She-wolves in ewes’ clothing.
1868 – Marie Jeanneret – Geneva, Switzerland
The woman appears to have a monomania of crime, as she neither robbed her victims nor derived any benefit from their death; she is even said to have nursed them with great tenderness.
1865 – Martha Grinder – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
“She was professedly a religious woman, and of kind and agreeable manners, and while manifesting a tender and affectionate interest in her victims, was constantly dosing them with poison.” “Mrs. Grinder ,,, was regarded by her neighbors as an estimable and most kindhearted person.One of her predominating characteristics was her keen sympathy for bereaved families. In cases of sickness she was always among the first to volunteer her services as nurse, and she could always be relied on to assist in the neighborly task, which was commonly practiced in those days, of “laying out” the body. There was seldom a funeral at which she was not conspicuous among the mourners, and the family which death had robbed of a father, mother or child, always felt a certain amount of comfort in the acknowledge that Mrs. Grinder felt for them.”
1883 – Maria Swanenburg (Van der Linden) – Leiden, Netherlands
“Maria Catherina Swanenburg (in some sources her name is given as “Van der Linden" or "van de Linden") (1839 - 1915) was a Dutch serial murderer. She was affectionately given the nickname of “Goeie Mie” (Dutch for “Good Me”), which she got for taking care of children and ill people in the poor neighborhood of Leiden in which she lived.”
1901 – Jane Toppan – Boston, Massachusetts, USA
“Selfless and good-natured, she beguiled Boston's most prominent families.” [Harold Schechter Fatal : The Poisonous Life of a Female Serial Killer, 2003]
1916 – Amy Archer-Gilligan – Windsor, Connecticut, USA
“Amy Gilligan (1901-1928) was known for her nurturing tonics and nutritional meals at her private nursing home in Windsor, Connecticut.” [Charles Montaldo]
“In a way, Amy Duggan Archer Gilligan might be considered a pioneer in health care in Connecticut. In the early part of this century, Mrs. Gilligan operated a home ''for elderly people and chronic invalids,'' in the town of Windsor. She offered some enticements for living there: Most of her clients were elderly men and they could get lifetime care simply by signing over their life insurance policies to her or by giving her $1,000, a healthy amount of money at the time, when they checked in.” [Bill Ryan, “Whatever Went Wrong With Amy?” The New York Times, Mar. 2, 1997]
1911 – Linda Burfield Hazzard – Ollala, Washington, USA
“Hazzard created a ‘sanitarium,’ Wilderness Heights, in Olalla, Washington, where inpatients fasted for days, weeks, or months on a diet of small amounts of tomato and asparagus juice and occasionally a small teaspoon of orange juice. While some patients survived and publicly sang her praises, dozens died under her care. Hazzard claimed that they all died of undisclosed or hitherto undiagnosed illnesses such as cancer or cirrhosis of the liver. Her opponents claimed that they all died of starvation. Local residents referred to the place as ‘Starvation Heights.’ She assured people that her method was a panacea for all manner of ills, because she was able to rid the body of toxins that caused imbalances in the body. During her medical career, Hazzard wrote two books about what she claimed to be the science behind fasting and how it could cure diseases. The first book she wrote was ‘Fasting for the Cure of Disease’ (1908). Her second book was ‘Scientific Fasting: the Ancient and Modern Key to Health’ (1927).” [Wikipedia]
1925 – Antoinette Sierri ("Scierri") – Nimes, France
“She was an excellent professional nurse and practiced her calling in St. Gilles and the surrounding country. She had a remarkably winning and ingratiating manner, both with patients and their families.” “The nurse made wreaths for the graves of her victims and showed tender care during their last moments.”
1928 – Bertha Gifford – Catawissa, Missouri, USA
“And “good old Bertha,” now 50 years old but once the belle of Meremec Valley, really was a Good Samaritan, provided her patients actually went through with the programme of dying as expected. In that case, with prayers, tears and tender ministrations, she eased their last moments, and she never asked money for her services.”
1950 – Georgia Tann – Memphis, Tennessee, USA
In 1924, Georgia Tann became the executive secretary of the Memphis branch of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, a charitable orphanage. Intelligent and well-educated, she quickly established herself as the foremost agent for adoptions, not only in Tennessee but in the entire United States. Her tenacity and foresight, and seemingly limitless passion for “infants of a tender age,” helped to transform adoption into a respectable cause, even chic within wealthier circles. Her reputation skyrocketed, placing her on the national stage, where organizations around the country sought her advice on all aspects of adoption and child-rearing. She spoke at conferences in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, rubbed elbows with celebrities, advised First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt on adoption matters, and was invited to the presidential inauguration of Harry Truman.
Unbeknownst to most, the unmarried woman widely recognized for destigmatizing adoption was also busy kidnapping, abusing, molesting, and selling children. Though the state required her to place babies solely with Tennessee parents for a fee to the charity not to exceed $7.00, she placed children in all forty-eight states with anyone willing to pay an exorbitant fee to her. With some paying more than $100,000 per child in today’s dollars, Tann soon became a millionaire and a dark force beyond reckoning. [except from: Phillip, Jett, “Georgia Tann: The Matron of Evil,” Criminal Element, Oct. 25, 2018]
1957 – Mary Perkins – Selma, Alabama, USA
Mary Perkins cooked some of the best food around, was not stingy about feeding the neighbor kids, or carrying plates of goodies to the Ebenezer church suppers. She nursed the sick with the passion of a Florence nightingale, was a typical minister’s wife. Then (at least from all outward experiences) life turned sour for Mrs. Perkins.
1988 – Dorothea Puente – Sacramento, California, USA
“In 1986, Puente approached social worker Peggy Nickerson with an offer of quality lodgings for elderly persons on fixed incomes. Referring to Puente as "the best the system had to offer," Nickerson sent her 19 clients over the next two years, growing concerned when some of them dropped out of sight.” [Dorothea Montalvo]
“When Kenneth McDavid met Helen Golay and Olga Rutterschmidt, they must have seemed like guardian angels. Homeless, schizophrenic, and estranged from his family, McDavid probably wasn’t used to many people showing him kindness, but the little old grannies he met in 2003 at the Hollywood Presbyterian Church’s homeless program were different. Rather than begrudging him a hot meal or averting their eyes as he passed in the street, Golay and Rutterschmidt seemed only interested in helping him. Soon after meeting him, they found McDavid an apartment in Hollywood, paid his rent and bills, and asked nothing in return… nothing except for his signature on a few legal papers.” [Stephen Johnson, The Bizarre But True Story of “The Killer Grannies of Santa Monica” 13th Floor, Jan. 5, 2017]
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