Sunday, October 26, 2014

Female Serial Killers Who “Predicted” Their Victims’ Deaths

► 1) To Fulfull a Prophecy

1816 – Susannah Holroyd – Ashton-Under-Line, England

She told her that she had had her fortune read, and that in the course of one week, and within the period of the ensuing six weeks, three funerals would go from her door. She did not delay her destined purpose, however, until the six weeks of the fortune-teller had expired; for in about a month afterwards she went to the shop of a chymist, and purchased an ounce and a half of arsenic, to fulfil the prophecy. [archaic spelling in orig.]

1903 – Anna (Caroline) Przygodda – Allenstein, East Prussia (Germany)

The motives of the murderess remain a mystery, but it is stated that a fortune-teller once informed her that she was destined to have six husbands before attaining happiness with the seventh. It is suggested that the woman shared the superstition common in East Prussia, and got rid of her husbands to fulfil the prophecy.

2) Premonitions of Deaths

Early 1600s – La Toffania & Hieronyma Spara – Italy

In 1659, it was observed, at Rome, that many young married women were left widows, and that many husbands died when they became disagreeable to their wives. It was at length discovered that the mischief proceeded from a society of young married women, whose president, a little old woman, pretended to foretell future events, and who had often predicted, very exactly, many deaths to persons who had cause to wish for them. The old lady’s name was Hieronyina Spara. She was a Sicilian, and had acquired the art from Toffania, at Palermo. She, her assistant and three other women were hung.

1680 – Catherine Deshayes – Paris, France

Wikipedia: During her work as a fortune teller, she noticed the similarities between her customers wishes about their future: almost all wanted to have some one fall in love with them, that some one would die so that they might inherit, or that their spouses would die, so that they might marry some one else. Initially, she told her clients that their will would be true if it was also the will of God. Then, she started to recommend to her clients some action that would make their dreams come true. These actions were initially to visit the church of some particular saint; eventually, she started to sell amulets and recommend magical practices of various kinds. The bones of toads, teeth of moles, Spanish flies, iron filings, human blood and mummy, or the dust of human remains, were among the alleged ingredients of the love powders concocted by La Voisin.

Finally, she started to sell aphrodisiacs to those who wished for people to fall in love with them, and poison to those who wished for some one to die. Her knowledge of poisons was not apparently so thorough as that of less well-known sorcerers, or it would be difficult to account for Louise de La Vallière's immunity. The art of poisoning had become a regular science at the time, having been perfected, in part, by Giulia Tofana, a professional female poisoner in Italy, only a few decades before La Voisin.

She arranged black masses, where the clients could pray to the Devil to make their wishes come true. During at least some of these masses, a woman performed as an altar, upon which a bowl was placed: a baby was held above the bowl, and the blood from it was poured into the bowl. She had a large network of colleagues and assistants, among them Adam Lesage, who performed allegedly magical tasks; the priests Étienne Guibourg and abbé Mariotte, who officiated at the black masses; and poisoners like Catherine Trianon.

1831 – Gesche Gottfried – Bremen, Germany

In the meantime, Gottfried’s proposals were not forthcoming; and, believing him to be withheld by the objections her parents made to the match, on the one hand, and by the consideration of her having a family of children on the other, she thought it was time to remove these obstacles out of his way. She said that her resolution, with respect to her parents, had been fortified by the pious and frequently-expressed wishes of the old people, that neither might long survive the other. She also consulted several other fortune-tellers, who all predicted the mortality that was to ensue amongst her connexions. She made no secret of this prophecy, but, on the contrary, frequently lamented that she knew she was doomed to lose her children and all her relations. She always concluded these communications by pious ejaculations, expressing a most perfect resignation to the will of Providence. "God's will be done! The ways of the Lord are inscrutable, and we must bow to His decrees," &c. [Catherine Crowe, Light and Darkness: or, The Mysteries of Life, Part I - The Poisoners (pp. 23-136), 1850, London: Henry Colburn, Publisher]

1883 – Maria Swanenburg (Van der Linden) – Leiden, Netherlands

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.

1886 – Sarah Jane Robinson – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

“Testimony showed that Annie Freeman was stricken with pneumonia in her home in South Boston. She was gradually improving, but took a turn for the worse after Mrs. Robinson fired her nurse and took sole charge of her sister’s health. Mrs. Robinson had a premonition that her sister would never recover, and, sure enough, Annie died soon after. She convinced Prince Freeman to move his family to her home in Cambridge and few weeks later, one-year-old Elisabeth Freeman died. Mrs. Robinson had another premonition; her dead husband appeared and told her that Prince would soon die. This premonition came true as well.” [“The Massachusetts Borgia,” Murder by Gaslight, online, Mar. 2, 2013]

1900 – Nikola Bettuz – Kissoda, Romania

The fact is that the men were murdered by their own wives or sweet hearts. The instigator of all these heinous crimes is Nikola Bettuz, the seer of the town, who sold the subtle poison with which the murders were committed.

1906 – Rosa Vrzal – Chicago, Illinois, USA

1912 – Louise Lindloff – Chicago, Illinois, USA

While chemical experts are testing bodies of her dead family to prove that they were poisoned with arsenic, Mrs. Lindloff sits serenely studying the events which, she says, the crystal reveals to her. "I can see my family arising to defend me against this cruel charge." She said yesterday. "From the spirit world they come in filmy forms to stand beside me and protect me from my enemies."

The original theory of the police in arresting Mrs. Lindloff was that she committed the murders in order to collect insurance on the victims’ lives. Captain Baer, as the result of the disclosures he says were made yesterday, modifies this by the declaration that vanity contributed to urge the woman to her crimes. He asserts that she deliberately planned her poisonings so as to fit in with her predictions as a seeress and that she killed her victims on a schedule which she made up at her clarvoyant séances.

“The precious material in the ball makes it so valuable,” she tells the police. “I wouldn’t willingly part with it for many times the $500 it cost me. It contains a love teardrop shed by Cleopatra, the Egyptian Queen. That one drop permits me to read the past and the future. When I gaze into the ball the teardrop expands, and before me I see what will happen in future years. With it I could read and avoid the machinations of my enemies. I place my hope on safety in it, and must have it.”

Since the exhumations of the revelations attending them, persons have come forward with the the statement that several of the Lindloffs died on the dates predicted for their deaths by Mrs. Lindloff as a seeress, and this has led to the theory that she committed the murders to uphold her reputation in her “profession.”

1912 – Frieda Trost – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Summoned to Philadelphia, the bother-in-law told his story. He told of the time when Frieda’s second baby was born, Frieda had said that the spirits had told her that the baby would not live a week. And the next day the baby died.

1922 – Tillie Klimek – Chicago, Illinois, USA

"Tillie Klimek (or Tillie Gburek) (born 1876-1936) was an American serial killer. She poisoned in turn her husbands John Mitkiewicz, John Ruskowski, Frank Kupszcyk, Joseph Guszkowski, and Anton Klimek, as well as three neighborhood children and others. She became known as a fortune-teller, for predicting their deaths in advance. She also had sex with all of them before she killed them." Source:

1932 – Anna Allas, Mary Chalfa & Gizella Young Allas  Munhall, Pennsylvania, USA

Mary, he said, visited his home so frequently at one time that he protested to his wife. She answered, Young said:

“Oh, that’s all right. I just told her fortune,”

“What was it?” Young said he then asked and his wife replied:

“Well, she’s having a lot of trouble with her husband, so I told her to insure him and he would die in three months.”

Trial of the two women lasted two weeks and was featured by the testimony of Mrs. Gizella Young, an alleged fortune teller, that the women came to her for “card readings” as to when the two boys would die. The defendants built their case around a claim that anything they had done was done while under Mrs. Young’s “spell.”

The women claimed they went to a fortune teller, Mrs. Gazella Young, who immediately put a magic spell on them. They said she would lay out her magic cards, brought from Czecho-slovakia, and predict death for members of their families. Then, they said, she would advise them to take out large insurance policies on their husbands, children and cousins and even go so far as to send insurance men to their homes.

1958 – Anjette Donovan Lyles – Macon, Georgia, USA

“Jackson also remembered Anjette’s prediction that Martha would die within a day or two of entering the hospital.” [Michael Newton, Bad Girls Do It! 1993]

1989 – Maria Aldrete – Matamoros, Mexico

3) Victim who predicted her own murder

1925 – Birdie Strome – New Carlisle, Ohio, USA

The girl died Saturday under mysterious circumstances. It was said she had twice predicted she would die soon, once three weeks ago and the second time the day before her death.

4) Premonition Of Fires

1886 – Harriet Nason – Rutland, Vermont, USA –  “predicted” two fires

Neighbors of Mrs. Nason ascribe to her remarkable powers in the way of prophesying fires. Her house on Grove street, it is said, was burned in accordance with her prediction about three years age. Subsequently she had another fiery vision. This alarmed another family in the same block and a watchman was employed. But the second fire occurred on scheduled time, though not until Mrs. Nason had been notified by the owners of the property to vacate. The popular impression is that Mrs. Nason is afflicted with a most dangerous and insidious form of insanity and that all the results of her secret work are not yet known.

5) Fortune-tellers (without premonitions of victims’ deaths)

1679 – Marie Bosse – Paris, France

Fortune teller and poisoner; burned at the stake May 8, 1679.

1808 – Mary Bateman – Leeds, Yorkshire, England

During the 1780s, Marty Bateman became a minor thief and con artist who often convinced many of her victims she possessed supernatural powers. They called her the “Yorkshire Witch.” By the end of the century, she had become a prominent fortuneteller in Leeds who prescribed potions which she claimed would ward off evil spirits as well as acting as medicine. [Wikipedia]

1868 – Fanny Lambert (Joye) – Marseilles, France

EXCERPT: The fortune-teller, Fanny Lambert, had aided the wives in procuring the poison, and was even charged by the woman Ville with having first instigated her to the crime. The man Joye added the profession of fortune-teller to his trade of herb-seller, and two witnesses who had consulted him as such declared that he had first suggested to them that they were unhappy in their married life, and then offered his services to rid them of their husbands. His method was first to propose supernatural means, and then gradually accustom them to the idea of employing poison. One woman he had instructed to procure a nail from a coffin in a certain cemetery, and to plant it in the ground while pronouncing the name of her husband; he then added, “After that come to me and I will give you something that will do the rest.” The substance which he usually employed was arsenic, of which a large quantity was found concealed in his shop.

1873 – Kate & Katie Bender – Cherry Vale, Kansas, USA

“Kate was the most outgoing of the Benders, and advertised herself as a fortune teller and healer. It was rumored that she and her mother practiced witchcraft. Kate was attractive, and her psychic abilities drew extra customers to the inn, when she wasn't traveling to give lectures on Spiritualism and holding healing services.” [Miss Centania, “The Bloody Benders, America's First Serial Killers, Mantal Floss, Nov. 14, 2013]

1882 – Sophia Ivanovitch & Anna Minity – Melencse, Hungary

It is stated that no fewer than 80 women of the Servo-Magyar village of Melencie are accused of having poisoned their husbands and other near relatives, and that they procured the deleterious stuff from two professional fortune-tellers, Sophia Ivanovitch and Anna Minity, who drove a regular trade in noxious drugs, and earned considerable sums of money thereby.

1924 – Anastasia Permiakova – Perm, Russia

She settled down as a clairvoyant at Perm. She had a huge clientele of women, many of whom mysteriously disappeared. The crimes were undetected till Permiakova called at a solicitor's house and told his beautiful daughter her future. She ordered the girl to bare her neck to see if she had a lucky mark and then murdered her with a hatchet. The police found in the woman's flat ten bloodstained hatchets. Thirteen other accomplices received long sentences.

1941 – Leonarda Cianciulli – Correggio, Reggio Emilia, Italy

Mrs. Cianciulli claimed the power to foretell the future, to hypnotise people, and police believe that her three known victims were so influenced by her as a clairvoyant that she was able to lure them to her neatly kept house, where she murdered them and cut each of their bodies into nine separate sections.


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