Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Baby Burners: Female Serial Killers Who Burned Babies Alive

Most of these cases involve "baby farmers."


1829 – Martha "Patty" Cannon – Johnson's Corners, Maryland, USA

On one occasion one of the negro women had a little child about five years old sometimes subject to fits, and in these fits the child used to scream in a terrible manner. It happening to have one of these fits while in Lucretia Cannon's house, she became so enraged upon hearing its cries, that she flew at the child, tearing the clothes from off the poor victim of her wrath, beating it at the same time in a dreadful manner; and, as if this was not enough to satisfy her more than brutal disposition, the child continuing its cries, she caught it up and held its face to a hot fire, and thus scorched the child to death in her own hands burning its face to a cinder, she then threw it in the cave in the cellar. [p. 16: Anonymous, Narrative and Confessions of Lucretia P. Cannon (1841), New York.]

1874 – Henrietta WeibelNew York, N. Y., USA – age 13 at time of apprehension. (1 death & 1 attempt)

One murder, another attempted. She stated she had a mania for setting fires and burning babies.

1906 – Lillian B. Thornman – York, Pennsylvania, USA – age 15 at time of apprehension. (4 deaths; 2 attempts)

Lillian B. Thornman, a thirteen-year-old girl, fatally burned the three-year-old child of Robert Dorsey of York, Pennsylvania. The girl, who was employed to do light work around the house literally fried the child was writhing and screaming in its agony an aunt entered the room and rescued it, but the child had been roasted from head to foot and cannot live. The servant girl in jail tonight confessed that she had fatally burned three other children in a similar manner, giving their parents the impression that they had fallen on the stove accidentally while climbing to reach something. [edited from linked source]

1903 – Elisabeth Wiese – St. Pauli (Hamburg), Germany

Some of the victims had been poisoned, and others burned.

1904 – Elizabeth Ashmead – Philadelphia, Pa., Melville, NJ, Wilmington, De., USA

“Stories of babies taken from unconscious mothers and thrust into the red hot coals of a cellar furnace were told before Coroner Dugan, Wednesday, according to a Philadelphia special to the Boston Herald at the inquest into the deaths of Sarah Hughes and Mary B. Sloan, who are alleged to died as the result of illegal operations.”

1906 – Eleonore Vauthier Chartier – Quartier Vivienne, Paris, France

“The Paris newspapers report a horrible discovery in a maternity house kept by a midwife near the National library. According to the Journal, the police commissary of the Vivienne quarter found a stove built into one of the walls of the establishment in which newly-born infants were cremated.

1907 – Mrs. Fred West (Clara West) – Des Moines, Iowa, USA

“Babies have been burned at the West baby farm before they were dead --  thrown into the furnace to end their helpless cries” – is a charge which Miss Flora Goble, the chief witness for the prosecution and a former nurse at the home makes.

1911 – Rachel Lynn – Atlanta, Georgia, USA

“Chief of Detectives Lanford charges that Mrs. Lynn used fiendish cunning in killing the babes by strangling them to death with cords, by piercing their heads with sharp iron instruments and burning them alive in red hot stoves and grates.”

1920 – Dagmar Overbye – Copenhagen, Denmark

“Overbye was working as a professional child caretaker, caring for babies born outside of marriage, murdering her own charges. She strangled them, drowned them or burned them to death in her masonry heater. The corpses were either cremated, buried or hidden in the loft.” [Wikipedia]



1890 – Marianne Skoublinska – Warsaw, Poland

The woman baby-farmer, Stysinski, who is believed to have disposed of seventy-five babies during the last few years, has just been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Her baby farm, or rather graveyard, became known to the police a month ago through her setting fire to her cottage, containing five little children, in order to obtain the amount of the insurance on her property. At the trial it was proved that not a single child which was entrusted to her care and entered her den ever left her house alive.

1941 – Felícitas Sánchez Aguillón (or Sánchez Neyra) – Mexico City, Mexico

Felícitas Sánchez Aguillón or Sánchez Neyra (1890 - June 16, 1941) was a Mexican nurse, midwife, baby farmer and serial killer, active during the 1930s in Mexico City, who killed babies in her care. It is estimated that Felícitas murdered children in numbers ranging from between 40 and nearly a hundred. Her victims were aged from newborn to three years old. Typically she would poison or strangle the children, according to some reports sometimes she would dismember a child while still living. Felícitas was given various sobriquets by the Mexican press, such as "The Ogress of Colonia Roma", "The Female Ripper of Colonia Roma" and "The Human Crusher of little angels."

She dismembered the bodies and incinerated them. Dosing the flesh with gasoline before throwing them in the large furnace she had installed for that purpose, and in other cases she would flush the body parts down the toilet.



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