Friday, May 31, 2013

Female Serial Killer Bandits

940 “White-necked Crow” – China – (36 husbands) – gang leader
1675 – “The Bloody Innkeeper’s Wife of Pultoe, Gloucestershire” – Pultoe, England
1720 – Mary Read – Caribbean (pirate)
1720 Ann BonnyCaribbean (pirate)
1775 Arne Spanjers Twente, Netherlands
1789 Rachel WallBoston, Massachusetts, USA (pirate)
1808 – Catherine Bouhours ("Auguste Manette") – Paris, France
1807 – Ching Shih – China pirate gang leader
1829 – Martha “Patty” Cannon – Johnson's Corners, Maryland, USA
1831 – Marie Breysse Martin – Peyrebeille, Lanarce commune, Ardèche, France
1850 – Marie-Catherine Moitrier Segard (Ségard) – Nancy, France
1861 – Rudduah – Benares, India (prostitution)
1862 – Josepha Perez – Galicia (region), Spain – gang leader
1865 – Maria Oliviero – Cattanzaro, Italy – gang leader
1867 – La Gizzi – Volturara district, Italy
1872 – Pètronillo Schimonska – Warsaw, Poland
1873 Kate Bender – Cherry Vale, Kansas, USA
1883 – “The “Kakoorgachi Serial Murderess” – Calcutta, India
1884 – Leonarda Martinez “La Caramboda” – Quetaro, Mexico – gang leader 
1887 – Amastaa Rubio de PascaderaSan Antonio, Zacatecas, Mexico – gang leader
1887 – Kate & Kit Kelly (Kelly Family) – No Man’s Land, Kansas, USA – serial killer family
1889 – "Spanish Belle" Rogers - Rocky Bar, Idaho, USA
1891 – MilaPožarevac, Serbia – gang leader (mutilated victims)
1897 – Marie Ret – Paris, France
1902 – Hattie BennettBeaumont, Texas, USA
1902 – Romanian Bandit Queen of Jassy” – Jassy, Romania – gang leader (tortured victims)
1909 – Augustina Mora – Vera Cruz, Mexico – gang leader
1909 Olga Ivanova Tamarin – Kurdino village, Novaya Ladoga, Russia
1910 – Marie Semit – Smolensk province, Russia – gang leader
1917 – Leopoldine Kasparek – Vienna, Austria
1921 – Ekaterina Pishianova – Chita, Russia – gang leader
1924 –  "Old Mother" Djao – Ichowfu, Shantung, China
1924 – Anastasia Permiakova – Perm, Russia – gang leader
1924 – Mrs. Zbonska – Grodno, Poland
1925 – Anna Dvoracek – Iglau, Czechoslovakia – gang leader
1925 – Pearl Jackson – Birmingham, Alabama, USA
1929 – Lisa Karl – Rhiems, France
1938 – Maria Gomes de Oliveira, “Maria Bonita” – Pernambuco State, Brazil
1938 – Mary Eleanor Smith (“Shoebox Annie”) – Pocatello, Idaho, USA
1948Irmgard Swinka – Berlin, Germany
1953 – Yoke Ying – Singapore – gang leader
1958 – Putli Bai – Chati, India – gang leader 
1972 – Elizabeth Carolyn McCrary & Ginger McCrary Taylor – Athens, Tx., USA, etc. – a family gang
1974 Carol Campbell – Santa Cruz, California, USA
1980 – Blanche Wright – (w Robert Young), New York, NY, USA
1983 – Suzan Carson – San Francisco, California, USA
1985 – Griselda Blanco – Miami, Florida, USA – drug gang leader
1990 – Traci Lynn Holland – New York, USA (with 2 male accomplices)
1990 – Aileen Wuornos – Port Orange, Florida, USA
1990 – Leigh Ann Zaepfel – Oklahoma, USA (with C. A. Carrion)
1991 – Dorothy Williams – Chicago, Illinois, USA
1992 – Celeste Carrington – Redwood City, California, USA
1994 – Dana Sue Gray – Wildomar, California, USA
1998 – María Concepción Ladino Gutiérrez – Bogota, Colombia
2000 – Seema PariharUttar Pradesh, India
2003 – Majorie Diehl-Armstrong – Erie, Pennsylvania, USA
2003 – Dana StodolovaKutna Hora, Czech Republic
2004 – Kusuma Nain – Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, India
2004 – Le Thanh Van – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
2004 – Caroline Peoples – (w Angel Wright-Ford), Chicago, Illinois, USA
2004 – Angel Ford-Wight (w Caroline Peoples), Chicago, Illinoi, USA
2005 – Shirin Gul – Kabul & Jalalabad, Afghanistan – gang which included her own son
2006 – Juana Barraza – Mexico City, Mexico
2006 – Remedios Sanchez Sanchez – Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
2007Shauntay HendersonKansas City, Missouri, USA – gang leader
2007 – K. D. Kempamma ("Mallika") – Bangladore, India
2009 – Mahin Qadiri – Qazvin, Iran
2010 – Irina GaidamanchukYekaterinburg, Russia
2010 – Laura Michelle Reese – Bocas del Toro, Panama
2010 – Cristina Soledad Sánchez Esquivel – Nuevo Garcia Leon, Mexico
2011 – Nancy Manriquez Quintanar – Ecatepec, Mexico – assassin for “Los Zetas” gang.
2011 – Yadira Narváez Marin
2011 – Beate Zschäpe, “The Nazi Bride” – Jena, Germany
2012 – Maria Guadalupe Jimenez Lopez – Monterrey, Mexico
2013 – Mónica Belén Martínez Morales – Mexico City, Mexico
2013 – Inessa Tarverdiyeva, Viktoria Tarverdiyeva Anastasia Sinelnik, (Roman Podkopaev) – Stavropol, Russia
2015 – Melissa Margarita Calderón Ojeda – Bellavista, Baja California Sur, Mexico


Female Serial Killer Bandits Who Led Gangs of Men

940 – “White-necked Crow” Chen Zhou, China – (36 husbands) – gang leader

“a woman bandit leader”

1807 – Ching Shih – China – pirate leader

“Ching Shih (1775–1844) was a prominent pirate in middle Qing Chin, who terrorized the China Sea in the early 19th century. A brilliant Cantonese pirate, she commanded 1800 ships and more than 80,000 pirates — men, women, and even children.”

1862 – Josepha Perez – Galicia (region), Spain – gang leader

“Always on horseback, and followed by a small number of bandits, she was at the head of all the robberies and murders committed in that part of Spain.”

1866 – Maria Oliviero – Italy – gang leader

“A Turin letter states that among the Neapolitan provinces which have to contend with the dreadful scourge of brigandage there is that of Cattanzaro, which possesses the advantage of having a band which is led by Maria Oliviero.”

1867 – La Gizzi – Volturara district, Italy

COUPLE: She “was so bloodthirsty that she voluntarily performed the office of executioner on every captive doomed to death by her hand. It is related that on one occasion, after stabbing three of her captives, she collected the blood that flowed from their wounds in a jar and then poured it over the head of her lover, telling him that that should be his baptism of blood.”

1891 – MilaPožarevac, Serbia – gang leader (mutilated victims)

“She had a band of devoted Haiducks with whom she committed her robberies. She never went about otherwise than in man's dress, with all her weapons in her belt and a rifle over her shoulder. Young, handsome, and a perfect markswoman, she was the idol of her band.”

1897 – Marie Ret – Paris, France

“Queen of Stranglers” Marie Ret led a gang of brutal stranglers who preyed upon primarily working class men and women. “The modus operandi was for Marie to decoy the intended victim into the thick bushes surrounding the fortifications. Once inside he was seized from behind by two accomplices and garroted. To make assurance doubly sure the woman leader herself plunged a dagger into the victim’s heart. After the body had been stripped and the clothing rifled the corpse was cast into the stagnant water of the moat.” 

1902 – Hattie Bennett – Beaumont, Texas, USA

Excerpt from news report: “Mattie Bennett, in jail on a charge of having murdered one of five men who have been found in the Neches River, has confessed to Sheriff Landry that she was the head of an organized band of negro women and white men who lured, drugged, beat and robbed many men.”

1902 – Romanian Bandit Queen of Jassy – Jassy, Romania – gang leader (tortured victims)

“With a record of eighty-six murders to her account, the female bandit chief recently captured by the Roumanian police, is now facing her trial. This young and beautiful woman has terrorized the country for months at the head of a band of ferocious robbers. All victims who attempted resistance were invariably killed and the chief was in the habit of devising special tortures for persons who refused to give up their valuables.”

1909 – Augustina Mora – Vera Cruz, Mexico – gang leader

“Augustina Mora, referred to as the “tigress of Cordoba,” leader of a notorious bandit band of the region, has been captured with three followers, after a fight.”

1910 – Marie SemitSmolensk province, Russia – gang leader

“Marie Semit was a schoolmistress of pronounced radical tendencies in the province of Smolensk, when her revolutionary fever brought on delirium which became epidemic. She organized a band of dauntless anarchists. These black knights took to highway robbery under the command of Marie, who was attired in male clothing.”

1912 – Ivanova & Olga Tamarin – Kurdla, Estonia – gang leader (mutilated victim, cannibalism)

“The women confessed to being at the head of a band which, during recent months, had robbed and murdered 40 people who had been decoyed to the house by Olga, and mentioned thirty other peasants belonging to the band, who were also arrested, while nine others escaped.”

1921 – Ekaterina Pishianova – Chita, Russia – gang leader

COUPLE: “Ten desperadoes were sentenced to death here today for the murder of more than a hundred victims. Chief among the condemned was the notorious woman bandit, Ekaterina Pishianova, wife of the leader of the gang, who himself was known to the intimidated peasantry as “the Jack the Ripper of the Ural mountains.” The woman was accused of killing her victims with an axe. The robbers had been into a strong band of several score with rigid rules, the slightest infraction of which was punishable with death.”

1924 – Anastasia Permiakova – Perm, Russia – gang leader

Anastasia Permiakova, a gipsy clairvoyant, with her husband and six male and female accomplices, has been sentenced to death for the horrible murders of 20 women and girls. Permiakova escaped from prison during the revolution while serving a murder sentence. She then organised a murder gang, pillaged villages and held up trains.

1938 – Maria Gomes de Oliveira, “Maria Bonita” – Pernambuco State, Brazil

1949 – Irmgard Swinka – Berlin, Germany

“Irmgard Kuschinski, maiden name Swinka (the name most commonly used in reports on her case), a 36-year-old waitress was, along with accomplice 42-year-old Ernst Himpel (and occasionally others), murderous robber who roamed Germany in the years following the end of World War II, preying upon elderly women.”

1953 – Yoke Ying – Singapore – gang leader

An article published in Singapore gives the name “Yoke Ying” and states that she was a large woman who got her nickname from swaggering about with a hand-grenade on her belt and that the government said she had been “involved in several murders.”

1958 – Putli Bai – Chati, India – gang leader

“Word reached New Delhi Saturday of the murder of 11 villagers in a revenge raid led by a woman dubbed India’s bandit queen. Newspaper accounts from Rewa said the gang also wounded five persons in the nearby village of Datia and carried off several others into central India’s Vindhya hills. The gang reportedly was led by Putli [Putli Bai], a woman said to be in her 20s who has become one of India's top public enemies. The dispatches said Putli led her men info Datia Wednesday because she suspected its inhabitants had given information about her to the police.”

1985 – Griselda Blanco – Miami, Florida, USA – drug gang leader

“Otherwise known as la Madrina, the Godmother, the Black Widow, Mama Coca and the Cocaine Queen of Miami, Griselda Blanco has been heralded ‘The most bloodthritsy female criminal of our time’. Born in 1943, Blanco committed her first murder aged 11, was a prostitute from the age of 12, and went on to become a drug lord specializing in cocaine. Known for her sociopathic tendencies and her extravangant collections of fine art and jewels, Mama Coca was a major figure in the ‘Cocaine Cowboy Wars’ of Miami in the late 1970’s. She is thought to have masterminded over 200 murders in Miami during this time.”

1998 – María Concepción Ladino Gutiérrez – Bogota, Colombia

“The known death toll is seven, plus one poisoning in which the victim survived the attempted murder, as well as at least twenty swindles. The number being indeterminate due to the dupes’ very reasonable fear of violent reprisal from the “witch’s” male accomplices.”

2005 – Shirin Gul – Kabul & Jalalabad, Afghanistan – gang which included her own son

“Shirin Gul, “The Kebab Killer,” was convicted in Afghanistan of killing 28 men in collaboration with her husband and his in-laws. The family was part of a large regional gang that specialized in stealing and selling cars, particularly taxis. Accomplices were used to transport taxis over the Pakistani border to the town of Miram Shah, where the cars were sold there for more than $10,000 each. The three accused men admitted that they had invited the men into their home with offers of tea and kebabs, which contained sedatives. Then they would kill and rob them. According to some reports, Shirin would also lure taxi drivers to her house for sexual intercourse. Her lover Rahmatullah, her 18-year-old son, Samiullah, and four others believed to be involved in the killings. Rahmatullah had murdered her first husband. Police think her first husband, Mohammed Azam, was probably an accomplice in the early murders but was himself killed when Shirin Gul and Rahmatullah became lovers.”

2007 – Shauntay Henderson – Kansas City, Missouri – gang leader

“Police have suspected Henderson was involved in as many as five other murders and a number of other shootings. However, no other charges have been filed. The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department claimed that Henderson was a leader of the violent 12 Street gang who associated with gangs from 24th street through 27th, 51st, and 57th Street. Their alliance was titled "512", "5 ace 2", or "5 ace deuce". However, the claims of the police were never substantiated.”

2010 – Cristina Soledad Sánchez Esquivel – Nuevo Garcia Leon, Mexico

2011 – Nancy Manriquez Quintanar – Ecatepec, Mexico – assassin for “Los Zetas” gang.

“Nancy Manriquez Quintanar “La Flaca,” 25-year-old arrested in the municipality of Ecatepec, is linked to at least nine violent murders committed in the eastern state of Mexico, as part of the criminal organization ‘Los Zetas.’”

2011 – Yadira Narváez Marin – Florencia, Colombia

2011 – Beate Zschäpe “The Nazi Bride” – Jena, Germany

“Zschäpe is said to have had the indispensable task of giving the terrorist unit the appearance of normality and legality among other things by maintaining an inconspicuous façade at their respective places of residence and by securing their joint flat as a safe haven and headquarters for their actions. In addition, she is said to have been “significantly responsible for the logistics of the group”. Thus she had managed the stolen money from the robberies and had rented caravans several times, including a vehicle used in one of the crimes, according to the Office of the Attorney General reports in the bill of indictment.”

2013 – Inessa Tarverdiyeva – Stavropol, Russia

“While Podkopaev is portrayed by many reports as the gang leader, other accounts suggest his wife was the moving force behind their evil acts. She refused to say why she hated policemen. One theory is that she had a lover who was a policeman who left her for another woman. Police now suspect that she later murdered the officer and his new lover.” [Will Stewart, “Russia's Ma Barker and her family of middle class murderers: ruthless nursery teacher, her dentist husband and their daughters ‘killed at least 30 people including women and children,’” MailOnline (London, England),





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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Female Serial Killers of National Socialist Germany

The dates represent the year each of these female serial killers was tried for her crimes. The term “free-lance killer” denotes a Nazi who violated the official code of conduct by engaging in homicidal; acts for personal pleasure rather than governmental duty.


1945 – Johanna Altvater – Germany – Ukraine, Poland: “Holocaust of Bullets” 
1945 – Hermine BraunsteinerConcentration camp “free-lance killer”
1945 – Irma Grese – Concentration camp “free-lance killer”
1945 – Erna Petri –
1946 – Valentina Bilien – “Death panel“ nurse
1946 – Anna KatschenkaDeath panel“ nurse
1946 – Gerta Oberheuser Doctor
1946 – Ella Schmidt, Liesel Bachor & Kathe Pisters – Official child care providers
1946 – Marianne Tuerk (Türk) & Margarethe HeubschDeath panel“ physicians


Ilse Koch has not been included because there is – despite her legend and the fact that she was indeed a vicious creature– no evidence that she was responsible for the human-skin lampshades or other homicidal acts attributed to her.



Kathrin Kompisch, Perpetrators: Women Under National Socialism (translation of German title)  explodes the myth behind the propaganda. – ‘The history of National Socialism has long been reduced to one that blamed men for everything,’ says Kompisch. ‘The fact is women were involved at all levels of the Third Reich’s most infamous and brutal crimes . . . There were always choices, even within the Third Reich, and women often made their own choices as much as men.” [Allan Hall, “Nazi women exposed as every bit as bad as Hitler's deranged male followers,” Daily Mail




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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bertha Gossett Hill, Georgia Serial Killer Seductress - 1946

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 6): Rome, Ga., April. 2. – Mrs. Bertha Gossett Hill, 28-year-old widow, was indicted for murder here today after two toxicologists testified they had found poison in the exhumed bodies of her parents and her husband.

Solicitor General Henderson L. Lanham said the Floyd county grand jury returned three indictments, charging Mrs. Hill with the murders of Mr. and Mrs. James Hardin, her parents, and Leroy Hill, her husband.

The indictments came soon after Alabama Toxicologist C. J. Rehling if Auburn notified Lanham that he had discovered sufficient poison to cause death in the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Hardin. The bodies were exhumed last week at Centre, Ala., on court order.

Lanham also said that an Emory university toxicologist had reported the finding of poison in the body if Leroy Hill. Hill died February 14. The woman’s father died April 1, 1945, and her mother died August 13, 1945.

The solicitor general said he expected the case to come to trial the week of April 15. Mrs. Hill was arrested on a felony warrant several days after her husband’s death, when a coroner’s jury agreed that Hill had died of poison.

[“Woman Held For Killing Parents And Her Husband,” The Gaffney Ledger (S. C.), Apr. 4, 1946, p. 4]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 6): Rome, Ga., May 3 – Bertha Gossett Hill, 29, under life sentence in the poison death of her husband, Leroy Hill, was married to Wiley Gravitt, 21-year-old construction worker, in the Floyd County Jail office today.

Gravitt is her third husband.

Judge Carl Griffin, ordinary of Floyd County, performed the ceremony.

After the marriage, the bride was led back to her cell, where she is awaiting the outcome of an appeal to the state supreme court.

Mrs. Gravitt was attired in a light blue dress she wore part of the time during the trial.

She was twice convicted of murder charges in her second husband’s death. She was also charged with the poison deaths of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. A Hardin, but was not tried. They were buried at Centre, Ala.

[“Woman Convicted Of Murder Weds in Prison,” The Spartanburg Herald (S. C.), May 3, 1947, p. D5]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 6): A demand for trial on two charges of murder was filed Saturday by attorneys for Bertha Gossett Hill, who was convicted for the arsenic poison death of her husband in 1946.

Two criminal indictments charging murder of her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. James R. Hardin, are yet pending in Floyd Superior Court, but have not been brought to trial after her conviction in the death of Leroy Hill in February, 1946.

Two criminal indictments chargeing murder of her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. James R. Hardin, are yet pending in Floyd superior court, but have not been brought to trial after her conviction in the death of Leroy Hill in February, 1946.

Attorney Mack G. Hicks, who represented the dime store floor manager in two spectacular trials that attracted nation-wide interest, filed demand for trial in the two pending cases before Superior Judge H. E. Nichols.

Hicks said in his petition that his defendant had “repeatedly” sought trial on the two other indictments, but had been refused. He charged that her constitutional rights had been violated, and that the courts had deprived her of the rights to parole.

The State Pardon and Parole Board will not act on an application for aparole if a felony indictment is pending in the courts. Hicks charges that his defendant is otherwise eligible for parole after having served more than four years in Reidsville Penitentiary.

Judge Nichols issued an order that Sol. Gen. John W. Davis show cause on May 18 why the pending cases should not be included in the July term docket in Floyd Superior Court.

Efforts have been underway for months to have the woman paroled after serving part of a life sentence imposed by a Floyd County jury which recommended mercy after a first degreee conviction.

Leroy Hill died at his home on Old Summerville Highway. Later, Dr. Herman Jones, state toxicologist, found a quantity of arsenic in the stomach and organs.

Witnesses reported to authorities that Bertha’s mother and father died under similar circumstances without benefit of a physician. Autopsies bodies in a remote cemetery in Alabama allegedly alsO showed death from arsenic.

Three indictments were drawn by a Floyd County grand jury, but only one case ever came to trial. A year later, a new trial was granted, with convictions and recommendations of mercy, in June, 1947. Bertha was committed to the state’s women’s prison. She had been in Floyd County jail since February, 1946.

[“Pending Cases Bar Parole – Bertha Hill Seeks Trials for Murder,” Rome News-Tribune (Ga.), May 6, 1951, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 4 of 6): After more than 11 years in prison, Mrs. Bertha Gossett Hill has woman an unprecedented third trial for the 1946 poison murder of her husband.

The 40-year-old former Rome dime store floor manager won the new trial Wenesday when Cherokee Superior Circuit Judge J. L. Davis granted her extraordinary motion for a new trial.

The jurist denied bail for Mrs. Hill after the state announced it will be ready to try her a third time when the January term of Floyd Superior court convenes. She will remain in the Floyd County jail where she has been since she filed the motion for a new trial last September.

Mrs. Hill said she believes a new trial will prove her innocent of the charge she fed her husband, Leroy, arsenic. She twice has been convicted in Floyd Superior Court on that count and was sentenced to life imprisonment both times.

Judge David read his decision from a three-page opinion in which he pointed out that, when the case was before the Supreme Court of Georgia on appeal in 1948, the court dfivided four to three on whether or not the guilty verdict should stand. Four justiuces were for the verdict and three dissented. He said the fact that the Supreme Court had been divided so near evenly was enough to “generate some doubt in the mind of the trial court.”

Judge Davis also said the case had rested entirely upon circumstantial evidence and “there is not to be found in the record any evidence that Mrs. Hill ever had in her possession at any time any arsenic as alleged in the charges against her.”

Also, he noted Mrs. Hill had served approximately one year in jail and another 11 years in the state penitentiary under the verdict of 1947.

“However doubtful the cxourt may be as a result of the evidence adjured on trial of the case, the divided opinion of the Supreme Court on the issue involved in the  case, and the fact that the defendant has been incarcerated for approximately 12 years, any one set of these circumstances or all of them combined would not justify this court in granting an extraordinary motion for a new trial in this case as none of the facts are raised in this motion nor could be legally raised at this time before the court,” the judge said.

~ Record Versus Jurors ~

Judge Davis said the official transcript of the second trial record is inconsistent with the affidavits of the three jurors who say they at no time vored Mrs. Hill guilty. He said the record shows that two of the three jurors unqualifiedly stated to the court on the poll of the jury that the verdict as rendered was their verdict. He added that the record is also inconsistent with the sworn affidavit of juror J. L. Lumpkin but said “it does reflect the reluctance on the part of Lumpkin to agress to the verdict and strongly indicates that the verdict of guilty was not freely and voluntarily agreed to by thids juror.”

“The law of this state requires the unanimous verdict of all 12 jurors should be freely and voluntarily acknowlkedged, without hesitation, reluctance or evasive answers to the court,” Judge Davis said.

“In view of the doubt which is generated in this case by ba careful search of the evidence on the trial, by the dissent of the three justices of the Supreme Court of this state on the appeal of this case and the obvious reluctance of the juror Lumpkin as disclosed by the official record in the case to freely and voluntarily agree to the verdict, this court is constrained to feel that more substantial justice may be had in this case by granting of a new trial,” Judge Davis opinion concluded.

Mrs. Hill said sfter the short session that she was thankful to Judge Davis and felt that her innocence would be proven.

“I only hope that each of the jurors serving during the coming trial will be guided by his own beliefs rather than the beliefs of others,” the 40-year-old former dime-store floor manager said.

Mrs. Hill was first tried for killing her husband in 1946. Convicted after only 30 minutes of deliberation, she won a new trial on appeal and was again convicted again in April, 1947. The second jury deliberated over 65 hours before returning a guilty verdict and recommending mercy.

Two indictments charging her with two poison deaths of her parents were dropped in 1952.

An order signed by Judge Davis returned her to Rome on August 25, and the new-trial motion was filed on September 30 bt R. A. Addleton, Griffin attorney and former assistant state attorney general.

Basis for the motion was the sworn affidavits of three of the second trial jurors that they at no time voted the woman guilty. The three were J. J. Lumpkin. S. W. McKinney and the Rev. V. G. Smith.

Judge Davis signed the motion and scheduled the hearing for November 25, after Floyd Judge Mack G. Hicks, disqualified himself because he was the defense attorney during the second trial.

At the hearing Judge David said he wanted to study the case further before making a decision he decision came three weeks after the hearing. [error in this sentence is in the original]

[“Wins Unprecedented Motion … Bertha Hill Confident Will Show Innocence,” Rome News-Tribune (Ga.), Dec. 18, 1958, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 5 of 6): Bertha Gossett Hill, who has served 13 years in prison for poisoning her husband, was freed this afternoon under $5,000 bond after the state announced it would not be ready to try her a third time next Monday as scheduled.

Mrs. Hill, twice convicted for the arsenic poisoning of her husband, Leroy, in 1946, had won the third trial in the legal battle which was removed almost a year ago.

The state, through Sol. Gen. Chastine Parker, announced shortly before noon today it would not be ready to proceed with the trial stated to open next Monday morning in Floyd Superior Court.

~ Bond Not Opposed ~

Because of the delay, the state did not oppose bond which was set by Bud [illegible] (Bud) Foster, of Tallapoosa Circuit, due to preside at the trial. The bond was signed by Davis Bonding Co. of Rome and Mrs. Hill, and accompanied by her attorney John A. Frazier Jr. of Rome, walked to freedom shortly after noon.

“I’m so happy, but it’s so hard to believe I’m really free after all these years,” Mrs. Hill said after her bond had been signed. “It had me worried quite a bit, but I have always felt it would all work out.”

Mrs. Hill said said she would stay in Rome for a few days and clear up some business, but that she had no definite plans at poresent.

“I am proud that the solicitor consented and Judge Foster set bond for Mrs. Hill,” Frazier commented. “It will give us a better opportunity to prepare our defense.

Frazier stated, however, that the defense expects to be ready whatever the case is called for trial.

Parker said due to the length of time since Mrs. Hill’s last trial in 1947 and the difficulty in assembling witnesses, the state was unable to complete preparation of the case by next Monday. He said a new trial date will be announced shortly.

Jurors called for the week of court beginning Monday will not have to report, the solicitor added.

Mrs. Hill, now 40 and once a dime store manager in Rome, was first convicted of murdering her husband in 1946, and sentenced to life imprisonment. She won a new trial from the Georgia Supreme Court because policy holders in the company which insured her husband’s life served on the jury.

A second jury, deliberating more than 65 hours, found her guilty at a second trial in 1947 and she was moved to Reidsville State Prison to begin serving the life term.

~ New Trial Motion ~

Last August, Judge J. L. Davis of Cherokee Superior Court, issued an order returning her to Rome and on September 30 she filed an extraordinary motion for a new trial. Judge Davis had entered the case after Floyd Superior Judge Mack G. Hicks disqualified himself because he served as Mrs. Hill’s defense counsel in her earlier trials.

Basis for the motion for a third trial were affidavits from three jurors who swore they had not voted Mrs. Jill guilty in 1947. Judge Davis, ruling on the motion, granted the third trial last December 17.

In January, the state filerd a bill of exceptions asking the Georgia Court to set aside the new trial order. But, last April 10 the high court ruled the state cannot appeal from a judgement in favor of the defendant in a criminal case, in effect upholding the trial order.

The state then announced it would begin the new trial May 18, and Judge Foster was named as the judhge to preside.

Mrs. Hill had remained in Floyd County jail since her return here last August to renew her battle for freedom.

[“Bond Frees Bertha Hill As Third Trial Delayed – State Announces Not Ready Monday; Date for Third Hearing to Be Set,” Rome News-Tribune (Ga.), May 12, 1959, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 6 of 6): Rome, Ga. – After sopending a third of her life in jail, Bertha Gossett Hill, was ordered acquitted Monday of charges that she murdered her hudband, a mechanic, with poison.

Mrs. Hill was first convicted again and given a life sentence the following year.

Mrs. Hill was confined at state prison until August 1958 when he was returned to Rome and ordered to file an extraordinary motion for a new trial.

Basis for the motion were affidavits of three members of the last trial jury that they had not voted for conviction. A third trial was granted.The Georgia Supreme Court denied an attempt by the state to block the trial.

The prosecutor said the state was unable to prosecute a third time because it could not locate needed witnesses.

[“Woman Cleared of Killing Mate; 3rd Effort Wins,” The Free-Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.), Jan. 19, 1960, p. 2]


Excerpt from appeal court ruling (Gossett v State, May 17, 1948, Supreme Court Of Georgia):

It also appeared from the evidence that the defendant's father and mother died on April 3 and July 13, respectively, in 1945, and that after the death of the defendant's husband the bodies of the parents were exhumed and vital organs of each were examined. The evidence further authorized a finding that each of them died of arsenic poison intentionally administered by the defendant, as in the case of her husband, and that her acts with respect to them were prompted by the same motive, to wit, collection of life insurance.


See the article by Mike Ragland, author of Bertha Gossett Hill’s biography for more details of Bertha’s outrageous career.


Apr. 3?, 1945 – James Hardin, father, died.
Aug. 13, 1945 – Mrs. Hardin, mother, died.
February 14, 1946 – Leroy Hill, husband, died.
Apr. 2, 1946 – Bertha indicted; charged for parents deaths, but not tried.
1946 – first trial, convicted
Apr. 1947 – retrial granted; convicted.
May 3, 1947 – while still in Floyd County jail, Bertha (26) marries Wylie Gavitt, 20.
June 1947 – committed to Women’s State Prison.
1952 – indictments for murder of parents dropped.
1958 – granted 3rd trial; freed on bond.
Jan. 18, 1960 – prosecution not able to locate witnesses; ordered acquitted.



[“Woman Held For Killing Parents And Her Husband,” The Gaffney Ledger (S. C.), Apr. 4, 1946, p. 4]
[“Pending Cases Bar Parole – Bertha Hill Seeks Trials for Murder,” Rome News-Tribune (Ga.), May 6, 1951, p. 1]
[“Wins Unprecedented Motion … Bertha Hill Confident Will Show Innocence,” Rome News-Tribune (Ga.), Dec. 18, 1958, p. 1]
[“Bond Frees Bertha Hill As Third Trial Delayed – State Announces Not Ready Monday; Date for Third Hearing to Be Set,” Rome News-Tribune (Ga.), May 12, 1959, p. 1]
[“Woman Cleared of Killing Mate; 3rd Effort Wins,” The Free-Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.), Jan. 19, 1960, p. 2]