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 (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 –
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
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
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
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
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
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
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


  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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