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 April 17, 2013, this list has reached the 180 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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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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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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1858 (2 husbands & 2 others)
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1860 (2 husbands & 7 others)
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1869 (4 husbands)
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Lydia Sherman - USA
1871 (3 husbands & 7 others)
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1872 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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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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1878 (2 husbands & 2 others)
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1878 (3 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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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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1889 (3 husbands & 1 other)
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Mrs. John 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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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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1902 (2 husbands, 2 others)
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1902 (4 husbands & 14 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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1905 (3, or more, husbands)
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1905 (4 “lovers”)
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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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 & 1 paramour)
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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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1920 (3 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)
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1926 (2 husbands (1 survived))
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1926 (2 husbands (1 survived) & 2 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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1930 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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Agnes Bittner – Czechoslovakia
1930 (2 husbands & 5 lovers)
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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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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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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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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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Irena Cubirkova (Čubírková) – Czechoslovakia
1966 (husband & boyfriend)
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1962 (2 husbands)
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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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Caroline Snoddy – USA
1975 (2 husbands)
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1978 (2 husbands & 4 others)
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1979 (2 husbands)
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1980 (2 husbands & 1 other)
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Shirley Elizabeth Allen - USA
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 (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)
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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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Sylvia Ipock White – USA
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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Dena Thompson – England
2001 (2 husbands; 1 survived)
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2002 (2 husbands)
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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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Lydia L. – Germany
2007 (1 husband & 3 boyfriends)
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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 (7 men, "personals")
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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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Bogumila Wojtas – Austria
2013 (2 boyfriends)
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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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2013 (2 husbands)
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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 Pryzgodda, 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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