Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Landlady Serial Killers


1854 – Marie (Gautherot) Gagey – Arnay-sous-Vitteaux, France

Convicted of 5 murders; robbed lodgers.

1872 – Mary Ann Cotton – West Auckland, Durham England

One roomer murdered, among many other murders.

1884 – Catherine Flanagan & Margaret Higgins – Liverpool, England

1906 – Bridget Carey – Centralia, Pennsylvania, USA

Suspected of poisoning 8 persons, with one surviving; 2 of the dead were boarders: James Carey, brother-in-law, and boarder, died (date?); Cecilia (Celia) Cook, boarder, died Aug. 13, 1906.

1907 – Ernestine Feige – Grunau Hirschberg, Silesia

“Frau Ernestine Feige of Grunau Hirschberg in the Silesian Mountains has been condemned to death for poisoning a man named Janitschek and a woman named Brueckner who had lived with her as lodgers in the years 1903 and 1906.” There were 4 other deaths attributed to poisoning.

1912 – Mary Lucas – Lansing, Michigan, USA

1 murder confessed; suspected of murdering a husband and a male lodger.

1917 – Amy Archer-Gilligan – Windsor, Connecticut, USA

“While Mrs. Gilligan was tried on one count only, the indictments returned against her by the grand jury charged that she had poisoned to death four other inmates of the Archer home had died under peculiar circumstances during a period of several years. Her motive, the state set up, was to profit on life contracts she had made with inmates, whereby she agreed to provide a comfortable home for them during the remainder of their lives for a specified sum, generally $1,000.”

1931 – Rose Veres – Detroit, Michigan, USA

10 lodgers died. One was apparently pushed off a ladder to his death because he had not died from poison which had secretly been given to him.

1931 – “Youngstown Suspected Female Serial Killer” – Youngstown, Ohio, USA

Suspected of murdering 2 boarders plus 4 others. The prosecutor had claimed he had a strong case, yet it never went forward.

1931 – Margaret Summers – Chicago, Illinois, USA

Several insured lodgers survived; 19 total murders suspected; 2 lodgers murdered.

1938 – Martha Marek – Vienna, Austria

4 murders; one lodger murdered

1946 – Marjorie Coleman  – Camperdown, Australia

3 victims, boarders; charges dropped

1957 – Mary Elizabeth Wilson Jarrow-on-Tyne, England 

3 husbands murdered and one lodger.

1988 – Dorothy Puente – Sacramento, California, USA

Up to 27 murders suspected. 9 tenants known to have been murdered: Ruth Munbroe, 61; Everson Gillmouth, 77; Alvaro “Bert” Montoya, 51; Dorothy Miller, 64; Benjamin Fink, 55; Betty Palmer, 78; Leon Carpenter, 78; James Gallop, 62; Vera Faye Martin, 64.


2003 – Michelle Knotek – South Bend, Washington, USA

“A man accused of taking part in the torture deaths of three people was sentenced yesterday to just under 15 years in prison. David Knotek of Raymond earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of his step-nephew, Shane Watson, as well as unlawful disposal of human remains and rendering criminal assistance. Knotek and his wife, Michelle Knotek, were accused in the deaths of Watson and two people who once boarded at their home in rural Pacific County. Michelle Knotek was sentenced last week in Pacific County Superior Court to more than 22 years in prison.” [“Man sent to prison for role in torture deaths,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Wa.), Aug. 26, 2004]

2008 – Rachel Baker & Leigh Baker – Butleigh, Somerset, England

Rachel Baker, owner of an old age home who was investigated for 7 deaths and tried fore one of these, resulting in a manslaughter conviction. The husband was acquitted.

2015 – Tamara Samsonova – St. Petersburg, Russia – The “Granny Ripper”

Arrested July 27, 2015, she kept a diary of her deeds. She is suspected of up to 14 murders, all of them involving dismemberment of the victims’ bodies, the parts of which were distributed throughout St. Petersburg. The final victim was dismembered while still alive. Internal organs were removed from bodies and it is suspected Samsonova may have eaten these parts, particularly lungs. She has confessed, so far, to murdering two persons, a friend and a tenant. The investigation continues.

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