“I myself have cut the throats of six women,” she began. “My first victim was called Hanem. I leaned over Hanem as if to whisper in her ear. Soon after death had passed.”
“After a throat-cutting or smothering we took off the jewellery and searched for the valuables, which were divided. I had to look sharp to make sure I was not cheated out of my share.”
“If they take him out of the ground twenty different times, American doctors cannot discover that.” [referring to the poison she used to murder her victim, Andrew Allas, 16-years-old.]
“Why don’t you get a doctor?” George Allas Jr. demanded of his stepmother.
“They didn't even look like people... I didn't relate to Sharon Tate as being anything but a store mannequin... [Tate] sounded just like an IBM machine... She kept begging and pleading and pleading and begging [for the life of her unborn child], and I got sick of listening to her, so I stabbed her.”
►Babita – Gurgaon, India – (2008)
Deputy Commissioner of Police Jagdish Nagar said the accused admitted to have killed 6-year-old Sunny on October 10 as she couldn’t “bear the hue and cry the boy would made.” However, she said she didn’t kill the other children.
Barfield, describing her preparation to murder her mother: “While I waited for my prescription at the drugstore, I walked around and looked at things. I saw some ant and roach poison in a clear plastic bottle. I don’t remember thinking about what I would do next. But somewhere inside me, I must have already conceived of the plan. I had done it once, even though I had blotted it out of my memory.” (V, 208)
“I would like to share the last thing she said to me,” Wade Holder, a friend of Barfield, told reporters. “With radiance in her face, she said, ‘Wade, when I go into that gas chamber at 2 a.m., it’s my gateway to heaven.’”
“We weren’t afraid of being arrested because I carried a ‘voodoo,’ which protected us from all punishment.” [“Forty Hideous Murders Charged to Negress, Who Says She Sought To Gain Immortality; Strange Woman Heads ‘Church of Sacrifice,’” The Cincinnati Enquirer (Oh.), Apr. 3, 1912, p. 1]
“Everybody hates me. That’s why I am charged with being a poisoner,” exclaimed the accused.
“There is a hole in my memory.”
►Marie Besnard – Paris, France – Known as “Queen of Poisoners” and has having committed “the perfect crime.” She is suspected of having murdered 12 persons. (1949)
► Juanita Carr – Fossil, Oregon – murdered 3 of her own children (1950)
Dukek said Mrs. Carr gave no specific reason for having killed the children except that “at times she didn’t like them.”
► Mary Chalfa – Munhall, Pa. – Murdered numerous children for insurance money, attempted to murder child relative using a blackjack, but she survived, causing the investigation which uncovered serial killings involving accomplices Anna Allas and Gizelle Young. (1932)
“Those dumb Coroners don’t know where to look for poison.”
“While my victim was drinking an elixir I had prepared, I got an axe, placed myself behind my victim and, summoning my strength, struck the back of her neck – a rattle, nothing else. … It was a master stroke that almost beheaded her.” [from the murderess’s published autobiography]
► Anna Cunningham – Crown Point, Indiana – Murdered her husband, three teenaged children, and attempted to murder another, who survived but was partially crippled (1925)
► Johnanna Dennehy – Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England – A vicious thrill killer who only went after men, using a knife. She murdered 4 and wounded two. One of her victims was stabbed 40 times. (2013)
“I want to do nine.” (referencing the number of murders committed by Bonnie and Clyde.)
Mrs. Doss confessed has poisoned Mr. Doss by putting “a lot of poison on his prunes. …He sure did like prunes,” she said. “I fixed a whole box and he ate them all. ”After eating them he went to the hospital for 23 days.
“Poor, poor Arlie. You know what he said to me before he breathed his last? ‘Nannie,’ he said, ‘Nannie, it must have been the coffee.’”
►Amelia Dyer – Caversham (near Reading), England – baby-killer for hire and bogus foster parent; hundreds of babies murdered (1896)
“After I got a baby something seemed to say in my ears, ‘Get rid of it.’”
►Nora Scuders Edwards – Missouri – murdered 3 husbands and a daughter (1929)
“Why, I was reared in the Christian church. I never did give poison to anybody. I wasn’t brought up that way.”
“If these doses don’t get him, nothing else will.”
► Sachiko Eto – Sukagawa, Japan –murdered 6 persons in cult rituals (1995)
Early on in the proceedings, Mrs. Carina Favato, a 45-year-old housewife, stopped her trial by dramatically pleading guilty on the witness stand to killing her husband, her stepson and a husband’s friend by feeding them arsenic at breakfast. “I might as well get this over with. Let them send me to the chair. What have I got to live for?”
► Julia Fortemyer – St. Louis, Missouri – murdered a large number of babies (1875)
“God wants us to be married,” Melissa wrote to Robert Friedrich, the second man she was to marry, rob and murder.
►Irina Gaidamachuk –Russia – murdered 17 women (2012)
►Helen Golay – Santa Monica, California – with her friend, Olga Rutterschmidt, murdered two homeless men and planned to murder a third; life insurance scam (2008)
►Betty Jo Green – Athens, Georgia, USA– 2 murders (husband, sister-in-law) & 2 attempted murders (daughter, fiance) (1984)
“Betty Jo Green of Athens, Alabama, only killed an ex-husband and a sister-in-law, but her legal defense wins the prize. Green claimed "she had another woman living in the left side of her body." She, or they, were convicted anyway and are serving a life term in the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women.” Forgotten Tales of Alabama, The History Press, 2013]
►Dana Sue Gray – Canyon Lake, California – murdered 3 women, attempted a fourth (1994)
►Annie Hauptrief – San Marcos, Texas – murdered 4 step-children, one husband and attempted to murder a second husband, crippling him (1924)
When confronted with the display of the containers she stored poison in, Mrs. Hauptrief said “I suppose you want me to tell you about the poisoning of my husband.”
“As I did not commit any crime, (it was by the persecution of the medical profession that I am here) I cannot give any account of it.” ... “I intend to get on the stand and show up that bunch. They’ve been playing checkers but it’s my move. I’ll show them a thing or two when I get on the stand.” [source: Gregg Olsen, Starvation Heights: A Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest, 1997, p. 400]
► Emma Heppermann – Wentzville, Missouri, USA – Had 7 husbands, murdered several of them and possibly several children (1940)
“I would sit on the balcony and talk to them in the flowerpots,” she told police before the trial.
► Ella Holdridge – Tonawanda, New York – A would-have-been serial killer: a girl of 14 years whose morbid passion for seeing death and funerals has led her to kill one of her playmates and cause the serious illness three others by poison. (1892)
► Hélène Jégado – Ille-et-Vilaine, France – murdered 43 persons (1851)
“I am a wretched creature; wherever I go people die.”
“It [murdering people] gave me a sense of power, which I enjoyed.”
“[I felt] excited by it [blood], rubbing myself in it and bathing in it after killing a victim and I even drank it when it was still warm.”
► Chisako Kakehi – Kyoto, Japan – Murdered 6 men, 4 husbands and 2 paramours (2014)
“I killed my husband,” Ms Kakehi said from the witness stand on Monday. “I have no intention of hiding the guilt. I will laugh it off and die if I am sentenced to death tomorrow,” [“‘Black Widow’ confesses to killing fourth husband,” New York Times, Jul 12, 2017]
This once beautiful woman, who was condemned to death a few days ago for having murdered her husband and only son, came to the Court in the custody of gendarmes. She was also in a her finery, After taking the oath, she turned upon the cringing figure in the dock [Maria Varga], and cried, “You know your statements about Suzanne Fazekas. All we villagers know that if Aunt Suzanne entered the house, it signified unavoidable death. Everybody knew Suzanne’s profession. She led astray all the women in the village. Whenever she darkened the door of a village home, some unwanted man or woman soon died.” I heard you promise the midwife 500 weights of wheat if she killed your husband.”
Sharon Kinne’s testimony telling the story of how, according to the murder defendant, her 2-year-old daughter fatally shot her husband, the first of the three murders she ultimately was accused of: “Then I heard Danna in the bedroom. She was saying ‘Show me this, Daddy, show me this.’ just as she had done several times before with several toys, and I heard a shot. I guess it was a shot.” I went into the bedroom and Danna was standing there and James was lying there and I saw the blood and I thought he was dead. I picked Danna up and put her on the couch and called James’ father.”
“I’ve shot men before and managed to get out of it.”
“Mrs. Klimek did not show any grief at all. She used to joke about her husband’s sickness, and, after he was buried, she told how she grabbed him by the ears as he lay in his coffin and said to him ‘You old devil, you’ll never get up again to bother me.’”
“The next meal I cook is going to be for you – you have caused all my trouble.”
“Placed as I am now within a few hours of my death, I express a strong desire that this statement be made public, with the hope that my fall will not only be a warning to others, but also act as a deterrent to those who are perhaps carrying on the same practice. I now desire to state that upon the charges known in evidence as Number 1 & 2 babies, I confess to be guilty.”
Christa Lehmann, sobbing “I was mean, I was so mean,” confessed at her murder trial today that she poisoned her husband and father-in-law and then begged her own father to commit suicide and take the blame. [“Woman Admits Poisoning Husband, Father-In-Law,” Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Fl.), Sep. 21, 1954, p. 7]
“Through the strange powers given me by God, I knew that my second husband, William Lindloff and my two children, Alma and Arthur were going to die. I had visions, in which I saw three caskets, side by side. I could see the faces of my husband in one while the others seemed to contain all that I hold dear to me: two children. I was afraid – fearful of the powers of the great unknown, but stoically awaited my portion of fate and when the time came when I was accused, I, a warm hearted mother, of the horrible, unthinkable and unnatural crime of murdering my own child, I was not astounded. I met my fortune calmly as one who has known and understands. But to think, that I, his mother, would harm a hair of my poor boy’s head is more than shameful. It is inhuman.
From the trial testimony:
►Mary McKnight – Kalkaska, Michigan – confessed to 3 murders, and suspected of 8 others (1903)
►Catherine Miller – Fredericksburg, Pa. – murdered 4 family members (1904)
► Josephine Ellen Molloy – Maryborough, Queensland, Australia – murdered three newborns over a period of years (1953)
“Oh, no! Not That!” screamed Mrs. Josephine Ellen Molloy from the dock of Brisbane Criminal Court on Wednesday when she was sentenced to life imprisonment for the wilful murder of her child.
► Robin Murphy –Fall River, Massachusetts, USA – with her pimp, she murdered 3 prostitutes (1980)
Miss Marsden was beaten to death with a rock before her throat was slit, her body mutilated her neck in a swampy woodland in Westport in February 1980. Witness Robin Murphy, 17, who Monday testified she was present during the murders of the two woman and a third prostitute, said Tuesday she participated in Miss Marsden’s murder while in a trance-like state. . . . “I wouldn’t do anything like that to Karen,” Miss Murphy told her the crowded courtroom. “I loved her. I did it, yes, but not because I wanted to.” . . . Miss Murphy testified . . . that Drew broke Miss Marsden’s neck, ordered her to slit the woman’s throat, then tore the head from the body with his bare hands. After the murder, Miss Murphy said she went to Miss Fletcher’s home where she “ate some chicken, drank a beer and smoked a joint.”► Edith Murray – Cleveland, Ohio – suspected of murdering 3 husbands and 2 of her own children (1922)
“I was only an innocent dealer in harmless herbs.”
►Marie Noe – Philadelphia – murdered 8 of her own children before they reached the age of 2 years (1998)
► Kate Painter – Pittsburg, Pennsylvania – suspected of murdering 2 husbands.
► Martha Petromany – Knees (Knez; Satchinez), Temesvar, Romania ("Hungary") – very large number of poisonings (1906)
►Isabel Cristina Pires da Silveira – Garanhuns, Pernambuco State, Brazil – murdered and cannibalized 3-10 women for cultic reasons. (2012)
► Anujka de Poshtonja (Anna Pistova, Baba Anujka) – Vladimirovac, Yugoslavia (Serbia) – Sold poison for the murder of primarily husbands to women for 50 years before being arrested at the age of 90. She was known as “The Witch of Vladimirovac.” (1928)
“If it [the poison she sold] was good enough to kill Gaja Marinkov it will do for anyone.”
►Eliza Potegian – Fresno, Ca. – murdered husband and step-daughter (1923)
► Marie Emilie Raymond – Galan, Hautes-Pyrénées, France – serial killer nurse (1952)
“I love looking at dying people. The last smile on a dying face gives me a great thrill.”
She also had a rake because, “I love raking freshly filled graves.”
► Betsy Reese – Arcadia, Florida – She served time for the murder of one husband and is suspected of murdering another one as well as 7 children, aged 2 through 8. (1967)
“I did it. Lord forgive me,” (The is a reference to the murder by poisoning of 7 children at a single meal. The statement was made in her old age, while the children’s father, who had been framed and convicted of the crime, still languished in prison).
► Tamara Samsonova – St. Petersburg, Russia – suspected of murdering, dismembering, and perhaps cannibalizing up to 14 victims (2015)
When Samsonova appeared in court in the opening week of August, 2015 to face the first charges to be made against her, the murder of her friend Ulanova, the prisoner declared to Judge Roman Chebotaryov: “I was getting ready for this court action for dozens of years. It was all done deliberately. With this last murder I closed the chapter.” He replied: “I am asked to arrest you. What do you think?” Her answer was: “You decide, your honor. I am guilty and I deserve a punishment.”
“After the death of my little daughter, Minnie,” the poison slayer said. “I had a feeling of elation and happiness. Then, after I got to thinking about what I had done, I was afraid and tried to hide it. I had the same feeling after the death of every one of those I poisoned.”
“We [Della and husband, Joe] had a quarrel, a bad quarrel, one day. I had it in for him. After he died and I came to, I was sorry for what I had done and wished I had never done it.” [Michael Newman, Bad Girls Do It!: An Encyclopedia of Female Murderers, Loompanics Ltd., 1993, p. 159]
“I had feelings which would steal over me at times forcing me to destroy and kill. I felt funny and happy. I like to attend funerals.”
“Mrs. Cooper was always running down my reputation and to get even with her, I decided to kill three of her children.” [Michael Newman, Bad Girls Do It!: An Encyclopedia of Female Murderers, Loompanics Ltd., 1993, p. 160]
“I put strychnine in some chocolate candy and gave it to the Knott children because their father stole my wine and I felt like I wanted to get even with him.” (signed confession) [“Killer of Seven Sent to Asylum,” The Lincoln Star (Nebraska), April 20, 1925, pages 1 – 2]
► Anna Louise Sullivan – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – murdered husband and step-son; another husband and 2 step-children survived (1939)
Referring to her boarders whom she murdered: “I was just good to them,” she said, “and they expressed their appreciation by taking out the policies.” Later she said she had paid most of the premiums.
► Maria Swanenburg (Van der Linden) – poisoned over a hundred persons, permanently crippling many.
Suspected of having committed around 90 murders.
She [Van der Linden, or, Swanenberg] went the length of marking down her victims beforehand. “It will be your turn in a month,” she openly told one man, who had been bemoaning the sudden death of a relative. The month passed, and this man was carried to his grave. [pp. 311-2; Arthur Griffiths, Mysteries of Police and Crime: A General Survey of Wrongdoing and Its Pursuit, Volume 2, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, N. Y. 1899]
Lillian Thorman's confession contained this remarkable statement: “I am a devil and I will burn them.”
►Marybeth Tinning – Schenectady, New York – murdered her own children, 9 of them (1985)
“This my ambition: to have killed more people, more helpless people, than any man or woman has ever killed.” (P. 146)
“Don’t blame me, blame my nature. I can’t change what was meant to be, can I?”
“Then came the wait. I would have to watch and watch and watch as the pupils contracted, and, at the right moment then inject the atropine and watch and watch until the pupils were again wide and vacant. This was hard, precise work, all of it. I had to dose the patients slowly, a littloe at a time. It tyook days, sometimes weeks to kill them.” (Nash, 367)
►Francoise Trenque – Arronede, Mirande Dept. (Gers Dept.), France – murdered father, mother, brother; permanently injured sister; poisoned other brother, who recovered. (1829)
“I alone am guilty of the crimes of which I have been condemned. The old woman whom I accused is innocent. I wanted to save my head and lied.”
“If you say anything about me doing anything wrong to Fritz I’ll have you put in jail,” the woman warned him. “And if your wife says anything I’ll have her put in jail, too. Your brother died of typhoid pneumonia. The certificate says he did.”
“There’s a baker with a lot of money I could marry if I wanted to do,” she said, “and I would if I thought he would be dead in a week”
►Lise Jane Turner – Christchurch, New Zealand – 2 own babies, 1 other baby & 4 other attempts (1984)
“I kept insurance policies on most of my boarders,” she said, “because that is the way my people do. We want a good funeral. There must be flowers and lodge members. I gave everyone a fine funeral.”
“It’s just as surprising to me as to anybody, that arsenic was found in the bodies of my son and Mr. Smith,” declared Louise Vermilya.
“I do not believe a jury of women would do me justice. I should insist on being tried by men.”
“Let’s give him some laudanum and put him out of his misery.”
“I did not poison all of them at one time for fear I would be found out, so I thought I would poison them one month apart, then no one would suspect me.”
► Elisabeth Wiese – Hamburg, Germany – Baby farmer, murdered numerous babies; thought to have burned some alive; superstitious (1904)
”Children’s blood and the blood of white doves brings good luck.”
►Catherine Wilson – London, England – Murdered two husbands, and employer, robbed defrauded, and murdered female fiends and murdered her own children. (1862)
The longer she nursed [her victims], the sicker they got. ‘Drink it up dear; it will do you good,’ she was reported to have insisted as one friend resisted a glass of sulphuric acid.
At the registrar’s office where she had to record her husband’s deaths, Mrs. Wilson joked: “There should be a discount for me."
At her wedding reception, for her third marriage, a friend asked her what she was going to do with the large number of sandwiches and cakes that were left over. Her reply: “Keep them for the funeral.”
“Men like me, and I like men,” Mrs. Wilson explained during the course of her trial.
“I robbed ‘em and I killed ‘em, as cold as ice.” (from video interview)
►Lila Gladys Young – Fairfax, Nova Scotia, Canada – Child care provider, child trafficker who murdered hundreds of babies (1936)
When asked how she could cause such suffering to her acquaintances, she said that she couldn’t bear to look at their healthy, happy faces and wanted to seen them writhe in pain. She added that if undetected she would have gone on poisoning men, women and children indiscriminately for many years, that she had a compulsion to kill. (D, 19)
“D”: Carol Anne Davis, Women Who Kill: Profiles of Female Serial Killers, Allison and Busby (London), 2001
“N”: Nash, Robert Jay, Look for the Woman: A Narrative Encyclopedia of Female Poisoners, Kidnappers, Thieves, Extortionists, Terrorists, Swindlers and Spies from Elizabethan Times tom the Present, Evans, 1981
“P”: Patricia Pearson, When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence, Viking, 1997
“S”: Harold Schechter, The Serial Killer Files: The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World’s Most Terrifying Murderers, Ballantine Books, 2004
“V”: Peter Vronsky, Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters, Berkley Books, New York, 2007.