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.
Bednerek, Ghelente (Josefa) (Poland), 1892 – 15 bodies found.
Bilien, Valentina (Germany), 1946 – 114 babies killed by severe neglect.
Blair, Anne (Australia), 1870 – 1 baby died.
Blicenzyk, Marie (Poland) 1907 – multiple deaths.
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 (executed).
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.
“Cologne Baby Farmer” (Germany) – 50 babies died.
Compton, Mary (England), 1673 – willfully starved 4 children (executed).
Connelly, Matilda (USA), 1912 – 4 babies died.
Cooper, Martha & Daniel (New Zealand), 1922 – 3 dead babies discovered.
“Copenhagen Baby Farm Couple” (Denmark), 1860 – 23.
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 (executed).
De Jesus, Luisa (Portugal), 1772 – poisoned to death 28 babies (executed).
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.
Duda & Dudek (Bohemia, Czech), 1893 – 14.
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 (executed).
Eckhardt, Wilhelmena (USA), 1906 – 12 babies died.
Firletowna, Marianne (Poland), 1878 – 4 deaths, far more suspected.
Fortmeyer, Julia (USA), 1875 – 3-100 babies murdered.
Gabler, Anna (Austria), 1896 – multiple "disappeared" babies.
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.
Hill, Abigall (England), 1658 – 4 deaths (executed).
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.
Josefowitsch, Marie (Ukraine) 1902 – 8 deaths. 
Julien, Madame (France), 1867 – midwife, many victims.
Kadletz, Frau (Czech Republic), 1906 – 50 victims.
King, Jessie (Scotland), 1889 – 3 babies died (executed).
Knorr, Frances (Australia), 1894 – from 3 to an estimated 13 babies died (executed).
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.
Larsson, Olivia Charlotta (Sweden) 1912 – 1 death; 2 rescued from starvation.
“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 (executed).
Makin, Jane (Australia), 1892 – 13 babies died.
Maksymischin, Paranka (Galicia (Poland)), 1890 (executed).
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.
Nilsson, Hilda (Sweden) 1917 – 17 babies died.
Nivison, Symenthe S. (USA), 1884 – 22 babies died.
Nordberg, Alva (Sweden), 1905 – 4 babies died.
Noskina, Feige (Lithuania), 1892 – 65 babies died.
“Odessa Baby Farmer” (Ukraine), 1887 – 10 babies died.
Olsen, Fru (Norway), 1901 – 27 infants died.
“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.
Persson, Maria (Sweden) 1911 – 21+ babies died.
Piard, Annie (USA), 1883 – multiple babies starved to death.
Porro, Rose & Margarite Coraldi (Italy), 1873 – 8 babies killed (executed).
“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 (executed).
Saldakowa, Julia (Galicia, Ukraine), 1903 – 4 deaths.
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 at least 10 babies died.
Waters, Margaret (England), 1870 – 5 babies died (executed).
Wiese, Elizabeth (Germany), 1903 – burned babies in stove (executed).
West, Mrs. Fred (Clara West) (USA), 1906 – burned babies alive.

Wilczynska, Josefine (Poland), 1893 – 2 deaths, 4 starving.
Willis, Rhoda (Wales), 1907 – 2 babies died.
Winsor, Charlotte (England), 1865 – unknown number (executed).
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, Larsson, Nilsson, Persson (incomplete list)

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





Edith Rendell, The Baby Farmer” (poem),  Kerang New Times (Victoria, Australia), Sep. 24, 1909, p. 4


Ye mothers of Australia
O lend your pitying ear
To the wail of helpless infants
That’s borne upon the air.

As ye clasp your own loved darlings
In comfort to your hearts, I
Just think upon the fate of those
Who hear neglect’s cruel smarts.

Unwelcome little strangers
To this cold world they come,
No mother love awaiting them.
No friend, no name, no borne.

Not theirs the fault that brings them,
It is the parent’s sin,
Yet on their helpless bodies
Falls all the wrong and pain.

Who’ll rid me of this burden,
The desperate mother cries,
I cannot, will not face my friends
With shame before my eyes.

An accommodating stranger,
For dross to be paid down,
Takes the tender infant
To nurse him as her own

O luckless little creature.
Thy doom hath now its seal.
The horrors that await thee
The inquest will reveal.

Not by violent measures
She deprives hint of his breath —
By methods known unto the craft
The child is done to death.

Not alone in other states
The baby farmer thrives,
Ev-u in our very midst
She’s sacrificing lives.

She’s not a downcast person.
She’s possessed of many wiles;
She laughs and talks and is quite gay,
But she murders while she smiles.

We seek for population
In countries far away,
Yet human life is wasted
Around us every day.

The care of babes should not be left
To private enterprise
A home should be provided,
Which the state should supervise.

You say an institution
Would foster vice and sin;
How can this be
The evil hath ever with us been.

Ye women of Australia
O stay this fearful wrong,
And by concerted action
Save the helpless throng.

Ye Christian men and women.
Give it your earnest thought
To found a home for waifs and strays,
To which they may be brought.

Root out the baby farmer
By giving her no place,
And free this youthful land of ours
From murder and disgrace.

    Edith Rendell.

[Edith Rendell, The Baby Farmer” (poem),  Kerang New Times (Victoria, Australia), Sep. 24, 1909, p. 4]

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


SEE MORE: Female Serial Killer Collections



  1. Robert, your list of deadly baby-farmers contains an entry for “Young, Lila & William (Canada), 1936 – at least 100 babies died”
    Here is a link to an article on that case:

    That article puts the number of children killed at that baby farm at between four- and six-hundred.

  2. I can't bare to read most of this and that final photo made me cry, I am a mother and I can't understand how anyone let alone a woman could ever harm or kill a poor innocent child. I hope you all burn in hell for eternity with demons torturing you every second in the most horrible brutal ways possible.

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