Saturday, January 31, 2015

Clarissa, South Carolina Serial Killer – 1855

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): The Columbia (S. C.) Times, of Saturday, publishes the following extract: from a letter, from a “perfectly reliable source,” in relation to Clarissa, who is sentenced to be hung for poisoning the child of Colonel Wilson. It is a fearful revelation [of] crime.

Yorkville, Sept. 20, 1855. – The negro Clarissa was tried on Tuesday and found guilty of the charge of murder, by poisoning Col. Wilson’s child. She confessed that she had also poisoned two children for Mr. McCully, and one for Mr. Marshall of Newberry, and probably one for Mr. Berry. She also confessed that she had prepared poison as often as three times for Mrs. Wilson her late mistress. She also stated that there is now a poisoner in Columbia, and that there is an old lady there, who she has not named, that is now kept in bed by poison, administered by her servant. She has proven herself so be devil on earth. Every day she is making more confessions.

[“The Negro Murderess Of Yorkville And Colombia – Poisoning.” The Tri-Weekly Commercial (Wilmington, N. C.), Sept. 27, 1855, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2): Clarissa, the colored girl that poisoned Col. W. B. Wilson’s little daughter, was hung at Yorkville, S. C., on the 2nd inst.

[Untitled, The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, La.), Nov. 13, 1855, p. 1]

Wilson child
Mrs. Wilson
McCully, 2 children
Berry, child, “probably” (?)



More cases: Female Serial Killers Executed


For more cases of this category, see: Female Serial Killers of 19th Century America


The Verdict That Shocked Paris: Jeanne Fabre-Bulle - 1930

FULL TEXT: Paris, Dec. 12 – After two score women slayers have gone free or escaped with very light sentences in the Paris courts on the plea of “crime of passion” during the past few months, a jury of men has acted with sternness and sent an elegant middle-aged killer to 20 years of hard labor.

Mme. Fabre Bulle dignified, fashionably dressed wife of a wealthy clock maker, used all her feminine wiles in the dock to win the sympathy of the court, but she had committed a horrible double murder and her method was harsh and premeditated. The usual appeal of having been swept away by love fell flat.

Evidence showed that this woman, at the age of 48, bought a revolver and took lessons in marksmanship before she set to work on her victims.

A curious aspect of the case was the fact that for 20 years Mme. Fabre Bulle had been a loyal, faithful wife. The impulse for flirtation came to her while riding in a subway She was then 43 and she made the acquaintance of  Joseph. Merle, a well-to-do business man who was 12 years her junior. They fell in love and the woman deserted her husband, although Merle told her that he was living with Mme. Julliard, sweetheart of 49.

~ Killed for Love ~

When the new love failed to defeat the old, Mme. Fabre Bulle sought to outshine her rival by moving into the Merle household. This went on for some time, with, both women seeking favor without any apparent advantage. Finally, with determined cruelty, the new-comer shot and killed Merle while he was asleep, and then turned her fire on her rival.

“He promised to break with her and he had begged me to divorce my husband,” said Mme. Fabre Bulle when she was asked in court for an explanation of her act. She kept her head bowed, but tried to use her attractive eyes with mournful effect, though her attitude during the trial was one of patient boredom. Some women slayers had put it over and she, with wealth and distinction, seemed to feel secure. After describing the double killing she said:

“Why should I say any more since no one will believe? I tried to kill myself but the trigger was caught and nothing happened I wandered about the place not knowing what to do next.”

~ Husband Testified ~

Evidence showed that she had fled to her husband’s home, but she could not arouse the servants. Scantily dressed, she wandered about the woods during the night, and in the morning stumbled into a police station, barefoot and tired. Medical evidence revealed that both victims might have been saved if an alarm had been given in time. This gave the fair accused a chance to fall in a faint.

When the husband was called to the stand he begged the court to try to understand him. He said:

“I am overwhelmed, but I must emphasize that for 20 years this unfortunate woman was devoted and respectable wife. What happened? What mysterious force dragged her into this gulf it is a mystery. “I am divorced now. She is only a stranger to me. What she did was so unbelievable, so difficult to understand. She was the last person in the world I would have expected to enact such a tragedy. She herself closed the door of her home and never opened it again.”

The jury deliberated for less than an hour and found the woman guilty on every point raised. They agreed to “extenuating circumstances,” which saved her from a sentence to death in addition, she was fined 220,000 francs, which will go to relatives of her victims. When she heard the verdict, Mme. Fabre Bulle fainted again, but this time she did a very serious job of it.

[Minott Saunders, “Crime of ‘Passion’ Plea Fails to Influence Jury - After Freeing Many Women Slayers, Paris Court Turns on Wealthy Woman Who Killed Her Lover and Rival,” syndicated, The Springfield Leader (Mo.), Dec. 12, 1930, p. 12]



For more on this topic, see Chivalry Justice Checklist & Links


Zhang Zongqin, Chinese Female Serial Killer - 2006

Zhang Zongqin - 张宗钦


Chongqing, China – In April 2006, in Chongqing’s Fuling District, villagers noticed that Yang Renyou, a man who died of what was considered a mysterious disease that had long plagued the area had marks on his neck indicating he had been strangled. Investigation showed that he had also been poisoned – by his wife, Zhang Zongqin, 36.

As police built their case against the husband-killer, evidence revealed that they had a serial killer case on their hands. Over a period of 14 years, 1992-2006, the woman had murdered 6 others, had injured an additional 27 and had even poisoned livestock. It was these mysterious animal deaths that led locals to think some disease was plaguing the locale.

According to the prosecutor, Zhang Zongqin’s motivation was usually revenge – getting even with others over trifling slights. In one instance she attempted to murder four of her in-laws (bothers- and sisters-in-law) who, following her arrest, she claimed were “not nice” to her and had “made her lose face.” One of them died from poisoning. She was upset that one of her second husband’s friends failed to invite her to dinner. She is accused of murdering him and also her husband’s parents in 2003. It is reported that they died only after a series of failed attempts.

Her first husband was named He. They had two daughters. The wife killed the 2-year-old in 1993 and a 1-year-old in 1993. The couple were divorced in 1995. Prosecutors say that in 1997, she poisoned a 12-year-old nephew with rat poison, but we was saved by medical attention.

The total count of Zhang Zongqin’s victims is thought to be 34: 7 successful murders plus 27 “injuries.”

[Robert St. Estephe; based on: “Woman charged with 7 murders in Chongqing,” Shanghai Daily, Aug. 9, 2006]


FULL TEXT: China News Service, August 8. -- According to Chongqing Daily, 36-year-old Chongqing woman Zhang Zongqin's crime of poisoning her husband Yang Renyou was revealed, uncovering a shocking case of 14 years of continuous poisoning and killing many people, and cracked the country for many years. The mystery of "strange disease": In the past 14 years, Zhang Zongqin has poisoned people many times, causing 7 deaths, poisoning countless poultry and livestock, and causing 27 people to be poisoned to varying degrees. The dead also included Zhang Zongqin's two biological daughters. Experts in medicine, agriculture, and even radioactive substances failed to find out the cause. The villagers had to believe that there was a problem with the local "feng shui", and that people and animals were infected with the intractable "sow madness".

In the summer of 1997, Yang Renyou's 12-year-old nephew fell ill and was rescued and cured in time. From the winter solstice of 1999 to the beginning of 2002, the eldest and daughter-in-law of the Yang family suffered from the disease many times. Because of this, the eldest brother became delirious, ran out of the mental hospital, and died in the suburbs. In the meantime, the second daughter of the Yang family and the second daughter-in-law also suffered from strange diseases. After being rescued, they did not dare to stay at home, so they went to Guangzhou to work, and then they recovered. From the end of 2001 to the beginning of 2003, Yang Renyou's parents also fell ill many times. In early 2003, his father died, and seven days later, his mother also died. In the 5 houses in the same compound as the Yang family, people, poultry and livestock are also sick.

"During that time, the Yang family and several nearby families invited people to dance to the gods, and they killed many chickens to worship the gods," the villagers said. In order to find out the cause, the township government invited a professor from the Southwest Hospital to give Zhang Zongqin's family a physical examination. They also sampled and analyzed the soil, vegetables, water flow and even the walls around their house. No problems were found. Later, the township government invited experts from the district health bureau to check the radioactive material, but no problems were found.

The villagers began to think that there was a "feng shui problem" and demanded relocation. In 2001, the township government vacated an abandoned factory building for six family members who were sick. At the end of 2003, the township government relocated the six families to the main street. So far, the strange disease shrouded in the heads of the six families has disappeared.

On March 23 this year, Yang Renyou, who went to work in Guangzhou, returned home. At around 4 pm the next day, his wife Zhang Zongqin burst into tears and told the neighbors that her husband was dying of illness. Neighbors found Yang Renyou with obvious strangulation marks on his neck on the way to the hospital, so they reported the case to the local police station. On April 6, Yang Renyou died due to ineffective rescue. After identification, Yang Renyou died of tetramine poisoning, and his neck suffered mechanical violence before his death. The police identified Zhang Zongqin as suspected of committing a major crime and strengthened his interrogation. Amazing truth! Zhang Zongqin explained that Yang Renyou was poisoned by her. After the poisoning attacked, Yang Renyou kept getting angry, and she strangled him with a rope. She had previously poisoned six people, including her two biological daughters.

After two psychiatric identifications and re-autopsy of many deceased, the police finally settled the case of Zhang Zongqin, who was completely normal, poisoning seven people. "As long as anyone says something she doesn't like to hear, she may be poisoned." Yesterday, the Fuling District Procuratorate officially transferred Zhang Zongqin's murder case to the Third Branch of the Chongqing Municipal Procuratorate for prosecution.

Zhang Zongqin, 36, is from Xinle Village, Longtan Town, Fuling District. At the age of 18, Zhang Zongqin married He Mou from a neighboring village. After Zhang gave birth to his daughter, He and his parents were very dissatisfied because of the patriarchal ideology. When my daughter was two years old, she could not stand with her legs and was diagnosed as disabled by the hospital. In order to treat their daughter's illness, the couple often quarrel over money. Zhang Zongqin decided to kill her daughter, "Less burden, I will have a son in the future." In the early summer of 1992, she poisoned her daughter. Later, Zhang Zongqin lied to her husband and said, "My daughter fell off the bed and died." In 1993, after the second child gave birth to a daughter, Zhang Zongqin was completely desperate. In 1994, she poisoned her second daughter. She also decided to poison He Moutong to death, but was unsuccessful.

In 1995, Zhang Zongqin sued the court for divorce. In court, she said that she had poisoned He and wanted to kill him, which proved that the relationship between the two had been completely broken. But at that time, everyone thought that Zhang Zongqin was just "speaking anger". After the divorce, Zhang Zongqin was introduced to marry Yang Renyou, a man from Xincun Township. At the end of 1996, Zhang gave birth to his third daughter. But Yang Renyou treats his wife very well and listens to her in everything.

According to Zhang Zongqin's confession, he poisoned his 12-year-old nephew Yang Chuan because he often made his daughter cry. The second brother and the second sister-in-law have been poisoned four times, because they "have not treated me well, and I will punish them." The elder brother and sister-in-law annoyed herself because of the trivial matters of life, so she has been poisoned five times. I poisoned my father-in-law and mother-in-law 4 times because they once criticized themselves for being too domineering at home.

Zhang Zongqin also explained the reason for the poisoning of her husband: At the end of 2005, Yang Renyou proposed to have another son. After Zhang Zongqin objected, Yang soon proposed to go to Guangzhou to work, and Zhang Zongqin objected again. Just after the New Year in 2006, he insisted on going to Guangzhou, but within a week, he called and said he wanted to go home. Zhang Zongqin objected again: "If you can't find the money, you have to come back. That's not good." Despite his wife's objection, Yang Renyou came back a month later. Bai Yi Baishun's husband violated his wishes many times, and Zhang Zongqin decided to clean him up.

Zhang Zongqin explained that on January 23, 2002, when she visited her husband who was working at the Red Brick Factory in Longtan Town, she also poisoned her husband's co-workers Chen and Wang Jie. Because they invited Yang Renyou out to dinner, but did not invite Zhang Zongqin to go with them, "They don't give me face." Later, Chen escaped and Wang Jie died. After the police station intervened to investigate the matter, the masses reported that the workers of the brick factory had been stealing cabbage from nearby farmers, and they suspected that the dissatisfied vegetable farmers had poisoned the cabbage. The speculation diverted the police's investigation line of sight, and Zhang Zongqin escaped the attack again.

"There is no one who hates the most. Poisoning and killing people is because others look down on me." Zhang Zongqin said that she has poisoned water tanks, meals, vegetable fields, chicken food and even pigsties. For fear of being discovered, she only casts a small amount of poison each time. (Xiao Yuliangjieying and Chengcheng).

[Li Shuguo,“Poisoning husband and daughter snake and scorpion peasant woman in 14 years caused 7 deaths and 27 poisoning,” China News, Aug. 8, 2006]



1992 – Daughter with He (ex-husband), 2, died.
1993 – Daughter with He (ex-husband), 1, died.
1997 – nephew, 12, poisoned, survived.
Year? – two brothers-in-law and two sisters-in-law, 1 death
Year? – mother-in law (Yang), died.
Year? – father-in law (Yang), died.
Year? – friend of Yang, died.
2006 – Yang Renyou, second husband, died.

Chongqing -  
Fuling District - 涪陵区 
Yang Renyou - 杨仁