Friday, October 30, 2015

Kaethe Hagedorn, 18-year-old Who Murdered a 6-year-old girl and a 9-year-old Boy in a Fit of Homicidal Mania - Germany, 1927

FULL TEXT: Berlin, Jan. 30. – Germany’s most prominent psychiatrists, Prof. Raecke, Dr. Gunderlack and also the famous Prof. Hirshfield have been called into consultation on a murder case to be tried next month at Disberg, which is declared by both criminologists and psychiatrists to be unique in the history of crime. It is strongly reminiscent of the Leopold-Loeb case [because of the element of homosexuality] and is even more remarkable because the defendant. Kaethe Hagedorn, is an 18-year-old girl of a good middle-class family, quiet, pretty and modest, against whom no single witness has anything ill to say, but who has confessed to the brutal murder of two children, 6-year-old Katie Gelsleighter and 9-year-old Freidrich Schaefer.

The murder, which occurred in the woods behind the Duisberg Cemetery, appears to have been committed in an irresponsible frenzy, and the girl herself was unable to recall the details until, during her imprisonment, she cut her own finger, and at the sight of a drop of blood made a full confession. The story reminiscent of the Salome of Oscar Wilde, for Kaethe Hagedorn seems to have been a naive child, driven by fearful unconscious impulses.

Kaethe worked in her father’s grocery store, and was described by the neighbors as modest, exceptionally sensitive to music, and with a passion for Chopin. She seems to have been awakened to a craze for sensation through a woman circus acrobat, much older than herself, with whom she some time ago began a friendship which is believed to have been her undoing.

Her flapper enthusiasm was not taken seriously, however, by her parents or friends. Children adored her, particularly the two unfortunate little ones, who belonged to neighbors.

Although the murder was committed at noon, Kaethe lived calmly and was not suspected during twenty-four hours of lamentations. However, the next day she fled from the city, and this led to her pursuit and capture.

The girl is declared to be the first woman known to have committed murder from sheer urge of the sensation. [Note: This claim is not accurate, of course. Numerous other earlier cases were known and documented, yet overlooked. - RStE] The case is awakening interest among all the students of abnormal psychology, as no other motive can be discovered.

[“Killer Baffles Criminologists – Famed Professors to Study Young Murderess – Berlin Produces Parallel to Leopold-Loeb Case – Girl Soon to Be Tried for Children’s Death,” The Los Angeles Times (Ca.), Jan. 31, 1927, part I, p. 7]


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Collectivist Authoritarianism: Beyond the Fallacious Left-vs-Right Model (“Hitlerite Riot”)

This famous brief text should always be handy, so I’ve posted it here. It is useful when arguing against those who use the simpleminded, and utterly often confusing, left-right model and who have no awareness that the founders of the early-20th century political parties called “right” (Mussolini’s Fascists, Hitler’s National Socialist Workers Party) were in reality merely factions of socialism who competed with other factions of socialism and won. Yet the roots remained the roots.


Beer Glasses Fly When Speaker Compares Hitler and Lenin

New York Times, November 28, 1925, p. 4.

BERLIN. Nov. 27. – The National Socialist-Labor Party, of which Adolf Hitler is patron and father, persists in believing Lenin and Hitler can be compared or contrasted in a party meeting. Two weeks ago an attempted discussion of this subject led to one death, sixty injuries and $5,000 damages to beer glasses, tables, chairs, windows and chandeliers in Chemnitz. Last night, Dr. Göbells tried the experiment in Berlin and only police intervention prevented a repetition of the Chemnitz affair.

On the speaker’s assertion that Lenin was the greatest man, second only to Hitler, and that the difference between communism and the Hitler faith was very slight, a faction war opened with whizzing beer glasses. When this sort of ammunition was exhausted a free fight in which fists and knives played important roles was indulged in.  Later a gang marched to the offices of the socialist paper Vorwärts and smashed plate-glass windows. Police made nineteen arrests.


German socialists were not keen on what they saw as a threat from Bolshevism that culminated in the Holodomar, which many blamed on those Cheka leaders (such as the sociopath serial killer Cheka leader as Rozalia Zemliachka) who were ethnically Askenazy and who were fierce persecutors of Christian Russians and Ukranians. Germans wanted a “better” collectivist state, a “better” version of authoritarian socialism, one that that was their own. And they got one, with a different scapegoat class, and with a national socialist “Holocaust” instead of an international socialist “Holodomor.”



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Mrs. Newton’s Family Annihilation Episode – Australia, 1874

See commentary on Family Annihilation and list of cases: Family Annihilation (Female Perpetrated)


FULL TEXT: A sad case of homicidal mania occurred on April 4 at Hoxton, resulting in the murder of her daughter, a little girl, the wounding of her husband, and an attempt of the murderess to commit suicide. The woman’s name is Newton, one is forty-two years of age, the wife of a respectable shoemaker, carrying on business at 43, Brunswick-place, and the mother of a large family. Her mind appears to have been affected by grief with tho loss of her children, of whom the fifth, an infant, died about a year since.

Her condition appears to have been well known to the medical man who has been in the habit of attending her, but he did not think it a case calling for physical restraint. So lately as Good Friday evening there was nothing unusual in the woman’s manner, and after a walk with her husband the pair partook of supper and retired to bed about eight o’clock on Saturday morning she rose according to custom, and went down to the ground floor to light a fire and prepare breakfast for the family.

Her son, a boy of eleven, had risen, and was taking down the shutters of the shop, when his mother reproached him for not having done so before, and threatened to murder him. Her wildness of manner excited the boy’s apprehension, and when she shortly after rushed through the shop at him with a carving-knife in her hand, and her intention plainly indicated in her distorted features, he fled for his life, she did not pursue him far, but rushed upstairs to a room occupied by her brother, whom, with menacing gestures, she threatened to murder. A brief struggle ensued between them; but her strength was so great that he was unable to secure her, and, breaking away, she ran into another room, where two of her daughters had been sleeping. The elder girl had risen and gone downstairs, an act which no doubt saved her life but a younger child Jane, four and a half years of age, was left still asleep.

The unhappy woman immediately cut the poor little creature’s throat, almost severing the head from the body. Going again downstairs she was followed by her husband, who had become alarmed by the noise of the struggle between the woman and her brother, and by her frantic rushing about. Directly the murderess saw her husband she flew at him, wounding him in the arm. Only then realising his wife’s condition he closed with her, and tried to obtain possession of the knife.

A struggle ensued, but he found himself unable to cope with the unhappy woman, who, after inflicting several of other wounds on his hands and arms, broke away, and, her paroxysm taking a fresh direction, she cut her own throat, and fell to the ground insensible. The cries of “Murder” while this horrible scene was being enacted reached the ears of Police-constable Perritt, 312 N, who was on duty near, and be ran to the house, but too late to prevent mischief. He at once sent for Inspector Ramsay, of his division, who, seeing the condition of the wretched woman, sent her off at once to St Bartholomew’s.

The woman has hitherto borne the character [of] a kind and affectionate mother, but out of a family of eight children, she lost five within a comparatively brief period, and her grief is known to have affected her mind, though no one of her friends ever anticipated it would show itself in so terrible a form. Brunswick-place, where the occurrence took place, is the scene of unusual excitement.

Crowds of persons assemble in front of the house, and strange rumours are current as to the cause of the affair. That the unhappy woman had been in a desponding condition for some time is asserted by the husband and we understand that the subject of her removal from the house, was seriously discussed on Friday night among the members of the family. On her arrival at St Bartholomew’s Hospital she was in a very excited state, and it has been found necessary to place her under restraint ever since.

Mr Jepson, the house surgeon, stated last night that the wounds inflicted on herself were merely superficial, none of the important arteries having been severed and, although in a very desponding state, it was thought that, two of three day of quietness might lead to a great improvement. She has not alluded to the melancholy affair — all that can be elicited, from her, in reply to questions put, being simply “Yea” and “No.” The injury to the husband, who was removed, to the same institution as his wife to have his wounds dressed, was very slight.

[“Shocking Tragedy.” The Mount Alexander Mail (Clatlemaine, Vic., Australia), Jun. 2, 1874, p. 4]


Friday, October 16, 2015

Helene Geisen-Volk, Serial Killer - Study Notes & Additional Articles

With an estimated 53 victims, Helene (or "Helen") Geisen-Volk, is New York City's worst serial killer.

The main post on the Geisen-Volk case is to be found at: Helen Geisen-Volk, New York City Child Care Provider Who Murdered Children – 1925

Below the study notes you will find two long newspaper articles on the case.



Angerer, Stephen – died; corpse abandoned in yellow satchel in hallway of “tenement in the 70s” according to G-V.
Beale Faith – (possibly), died Jan. 13, 1925. (under false name of one of twins?).
Beukess (“Bukers”), Baby – missing.
Bleitsche, Elenor – died.
Burton, Robert – malnutrition, Bellevue hospital (substituted for Beukess (Bukers) baby). died Mar. 11 at Lenox Hill hospital.
Cooper, Patricia – 2 y-o; barely survived starvation; rescued May 8, 1925.
Hughes, Bernice – died, Lenox Hill hospital; had previously been substituted for Hirsch baby.
Snyder, Robert – died May 8, 1925 at Metropolitan hospital.
Toohey, Agnes – died Dec. 15, 1924; “natural causes.”
Twins (girl and boy) – died; the girl had been substituted with Bernice Hughes?
Weiss, Louis – 6 mo.; “missing.”
Winters, William – 4-m-o, died Feb. 1925; fractured skull (“cracked in half”).
Unnamed child – murdered by G-V, “years before” 1925 in Croton; witnessed by Mrs. Soudieres.
• Seven children rescued on May 8, 1925 from the 86th St. infantorium and sent to Bellevue hospital:
1) Margaret Mooney, born Feb. 1925; Mother, Mrs. Mary C. Mooney, Erie, Pa.
2) Katherine Ramos, born Feb. 1925.
3) Mary McDonald, born Feb. 1925.
4) Irene Wild, born Oct. 1925.
5) Robert Berton, born Nov. 1924.
6) Anne Langley; mother, Mrs. M. H. Langley, 980 Bergen St., Brooklyn.
7) Nada Montich, care of Magnus, 14 E. 103d St.
• Four Children Claimed and restored to parents on May 8, 1925:
1) Pauline Schaale, born May 1923. Claimed by Mrs. J. Gerber, 9533 Banton St., Elmhust, Lonng Island, N. Y.
2) Harold Wilson, born Feb. 1924. Mother, Mrs. H. Wilson, 347 W. 16th St.
3) Edward Ippolito; mother, Mrs. C. Ippolito, Bensonhurst, Long Island, N. Y.
4) Patricia Brennan, 217 E. 19th St.



1917 – (“Helen Geiser”), first degree manslaughter charge; abortion death of a mother; indicted; dismissed.
1922 – kidnapping (of baby) charge against G-V.
Dec. 15, 1924 – Agnes Toohey, 18 mo., dies.
Dec. 1924 – Beukess child placed with G-V; “disappeared.”
Jan 1, 1925 – (through Feb. 15) 4 deaths at G-V infantorium reported.
Jan. 13, 1925 – death of baby (in hospital?), unnamed; perhaps Faith Beale.
Feb. 1, 1925 – Stephen Angerer, baby, placed with G-V.
Feb. 1925 – William Winters, 4-mo., dies.
Feb. 28, 1925 – William Angerer (f) visits G-V; baby son, Stephen A., not there.
Mar. 11, 1925 –Robert Burton dies at Lenox Hill hospital.
May 5, 1925 – William Angerer given substitute baby.
May 8, 1925 – G-V held at Jefferson Market jail on “child substitution” charge; $35,000 bail.
May 8, 1925 – Mob of 500 women outside GV’s 86th street infantorium.
May 9, 1925 – in Harlem Court Magistrate Vitale demands disclosure of fate on missing William Angerer.
May 9, 1925 – “twenty-third victim,” a 2-year-old boy, dies at Bellevue hospital.
May 11, 1925 – female mob at jail “Bridge of Sighs.”
May 12, 1825 – court orders for 2 exhumations; S. C. Justice Cotillo.
May 13, 1925 – exhumation of  William Winters & Agnes Toohey.
May 14, 1925 – autopsy of Agnes Toohey.
May 21, 1925 – unnamed baby (sold to Mrs. Nat Bass) photographed by press at Bellevue hospital.
Jul. 16 – G-V pleads guilty to lesser charge.
Jul. 22, 1925 – G-V sentenced to 3 1/2 to 7 years; Auburn Prison.



Angerer, Mrs. – mother of Stephen, who died; nervous breakdown, reason for placement of baby with G-V.
Angerer, Stephen – father of Stephen, died.
Angerer, William – 536 E. 147th st., Bronx.
Bass, Mrs. Nat – purchased unnamed baby.
Beale, Faith – baby daughter of Italian concert singer; presumed dead (Jan. 13, 1925).
Beukess, Mrs. Mary – Philadelphia resident; placed grandchild with G-V.
Birch, Mrs. Frances – witness.
Bleitsche, Mrs. Jacob – mother of Elenor, who died and son; resides Flatbush.
Branick, Mrs. – Catholic Big Sisters.
Camnitzer, Dr. Arthur – abortion killed Anna Seeburg; indicted May 1918; dismissed.
Cassasa, Dr. Charles – S. D. asst. medical examiner.
Cooley, Edwin J. – Catholic probation officer; produced report.
Cooper, Mrs. Margaret – mother of Patricia (2); verbally attacked G-V.
Cotillo – Supreme Court Justice; issued court orders for exhumations.
Fielhart, Mrs. Rose – purchased 2-w-o girl for $100 from G-V in Sep. 1924.
Flogel (Flozel?), Alfreda – 18-y-o, adopted daughter of G-V; beaten by G-V.
Flogel (Flozel?), Adolph  – father of Alfreda; resides Maujer St., Williamsburg.
Gardner, William – neighbor of G-V.
Garrett, Esther – nurse (“attendant”); former employee of G-V.
Goldman, Dr. – responsible for “supervision” of G-V operation.
Heaton, Dr. Mary – one of 20 women who with her lawyer, Newman Levy, testified in favor of G-V.
Herrick, Jacob – undertaker, E. 86th st.
Hirsch, Mrs. Frances – employee of G-V; nursed own baby at G-V’s; witness; described baby substitutions.
Hughes, Bernice  baby, buried in Potter’s field.
Kass, Josephine – 86th st. bldg. neighbor of G-V; nervous breakdown; moved to Ca.
Lagrino, Raymond – son of Mary Shimkus; the "Baby Raymond" substituted for deceased Stephen Angerer.
Levy, Newman – G-V’s trial attorney.
Lorsie, Mrs. Marie (Mazie) – attendant at G-V’s 86th street infantorium.
McIntyre, John P. – trial Judge.
Meroff, Mrs. Irene – witness; formerly employed by G-V.
Mooney, Mrs. C. – child born at G-V’s place, Feb. 1925, witness (?); resides in Erie, Pa.
Murray, W. John – Croton, N. Y.; a “home” where G-V worked; and Mrs. Soudieres, attendant, witness.
Neustaedter, Isadore – G-V attorney.
O’Leary, Dr. – G-V claimed he had diagnosed Angerer baby.
Pecora, Ferdinand – Chief Assistant District Attorney.
Perlan, Jesse – Exec. Dir. Jewish Board of guardians.
Rosalsky – Judge, General sessions court; Grand Jury.
Ryan, William P. – Assistant District Attorney.
Schmidt, Rev. George F. – G-V’s pastor, Emanuel Lutheran Church, supporter of her innocence claims.
Schultze, Dr. Otto M. – performed autopsy.
Seeburg, Anna – died from abortion; indictment for manslaughter in May 1918.
Shimkus, Mary – mother of unnamed Angerer substitute baby, Raymond Lagrino.
Smith, Dr. Elmer – Angerer family physician, confirmed baby was substitution.
Snyder, Mrs. Helen – 226 E. 86th; mother of baby Robert who died.
Soudieres, Mrs. Annette – witnessed murder of baby; threatened by G-V.
Sprague, Mrs. Mabel – probation officer; General Sessions Court.
Toohey, Mrs. Margaret – mother of Agnes, who died.
Toohey, Agnes – 18 mo, died; exhumed.
Vilmer – nurse; in photo holding “Shimkus” baby.
Vitale, Magistrate Albert – Harlem Court magistrate; May 9, 1925 hearing.
Volk, August W. – husband of G-V.
Voshla, Florentina – midwife for “Fielhart” baby girl.
Weiss, Louis – 6 mo.; placed by parents with G-V; missing.
White, Charles – Assistant District Attorney.
Wilson, Harold – 15-m-o baby retrieved by mother on May 8, 1925.
Winkelman, Edward – Detective, Homicide Squad.
Winters, William – 4 mo., died Feb. 1925; skull cracked in half; exhumed.


Auburn Prison – Auburn, N. Y.
Bellevue Hospital.
Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Central Islip hospital for the insane – Mrs. Angerer committed there.
Harlem Court.
Jefferson Market Prison – Manhattan.
Metropolitan Hospital.
New Calvary Cemetery.
1056 Park Av. – G-V operated “maternity hospital” and nursery (1918).
Saratoga Springs.
St. Michael’s cemetery – Astoria, Queens.
235 E. 86th street – G-V residence in 1925, baby farm.
– G-V’s City license permitted 7 children.
– In the death certificates, the cause of the Toohey child’s death was given as mastoiditis and that of the Winters baby as congenital heart disease.
– On several occasions, a nurse and former employe of the “farm” said Mrs. Geisen-Volk beat children whose parents were behind in the payments for their care.
– Mrs. Geisen-Volk is held in $35,000 ball, charged with having attempted to substitute another baby for Angerer’s missing son.
– Charges that Mrs. Helen A. Geisen-Volk augmented the profits from her “baby farm” by selling cemetery plots to the mothers of infants who died while under her care, are being investigated today by Assistant District Attorney William P. Ryan.
– A report that the Angerer baby had died under a fictitious name at Metropolitan Hospital late last January has been recovered by the assistant district attorney.
– health records disclosed that 44 babies had died in them since January 1, 1918. (May 15, 1925).



Mrs. Jacob Bleische, mother of Eleanor: “I made a terrible row, and Mrs. Geisen-Volk said, ‘It’s all over now; the baby is dead. Keep quiet and I will give you money.’ I told her no money would buy my baby.” [Brooklyn Daily Eagle (N.Y.), May 10, 1925, p. 1]
“Babies and animals should be disciplined all the same. When they become unruly, I hold them under water or push them in closets or bang them. I’ve trained children for 20 years that way.” [Oreonta Daily Star (N. Y.), May 27, 1925, p. 1]


G. PHOTOS: figures in the case whose photographs have been published in newspapers.

Angerer, Stephen.
Angerer, Mrs. William.
Angerer, William.
“Baby Elvira” – photo inset with G-V confession writing photo (Elvira not yet connected with any newspaper text mention).
“Baby Raymond” - Raymond Lagrino, son of Mary Shimkus, substituted for Angerer baby.
Bleitsche – group photo: Mrs. Jacob B., Eleanor, son.
Bass – Unidentified “Bass” baby.
Flogel, Alfreda – group photo.
Garrett, Esther.
Giesen-Volk, Helen (Helene) – many different photos.
Kass, Mrs. Josephine.
Levy - Newman – “attorney” photographed with G-V. and Alfreda Flogel (pub. Jun. 5, 1925).
Meroff, Irene.
Schmidt, Rev. George F. – photo with G-V.
Shimkus, Frances – photographed with Nurse Vilmer.
Toohey, Agnes – her coffin photographed at cemetery just after being dug up.
Vilmer, Nurse – photographed with Frances Shimkus.
Volk, August W.
7 rescued children – Margaret Mooney, Katherine Ramos, Mary McDonald, Irene Wild, Robert Berton, Nada Montich, Anne Langley.


FULL TEXT: The tiny, emaciated body of the twenty-second baby to die within a year under the care of Mrs. Helen Geisen-Volk in her infantorium at 235 East Eighty-sixth Street lay in the morgue last night awaiting an autopsy. The unofficial verdict was “acute malnutrition.”

The child, whose death followed almost immediately after the disclosure of conditions of neglect and ignorance described by medical men as “appalling,” was Robert Snyder, the son of Mrs. Helen Snyder, of 10 West Ninety-Sixth street. He was taken to the Metropolitan Hospital by the first physician called in on the previous day after a complaint had been entered against Mrs. Geisen-Volk. He died early yesterday morning.

~ 500 Women Fill Street ~

Distracted mothers besieged the infantorium yesterday, and in the street a milling crowd of 500 women chattered menacingly with horror-stricken eyes on the conventional brownstone front front of the house whose tragic hidden history has come to light.

Six fresh complaints have been received by Assistant District Attorney William P. Ryan, of the Homicide Bureau. The body of a child known as “Faith Bell,” reported to be the daughter of a harpist, will be exhumed, and possibly others. There is ground for belief on part of the official investigators that Faith may be a substitute baby, as William Angerer, of 536 East 147th Street, claims the child given him to be. It was his complaint that forced the investigation of the baby farm.

~ Mrs. Geisen-Volk Identifies Babies ~

Mrs. Geisen-Volk, a slender, hard-eyed woman, who served with the German Red Cross during the war and was permanently injured in the spine, was taken to her “farm” yesterday afternoon from Jefferson Market jail, where she is being held under $35,000 bail on a charge of child substitution, pending a hearing in Harlem Court this morning. She was accompanied by Mr. Ryan, Dr. Schulz, Detective Edward Winkleman, of the Homicide Squad; Miss Mabel Sprague, a probation officer, and two stenographers.

The work of identification of helpless babies, ill and crying, was the purpose of the visit. While she fumbled and shook in pulling back the blue and pink coverlets and pronouncing the children’s names with the aid of a card index, a tall woman strode in with a baby in her arms. She was Mrs. Margaret Cooper, a widow, living at 226 East Eighty-third Street and earning $32 a week downtown as a secretary.

~ Returns With Sick Child~

She had come for Patricia, a two-year old, earlier in the day.this was a return visit. For several minutes she watched Mrs. Geisen-Volk. She heard the babies’ names pronounced and saw the physicians take adhesive tale with the Christian name inscribed on it and fasten it to the children’s garments.

Bitterly she watched, hugging her baby girl. She had been in two physicians since recovering Patricia. They had found that her child’s mouth was infected (Four of the children in all were found to be in this condition) and that she was undernourished and seriously under weight. She had been paying $8 a week for the child while she went to work, and extras for clinical expenses.

“You murderer!” she suddenly shouted at the pale German woman. “Look at my child. You have killed her! I have been to two doctors and both told me she was six pounds under weight. She is in a terrible condition. A woman like you should be electrocuted!”

~ Starts Commotion ~

Immediately there was a hubbub in the basement kitchen, where the children were being examined and identified. She was assured that competent physicians were present who would look at her baby.

“None of your lies!” she snapped. “I know. You cannot explain to me. I know you.”

A woman friend accompanying her volunteered to hold Patricia, saying: “Why don’t you lick her?”

In a flash her tall, strong form swung threateningly over Mrs.Geisen-Volk, who shrank back, clutching her heart. Vincent Pisarro, agent of the Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty of Children, and detective caught Mrs. Cooper, but she threw them off and made another lunge at the shrinking object of her wrath.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about!” Mrs. Geisen-Volk yelled back at her. “I wouldn’t have accepted your child if I had seen her. She’s only been here since Friday.”

~ Mrs. Geisen-Volk Faints ~

“A woman like you ought to be strung up,” persisted Mrs. Cooper, who by now had been subdued by four men and was being rapidly backed out of the kitchen. As she went the brown-clad figure of her victim suddenly stiffened and the head of the infantorium slipped to the floor in a dead faint.

Prior to their examination of the children an ambulance had been summoned from Bellevue and two physicians assisted in the routine that followed. The only attendants at the infantorium were Mrs. Esther Garrett and Mrs. Mazie Lorzie. The babies were brought down to the kitchen wrapped in blue, pink and white blankets, and as each appeared Mrs. Geisen-Volk consulted the card index, after peeping under the coverings.

The physicians tagged each child and one mother arrived on the scene just as her baby had been labeled – a fat, blond infant, with rosy cheeks, whom she clutched thankfully, kissed and bore away. Three others who had been clamoring for their children were given babies and left hurriedly.

Seven of the little ones were taken to Bellevue to await claimants. Mrs. Geisen-Volk could give no particulars about some of them except their names. The best she could could do on the list of those going to Bellevue was:

Margaret Mooney, born February 1925. Mother, Mrs. Mary C. Mooney, Erie, Pa.
Katherine Ramos, born February 1925.
Mary McDonald, born February 1925.
Irene Wild, born October 1925.
Robert Berton, born November 1924.
Anne Langley; mother, Mrs. M. H. Langley, 980 Bergen Street, Brooklyn.
Nada Montich, care of Magnus, 14 E. 103d Street.

~ Four Children Claimed ~

The children claimed and restored to their parents were:

Pauline Schaale, born May 1923. Claimed by Mrs. J. Gerber, 9533 Banton Street, Elmhust, L. I.
Harold Wilson, born February 1924. Mother, Mrs. H. Wilson, 347 West 16th Street.
Edward Ippolito; mother, Mrs. C. Ippolito, Bensonhurst, L. I.
Patricia Brennan, 217 East Nineteenth Street.

Later in the evening  Angerer went with his attorney to Bellevue, hoping to find the child for whom he claims another was substituted. He failed to identify any of the seven infants as his. His wife, who has had a nervous break-down, comes out of the hospital to-morrow and he fears the effect on her of not finding her own baby. Mrs. Geisen-Volk is sure, however, that the father is at fault and that as soon as Mrs. Angerer sees the little boy she returned to him, she will recognize him as hers.

A Health Department inspector who examined the “farm” and the children found that four infants and infected mouths. He said he would recommend that Mrs. Geisen-Volk’s license be revoked. She had nineteen child in the infantorium, while her license only allowed seven. The nurses were said to be without training or experience.

~ No Sterilization Equipment. ~

Dr. Schultze said that he and Mr. Ryan failed to find any equipment for the sterilization of feeding utensils or the pasteurization of milk. There was no inspection of the quality of the food and milk bottle nipples were freely mixed [soc]. Externally the house is very clean, with painted furniture and a roomy back yard for the children. It bears a large sign with the single word “Infantorium” across the front. The rates for keeping children were $6 and $8 a week. Mrs. Geisen-Volk’s rental is $225 a month and she has a four-year lease. She formerly conducted an infantorium at 1056 Park Avenue.

The Bureau of Vital Statistics records show that seventeen infants died at the “farm” last year, and four others between January 1 and February 15, 1925. Assistant District Attorney Charles White, attached to the Harlem Court, has been conducting an independent investigation for two months as a result of a complaint made by a nurse, who has been in Philadelphia since severing her connection with the place, but is in town now and has been subpoenaed to appear for questioning this morning at the District Attorney’s office. Physicians who have attended some of the babies also will be questioned.

Isadore Neustaedter, of 26 Broadway, attorney for Mrs. Geisen-Volk, said that there was absolutely for Mrs. Geisen-Volk, said that there was absolutely no foundation for the charges against his client. He knew her well, he said, and she had conducted her establishment in the very best way. He insisted that the child Angerer was his own.

Mrs. Geisen-Volk’s pastor, the Rev. George F. Schmidt, of Emanuel Lutheran Church, Eighty-eighth Street and Lexington Avenue, also spoke spoke on her behalf. He officiated at her marriage five years ago, he said, and declared that her husband had been brutal to her and they had separated. She did not get a divorce from him because she does not believe in divorce.

[“22nd Baby Dies As Mothers Storm ‘Farm’ – 500 Women Mill Around East 86th Street House as Infant’s Death Is Laid to Malnutrition – Owner Faints at Cry of ‘Murder!’ – Substitution Charges Increase; May Exhume Bodies of Children,” The New York Herald New York Tribune (N.Y.), Late City Edition, May 9, 1925, p. 1]


FULL TEXT: No more shocking case of its kind has come to the attention of the New York authorities than that of Mrs. Helene Geisen-Volk, the former German war nurse who dealt in babies.

According to the evidence, some fifty-three children committed to her care died of one cause or another, usually of starvation. Conditions at her infantorium – described as a baby farm – described as a “baby disposal plant” – were called miserable and filthy in the extreme. A probation officer reported after an examination of her career that she had “strangled or frozen to death or otherwise disposed of babies left in her custody in order that she might reap a profit through her acts.”

The woman came into notice after she had substituted a baby for another whose fate never was discovered. After the body of another child had been exhumed she was indicted for manslaughter.

“The reason why the defendant killed is understood when advertence is made to the fact that it was to be the pecuniary advantage of this cruel proprietor of this baby farm to destroy illegitimate children for a consideration and non-paying babies because they were liabilities.

“Beneath her proud exterior and veneer of humanity the woman conceals the callous fiendishness so common to her prototype, the undesirable midwife. She has no maternal affections, at least with respect to babies of other people. To her they are like puppies. To they are articles of merchandise to be bartered, sold or exchanged. The defendant represents a revolting anomaly in humanity.”

The above is taken from a report on Mrs. Helene Augusta Geisen-Volk, former German war nurse and keeper of a baby farm at 236 East 86th street, Manhattan. The report was made public on the day she was sentenced to serve three and a half to seven years. She had pleaded guilty to substituting a strange child for another child whose fate was never discovered.

An indictment for manslaughter, in connection with one of the fifty-three deaths of babies committed to her care, never was prosecuted against this woman.

Will it ever be?

Mrs. Geisen-Volk, a sharp-featured woman of 41, came into public notice early in May, 1925, when she was held in heavy bail as a result of numerous complaints against her and her and her institution in 86th street.

As the story unfolded in subsequent days, she appeared more and more the fiend incarnate, comparable even to the notorious “Madame Killer” [Ann Lohman, AKA “Madame Restell,” abortionist], who flourished in New York many years ago. Her infantorium was described as a baby disposal plant.” The records, as they came to light, showed that dozens of children had died of one cause or another either in the nursery or later in hospitals. Conditions at her place were pictured as the last word in misery and filth.

Most of the children died, according to the evidence, of starvation.

Mrs. Geisen-Volk was brought into court on the complaint of William Angerer, a steamfitter’s helper, who had placed his four-months-old son, Stephen, in the woman’s care the previous February 1, after his wife had suffered a nervous breakdown, and who never saw his child again.

Angerer paid $10 a week to Mrs. Geisen-Volk. On February 28, when he called, the woman told him the child had heart trouble and had been sent to Saratoga, N. Y., for treatment. A few days later, when he telephoned, Mrs. Geisen-Volk told him the child had been taken to Chicago for further treatment. He became suspicious. Finally she wrote him a letter saying little Stephen was again at her place.

The father called and Mrs. Geisen-Volk handed him over an infant which Angerer immediately knew was not his son.

“You are mistaken,” she stated positively. “I am sure this is your son.”

But Angerer knew he was not mistaken, and to prove it he brought the child to his family physician. Dr. Elmer Smith who had been present at the birth. Dr. Smith agreed with him.

~ Incomprehensible Records. ~

Furthermore, the Angerer child had had two teeth this baby had none.

Where, then, was his child? And who child was this the woman had given him?

The woman’s records at her nursery were found to be for the most part incomprehensible. In the case of the Angerer child no mention was made in the records of the child having heart trouble, and there was no mention was made in the records of the child having heart trouble, and there was no mention of the baby having been sent to Saratoga and Chicago.  Mrs. Geisen-Volk still insisted the Angerer child had been returned to its father.

On the after she was ordered held the woman was taken to the infantorium to identify the babies still there. As she entered, crowds gathered in front of the place – just as they did in front of the infamous Madame Restell’s place on a memorable occasion some sixty years ago. Inside, while Mrs. Geisen-Volk sat at a table thumbing their vague records, one mother, screaming that she would kill her, made a rush at her, but was held back.

Mrs. Geisen-Volk asserted that it was all spite work. Her pastor, the Rev. George F. Schmidt, stoutly supported her, saying that all her troubles could be traced to enemies. He said he had officiated at the second marriage – her first husband was said to have been a Prussian army officer – five years before and knew her to be a good woman. He characterized the whole affair as an “outrage.”

The second husband, incidentally, had left Mrs. Geisen-Volk some three years after their marriage. Whatever happened to the first husband never became known.

The investigation moved on. And the babies continued to die. Cause – acute malnutrition, more commonly known as starvation. One died in the Metropolitan hospital May 8, and another died on May 9 at Bellevue. In Jefferson Market jail Mrs. Geisen-Volk clasped a Bible and tried to look sanctimonious.

On May 9 Mrs. Geisen-Volk and her counsel appeared in court to hear Magistrate Albert Vitale plead from the bench for the complete truth about the Angerer child. Mrs. Angerer had been sent to Central Islip hospital for the insane. Angerer’s counsel stated that if the mother knew her child was all right perhaps it might bring about her recovery.

~ For Sake of Humanity. ~

“For the sake of humanity,” said the court to the Geisen-Volk lawyer, “if this child is dead or alive, let the parents know. This mother is coming home tomorrow and if, for any reason, the child died she should know it. This is not strictly according to the law, but there are times when it is wise to disregard the law and use our common sense.”

The lawyer’s only reply was that what he had been told in confidence by his client he was not at liberty to disclose in court.

Mrs. Geisen-Volk therefore retained her secret.

Later that day the district attorney’s office unearthed an indictment charging first degree manslaughter against a “Helen Geiser” of 1066 Park avenue, in connection with an illegal operation performed upon a woman who later died in the Woman’s hospital November 6, 1917. Mrs. Geisen-Volk had formerly conducted an infantorium at 1066 Park avenue. The case had been dropped.

Another revelation from the district attorney’s office was a charge of kidnaping against this same woman in 1922 – a charge which also came to nothing. A young woman had taken her child to Mrs. Geisen-Volk’s place and paid $10 a week. Later she called and the woman pushed her out of the place, saving she could not have her child. The infant, she said, had been sent to Canada.

According to his complaint, her lawyer had talked confidentially with Mrs. Geisen-Volk and then announced that he had lost all the papers in the case. The authorities therefore had dismissed the charge “for lack of evidence.”

With testimony pouring in from various witnesses to the effect that one child at the nursery had died of other than natural causes, the investigators decided to exhume several of the bodies to see if these little graves might contain evidence of actual willful homicide.

The witness’ stories were shocking in the extreme. We will outline some of them briefly.

First, there is the story of Mrs. Margaret Buker, of Philadelphia.

Mrs. Geisen-Volk had identified a child at the infantorium as Robert Burton. Mrs. Bukers, grandmother of Robert Burton, had examined the child, which had been removed to Bellevue hospital, and stated positively that this was not her grandson. Then she related her experience with Mrs. Geisen-Volk.

She said that little Robert, born the previous August, had been taken to the infantorium in December. The child’s mother, Mrs. Mary Burton, died in January. Then during the following month the baby became ill. The cause appeared to be malnutrition. Mrs. Bukers attempted to see the child, but was prevented by Mrs. Geisen-Volk. The grandmother was informed that the child was under the care of a heart specialist.

Mrs. Bukers continued to pay $10 a week to Mrs. Geisen-Volk. Weeks later the authorities learned that little Robert had died at the Lenox Hill hospital on March 11.

Next, there was the statement of Mrs. Annette Soudieres.

Mrs. Soudieres said that years before Mrs. Geisen-Volk, under the name Miss Auguste Geisen, had worked in a home conducted by W. John Murray at Croton, N. Y., Mrs. Soudieres, mother of two children, had been employed as a nurse there. She said she had been threatened with reprisals against her own children if she ever revealed things she had seen there.

“The night before one of the children died there, I was in an adjoining room to that in which Miss Geisen and the child were,” she told Vincent Pisarra, superintendent of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. “I heard a choking sound and tried to get out of my room, but was unable to do so. The door was locked.

“I looked through a crack in the door and saw Miss Geisen feeding the baby with a nursing bottle. She was forcing the bottle into the child’s mouth. This caused the choking I heard. Then I saw her remove the nipple from the bottle and again force the bottle into the child’s mouth.

“After a time the sounds ceased, and Miss Geisen left the room. The next morning they told me that the child had died.”

~ Another Witness. ~

Assistant District Attorney William P. Ryan announced that another witness, whose name he would not divulge, had told him of an advertisement Mrs. Geisen-Volk had prepared, stating, “Wanted for adoption; blond, blue-eyed baby boy; must have two teeth.” This was on May 2, when William Angerer was insisting that the woman return the child to him.

The district attorney’s office also stated that a young woman named Mary Shimkus, 18 had identified the child given to William Angerer as her child, Raymong Lagrino, born out of wedlock.

Mrs. Francis Hirsch, a nurse who lived at the infantorium for ten weeks, testified that there were nine deaths in the place while she was there. She said Mrs. Geisen-Volk had admitted many substitutions to her. She told of a baby boy and a baby girl, twins, who had died in Bellevue soon after they were consigned to Mrs. Geisen-Volk’s care.

The baby farmer was distressed by the deaths of the twins, according to Mrs. Hirsch, because the parents were “good payers” and she hated to loose the money.” She therefore substituted a deserted child for the dead girl twin, and informed the mother that while the baby boy died, the girl was out on Long Island being treated.

Eventually, the mother discovered the deception, after she had paid some weeks’ rent. When the child died it was buried in potters’ field, for the mother refused to accept the body.

Another witness, William Gardner, said he knew of between twenty-five and thirty deaths at Mrs. Geisen-Volk two places, the one on Park Avenue and this other one on 86th street. He said the baby farmer often advertised for babies for adoption, to take the places of babies who had died or had been sold.

On May 18, while Chief Assistant District Attorney Ferdinand Pecora was preparing to submit his assembled evidence to the grand jury, Mrs. Florentine Vasahlo, a nurse, came to his office with her lawyer and admitted that she had signed a fake birth certificate at Mrs. Geisen-Volk’s solicitation so that a girl baby could be sold to a couple anxious to adopt a child.

Mrs. Vosahlo’s story led to startling revelation by a Mrs. Nat Bass, wife of a well-to-do clothing manufacturer.

Mrs. Bass state that she had purchased a baby from Mrs. Geisen-Volk for $75, and that a fake birth certificate had been made out, so that she might deceive her husband inbto believing that she had given birth to a baby. She had carried on the deception for eight months, but as the Geisen-Volk investigation was getting closer and closer to her plot, she had finally confessed to her husband.

Beass refused to keep the child. It was sent to Bellevue.

By now several bodies had been exhumed, and in the case of one of them, William Winters, the authorities decided that they had evidence of homicide.

Mrs. Geisen-Volk had given the cause of death as heart failure. The autopsy revealed that the child’s skull had been fractured. According to Dr. Otto H. Schultze, the occiptial bone had been featured clear through a few hours before death. The child had died February 3 and the body had been exhumed on information furnished by the mother.

Late in May she was indicted for substitution and for manslaughter. She pleaded not guilty to the latter charge. Her appearances in court were invariably marked by scenes of distress. The accused woman gave the appearance of being terribly maligned.

~ Cooley’s Report. ~

On July 15 she pleaded guilty to the charge of substitution. Her lawyer, Newman Levy, informed the court that the woman had been the “victim of sensationalism.” The defense promised to tell the whole truth about the Angerer baby at the next arraignment.

A week later Mrs. Geisen-Volk was sentenced.

Edwin J. Cooley, a probation officer, had investigated the woman’s career and submitted a report, part of which we have quoted. The report stated that since February, 1918, at least fifty-three infants intrusted to her care had died. She was called “cruel and bestial.”

The report stated that she had “strangled or frozen to death or otherwise disposed of babies left in her custody in order that she might reap a profit through her acts.”

After reading the report, the late Judge John F. McIntyre called her to the witness stand.

“What did you do with the Angerer child?” he asked.

“I died, and I left it in a hallway in a satchel,” she replied.

“Why did you do that?”

She said one of the relatives of the baby had asked her to do it.

“I think you are lying,” said the court. “This report indicates that you are a fiend incarnate. I see no extenuating circumstances whatsoever.”

Ordered from the stand, Mrs. Geisen-Volk screamed and had to be carried out for a while. When she came back, clutching her Bible, Judge McIntyre gave her the maximum sentence.

He sentenced her serve three and one-half to seven years in Auburn prison.

So Mrs. Geisen-Volk went to Auburn, the authorities deciding that it would be a difficult matter to convict her of manslaughter in connection with the death of the Winters child, or in connection with any of the other shocking cases of her baby farm.

[“What Has Happened to Justice?” Atlanta Constitution (Ga.), Apr. 29, 1928, The Sunday Constitution Magazine, p. 5]














Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Virginia Doyle, Detroit Serial Killer - 1870

This case involves one attempted murder plus two earlier suspected murders.


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): A colored Lucretia Borgia, named Virginia Doyle, was arraigned at the Police Court in Detroit, on Friday [Mar. 4], upon a charge of attempting to poison Mrs. Catharine De Baptiste, the mother of the prisoner’s first husband. Mrs. De Baptiste has been for some time past at the house of Mrs. Doyle, No. 274 Beaublen street, and it is alleged that poison has been introduced in small quantities into her food and medicine of late. The defendant is at present living with her third husband, and George Taliafero, a son by her second husband, was led to suspect his mother by drinking some beef tea that had been prepared for Mrs. De Baptiste. It made him quite sick, and he determined to keep a close watch. A bottle of medicine was procured from a druggist and a piece of apple substituted for the cork. A small splinter of wood was thrust into the apple as if to prevent it from falling into the bottle; but this splinter was placed directly over a mark upon the neck of the bottle, it is alleged that Taliafero then went, out of the room for a few moments, leaving his mother there with the sick woman. When he returned he found that the stopper of the bottle had been no turned that the stick was not above the mark, and a piece of the apple was lying on the table. It is alleged by parties who are acquainted with Mrs. Doyle that De Baptiste and Taliafero both died very suddenly, and, that just before the death of the latter, he complained of a burning sensation in the stomach.the death of the latter, he complained of a burning sensation in the stomach.

[“A Colored Lucretia Borgia.” The Evening Dispatch (Philadelphia, Pa.), Mar. 7, 1870, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): Detroit Tree Press, July 31. – Virginia Doyle, the woman who was convicted some time since of mixing arsenic with port wine and attempting to poison her mother, Mrs. Catherine De Baptiste, was brought down from jail yesterday morning for sentence. Her case was taken to the Supreme Court on a bill of exceptions to the rulings of Recorder Swift, but the higher court sustained the positions of the court below, and remanded the prisoner back for judgment she has been in very feeble health since her conviction, and appears to be utterly broken down in mind and body. Two policemen carried her into court, and during the proceedings, before her case was reached, she sat veiled and trembling with nervous excitement, as though in expectancy of her impending doom. When asked if she had any thing to say why sentence should not be paused upon her, he replied that she was as innocent as an angel of the crime of which she stood convicted. The Court expressed a full belief in her guilt, and twelve impartial men, who were swain to do her justice, had, after careful and patient deliberalion, reached the same conclusion. His Honor also alluded to the magnitude of her course, her fiendish and inhuman attempt to destroy the mother who gave her being, and declared that ordinarily he should consider it a case where the full punishment should be inflicted.

The law had placed the offense in the same category with murder in his second degree, and prescribed a life sentence if the court should see fit to inflict so severe a penalty. But inasmuch as she was in extremely poor health, and had the jury’s recommendation to mercy, be should act with comparative leniency. The sentence was that she should be confined in the Detroit House of Correction, there to be kept and employed for the period of twenty years. Immediately after receiving her sentence she was borne out of the court-room, placed in a carriage and conveyed to the House of Correction, unaccompanied by any one except the officer in charge.

[“A Woman Sentenced to Twenty Years Imprisonment for Murdering Her Mother.”
The Cincinnati Daily Enquirer (Oh.), Jun. 23, 1870, p. 5]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3): At about eight o’clock on Tuesday [Mar. 1] evening Officer Cook made the arrest, near Mochanie, who is charged by her own son with administering poison to her mother. The facts in the case, as learned from Mr. J. E. D. Ellis, a young man residing in the family of the intended victim, and himself still suffering from a dose of the poison, are as follows: The woman Doyle takes her name from a husband who died about fifteen months ago. She was first married about sixteen years ago. She was first married about sixteen years ago, having a son by the marriage. While the son was yet a babe, the husband died, and the manner of his death elicited a good deal of surprise, he going off very suddenly and suffering great pain. The woman married again about five years ago, and something like a year ago, the husband died. He was a  strong, hearty man, and was first taken with burning pains in the stomach, having several attacks previous to the one in which he died. He suspected that his wife had given them something, and just before dying, charged this Ellis to have a post mortem examination made, and if poison was found to proceed against the wife. Ellis did not carry out the request, although the matter got to the knowledge of detectives, who had the woman arrested, but the case lingered along for a while and was at last dropped. On securing her freedom the woman went immediately home and hired a young lad to crawl under her house and bring out a small package, seeming to contain a powder, which she burned in the stove.

At the time of this husband’s death there was a boarder in the house, who contained there until some three weeks since, claiming to be the husband of Mrs. Doyle. He then informed her that he must start for New York. He was a mechanic, working around the city by the day or a job. He stated that he should be gone but ten days, and requested her, during his absence, to go to her mother’s – Mrs. Catherine De Baptiste – and stay. The house being full, the mother objected to the arrangement, as also did Mrs. Doyle’s son, who lives with his grandmother, as the family did not believe her married to her last man. However, she persisted in remaining, and that evening declared that she would get supper. She got some meal and made a pudding, and, just before the family sat down to the table, she was seen to take the pudding into the kitchen and divide it up in portions, putting her mother’s share into a saucer, which she was careful to have get when they all sat down. Not feeling well, the old lady only ate a few mouthfuls, but it was only a few moments before she declared that she felt “awful strange,” and soon had acute pains and burnings in her stomach. Ellis became alarmed at her condition, not suspecting the true cause, and called in Dr. Kane, who administered medicine that caused the patient to vomit thoroughly, and the next morning she felt almost well. One day passed by, and then the old lady had another attack, soon after eating a baked apple that the daughter encouraged her to partake of. This time Ellis and the son administered medicines themselves, and again the victim threw up the dose.

The two young men then had a conversation, and both declared to Mrs. De Baptiste their belief that her daughter was trying to poison her. While partially acquiescing in this belief, the patient bid them keep secret and watch for some proofs of guilt. That night Ellis made some beef tea for the old lady, having that day put all the food to be given her under lock and key. He marked the cork of the bottle containing the beef, so that he could tell if it had been disturbed, and then purposely went out to see if Mrs. Doyle would meddle with it. Coming back, he found that she had had the cork out, and both the young men charged her with the act, also plainly telling her their suspicions in regard to her conduct. She denied everything, but not that fervor which would come from an innocent person. That night Ellis bought a pint of wine, and Mrs. Doyle fixed a glass of it for the patient to taste of at intervals during the night. Before going to bed young Doyle took a sip from the glass and tasted of a bit of cheese, and suffered such pains on getting to bed that he got up and took a large dose of castor oil, which at last had relieved him, although yesterday (this was last Friday night) he was weak and debilitated. The old lady did not touch the wine during the night, and the young man noticed in the morning that there was a large sediment of white in the bottom of the glass. He carried it down stairs and boldly charged his mother with having poisoned the wine. She seized hold of him, spilling most of the wine, and drank herself a portion of what was left, but kept it in her mouth, and soon ran out doors and spit it out. No further proof was needed, and the woman was hustled out of the house, and the tumbler taken to Professor Jennings to have the contents analyzed. He did not complete his work until yesterday afternoon, when he gave in his statement that the powder was arsenic, and the son came down to the Central

Station and procured his mother’s arrest. This is the statement obtained from Ellis, who has been in the family for fifteen years and is like a grandchild to the old lady, only that one or two suspicious actions and attempts on the part of Mrs. Doyle have been omitted. His statements show a depravity of human nature that is horrible beyond anything developed here for may years. The motive was to gain possession of property, beyond a doubt, and the woman did not seem to care if she had poisoned the whole family, as she stood by and saw her son when he sipped the deadly wine. In all, she must have used two or three ounces of arsenic, as five grains were left in the tumbler and went to the chemist. She gave too large doses to kill speedily, and three times the doctor saved the old lady’s life by his attendance. The woman Doyle was arraigned at the Police Court yesterday afternoon, plead not guilty, and was remanded to jail for examination, her bail being fixed at three thousand dollars, with two sureties. She took the matter very cooly, wearing a countenance not at all anxious, and smilingly declaring her belief that she would get some one to bail her. The Prosecuting Attorney will visit Mrs. DeBaptiste to-day to take her deposition, and the old lady is in bed and still suffering, and is anxious that her deposition shall be taken for fear that she may grow worse or die.

It is now nearly three months since the man living with Mrs, Doyle left for New York, or for some place else, and not a word has been heard of him, and it is the opinion of Ellis and the son that he has abandoned the woman, and that he has abandoned the woman, and that he was never her lawful husband at any time.

[“A Startling Case. – A Woman Arrested for Attempting to Poison Her Mother. – Sudden Death of Two Husbands, and Disappearance of a Third.” The Detroit Free Press (Mi.), Mar. 3, 1870, p. 1]


Excerpt: Virginia Doyle was a 20 year prisoner. I removed a cancer from her breast in May, 1877. She died from cancer of the uterus.

[“Charities and Corrections in Michigan, 1878-1879. Extracts From Governor’s Message Concerning State Institutions, with Official Reports and Documents Compiled by the State Board of Charities and Commissions, Lansing, W. S. George and Co, 1879, p. 30]


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


For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Forgotten Serial Killers: Child Care Providers (“Baby Farmers”) Who Murdered Children

baby farm1.) a place that houses and takes care of babies for a fee. 2.) a residence for unwed pregnant girls or women that also arranges adoptions.

Most of the baby farmers listed her were serial killers. Several notable cases involving murder and abuse by baby farmers that are not serial killer cases.

Abbott, Evelyn (USA), 1891 – scores of babies died.
Alexe, Smaranda Alexe (Romania), 1912 –
Andrasen, Fru (Norway), 1901 – 27 infants died.
Ashmead, Elizabeth (USA), arrested 1904, 1909, 1911 – 100s of babies died.
Atherton, Dr. Bessie (USA), (with Cramer), 1926 – 3 dead babies discovered.
Bamberger, Henrietta (USA), 1899 – midwife; 300 est; conv of 1 abort-murder of mother.
Banks, Leila (USA), 1925 – 3 babies died.
Barnes, Catherine (England), 1879 – 3 babies died.
Barthian, Mme. (France), 1893 – 25 babies died.
Batten, Annie (Australia), 1904 – “alleged wholesale infanticide.”
Batts, Ellen (Australia), 1889 – 3 babies murdered.
Bednerek, Ghelente (Josefa) (Poland), 1892 – 15 bodies found.
Bellears, Mary (Australia), 1904 – multiple killings.
Bilien, Valentina (Germany), 1946 – 114 babies killed by severe neglect.
Binmore, Bessey (England) – 1875  – 4 deaths
Blair, Anne (Australia), 1870 – 1 baby died.
Blicenzyk, Marie (Poland), 1907 – multiple deaths.
Blochberger, Antoine (Austria), 1899 – 4 (?) deaths.
Boehme, Frau (Germany), 1912 – 4 deaths.
Breszczak, Marianna (Poland), 1908 – multiple deaths.
Bronzo, Rosa (Italy), 1879 – “several bodies.”
Breitschwart, Christine (USA), 1892 – 4 babies abandoned in streets in winter, 1 died.
Budzinska, Viktoria (Ukraine), 1915 – 11 deaths.
Calahan, Julia (USA), 1871 – 3 babies died.
Campbell, Nellie (USA), arrested 1902 – 8 babies died.
Chard-Williams, Ada (England), 1899 – 1 baby died (executed).
Chartier, Eleonote Vauthier (France), 1906 – 1,500 babies died.
Chivers, Daisy Ellen (England), 1928 – 1 baby murdered; suspicion of others.
“Christiana Baby Farmers” (Norway), 1902 – “a small army of tiny corpses were dug up.”
Claus, Charles & Catherine (USA), 1890 – 5 babies died.
Clayton, Madge (Australia), 1908 – 6 babies died.
“Cologne Baby Farmer” (Germany), 1902 – 50 babies died.
Compton, Mary (England), 1673 – willfully starved 4 children (executed).
Connelly, Matilda (USA), 1912 – 4 babies died.
Cooper, Martha & Daniel (New Zealand), 1922 – 3 dead babies discovered.
“Copenhagen Baby Farm Couple” (Denmark), 1860 – 23 babies died.
Cramer, Marie (USA), (with Atherton), 1926 – 3 dead babies discovered.
"Croatian Angelmaker" (Croatia), 1913 – 6 deaths.
Day, Gertrude (USA), 1914 – unsolved mystery.
Dean, Minnie (New Zealand), 1895 – 3 babies & 1 toddler died (executed).
De Jesus, Luisa (Portugal), 1772 – poisoned to death 28 babies (executed).
Delaware, Miss (New Zealand), 1889 – many babies killed.
Dellavoda, Therese Komjalhy (Hungary), 1897 – multiple deaths.
Delpech, Anne Gaillard (France), 1868 – murdered 10 babies.
Dieden, Maude (USA), 1929 – 10 babies died.
Douglas, Amy (England), 1899 – 3 babies died from starvation.
Duda & Dudek (Bohemia, Czech), 1893 – 14 babies died.
Dunn, Honora (Australia), 1881 – multiple babies abused & murdered.
Dunne, Maria (Ireland), 1898 – 3 babies died.
Dupin, Anne (France), 1869 – 40+ deaths.
Duplaca, Frau (Poland), 1901 – multiple deaths.
Dutschak, Domnika (Ukraine), 1891 – multiple deaths.
Dyer, Amelia (England), 1896 – 100s of babies died (executed).
Eckhardt, Wilhelmena (USA), 1906 – 12 babies died.
“Erenfeld Angel-maker” (Germany), 1902 – 50+.
Faure, Madame (France), 1908 – 81 deaths.
Feddern, Frau (Germany), 1898 – 25 deaths.
Firletowna, Marianne (Poland), 1878 – 4 deaths, far more suspected.
Fortmeyer, Julia (USA), 1875 – 3-100 babies murdered.
Gabler, Anna (Austria), 1896 – multiple "disappeared" babies.
Geisen-Volk, Helen (USA), 1925 – 53 babies died.
Gobay, Annie & Emma Kitchen (USA), 1903 – at least 3 babies died.
Grammage, Augusta (England), 1875 – convicted of murdering a child.
“Grey Nuns of Montreal” (Canada), 1876 – 631 babies died.
Gunness, Belle (USA), 1908 – 21 babies “disappeared.”
Guy, Mary Ann (New Zealand), 1906 – convicted of manslaughter for one death.
Guzovska, Madame (Poland), 1903 – “over 500” babies died.
Gyorgyevits, Frau (Hungary), 1894 – 20+ deaths.
Gyulai, Therese Gyulai (Hungary), 1900 – Nagy-Koros, Hungary
Hall, Mary Ann (England), 1892) – 
“Hameln Angel-Maker” (Germany), 1902 – multiple deaths.
Hanson, Annie (USA), 1892 – at least 5 babies died.
Haven, Nellie Haven & Hattie Graham (USA), 1892 – San Francisco, California, USA
Hawkins, Laura & Nettie Van Sarver (USA), 1917 – 1 known death.
Heinz, Laura Heinz (Hungary), 1899 –
Hill, Abigall (England), 1658 – 4 deaths (executed).
Hoerl, Katharina (Austria), 1874 – 14 babies murdered.
Holmen, Mrs. (Sweden), 1906 – over 1,000 babies died.
Ishikawa, Miyuki  (Japan), 1948 – 103 babies died.
Jager, Mari Azalai (Hungary), 1895 – a very large number of babies died.
Jarenkiewicz (Ukraine), 1887 – 10 babies died.
Johannesen, Fru (Norway), 1901 – 27 infants.
Josefowitsch, Marie (Ukraine), 1902 – 8 deaths.
Juhass, Mary Orban (Hungary), 1885 – multiple deaths.
Julien, Victoire Veysseire (France), 1867 – midwife, many victims.
Kadletz, Frau (Czech Republic), 1906 – 50 victims.
“Kherson Angel-Maker” (Ukraine), 1900 – 6 baby corpses.
Kirkbride, Elizabeth (England), 1877 – Liverpool, England
King, Jessie (Scotland), 1889 – 3 babies died (executed).
Knorr, Frances (Australia), 1894 – from 3 to an estimated 13 babies died (executed).
Knowles, Emma, Emma (England), 1901 – 25
Konopkova, Marianne (Poland), 1906 – 30 babies died.
Kreis Children’s Home: Ella Schmidt, Liesel Bachor, Kathe Pisters (Ger.), 1946 – 370 babies. 
Kühnel, Marie (Austria), 1907 – 7 deaths
Kusnezowa, Madame (Russia) 1913 – 1,012 babies died.
Lacroix, Diana (Canada), 1927 – 7 babies died.
Laphame, Belinda (USA), 1893 – 3 or 4 babies killed, kept in jars; others killed.
Larsson, Olivia Charlotta (Sweden), 1912 – 1 death; 2 rescued from starvation.
Laskowskiej, Julji, “Baba Ljuskowska” (Ukraine), 1893 – many deaths.
“Limburg Baby Farmers” (Germany), 1892 – multiple babies died.
"Lodz Angelmaker" (Poland), 1913 – 40 babies killed.
Lowry, Mary (USA), 1904 – 2 babies died, 3 babies near death.
Ljuskowska (Ukraine), 1893 – hundreds of deaths.
Lynn, Rachel (USA), 1911 – unknown number of babies died.
Mabre, Louise (France), 1763 – 62 babies died (executed).
Makin, Jane (Australia), 1892 – 13 babies died.
Machayie, Mrs. (England), 1884 – 5 deaths.
Maksymischin, Paranka (Galicia (Poland)), 1890 (executed).
McClosky, Margaret (USA), 1876 – 6 babies in starving condition.
McDonald, Cynthia (USA), 1887 – 2 babies died, 2 babies in starving condition.
McKenzie, Emily Charlotte (England) 1884 – many babies died.
Miller, Mrs. A. H. (USA), 1903 – 2 babies died; additional bodies searched.
“Minneapolis Baby Farmer” (USA), 1908 – starving baby rescued.
Minogata, Ischi & Akino Kawabarg (Japan), 1909 – 11 deaths
Mitchell, Alice (Australia), 1907 – 37 babies died.
Mittlestedt, Pauline (USA), 1886 – “professional infant murderess.”
Morris, Jane (USA), 1898 – New York, N. Y.; BF; 5.
Murakina, Alexandra (Russia), 1903 – “numerous” children killed.
Myer, Frau (Germany), 1892 – 58 babies died.
Newman, Isabella (Australia), 1913 – 3 babies died.
“Nijni-Novrogod Nurse” (Russia), 1894 – 17 babies died.
Nilsson, Hilda (Sweden), 1917 – 17 babies died.
Nivison, Symenthe S. (USA), 1884 – 22 babies died.
Nordberg, Alva (Sweden), 1905 – 4 babies died.
Noskina, Feige (Lithuania), 1892 – 65 babies died.
Nowatka, Frau (Germany), 1905 multiple children poisoned to death.
Oberly, Mary (USA), 1887 – 3 deaths.
Olsen, Fru (Norway), 1901 – 27 infants died.
Orban Juhass, Marie (Hungary), 1885 - multiple deaths.
“Osaka Baby Farmers” (Japan), 1902 – 300 babies died.
“Osaka ‘Devil Woman’” (Japan), 1906 – 100 babies murdered.
Osborn, Elizabeth (USA), 1899 – 7 deaths.
Ostrouszko, Caroline (Poland), 1908 – multiple deaths.
Ostrovoskafa, Rachel (Ukraine), 1885 – more than 3 babies died; infanticide cult.
Overbye, Dagmar (Denmark), 1920 – 11 confessed child-murders.
Parr, Agnes (USA), 1877 – multiple babies died.
Pausch, Anna (Austria), 1870 – multiple babies died.
Persson, Maria (Sweden), 1911 – 21+ babies died.
Piard, Annie (USA), 1883 – multiple babies starved to death.
Piersch,Widow (Belbium), 1908 – multiple deaths.
Pilsch, Frau (Belgium), 1908 – 7 babies killed.
Porro, Rose & Margarite Coraldi (Italy), 1873 – 8 babies killed (executed). 
Prussenkowa, Frau (Ukraine), 1901 – multiple deaths.
“Przemysi Baby Farmers” (Poland), 1893 – 27 babies buried in cigar boxes.
Przybylska – (Poland), 1897 – 100 killed in 3 years.
Rakoczy, Elisabeth (Hungary), 1899 – 2 known deaths.
Ravailhe, Widow (France), 1876 – hundreds of babies killed.
Reece, Adelaide (England), 1883 9 deaths.
Reignolds, Mary (USA), 1875 – 5 babies died.
Roberts, Ellen (USA), 1873 – 30 deaths.
Rogers, Frances (England), 1871 – 4 children died, sentenced to 20 years.
Rohm Couple (Denmark), 1909 – 20 deaths.
Roseberry, Edna (USA), 1948 – tortured babies routinely.
Rost, Klara (Germany), 1908 – 10+ deaths.
Sach, Amelia & Annie Walters (England), 1902 – probably 100s of babies died (executed).
Saldakowa, Julia (Galicia, Ukraine), 1903 – 4 deaths.
Sánchez Aguillón, Felícitas (or Sánchez Neyra) (Mexico),1941 40-<100 murders.
Schaubmayr, Marie (Austria), 1917 – 19 deaths.
Schmidt, Midwife (Lower Saxony, Germany), 1897 – 
Schofer, Friederike (Silesia), 1913 – 1,500 deaths.
Scholes, Elizabeth (Australia), 1906 - 2 confirmed dead, probably several more.
Schulkin, Riva (Russia), 1890 – multiple deaths.
Schwartz, Frau (Poland), 1897 – dozens "disappeared."
Schweinhammer, Katharina (Austria), 1901 – 3 deaths.
Seiler, Barbara  (Germany), 1907 – 7 deaths.
Sisters of St. Anne (Italy), 1908 – 143 deaths.
Skoublinska, Marianne (Marianna Skublińska) (Poland), 1890 – 76 babies.
Skrobanetz, Sanda (Austria), 1914 – 4 deaths, several near death.
Spinks, Ann (England), 1898 – at least 2 babies died.
Suffert, Jennie (USA), 1889 – 2 babies dead, 4 dying.
Tanaka, Mrs. & Mrs Juniki (Japan), 1924 – 8 babies murdered by fake foster parents.
Tann, Georgia (USA), 1950 – 1,000s of babies died.
Todd, Sophia Martha (England), 1877 – 5 deaths.
Tooke, Annie (England), 1879 – 1 child murdered & dismembered.
“Turn-Severin Angel-Maker” (Romania), 1939 – 5 deaths.
Turner, Maud (Canada), 1909 – suspected of numerous murders.
Turniak, Marie (Russia), 1912 – "large numbers" killed.
Tydrych, Leontina (Poland), 1927 – 60 babies died.
“Villa Vico Baby Farmer” (Portugal), 1854 – 9 babies died.
“Warasdin Baby Farmers” (Croatia), 1893 torture & maiming, child trafficking.
Ward, Mary Josephine (USA), 1884 at least 10 babies died.
Waters, Margaret (England), 1870 – 5 babies died (executed).
Wiese, Elizabeth (Germany), 1903 – burned babies in stove (executed).
West, Mrs. Fred (Clara West) (USA), 1906 – burned babies alive.
Wilczynska, Josefine (Poland), 1893 – 2 deaths, 4 starving.
Willis, Rhoda (Wales), 1907 – 2 babies died.
Wimmer, Frau (Austria), 1908 – 14+ deaths.
Winsor, Charlotte (England), 1865 – unknown number (executed).
Wogen, Chaja (Poland), 1903 – multiple deaths.
Worcester, Rozilla (USA), 1877 – 6 babies died (in 30 day period).
Wroclawska, Juliana (Poland), 1908 – multiple deaths.
Wühler, Frau (German), 1913 – 11 deaths.
Young, Lila & William (Canada), 1936 – an estimated 400-600 babies died.

193 cases [March 29, 2021]


NOTE: A few of the cases in the list involve non-serial killers: baby-torturers or providers who are confirmed to have killed only one or two of their charges.


Murder Method (when known, incomplete list):

Battery – Geisen-Volk, Noskina

Buried Alive – Ashmead, Wiese

Crushed to Death – Winsor

Drown – Delpech, Overbye, Wiese, Noskina (in cesspool)

Drugging / Poisoning – Dean (laudanum), Jager (poison), Kusnezowa (poison), Mabre (arsenic), Reignolds (laudanum), Sach & Walters (chlorodyne), Topper (poison), West (laudanum), Nivison (morphine, belladonna), West (laudanum), Dean (laudanum), Reignolds (laudanum), Waters (laudanum), Luiza de Jesus, Wiese (morphine), King (arsenic), Laphame (opium)

Exposure – Tann (sun), Chivers (cold), Barnes (no clothing), Geisen-Volk (frozen), Breitschwart (frozen) 

Incineration alive – Ashmead, Fortmeyer, Overbye, Stysinski (arson), West, Wiese

Needle into heart° – Makin (needle, heart), Mittlestedt (darning needle, heart)

Neglect – Ishikawa, Mitchell, Nivison, Rogers, Spinks, Waters, Young, McCloskey, Geisen-Volk, Larsson, Nilsson, Persson (incomplete list)

Starvation – Barnes, Barthian, Campbell, Lowry, McClosky, Mitchell, Seifert, Tanaka, Waters, Julien

Strangling by hand or instrument – Chard-Williams*, Claus, Compton, Cooper, Douglas, Dyer, King, Knorr, Ostrovoskafa, Overbye, Turner, Geisen-Volk

Suffocation – Dean, Newman, Winsor, Noskina

Twisting baby’s neck – Eckhardt


Burned corpses after murder: Asmead, Birney, Chivers, Eckhardt, Overbye, "Vivienne Midwife," West, Wiese

+++ +++

* Chard-Williams - Stunned, strangled and trussed up with cords
° Similar method used by nursemaid: Schnell (hairpin into brain)


• Baby Farmers & Baby-Killing Midwives Executed

1763 – Louise Mabre (France)
1772 – Luiza de Jesus (Portugal)
1870 – Margaret Waters (England)
1873 Rose Porro & Margarite Coraldi (Italy)
1896 – Amelia Dyer (England)
1902 – Amelia Sach & Annie Walters (England)
1889 – Jesse King (Scotland)
1903 – Elizabeth Wiese (Germany)
1865 – Catherine Winsor (England)
1907 – Rhoda Willis (Wales)
1895 – Minnie Dean (New Zealand)
1922 – Daniel Cooper (Australia)
1894 – Frances Knorr (Australia)







For a detailed look at a baby farm visit:

This photograph of Frankie Heath, rescued from a Minneapolis baby farmer,   is taken from this post:

“Minneapolis Baby Farmer” (USA), 1908 – starving baby rescued









Edith Rendell, The Baby Farmer” (poem),  Kerang New Times (Victoria, Australia), Sep. 24, 1909, p. 4


Ye mothers of Australia
O lend your pitying ear
To the wail of helpless infants
That’s borne upon the air.

As ye clasp your own loved darlings
In comfort to your hearts, I
Just think upon the fate of those
Who hear neglect’s cruel smarts.

Unwelcome little strangers
To this cold world they come,
No mother love awaiting them.
No friend, no name, no borne.

Not theirs the fault that brings them,
It is the parent’s sin,
Yet on their helpless bodies
Falls all the wrong and pain.

Who’ll rid me of this burden,
The desperate mother cries,
I cannot, will not face my friends
With shame before my eyes.

An accommodating stranger,
For dross to be paid down,
Takes the tender infant
To nurse him as her own

O luckless little creature.
Thy doom hath now its seal.
The horrors that await thee
The inquest will reveal.

Not by violent measures
She deprives hint of his breath —
By methods known unto the craft
The child is done to death.

Not alone in other states
The baby farmer thrives,
Ev-u in our very midst
She’s sacrificing lives.

She’s not a downcast person.
She’s possessed of many wiles;
She laughs and talks and is quite gay,
But she murders while she smiles.

We seek for population
In countries far away,
Yet human life is wasted
Around us every day.

The care of babes should not be left
To private enterprise
A home should be provided,
Which the state should supervise.

You say an institution
Would foster vice and sin;
How can this be
The evil hath ever with us been.

Ye women of Australia
O stay this fearful wrong,
And by concerted action
Save the helpless throng.

Ye Christian men and women.
Give it your earnest thought
To found a home for waifs and strays,
To which they may be brought.

Root out the baby farmer
By giving her no place,
And free this youthful land of ours
From murder and disgrace.

    Edith Rendell.

[Edith Rendell, The Baby Farmer” (poem),  Kerang New Times (Victoria, Australia), Sep. 24, 1909, p. 4]



ALSO SEE the related category of Baby-Sitter Serial Killers


To learn more details about murderous child care providers in history, including baby farmers, adoption agents and baby sitters, see the 2-part article “Death on the Baby Farm,” by Robert St. Estephe, A Voice for Men, July 16, 2013


SEE MORE: Female Serial Killer Collections

[21,594-8/22/18; 27,964-10/14/20]