N.O.W. (Never Overlook Women) Presents 13 Empowered Women Who Thought and Acted “Outside the Box”
This post serves to inform the public of examples which might be though to somewhat contradict the “women are not violent,” “women are always victims” and “women only use violence in self-defense” stereotypes that are promoted so frequently and widely by misandrists.
Lizzie Halliday, known in New York state in her day as “the worst woman on earth, murdered at least six persons, attempted to murder two others and is suspected of having murdered others. Among her victims were two husbands – one of whom survived a poisoning attempt – a retarded step-son, two neighbor women and two attendants in the insane asylum where she was sent in lieu of execution for three 1893 murders. One of the female attendants survived a strangling in 1895, the other Lizzie stabbed with scissors more than 200 times.
Maria Jager is unusual in having made a living as a serial killer in two separate enterprises in her village in Hungary. She started off as a midwife and “baby farmer” (archaic term for child care provider) who murdered babies for a fee. Later in life she switched to selling poison to those who wished to murder family members. She formed a small gang to help her in the business. In 1897 she was sentenced to life in prison for having participated in murdering a hundred men and women. A contemporary journalist noted that it “was her chiefest joy – to see the poison gripping at the vitals of the condemned. She watched their fight for life, and a fierce and horrible jubilation possessed her.”
Jeanne Weber, “The Ogress,” had a passion for strangling children to death. A simple French peasant who was tried for murder on three separate occasions, and found not guilty each time, was championed by famous lawyers and intellectuals who defended her as a supposed victim of persecution. Following her third acquittal in 1908 she was caught in the act of strangling and finally sent away to an insane asylum. In total she murdered seven children, including her own child and other relatives.
Énriqueta Martí, known after her arrest in 1912 as “the Vampiress of Barcelona,” kidnapped children, prostituted children to pedophile clients and murdered children to provide ingredients for “magic potions” she sold to wealthy citizens. “As ultimately pieced together by authorities, Enriqueta’s local crimes claimed at least twelve victims. But it is thought there were more victims because she kidnapped, prostituted, and killed children over a twenty year time period.” (Wikipedia) Martí died in prison in 1913, apparently having been murdered by inmates.
Mrs. Albert Steele, of Muskegon, Wisconsin, murdered her 11-year-old step-daughter out of jealousy for her husband’s love for the child. The murder took place in 1915. Other women have done such things for the same reason, but Mrs. Steele went about her business in a fashion that was unusual. She tied the girl to a chair, blindfolded her and then poured acid down her throat. Then, in an effort to simulate a botched abortion in order to give an explanation for the death as well as providing support for a false allegation of incest to be used after the “abortion” was discovered, the step-mother, mutilated the corpse and threw the naked body in an alley, partially covering it with sand. Mrs. Steele was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Vera Renczi, known to villagers as the “Mysterious Huntress,” a wealthy 30-year-old “single” woman residing in a chateau in Yugoslavia, was arrested in 1925 following an investigation in the disappearance of a young banker. In her wine cellar was found a cache of 35 hermetically sealed zinc containers inside which were the corpses of her poison victims: two husbands, a ten-year-old son and 32 lovers. Each container was neatly labeled with the name and the dates of the duration of her “relationship” with them.
Dianorah Galou, was known in Paris as “The Cat-Eater.” “If she is not one of the most monstrous women ever arraigned in a French court, certainly she is one of the most mysterious. Even the detectives who, in 1925, worked for months on her case were unable to agree as to just why she kept her wretched home running over with babies and to explain how she got them all and what finally became of them. What shocked the public most of all in the trial of Dinorah Galou was the prosecutor’s charge that she was quite probably one of many women who rent stolen babies at so much per hour or day to beggars and street venders of matches, flowers and other things.”
Helen Geisen-Volk was a professional child care provider in New York City. She was also a serial killer of children, with victims estimated to number between 23 and 53. Like scores of other child care providers in North America who were investigated and prosecuted for serially murdering and torturing the children they were paid to care after, Geisen-Volk was never convicted on a homicide charge.
Dorothea Irene Turley, of rural Arizona, had been in earlier life a beauty queen. In 1933 she decided to rid herself of her husband, so she plotted to have him killed by his own 15-year-old daughter, Mattie. Trial testimony show that on November 17, Mattie raised her own shotgun given to her by her dad and killed him as he carried a pail of milk from the cowpen. she testified. Having no animosity toward him, she did this tragic thing solely because the ouija board had commanded her to, and because her mother had assured her that edicts of the ouija spirits must be obeyed. Mattie understood, she declared, that “mother must be freed in order to marry the handsome cowboy.” The girl herself pleaded guilty in juvenile court and wan sentenced to an Arizona reform school. The mother, after fighting long and futilely for dismissal, was tried in the county court at St. Johns and convicted. Penalty for intent to murder is five years to life.
Viktoria Foedi Rieger hated men, and she acted on her feelings. Known by the nickname “Smoking Peter,” the divorced Hungarian woman dressed as – and passed herself of as – a man. After her arrest in 1933, it was discovered that Rieger was responsible for a long string of “suicides” of married men in the region. She had devised a routine in order to assist wives who wished to rid themselves of husbands whereby the victim would coaxed by the wife into a barn in which a pre-prepared noose was in place, then knocked on the head by “Smoking Peter,” placed into the noose and finished off by a “suicidal” hanging.
Georgia Tann, of Memphis, Tennessee is perhaps the most overlooked serial killer in history. It is quite possible that she was the most prolific serial killer of all. The number of her victims will never be known, but her murder spree lasted decades and records show that during a single winter, in 1945, her victims seem to have numbered 50. Miss Tann, who operated professionally from 1924 to her death in 1950, was famous as a child care expert and for having single-handedly established the adoption business as a respectable industry. She was also a pedophile, child kidnapper and child torturer who sold children for a substantial profit and would murder any unsaleable merchandise she had on hand. The children who lived, those whom she “placed” (including many kidnapped from the parent with the collusion of a female judge acting as accomplice) numbered 5,000. The murdered children are likely to have numbered in six figures as well.
Leonarda Cianciulli murdered three women, cut up their bodies and made soap and tea cakes out of their remains between 1939 and 1940 in Coreggio, Italy.
Rosa Pena, of San Antonio, Texas, murdered her three sons, David, 6,
, 4, and Richard, 2, by drowning in the bathtub in 1958. Mrs. Pena openly told police why she did it: “I didn’t want my husband to have them. If I can’t have them, no one can.” Alvin
NOTE: Among these cases, four are fairly well-known to students of crime: Cianciulli, Renczi, Marti, and Weber. Rieger is found in some compendia of serial killers, but the full story is not never given. The rest are virtually unknown to crime buffs and scholars.