Monday, September 26, 2011

Black Widow Serial Killers


This selection includes only those female serial killers who murdered at least two husbands (including common-law husbands), or who murdered one husband and unsuccessfully attempted to kill a second. Women who were serial killers but among whose victims was only a single husband – a category which includes a large number of cases – are not included. The widows are presented chronologically under the date of arrest.

A number of the following cases have not appeared in lists of serial killers. Among these newly uncovered cases several are connected to European husband-killing syndicates, a number of which are themselves forgotten by historians of crime – until now.

Those Black Widows on the following list who murdered four or more husbands (31 cases known so far) will also be found collected together in a short list called The Champion Black Widow Serial Killers

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As of August 24, 2015, this list has reached the 232 mark. It is expected to keep growing as old cases continue to be rediscovered.

Peter Vronsky’s 1997 list of 140 female serial killers includes 23 Black Widows: Barfield, Becker, Beets, Besnard, Buenoano, Cotton, Dazley, Doss, Fazekas, Gottfried, Gunness, Kinne, Klimek, Lyles, Martin, de Melker, Moore, Olah, Renczi, Sherman, Trueblood (Southard), Velten, Vermilya.

SEE: “Exciting careers in serial widowhood,” by Robert St. Estephe, A Voice for Men, Sep. 10, 2012

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Before 1600 BC (3 husbands & 2 others)
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42 BC (5 husbands)
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Zenobia - Syria
275 ("a series of lovers")
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Queen Fredegund – Merovignian Kingdom
597 (husband, multiple lovers)
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940 (about 36 husbands)
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Mahaut de Bourgogne – France
1196 (4 husbands)
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Alice Kyteler – Ireland 
1324 (4 husbands)
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Sultana Khadeejah – Maldives
1380 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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ca 1520 (paramour, husband & 1 other)
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1613 (5 husbands)
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1725 (2 husbands)
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1814 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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Gesche Margarethe Gottfried - Germany
1827 (2 husbands & 13 others)
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1840 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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1843 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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1846 (2 husbands)
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1850 (2 husbands & 4 others)
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1852 (3 husbands, 1 other)
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1857 (6 husbands, suspected)
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1860 (2 husbands & 7 others)
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1862 (2 husbands; 4 others & 1 attempt)
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1869 (4 husbands)
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1870s (“numerous” paramours)
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“Detroit Black Widow” – USA
1870 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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1870 (2 paramours & 1 other)
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1871 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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Lydia Sherman - USA
1871 (3 husbands & 7 others)
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1873 (3 husbands & 12-17 others)
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1874 (2 husbands)
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1875 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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1875 (2 husbands; 3 others)
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1878 (2 husbands & 2 others)
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1878 (3 husbands)
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Takahashi Oden – Japan
1879 (lover & husband)
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1880 (7 husbands)
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1881 (2 husbands)
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1881 (2 husbands)
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1882 (2 husbands & 26 others)
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1883 (3 husbands & 4 others)
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1883 (2 paramours & 1 man lynched because of her)
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1884 (3 husbands & 1 other)
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1884 (2 husbands)
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1884 (3 husbands, 100s of others)
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1886 (4 husbands)
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1886 (2 husbands (1 survived) & 1 other)
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1888 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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1888 (2 husbands)
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Mrs. Johnston – USA
1888 (3 husbands)
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1888 (husband & “another man”)
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Josephine Carnahan Ramsey Artz – USA
1889 (2 husbands)
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1889 (3 husbands & 1 other)
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Jane Dorsey - USA
1891 (4 husbands & 4 others)
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1891 (4 husbands)
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Kate Painter - USA
1892 (2 husbands)
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1892 (2 men)
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1893 (3 husbands (possibly) & 5 others)
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1894 (2 husbands & 4 others)
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1894 (2 husbands)
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1895 (2 husbands)
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1896  (49 husbands)
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1897 (2 husbands)
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1898 (2 husbands)
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1899 (2 husbands)
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1899 (2 husbands)
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1899 (4 husbands)
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1899 (2 husbands)
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Late-19th century (2 husbands & 4 others)
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Molly Foxwater – USA
1900 (4 husbands)
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1902 (2 husbands, 2 others)
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1902 (4 husbands & 14 others)
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1903 (husband, paramour & 2 others)
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1903 (2 husbands)
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1903 (2 husbands & 9 others)
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1903 (5 husbands (1 survived))
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1904 (3 husbands)
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Anna Bergmann –Germany
1905 (5 husbands)
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1905 (3, or more, husbands)
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1905 (4 “lovers”)
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1906 (4 husbands)
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Emma LeDoux (McVickar) – USA
1906 (2 husbands)
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Shui Hing – China
1908 (8 men)
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1907 (2 Husbands & 1 other)
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1908 (2 husbands & dozens of fiancés)
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1908 (many paramours)
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Alice Watford - USA
1908 (2 husbands)
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1911 (2 (or 3) husbands)
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Louise Vermilya – USA
1911 (2 husbands & 7 others)
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1912 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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1912 (2 husbands & 3 others)
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1912 (4 husbands & 5 others)
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1912 (2 husbands & 3 others)
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1914 (2 husbands)
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1914 (2 husbands & 1 paramour)
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1914 (3 husbands)
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1915 (3 husbands)
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Amy Archer-Gilligan – USA
1916 (5? husbands & several others)
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1917 (2 husbands & 2 others)
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1918 (10 husbands)
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Marie-Louise Victorine Bessarabo – France
 1920 (2 husbands; others survived)
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Ca. 1920s (2 husbands)
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1920 (4 husbands)
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1921 (2 husbands & 2 "lovers," & 1 husband who survived)
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1921 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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1921 (2 husbands)
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1921 (4 husbands)
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1922 (3 husbands & 2 others)
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1923 (4 husbands & 9 others & 6 survivors)
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1923 – (6 husbands)
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1924 (2 husbands (1 survived) & 4 others)
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1924 (2 husbands & 1 boyfriend)
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1924 (3 husbands)
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1924 (2 husbands & 2 others)
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1924 (2 husbands & 1 possible survivor husband)
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1925 (2 husbands & 33 others) (possibly a hoax story; requires confirmation)
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Georgia Brown - USA
1926 (2 husbands)
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1926 (2 husbands (1 survived))
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1926 (2 husbands (1 survived) & 2 others)
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1926 (8 paramours)
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Ora Lee Thacker – USA
1926 (2 husbands)
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1926 (2 husbands & 6 others)
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1927 (3 husbands)
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1927 (3 husbands & 55 others)
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1928 (3 husbands & 1 other)
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1928 (2 husbands, 1 other)
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Mme. Tamara – Greece
1928 (3 husbands, or more)
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1929 (3 husbands)
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1929 (2 husbands & dozens of others)
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1929 (2 husbands)
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1929 (2 husbands & dozens of others)
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1930s (3 husbands)
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1930s (multiple “lonely hearts” victims)
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1930 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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Agnes Bittner – Czechoslovakia
1930 (2 husbands & 5 lovers)
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Maria Joljart - Hungary
1930 (husband & paramour)
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Maria Varga – Hungary
1930 (2 husbands & 5 others)
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1931 (5 husbands & 14 others)
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 “Youngstown Suspected FSK” – USA
1931 (2  husbands; 4 others)
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1932 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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1932 (2 husbands)
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1936 (2 husbands, 9 others & 5 survivors)
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1938 (2 husbands (1 survived))
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1939 (3 husbands)
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1939 (3 husbands)
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1939 (2 husbands (1 survived) & 1 other)
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1940 (5 husbands; plus others)
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1943 (3 husbands & 2 others)
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1946 (2 husbands & 2 others)
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1948 (2 husbands)
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1949 (2 husbands & 11 others)
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1949 (2 husbands & 3 others)
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1950 (2 husbands)
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1950 (Common law husband & another man)
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1951 (17 husbands)
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1952 (3 husbands & 9 others)
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1952 (2 husbands)
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1952 (2 husbands)
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1954 (4 husbands & 7 others)
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1956 (2 husbands & 4 others)
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1957 (2 husbands)
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Mary Elizabeth Wilson - England
1957 (3 husbands & 1 other)
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Anjette Lyles - USA
1958 (2 husbands & 2 others)
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1962 (3 husbands)
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1962 (1 husband, 1 boyfriend)
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1962 (2 husbands)
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Irena Cubirkova (Čubírková) – Czechoslovakia
1966 (husband & boyfriend)
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1967 (2 husbands & 7 children)
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1975 (2 husbands; 3 others who survived)
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1975 (2 husbands, 1 survived)
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1975 (2 husbands & 1 “man”)
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Caroline Snoddy – USA
1975 (2 husbands)
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1978 (2 husbands & 4 others)
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1979 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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1979 (2 husbands)
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Margaret “Maggie” MacDonald (2 husbands)
1980s - Canada
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1980s-1990s (4 husbands)
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1982 (3 husbands; 1 survived)
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Pauline Rogers - USA
1982 (2 husbands, 1 survived)
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1983 (2 husbands & 3 others)
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1983 (4 husbands (1 survived) & 1 other)
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1984 (3 men; 1 survived)
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1984 (1 husband, 1 fiancé (survived; 1 other)
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1985 (3 husbands & 200 others)
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1985 (5 husbands)
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1987  (2 husbands)
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1987 (2 husbands; 7 others)
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1987 (2 husbands)
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Hazel Allison - USA
1988 (2 husbands)
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 Sharon Lynn Nelson (Harrelson) – USA
1988 (2 husbands)
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1988 (2 husbands)
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1988? (2 husbands)
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Blanche Taylor Moore - USA
1989 (2 husbands & 4, or more, others)
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1989 (“multiple husbands & others)
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 Frances Beasley Truesdale – USA
1992 (2 husbands)
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1992 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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 Jill Coit – USA
1993 (2 husbands)
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1995 (2 or more husbands)
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Terri Gilbert – USA
1996 (2 husbands)
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Della Sutorius – USA
1996 (2 husbands; 1 surv.; others threatened)
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Cynthia Phillips – USA
1998 (2 husbands & 1 boyfriend)
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1999 (2 husbands)
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 Linda Lou Charbonneau – USA
2001 (2 husbands)
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2001 (3 husbands)
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2001 (4 husbands)
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Dena Thompson – England
2001 (2 husbands; 1 survived)
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2002 (2 husbands)
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Jamila Belkacem – France
2002 (husband & paramour)
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Raynella Dossett Leath – USA
2003 (2 husbands)
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 Sonia Rios – USA
2006 (2 husbands)
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2007 (2 husbands, 1 other (survived))
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2007 (1 husband & 3 boyfriends)
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 Beatriz Perez – USA
2007 (2 husbands; 1 survived)
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2007 (2 Husbands & 1 other)
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2008 (husband, boyfriend)
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Betty Neumar - USA
2008 (5 husbands)
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2009 (2 husbands)
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2009 (3 husbands)
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2009 (7 men, "personals")
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Miyuko Ueti – Japan
2009 (5 “dates” & 1 fiancee)
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Antoinette Van Dungey – England
2010 (2 men: “partner” & “friend”)
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Goidsargi Estibaliz 'Esti' Carranza – Austria
2011 (1 husband & 1 “boyfriend”)
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2011 (multiple husbands)
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2011 (2 husbands)
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2012 (2 husbands (suspected))
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Catherine Symanowski – USA
2012 (1 husband & 1 surv. boyfriend, shot 6 times)
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2012 (2 husbands & 2 who survived)
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Esneda Ruiz Cataño – Colombia
2013 (3 husbands)
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Patricia D. - France
2013 (2 paramours; poisoned numerous others)
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2013 (2 husbands)
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Bogumila Wojtas – Austria
2013 (2 boyfriends)
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Pornchanok Chaiyapa – Thailand
2014 (husband, another man, poss. others)
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2014 (7 husbands  & paramours, susp.)
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Noh (husbands: Lee; Kim) – Korea
2014 (husband & paramour; 1 other)
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►►BLACK WIDOW SERIAL KILLERS CATEGORIZED

Weapons, Poisons & Methods

Antifreeze – Shirley Allen, Stacy Castor, Julia Lynn Turner

Axe – Belle Gunness, Lizzie Halliday

Beat to death – Linda Lou Charbonneau, Ulisa Chavers

Carbon Monoxide – Cynthia Phillips, Kanae Kijima

Drown – Kanae Kijima, EmilseYulima Emilsen Rojas Castaño

Fireplace poker – Ann Gates

Gunshot  (handgun unless otherwise noted) – "Broncho Lou" (Mrs. Yankers), Minnie Cummings, Jane Taylor Quinn, Mary T. Godau, Euphemia Mondich, Alma McClaney (Theede), Margie Zeglen, Nannie Doss, Betty Lou Beets, Sharon Kinne, Betty Lou Beets, Carrie Allen, Ann Gates, Hazel Allison (shotgun), Cynthia Phillips, Barbara Stager, Sandra Bridewell, Geraldine Parrish, Sylvia Ipock White, Jill Coit, Terri Gilbert, Cynthia Phillips, Josephine Gray, Raynella Leath, Sonia Rios, Betty Newmar, Miriam Helmick, Goidsargi Estibaliz 'Esti' Carranza, Amy Herrera, Catherine Symanowski (rifle, handgun), Colleen Ann Harris, Della Sutorius

Knife – Sienna Engelbredht, Mary Lou Martin, Esneda Ruiz Cataño, Mme. Tamara

Poison (arsenic unless otherwise noted) – Gesche Margarethe Gottfried (arsenic), Hannah Hanson Kinney, Sarah Dazley, Mrs. Van Valkenbugh, Madame Segard, Mary McKnight (strychnine), Elizabeth P. McCraney, “Gardiner, Maine Black Widow,” Lydia Sherman, Catherine Batchelor, Mary Ann Cotton, Brigitte Burckel, Sallie Hardman (Gibbs), Mrs. Gossau, Kathi Lyukas, Mrs. Christian, Angenette B. S. Haight, “Varanda, Hungary Black Widow, “Silesian Black Widow,” Louisa Collins, Martha Johnson, Mrs. John Dorsey, Caroline Sorgenfrie (Paris green), Kate Painter, Ann Miniver Davis, Olive Sternaman, Mrs. Camfield (aconite and acotine), Lulu Johnson, Marie Nicodem, Lisa Triku, Jerinia, Zsimcsa, Sultana Pongyan Juchi Jamela, Caroline Przygodda, Malvina Roeste, (rose bay leaves), “Knez Four-Time Black Widow,” Louise Vermilya, Louisa Lindloff, Frieda Trost, Amy Archer-Gilligan, Annie Monahan, Anna Tomaskiewicz, Frau Buchmann, Madame Pitiot, Lydia Trueblood Southard, Clara Carl,  “Cleveland Black Widow,” Tillie Klimek, Annie Hauptrief, Annora Yeoman, Vera Renczi, Laura Christy, Elsie Bible Malinsky, Nora Edwards, Julia Fazekas, Suzi Olah, Maria Aszendi, Agnes Bittner (?), Maria Varga, Margaret Summers, Daisy de Melker (strychnine), Marie Becker, Florence Peters, Rose Carina, Victoria Lefebvre, Anna Louise Sullivan, Helen Moeller, Marguerite D’Andurian, Josefa Idler, Marie Besnard, Marie Jeanbracq (digitalis), Bessie Lee Cunningham, Roberta Elder, Yvonne Fletcher, Rhonda Belle Martin, Anjette Donovan Lyles, Bessie Folse Toups, Mrs. Elmer Stone Conyers, Velma Barfield, Ada Wittenmyer, LaVerne O’Bryan (horse tonic), Shirley Allen, Pauline Rogers, Maria Velten, Judias Buenoano, Blanche Taylor Moore, Raynella Leath (morphine), Kanae Kijima (medicines), Melissa Friedrich (Weeks) (drugs)

Suffocate – Lydia L.

Torture to Death –“Brazilian Black Widow”

Miscellaneous

“Accidental” Death – Sharon Kinne, Sharon Lynn Nelson (Harrelson), Natthakan Anaman (drugged, auto wreck), Raynella Leath (morphine, supposedly trampled by cattle), EmilseYulima Emilsen Rojas Castaño

Advertising (lonely hearts) – Belle Gunness, Marie Krueger, Nannie Doss, Ada Wittenmyer, Lydia L., Kanae Kijima, EmilseYulima Emilsen Rojas Castaño?

Dismemberment – Marie Vere Goold, Ulisa Chavers, Goidsargi Estibaliz 'Esti' Carranza (with chainsaw)

Escape from Prison or Fugitive – Lydia Trueblood Southard, Sandra Bridewell, Sharon Kinne, Goidsargi Estibaliz 'Esti' Carranza

Execution of  perpetrator – Gesche Margarethe Gottfried (arsenic), Sarah Dazley, Mrs. Van Valkenbugh, Madame Segard, Rhonda Belle Martin, Velma Barfield, Judias Buenoano, Betty Lou Beets

Fake Suicide –Raynella Leath, Miriam Helmick,  Kanae Kijima, Amy Herrera

Incineration – Madame Tamara

Married in prison – “Brazilian Black Widow”

Occult – Louisa Lindloff, Frieda Trost, Madame Tamara, Anjette Donovan Lyles,  Josephine Gray, Geraldine Parrish,

Proxy – Mrs. Gossau (leap-frog), Euphemia Mondich (leap-frog), Sharon Nelson (Harrelson), Geraldine Parrish, Gray (leap-frog), Esneda Ruiz Cataño, Cynthia Phillips, Geraldine Parrish, Sylvia Ipock White, Jill Coit, Cynthia Phillips (attempts), Linda Lou Charbonneau, Josephine Gray, Sonia Rios,

Suicide of perpetrator – Louise Vermilyea, Marie Torosian, Annie Hauptrief, Julia Fazekas, Suzi Olah, Julia Lynn Turner, Josefa Idler, Ada Wittenmyer, Catherine Symanowski

Trophy cadaver accumulation – Vera Renczi

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Abstract: This research examines one type of ‘Black Widow’ killer as an unexplored area of romance scams. Black Widow killers murder those close to them, usually those who they have some form of romantic association with, such as a husband or lover, however, they also prey on their own relatives. The type of Black Widow killer focused upon in this research is those who murder for the purpose of financial gain, through using romance to initiate the process. These killers are referred to as ‘Scamming Black Widow killers’. The notion that such a killer could be identified as a type of romance scam is due to these killers and those fraudsters conducting romance scams having the same motivations. Romance scams involve fraudsters romancing their victims to form a trustworthy ‘relationship’, to then defraud them of their finances.

The crime of murder itself, committed by Black Widow killers, is extremely serious in that it requires attention. There is no way to fully understand the incidence of Black Widow murders, as it is possible for some to go undetected or possibly ruled as accidental deaths. The other crime of non-lethal romance scams discussed in this research is also a serious crime, which can result in high quantities of money lost, and great emotional pain for the victims. Although these two crimes are separate, the link between them has previously been weirdly unexplored.

This research aims to fill this knowledge gap, proposing Scamming Black Widow killers to be understood as one type of romance scam.


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