 – Supreme court orders new trial.
1910 – confesses McVicar murder; sentence commuted.
Jul. 20, 1920 – paroled from San Quentin.
Jul. 9, 1921 – back in prison; parole violations.
Mar. 30, 1925 – paroled.
Ca. 1925 – marries L. A. Crackbon; Husband No. 5.
1929 – Crackbon dies.
Ca. 1929 – E. L. back in prison; illegal sale of dead husband’s property.
1931 – About to marry a “Portland contractor” when sent back to prison.
1933 – transfer to Tehachapi Women’s Prison.
Jul. 1941 – E. L. dies.





For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Melissa Margarita Calderón Ojeda ("La China"), Mexican Serial Assassin - 2015

Her nickname, “La China,” means “minion” (or “handmaiden”). Melissa Margarita Calderón Ojeda, 30,  was arrested at Bellavista, Baja California Sur, Mexico on June 16, 2015. She is leader of a gang responsible for 178 crimes of violence in La Paz during a turf war. She had broken with Damaso Lopez of the Sinaloa Cartel and started her own organization in competition with him.

She was captured, along with her boyfriend, following a major siege executed by three levels of government in a joint operation.

[Based on facts in: “¿Quién es “La China”? Melissa Margarita Calderón Ojeda Ex Jefa De Las Fuerzas Especiales Damaso,”, Sep. 27, 2015]






For similar cases, see: Female Serial Killer Bandits


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Dessie Keyes, Suspected Texas Serial Killer – 1921

Aug. 6, 1921 – Leslie Keyes, died
Juky – Maud Aven, died
Fannie Elbert Aven, 5-m-o, died.


FULL TEXT: W. I. Keyes of Winnsboro, Texas, is in Kinney today. He is the father of Leslie Keyes, the young man killed near Waco a few weeks ago, and whose death led to the arrest of the young man’s wife, Dessie Keyes, and and his own uncle, W. T. Aven, against whom charges of murder have been filed for the killing of Mrs. Maud Aven, Fannie Elbert, five-months-old daughter of Aven, against whom charges of murder have been removed from the Waco jail and taken elsewhere as a precaution against any violence, and that section is said to be stirred over the horrible crimes that recently have been brought to light in the alleged murder cases. W. I. Keyes who was reared a few miles southeast of McKinney and in which section his son, Leslie Keyes, was born and reared, said that he believed if the body of his son is exhumed and the stomach and other vital organs examined and an analysis made it was his candid opinion that poison would be found. Mrs. Maude Aven and her baby’s stomach contained arsenic poison sufficient to have produced death.

~ Visited at Windsboro ~

Mrs. Keyes stated that Leslie Keyes and his little three year old daughter visited at his home at Winnsboro, Texas, for two weeks recently. They returned to their home near Waco on Wednesday and the Saturday night following he was killed. Leslie had been sick before he went to visit his parents, and his father stated that he was given a dose of medicine by Aven, and became so sick that he was rushed to Dallas and placed in a sanitarium where he remained for several days and was just getting over the illness when he went to visit at Winnsboro. Mr. Keyes said that his wife told her son that he had been “doped.” Mrs. Dessie Keyes did not accompany her husband and little daughter to Winnsboro on their visit. The grape juice which Aven claims made Keyes intoxicated on the night he was found dead. Keyes’ father said was made from large grapes which his son gathered at his home near Winnsboro just before running to his home near Waco.

~ Had Fear of Passion ~

Mr. Keyes recalled the fact that Mrs. Aven had told her sister that Mrs. Aven had told her sister in Ft. Worth a few days before she died that she was going to be poisoned. A few days following Mrs. Aven’s almost instant death, Aven and his daughter and others were questioned by the county attorney of McLennan county concerning the death, said Mr. Keyes. He said today that had the officers gone ahead and exhumed the body of Mrs. Aven and found the poison in her stomach, as was the case later, that the lives of his son, Leslie Keyes, and little Fannie Elbert Aven would have been spared as Aven would have been in the strong arm of the law.

[“Father Of Leslie Keyes Visits Here Asserts That Central Texas Section Stirred Over Recent Revelations.” The Daily Courier-Gazette (McKinney, Tx.), Aug. 30, 1921, p., 1]


Frona McMahan’s Hobby Was Marrying & Murdering Men – North Carolina, 1915

3 deaths:
Jun. 12, 1898 – Thomas Meadows, husband No. 1, died.
Circa 1906 – William Gregory, husband No. 3, married 1900; died circa 1906.
Aug. 6, 1915 – Dove McMahan – husband No. 6, died.

[Note: Some sources erroneously spell the name as “McMahon.”]


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 4): Doug D. McMahon, a section hand on the Tenn. and N. C. R. R. was found shot and dying in his home above Sunburst last Friday [Aug. 6] morning about 5 o’clock, and a pistol was found about 2 feet from the left side of the bed on the floor.

Mrs. McMahan, the wife, was in the kitchen and another woman, Mrs. Hamilton, was in another room near by and they cried out. Charles Campbell was asleep upstairs and heard the shot and the cries of the women. He dressed hurriedly and came down. Mrs. McMahan gave him a lamp and he went in where the man was breathing his last on the bed. A pistol was on the floor. The wife did not go into the room.

Dr. McFayden, the coroner, held an inquest Friday and although the first news of the matter indicated suicide the jury was not satisfied with the theory and would not pronounce it suicide.

The funeral was held at Dillsboro Saturday and Mrs. McMahan was arrested and brought her for trial. A preliminary hearing was held in the court house yesterday afternoon before R. Q. McCracken, Esq.

It was shown that he must have been shot while laying on his back about a foot from the left or outside the edge of the bed and the shot went straight through the body, bedding and mattress. Mrs. McMahon never went into the room. The clothing was not much powder burned or scorched. The pistol was on the floor on the left side. These were the main suspicious circumstances the States representative, Grover C. Davis, relied on for holding conviction or holding the accused.

Gilmer Leatherwood represented Mrs. McMahan very ably. He put no witness on the stand. Mr. Campbell didn’t think the wife could have had time to be in the room do the shooting and return to the kitchen from the time he heard the short and her cry, just after which came from the kitchen.

After the argument Esquire McCracken announced that he could not find sufficient evidence to bind the defendant and she was released. – Mountaineer.

[“Charged With Murder of Husband.” Jackson County Journal (Sylva, N. C.), Aug. 13, 1915, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 4): Waynesville, Feb. 14. – In Haywood Superior court Saturday, Mrs. Frona McMahan entered a plea of guilty of manslaughter in having killed her husband at Sunburst, in this county, last August. Judge B. F. Long sentenced the woman to three years in the state penitentiary. Mrs. McMahan was tried at this term of court for murder in the first degree and after spending 53 hours in deliberation the jury was unable to reach an agreement, standing eight to four for conviction.

Mrs. McMahan is 34 years of age, and in the course of her short life has had six husbands, three of whom have died under suspicious circumstances and three of whom have deserted her. Small in stature [statue] and a decided brunette, she was the center of interest to one of the largest crowds ever attending a session of court here. Her story on the witness stand was most remarkable, and throughout the trial she maintained a perfectly calm appearance, never evincing any emotion even under the grueling cross examination to which she was subjected by attorneys prosecuting the case.

A native of this county, she testified that she was first married in Graham county, this state, when slightly under 16 years of age to a man named Thomas Meadows. That was April 4. On the 12th of the June following, Meadows killed himself in the presence of his girl wife and her two small sisters, shooting himself through the side. She was tried before a magistrate for having murdered him, but probable cause was not found and the matter was dropped.

Two years later in Tennessee she was married to William Metcalfe, with whom she lived for about five or six years, when he ran away with another woman. Without bothering about a divorce a little less than a year later she married William Gregory, also in Tennessee. Shortly thereafter he obtained a position at Proctor, in this state, and one day when he was journeying across the mountains to his home he was taken suddenly ill when about a mile away and died before aid could reach him. Less than six weeks the widow mourned for the departed for within that time David Shields had won her heart and hand. He was rather an old man and it was a month or so before he left for California without the formality of saying goodbye. The deserted wife was consoled by a younger man in a very short time, again without the usual divorce, this time to Luther Shields her truth being pledged. In the course of a few months, however, the domestic harmony was shattered, a lady from Little Rock, Ark., persuading the husband away.

Then came the sixth husband, Dove McMahon. The couple had been living as man and wife for nearly two years and were getting along fine at the big plant of the Champion Lumber company, at Sunburst, until one August morning last year the man was found dead in bed, a bullet hole through his heart.

The case against the woman was entirely circumstantial. She testified that he had gotten up and then came back to bed, she getting up then to prepare breakfast. A few minutes later the pistol shot rang out, while she was in the kitchen according to her testimony, and she was discovered dead. There were several people in the house at the time, but no eye witness. From the wound and the position the pistol was found the state argued that the state argued that he could not have killed himself, and that his wife was found to be the guilty party. She pleaded innocence, and the jury could not agree.

[“Three Years For Killing Husband - Haywood County Woman Enters Plea of Guilty on Charge of Manslaughter. – Has Had Six Husbands – Three Died Under Peculiar Circumstances and Three Ran Away From Her.” High Point Enterprise (N. C.), Feb. 14, 1916, p. 7]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 4): Mrs. Frona McMahon, only 34 years old, has begun her sentence of three years for killing her husband, Dave McMahon, in Haywood county last August. She has had six matrimonial experiences, three of her husbands dying under suspicious circumstances, and three abandoned her. She remarried after each abandonment without the formality of divorce.

[Untitled, The State Journal (Raleigh, N. C.), Feb. 25, 1916, p. 6]


FULL TEXT (Article 4 of 4): Durham, N. C., March 3. – Mrs. Frona McMahon of Haywood county went once too often to the altar. As a result of the death of her sixth spouse she started a three-year term in the state penitentiary for manslaughter, pleading guilty after a jury failed to agree in a fifty-three-hour session.

Mrs. McMahon is 34. She was first married when 16. The first died suddenly, the second eloped, the third  died suddenly, the fourth and fifth eloped and the sixth, Dave McMahon, she shot.

[“Admits Killing Husband – Woman Goes to Prison After Disposing of Her Sixth Spouse,” Fitchburg Daily Sentinel (Ma.), Mar. 3, 1916, p. 8]



For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.