Thursday, January 21, 2016

Alva Nordberg; Swedish Baby Farmer Serial Baby Killer - 1905

In 1905 Alva Nordberg, 29, a child care provider (baby farmer) residing in Rådmansö parish, Stockholm, Sweden, was convicted of killing three babies – through either neglect or assault. She was not prosecuted for the death of a fourth child who perished after being removed from her care. Nordberg was sentenced to only four years in prison.


Alva Nordberg; Rådmansö parish, Stockholm, Sweden
Born: July 15, 1876
Arrested: Jun. 20, 1905
Court judgment: October 3, 1905

4 Victims:

1) Blenda Hallberg, daughter of Karin Ragnhild; born Feb. 27, 1905; in care of Nordberg from 8 May to 16; died in May.
2) Elsa Gunhild Wigströms daughter Naemi born March 6, 1905 ; in care of Nordberg from June 4; died Jun. 6, 1905.
3) Anna Jansson's son Axel Herman was born June 4, 1905; in care of Nordberg from July 2; died on the Jun. 15 of the same month.
4) Martha Ulrika, daughter of Alma Larsson's, May 31, 1905, in care of Nordberg from 10 June 10 to 18 July 18; died after being removed.



For more cases of “Baby Farmers,” professional child care providers who murdered children see The Forgotten Serial Killers.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Elizabeth Ridgway, English Serial Killer – 1684

There are two sources published in 1684. That reproduced here spells the name as "Ridgway," the other uses "Ridgeway" (John Newton, A True Relation of the Fact, Trial, Carriage and Death of Ridgeway, London: Richard Chiswell, 1684).


This long title from 1684 book relating Ridgway’s story summarizes the case (archaic spelling is preserved):

A True relation of four most barbarous and cruel murders committed in Leicester-shire by Elizabeth Ridgway; The Like not Known in any Age. With the Particulars of Time, Place, (and other Circumstances) how she first poisoned her own Mother; after that, a Fellow Servant; then her Sweet-Heart; and last of all her Husband; for all which Tragical Murders the being brought to Justice, was Tryed, and found Guilty, at the late Lent-Assizes held for the said County: and for the same, was Burnt to Death, on Monday the 24th. of March, 1684.

[Printed by Geo. Croom, 1684]

(Full text available free on Google books)


4 murders:
Mary Husbands, mother.
Male servant, co-worker.
Mid-Aug. 1683 – John King, paramour.
Mid-Jan. 1684 – John Ridgway, husband; killed within a week of their marriage.

Intended victims:
William Corbet
Richared Tilley


This long title from 1684 book relating Ridgway’s story summarizes the case (archaic spelling is preserved):

A True relation of four most barbarous and cruel MURDERS committed in Leicester-shire by ELIZABETH RIDGWAY; The Like not Known in any Age. With the Particulars of Time, Place, (and other Circumstances) how she first poisoned her own Mother; after that, a Fellow Servant; then her Sweet-Heart; and last of all her Husband; for all which Tragical Murders the being brought to Justice, was Tryed, and found Guilty, at the late Lent-Assizes held for the said County: and for the same, was Burnt to Death, on Monday the 24th. of March, 1684.

[Printed by Geo. Croom, 1684]


Original spellings retained with the exception to the archaic “s” letter [f] which has been changed to the modern form. [updated Jun. 24, 2016]

FULL TEXT: A Dam being once fallen from the State of Innocency and driven from that Paradise of Pleasure and Security wherein God had placed him, instead of the sublime Life, to be as God, which the Devil Had promised upon Eating the Forbidden Fruit, he put them upon the Destruction of one another, and such a Depravedness had Sin in those early Days brought upon their Nature, that the greatest, piece of Manhood we first hear of, was an Endeavour to destroy Humane Kind.

And, that the Arch-Enemy of Man might effect the utter Destruction of that Creature whose Excellent Creation he so much envied, whilst yet there was but a few in the World, he set one Brother to murder the other, even before any pretended Occasion, or Quarrel, could be alledged.

As the People increased in After-Ages, the fame Enemy of Mankind stirred up Murders, Rapines, Bloodshed, and all things that tended to the Destruction of Humane Society, Nation against Nation, and Family against Family; which, since the World hath been Peopled, Languages and Kingdoms Divided, has gotten a fairer Title than that of Murder.

But of all Murders none so plainly discovers the inherent Cruelty and Enmity which Sin has lodged in Humane Nature, as those committed by private Persons, upon Premeditation who, though by the Laws of the Land Protected from open Violence one against another, yet, will take upon them to revenge every little Difference, or conceived Displeasure, by the private Murder of the Dearest Friend they have. Of which latter sort, a fresher and more barbarous Example, certainly, has not in this Age been heard of, than what I have now to relate from Leicestershire a Female of that Country having out-done the Desperadoes of this Town for Cruelty, whose often Excesses in Drinking, Debaucheries amongst Women, and Heats of Blood produced therefrom, a little palliates for their Crimes, as more the Effect of Rashness and Madness, than the Bloodiness of their Natures.

Elizabeth Ridgway, late Wife of William Ridgway, (a Taylor at Ipstocke, a Village near Besworth in Leicestershire, three Miles from Market Besworth) being the fatal Subject of this Relation; She was the Daughter of Husbands, a Farmer, who lived in that or a neighbouring Village, with whom he was brought up, and continued untill she was about 29 Years of Age, being always looked upon as a Religious Maid, and a Follower of the Presbyterians; yet, as appears, she was a Wolf in a Lamb’s Skin, or rather, a Devil in the Shape of a Saint, and great Cause to believe, that for eight years past, at the least (if not longer) she had been such: Yet, the first of her Tragical Actions that came to publick Discovery, was committed about three years since, when, she Poysoned her own Mother, (viz. Mary Husbands) for no other Provocation, that was known, but some falling out about their Houshold Affairs, or being reproved by her said Mother for some other thing she disliked in her.

Her Mother being dispatched, she kept her Fathers House about the spice of a Year after that, went to Service, and had not long been there, but a Young-man who was one of her Fellow Servants having some Difference with her, she seemed to put it up, as her manner was, never Scolding it out, but rather, being of a dogged, sullen Humour, kept her Malice to her self. But soon after their said Difference, the young-man died suddenly, to the Admiration of the Family, by reason he was a healthful, temperate Fellow, and never complained of any Illness till a few Hours before his Death, when the Poyson was working upon him. Her way of Poysoning was, by mixing White Mercury or other Powder, in their Broath, or Drink.

These two Murthered Persons were buried, without Discovery of the Murderer, and she past on untill August last, when, having two Sweet-Hearts, or Young men that Courted her in Marriage, viz. one John King a Servant, to Mr. Paget of Ipstocke, and William Ridgway, a Taylor, of the same Town or Village, it so fell out that she seeming to have the greatest Liking to William Ridgway, as being a House-Keeper that had two Apprentices, and lived in some Repute and before she knew which she liked best, having been so free with the other as that she thought he might be some Trouble to her, she resorted to her old Trade, and continued to keep the said John King Company untill she had an Opportunity to season him some Draught which sent him into the other World. This third Murder she accomplish’d about the middle of August, and past part of the Winter in Service, untill after Christmas she was married to the Unfortunate Taylor William Ridgway with whom she had not lived above a Week but they hapned [sic] to have some Falling-out, yet such, as that Ridgway told her, he doubted he should have an uncomfortable Wife of her, or said some Words to that effect. However, their Difference seemed to be composed, and they went lovingly together to Ashby Delazouch Market to buy some Houshold-stuff; but in a Fortnight after their Falling-out, being in all about three Weeks after the Marriage she gave him some Broath, wherein she had put White Mercury; at eating of which, he found great Fault, in the hearing of one or both the Apprentices, saying, something was in them more than ordinary, find that it grated in his Teeth: but notwithstanding that Dislike, he eat so much as worked his Destruction; for he soon sell into a very sad Condition, and died after they had been married three Weeks and two Days.

He was buried without any publick Discovery of his being Poysoned: But the time of her Diabolical Actions drawing near a Determination, or rather the Divine justice now overtaking such horrid and unnatural Sins, this fourth Murder caused a Discontent amongst the Neighbourhood, who not being able to prove any thing against her, it rested some days, untill she attempted to Poyson her two Apprentices also, making her fifth Attempt upon Richard Tilley, her youngest apprentice, seasoning his Broath with her Wonted ingredients; but the Boy a little alarum’d by the Complaint his Master made of his Broath, or having watched her more narrowly, positively refused to eat his poysoned Broath; at which the pretending Anger, took them up and threw them away; the Boy repaired as soon as possible, and acquainted his Father therewith, and how his Dame had thrown the Porridge away because he refused them, as likewise he had observed her to throw some that were left in his Master’s Dish, away; the former Suspicion then grew into a Flame; she was seized, and carried before Sir Beaumont Dixey, a neighboring Justice of Peace, where all the Circumstances of Suspicion were charged against her, but more especially that of her Husband’s Death; who, after he had been buried eight days, was taken up again, and viewed; but ‘tis most remarkable, That when John Ridgway, the Father of the Deceased, forced her to touch the dead Body (which she was very averse to) it burst out at Nose and Mouth Bleeding, as fresh as if new Stabbed: howbeit, her Instructor in those wicked Practices, to secure her for his own, kept her from any penitent Acknowledgment; but on the contrary, she persisted in constant Denial of all that was charged against her, that she had either Poysoned her Husband or any other Person.

The Coroner being sent for, had such strong Evidence, that upon his Inquest, William Ridgway was found to be Poysoned, and said Elizabeth thereupon committed to Leicester Goal. At the Assizes, which in some Weeks after was held for that County, she was brought to Tryal, continuing in her Denial: but the said Inquest taken by the Coroner, with the concurring Evidence of the Boy hearing his Master’s Complaint of the Broath and upon a strict Inquiry, having been found out that she had bought White Mercury at Abby Delazouch Market when (he went with her said Husband to buy Houshold stuff, (and soon after their Falling-out) also that when the Boy refused the Porridge, and that Che found he suspected her, she desired him to say nothing of her throwing the Porridge away, but that if he would be good to her she would be good to him with several other strong Circumstances that at least she had poysoned her Husband: and she being thereof found Guilty, received Sentence to be Burnt to Ashes at the Common Place of Execution for that County.

After Sentence, great Endeavours were used by many to work in her a Confession, and Remorse of such barbarous Crimes; all which proved ineffectual till the very Morning (viz. on Monday the 24th. of March. 1684.) that she was to be Executed; when she perceiving she must dye, and that her Denials would avail her nothing, confess’d, that for eight years past she had lain with a Familiar Spirit, who at her first Contract with him, tempted her to poyson her self, which she refused; and after that tempted her to poyson any one that offended her; that she had, during the said years, constantly concealed Poyson in her Hair, and upon all Occasions renewed it at several Markets: she confess’d the Murdering of her Mother, of her Fellow-Servant, and of her Sweet-heart, to be for the Reasons herein mentioned also, that when married she did not love her Husband, and therefore Poysoned him; that she intended to have Poisoned her two Apprentices, Richard Tilley and William Corbet; and last of all to have Poisoned her self. She did not seem, very free in her Confession, mentioning only those with whose Death she had been charged therefore it’s thought in her eight years time many others, not taken notice of died by her Malice, by reason of the could not, to the very last, be brought to any penitent Behaviour, refusing the Assistance of two Eminent Divines who offered to go with her and assist her at the Place of Execution, telling them, the could Read and Pray as well as they could. Neither would she add any thing more at the Stake, or repeat what she had before confess’d; telling the People she had made a Confession before she came out. She was kept great part of the Day in Prison, in Expectation of a greater Discovery; and when at the Stake, a Spectator of two Brothers who were Executed for other Crimes (one of which might have had a Reprieve if he would have hanged his Brother, and Executed her, but refused it) all which having no other Effect than hath been related, she was at length fastned to the Stake, much desiring they would let her be hanged first, which not being granted, as soon as the Fire touched her she gave one Shriek, and leaping besides the Block, with the Rope and the Smoak she was soon choaked, and afterwards burnt according to the Sentence.

If any Reader question the Truth of this Relation, or think the Author may have added thereto, they may be satisfied to the contrary by William Corbet, the eldest of the said Apprentices (one of them that was attempted to be Poysoned) who upon the Death of his Master being at Liberty, is come up to this Town, and lives now at the Swan in Shooe-makers Row in Black-Fryers, As also by George Ridgway, the Brother of the said William Ridgman that was Poysoned, who lives at the Kings-Head in Kings-street near the Queens Garden.


LONDON, Printed by Geo. Croom, at the Sign of the Blew Ball over against Baynard’s Castle in Thames-street. 1684.




More cases: Female Serial Killers Executed



Sunday, January 17, 2016

Charlotte Howell (Dutton), Suspected Serial Kiiller – Pennsylvania 1895

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 4): Wellsborough, Penn., Aug. 10. – Mrs. Charlotte Howell of Tioga, a good-looking woman of about twenty-seven years of age. was lodged in jail here last eight, charged with the murder of Miss Libbie Knapp at Tioga on May 30 last. Two detectives from the Wilkinson agency, in New-York have been investigating the case for six weeks, and it is believed that they have secured evidence enough to convict Mrs. Howell of the crime. Her examination is to take place next Tuesday.

Miss Knapp died under mysterious circumstances. She retired at night in her usual health, awoke in great pain, and died twelve hours later. She stoutly affirmed before her death that she had been poisoned, and so the Coroner’s jury decided.

Miss Knapp had been living with the Howells, and it is believed that Mr. Howell became jealous of her. It is said that the detectives have some evidence to show that Howell’s first wife died under similar circumstances a few years ago, and that his young son also died suddenly, both deaths resulting from poisoning, and that Mrs. Howell may also be connected with these cases.

[“Mrs. Charlotte Howell Arrested on a Charge of Murder Her Husband’s First Wife and Son Died Strangely.” The New York Times (N. Y.), Aug. 11, 1895, p. 9]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 4): At the close of the examination of Mrs. Charlotte Howell last Wednesday morning before Justice Robert K. Young she was remanded to jail to await the action of the grand jury at the September term of court, on the charge of poisoning Miss Libbie Knapp at Tioga last May.

Mr. Jerome Burke, a neighbor of the Howells, testified that a day or two before Libbie Knapp’s death his wife asked him to stop at Mr. Howell’s house and ask after Libbie as he passed on the way to milk his cow. He opened the Howell gate, walked to the door and peered around the house, satisfying himself that nobody was yet astir. When he went out he barred the gate with a prop. On his return from milking, Mr. Burke, who walks with an artificial leg, set the pail down at Howell’s gate to rest. While he was standing there the door of the Howell house was opened as Mrs. Howell pushed her head outside, the quickly withdrew it when she saw Burke. That Mrs. Howell displayed a letter addressed to Libbie Knapp, which she said she found tied to the front gate early that morning. Burke, however declares that the front gate early that morning. Burke, however declares that there was no sign of a note or envelope on gate or door when he went by the house. The contents of this letter were of a filthy, depraved character, charging the Knapp girl with improper acts and reiterating the story of the administration of the poison.

Mrs. Mary Stevens testified that in the early part of March Mrs. Howell borrowed from her a teaspoonful of poison known as “Rough on Rats,” the reason given that Mrs. Howell wanted to get rid of an old dog. About the middle of April Mrs. Howell sent for more of the poison to kill a cat. She said her husband had found the first dose and threw it into the stove. About two weeks before the time that Libbie Knapp was taken ill at her house Mrs. Howell one morning sent a note by her boy to the witness, in which she requested Mrs. Stevens to bring with her the box of “Rough on Rats” and come to her house at once. Mrs. Stevens was at that time in a delicate condition. She complied with the request in the note, took the box of “Rough on Rats” and went to Mrs. Howell’s house. Mrs. Howell declared that during the night before she dreamed that somebody had given Mrs. Stevens poison to kill her unborn babe, and that because of this dream she wanted Mrs. Stevens to turn the box of “Rough on Rats” over into her possession. Mrs. Stevens acquiesced, and saw Mrs. Howell push the box back on a shelf among a number of bottles. Two days after the death of Libbie Knapp Mrs. Stevens called at the Howell home, and Mrs. Howell told her that she had burned the box of “Rough on Rats” in the stove that very morning, because since Libbie died of poison she was so nervous that she didn’t want any of it in her house.

The evidence of Mr. Burt Keeney, the stenographer who was present at the interview with Mrs. Howell in District Attorney Owlett’s office, was important. Notwithstanding that Dr. Brown had stated on the stand that Libbie Knapp never said anything to to him about being poisoned., Mrs. Howell told the District Attorney that Libbie told the doctor that she thought she was poisoned; that if he would give her something for poison it would help her; that Libbie told this to Dr. Brown nearly every time her cam; told him that she thought Will Rightmire had poisoned her. According to the testimony of Keeney the defendant material discrepancies between her statements immediately after the girl’s will be remembered that the first dose of “Rough on Rats” had been found by her husband had burned; in the hearing of Mr. Keeney she stated that the first lot of poison procured from Mrs. Stevens was spread on bread, and put in the clear for rats; the second, as she stated before, who used for killing an old black cat.

It was shown by witnesses that Mrs. Howell’s stories as to when she burned the poison did not agree. She told the Distict Attorney that she burned up the box at Libbie’s request two days before her death. She also said she was washing clothes at the well when Burke passed her house; this Burke denied. There were also some serious discrepancies to her story about the dream and Mrs. Stevens’s statement if the incident.

When Libbie Knapp died a startling story was circulated. Mrs. Howell declared that a night or two before the girl died she was aroused from her sleep by Libbie’s screams. She went down stairs to the girl’s room, where Libbie told her that somebody had been in her room, had put some sweetish substance in her mouth and had stolen her pocket book, which contained a small sum of money. The night following this strange occurrence Mrs. Howell says a letter and Libbie’s pocket-book were tied to the gate. The note purported to have been written by young Rightmire, and it declared that it was he who had entered the girl’s room, administered the poison and took the pocket-book. Mrs. Howell, subsequent to the girl’s death, said Libbie told her that Rightmire once made an improper proposal to her, for which she “read him a free lecture.” Rightmire further charged her with having improper relations with Chauncey Howell.

Mrs. Howell had been asked to print with a pencil some verbatim copies of the letters which had been sent to Libbie Knapp. She did so, and her copies of the letters which had been sent to Libbie Knapp. She did so, and her copies were placed in evidence to show their striking similarity to the original in general and in the peculiar formulation of many letters in particular.

[“The Case of Mrs. Charlotte Howell. – Testimony On Which She Was Held For The Action Of The Grand Jury.” The Wellsboro Agitator (Pa.), Aug. 21, 1895, p. 3]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 4): Wellsboro, Pa., Nov. 28. – The county court here has been occupied all week on the case of Mrs. Charlotte Howell, who is charged with the murder of Elizabeth Knapp at Tioga last May. It will be remembered that Miss Knapp died under mysterious circumstances, and it was suspected that she had been poisoned. Detectives were set to work and the more they investigated the case, the more probable it became that a foul deed had been committed. Miss Knapp lived with Mrs. Howell and for months before her death she received every day or two a threatening anonymous letter. Libbie (Miss Knapp) saved all the letters until she had about 100. These are now to offered in evidence and an attempt is made to establish the fact that Mrs. Howell was the author of them all, and that she it was who, from a jealous motive gave Libbie Knapp poison. Mrs. Howell was induced to write or print some letters in Roman capitals, dictated to her from some of the originals. She made these copies in the presence of several witnesses, among them the detectives.

The case has dragged along without particular incident until this afternoon, when Mrs. Howell was put upon the stand to testify in her own behalf relative to her examination in the district attorney’s office before her arrest, when she made the printed copies of the letters. She stated that Dupignac, one of the New York detectives, was in the room alone with her and that he made an insulting proposal to her, offered her $25 to accede to his request. She alleges that the detectives told her that if she would confess the whole thing they would let her off free.

Dupignac took the stand and declared that there was no truth in the woman’s testimony regarding has words and actions.The letters made by Mrs. Howell were then offered in evidence as a ground upon which to establish the fact that she brought the original notes to Libbie Knapp, which contained vile insinuations and threats. The court ruled all these letters out and this is considered a very strong point for the defence. The case is a very singular one in criminal annals. The evidence is very circumstantial, but is deemed to be quite complete in every point, except on that of a motive for poisoning the girl.

If the commonwealth is able to male it appear that Mrs. Howell was jealous of the girl the case will be a strong one, without this, it will no doubt, be impossible to convict her.

[“Charlotte Howell’s Trial. - Tioga County Furnishes the Most Peculiar Case Upon Record – A Detective Accused.” Scranton Tribune (Pa.), Nov. 30, 1895, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 4 of 4): Wellsboro, Pa., December 13. Mrs. Charlotte Howell was acquitted of the charge of murder in poisoning Libbie Knapp to-night. The verdict of the jury was greeted with uproarious applause in the court room. Mrs. Howell remained calm, until her relatives stepped up to congratulate her. Then her eyes filled with tears for a moment, but she dashed them away and was herself again. The Messrs. Dutton, of New York, her two brothers, and her sister and a few other friends clustered about her as she arose from her chair a free woman. She quietly accepted the hands offered, and when two or three of the jurors approached to be presented to her, she met them in a dignified and modest manner, and with no demonstration of emotion.

This morning Jerome B. Niles occupied the entire session in a forcible presentation of the Commonwealth’s side of the case. He was followed by Judge Mitchell, who consumed nearly two hours and a half in his charge to the jury. This was considered by members of the bar a fair and impartial statement of the case. He dwelt upon the fact that the evidence had been wholly circumstantial and instructed the jury that unless they could satisfy their minds beyond a reasonable doubt that Mrs. Howell had committed the crime, and no one else, it would clearly be their duty, under the law, to acquit her. The case was given to the jury at 5 o’clock, and exactly an hour later they had reached their verdict. Many of the jurors are elderly men and they showed the strain of twenty days confinement. They appeared to be relieved and well satisfied with their work.

A Strange Case.

The Howell case was one of the strangest in the criminal annals of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Howell, who is the wife of Chauncey Howell, of Tioga, is a member of a well-known New York family, and her two brothers are among the wealthiest merchants of that city. She was estranged from them from the time of her marriage, until the charge of murder was preferred against her, when they came to her assistance. The Howells and Knapps were neighbors and a warm intimacy existed between Mrs. Howell and Libbie, who was 19 years old. Libbie had a love affair, which ended in a parting, and thereafter she began to receive letters which would be found tied to the door knob, thrust in a broken window pane, or thrown in the doorway. These bore the signature of a Tioga young man and most of them, it was alleged, were found by Mrs. Howell.

Last May Libbie was taken suddenly ill and Mrs. Howell took her to her own house to attend her. On May 17 she died and subsequently evidence of poisoning was found. Mrs. Howell Was soon afterwards arrested. The letters, which were both obscene and threatening in character, were all printed in Roman letters with a lead pencil. It was the Commonwealth’s purpose to prove that the prisoner had poisoned the girl because of jealousy.

A Sensational Statement.

The trial began three weeks ago, and on the fourth day Mrs. Howell was put on the stand in her own behalf. She created a sensation by declaring that she had been offered money and promised acquittal if she would make a confession. This proposition was alleged to have been made by detectives before the formal charge was made against her. It was denied by those implicated. One of the witnesses for the prosecution was Wm. Rightmer, the discarded lover of Libbie Knapp, upon whom counsel for the defense attempted to fasten suspicion. The medical testimony proved that the girl had been killed by arsenic, but it was all along the impression that no motive for committing the crime had been fixed on Mrs. Howell. It was also shown that others beside herself had found the letters, and there was much testimony of an inferential character directed towards Rightmer as their author. There was nothing adduced to show that the relations of the two women had ever been anything but warm and friendly.

There is a general satisfaction over the result of the trial, but the case remains shrouded in mystery. There is no question of the fact that the girl was murdered, but nothing positive has been brought out to fasten the crime upon anyone.

[“Mrs. Charlotte Howell. - Mrs. Howell Not Guilty The Verdict Of The Jury Affords General Satisfaction. - A Most Extraordinary Case - The Death of Libbie Knapp Remains as Great a Mystery as Ever - She Unquestionably Died From Poison, But by Whom It Was Administered Will Probably Never be Known.” The Times (Philadelphia, Pa.), Dec. 14, 1895, p. 1]





For more cases of this category, see: Female Serial Killers of 19th Century America (as of January 20, 2014, the collection contains 61 cases)


Chivalry Justice in 1907 USA

FULL TEXT: Is there a “dementia Americana” for women murderers?

Are women who kill men protected from capital punishment by an “unwritten law” which, says they shall not be hanged?

The plea of the eloquent California lawyer who defended Thaw that the “unwritten law” justifies a man in killing another under certain circumstances finds an equally strong counterpart in a public sentiment firmly fixed in most States which silently protests against capital punishment for women.

Is this sentiment, which may be called the new “unwritten law,” the incentive to recent numerous murders of men by women.

The question whether women become murderesses because they are, through a maudlin public sentiment, immune from the severest penalty of the law, is one which criminologists and the legal profession now discuss without reaching a solution which will receive general approval.

The hanging of a. woman in Vermont a few years ago for the murder of her husband, though the people of the State protested, proved that the executive of the State was firm in heeding the cold demand of the law. On the other hand, the commutation of the death penalty to life imprisonment. In the case of Mrs. Aggie Myers would indicate that the chief executive of this State yielded to the almost unanimous prejudice against capital punishment for women.

The recent killing of Walter S. Guerin, a young artist, by Mrs. Dora McDonald, wife of an ex-gambling and political boss of Chicago, has given rise to the question whether the woman committed the deed in the full realization that the sentiment opposing capital punishment for women would save her from the severe penalty of the law, or whether she counted on the strong political influence and wealth of her husband to extricate her.

~ Chicago Sentiment Divided. ~

Although in Chicago sentiment is divided as to justification or lack of justification for the killing, the feeling is strong that she ought not, and probably will not, have to face the risk of the extreme penalty should she be convicted.

The actual motive of this still very recent crime is as yet unexplained. The murderess has since the day of the tragedy been suffering from real or feigned mental derangement, and in lucid moments has declared that she killed the artist in self-defense and again has stated that she went to Guerin’s studio to put an end to a burden of blackmail which he had forced upon her.

On the other hand, Guerin’s relatives say it was murderous jealousy which led to the crime, that Dora McDonald was so infatuated with the young man that on hearing a false report that he was to wed another she was driven to frenzy, and determined to kill him rather than permit another woman to take her place in his affections.

Mrs. McDonald has obtained her liberty temporarily, under heavy bail, and while already indicted for murder in the first degree, remains safe from inquisitors m her luxurious home. While juries in Illinois have not been too reluctant in punishing women for murder, they have invariably disregarded the State’s plea for capital punishment.

~ Transferred His Affections. ~

More sensational, perhaps, was the recent killing of former United States benator Arthur Brown, of Utah, at Washington, D. C. , by Mrs Annie M. Bradley. The man, according to the woman’s story had often promised to obtain a divorce from his wife and marry her. At other times, it is claimed, he promised to and did acknowledge publicly that Mrs. Bradley’s two younger children were his. When she discovered this he had transferred his affections, after his wife’s death, to another woman, whom it was rumored he was about to marry. Mrs. Bradley followed him to the National Capital and killed him.

Whether the “new unwritten law” will prevail to save Mrs. Bradley from capital punishment in the event she is convicted is a problem. Though possessing no means she has many influential friends, who are standing by her. A half dozen able lawyers have been engaged to defend her and they are sanguine they will secure acquittal.

~ The Case of Mrs. Tolla. ~

There nas been one recent case, though, where a jury scorned the new “unwritten law” and did not hesitate to convict a woman for murder. It was in Jersey City that Mrs. Antoinette Tolla in defense from the persecution of Joseph Santo shot and killed him. Even the wife of the slam man justified the killing, but the jury failed to see any extenuating circumstances or to be influenced by the defendant’s sex and found her guilty of murder in the first degree. However public sentiment proved powerful enough to save the woman from an ignominious fate and influence brought to bear upon the State board of pardons resulted in a commutation to life imprisonment.

A different wrong from the one usually actuating women to slay men figures in the mysterious case of the Baroness, de Massey. She came to this country a few months ago and in New York killed Gustav Simon a wealthy shirt manufacturer who she alleges, murdered her husband in France. It was to avenge her husband’s murder she declares, that she followed Simon and killed him. The family of Simon deny the woman’s story and assert that she attempted to blackmail her victim and failing and fearing exposure, she slew him.

There are the same elements of mystery and contradiction in this murder by a woman as in the McDonald-Guerin tragedy in Chicago. The trial will doubtless reveal the truth and demonstrate whether the now “unwritten law” which safeguards murderesses will prevail to save the Baroness de Massey, should she be convicted.

~ May Escape Death Penalty. ~

There are, however, numerous precedents to make the baroness hopeful that she will either be acquitted or escape the death penalty. There are the cases of Florence Burns, Rosa, Salza, Josephine Terranova, and Nan Patterson. The first three named who killed men were set free by juries in the case of Nan Patterson, the former show girl was placed on trial three times for the alleged murder of Caesar Young, an English sporting man, who died from a pistol shot while in a cab with her. There was no proof that Nan Patterson shot the man but his severance of his relations with her was claimed by the prosecution to furnish the motive which probably led her to kill him.

The prosecution amassed much circumstantial evidence to show that Nan Patterson committed the crime, but on each one of the trials as many different juries failed to be convinced and disagreed. She was given her freedom. Since then she became reconciled to her husband, and the two are living together. Only her trial will determine whether Goldie O’Neil, a once popular chorus girl will fare better, as well, or worse than Nan Patterson. She stabbed her husband to death with a hatpin. She claims self-defense, and her friends and relative’s sustain that plea.

~ Sentiment Favors the Women. ~

On the other hand, the State declares it will prove that Goldie O’Nell, chafing under the matrimonial yoke, deliberately drove a hatpin through her husband’s heart. In jail at Bridgeport, she awaits her trial. Sentiment in the community, as in most others in America, favors the new “unwritten law” for women.

In the South, where the ancient “unwritten law” is still strong in turning men, the new “unwritten law,” which saves murderesses from capital punishment, does not appear from a recent instance to grant them absolute immunity. Mrs. Annie Birdsong, member of a prominent family of Mississippi, and a cousin of former United States Senate McDaurin, of South Carolina, shot and killed Dr. Butler, an intimate friend of her husband. The woman’s plea was that her victim had slandered her without cause.

The prosecution claimed that Mrs Birdsong was infatuated with Dr Butler, and that she was enraged at his coolness toward her. The ablest lawyers of Mississippi were arrayed on both sides, former Senator McLaurln appearing as one of the counsel for his relative. The defense felt that their case was so strong that Mrs. Birdsong must easily go free. But, contrary to general expectation, the jury thought otherwise, though it exercised a large degree of mercy.

She was found guilty of manslaughter, and received a term of several years in State’s prison. A motion for a new trial was made, successfully in the near future, Mrs Birdsong will face a jury for the second time, and the impression is that the verdict may be acquittal.

~ The Case of Judge Favrot. ~

Differing from the Birdsong case only in that the accused slayer is a man, instead of a woman, but in all other essential circumstances the same, is that of former Judge Favrot, now a Louisiana Congressman-elect, who on the day he was elected, shot and killed his most intimate friend, also a physician, for the same cause Mrs. Birdsong claims impelled her crime, only that Congressman Favrot asserts that his victim slandered the good name of his wife.

Favrot still being judge of the court whose duty it was to summon a grand jury to take up his case could not act, but after considerable delay, a special judge was named, a grand jury impaneled and an indictment for murder in the first degree returned. This bill, however, sustained by the lower court, has been quashed by a higher tribunal, and while it is almost certain that a new indictment will be found against Favrot, it is believed certain that the “unwritten law” will prove effectual in saving him. The two cases are cited merely because they are similar in circumstances and to show that while the only difference is the sex of the slayer, juries are differently swayed by what has recently been called “dementia Americana,” a new name coined by the chief counsel in Thaw’s defense for a public sentiment which has abided with and influenced Americans from the earliest time.

~ The “Unwritten Law” and Its Power. ~

In considering the force and power of the new “unwritten law” which comes to juries from the people and virtually tells these arbiters of the fate of murderesses that they shall not hang a woman only crimes in which men are the victims of wronged women’s passion or jealousy are cited. There are many other murder cases in which females are the slayers, but in which women or children are the victims.

The mercy of the new “unwritten law” extends to the latter as well as to those who take the life of men. Around the men slayers, though, there is more of the glamour of romance, sentiment, and human sympathy than there is for the woman or girl who kills either another of her sex or children. Mercy is the softening factor in punishment for a woman who, through jealousy or cruelty, slays one of her sex or a helpless child. But no real sympathy is aroused for such an offender, and punishment tempered with leniency, is the inevitable decree.

The woman who kills a man to redress a wrong done her which the law will not right for her rarely risks the extreme penalty. This fact, for fact it is, and based on precedents and recurring precedents in new crimes, is argued by criminologists to be the cause of the sudden and appalling increase in the number of murders by women-killings in which men are the victims.

~ Many Still to Be Tried. ~

There are a large number of murderesses yet to be tried for their deeds, too recent and with the details too fresh in mind, to prove that the new “unwritten law” is inflexible. It remains to be seen how jurors will act in some very remarkable cases in which women are the defendants.

An Italian girl, Maria Schabara, while in one of the crowds which daily assembled to catch a glimpse of Evelyn Thaw, little dreamed that she would speedily become the occupant of a cell in the jail. In the throng she espied Nicola Ferrance, a young countryman who had cast her off. She was at his side. In a moment and pleading with him to do her justice. He pushed her from him and laughed Maria drew a revolver and shot him. Her sole and strong hope of escape is that her story will move the jury to comply with the new “unwritten law.”

Emma Ripkie, not quite twenty, awaits in a cell at Council Bluffs, Iowa, her trial for the murder of Frank K Potts, her affianced. She discovered letters written to him by another woman, and shot him to death while he was asleep. In his room Miss Ripkie exhibits not the least fear of the outcome of her crime.

~ Killed Six Weeks After Marriage. ~

Mrs. Margery Clark enticed Algernon S. Atwood to Boston six weeks after his marriage, shot him to death on his arrival and then mortally wounded herself. She had wired Atwood that she was dying and prompted by his former affection for Mrs. Clark he went on to his death.

Mrs. William Robinson, of Terre Haute and accused her husband of being untrue to her He laughed at the charge and she became enraged and shot him. She feels confident, that she will go free.

Jennie Ruth Burch, a half-breed young Indian nursegirl killed her three-year-old baby charge because she feared punishment for burning a barn owned by the child’s parents at White Plains, N. Y. The youth of the murderess, and the fact of her Indian blood, while it may save her from the electric chair will probably result in her confinement under strict restaint in the State reformatory. The new “unwritten law” will not be a factor, it is assumed, in deciding her fate.

~ Girl Shot by Sister. ~

More thrilling was the shooting of Ida Goff, a girl in her early teens, by her sister Mrs Josephine Kelly, who charged alienating her husband’s affection. At Atlanta, Ga., Mrs. E. M. Standifer shot her seventeen-year-old sister to death for the same reason, and the jury set her free. Mrs Kelly, from the present status of public feelings in Baltimore, where the tragedy occurred, will probably suffer light punishment.

Several women are to be tried in Kentucky in the near future for the killing of the women who they believed robbed the slayers of their husband’s affections. Likely as not the new “unwritten law” which extenuates the crimes of women who slay men will prevail to save them.

Acquittals of women recently who murdered men who wronged them are numerous enough to prove how strong is the trend of the public mind in its opposition to punishing slayers of the gentler sex.

[“Does the New ‘Unwritten Law’ Shelter Women Who Shed Blood,” (from: St/. Louis Post-Dispatch) Washington Post (D. C.), May 12, 1907, p. 10]



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


Friday, January 15, 2016

Abigall Hill, Serial Killer Baby Farmer – England, 1658

EXCERPT: This woman Abigall Hill, was looked upon by all her neighbours, for a woman inclined to much compassion, she seemed much to pity young children, that were in distress, and according to her power to relieve them. She was therefore supposed to be a good nurse into whose charge and care the nursing up of young children should be committed.

She lived many years in the parish of St. Olaves in Southwark with her husband who is yet living, ans some children she brought up carefully, and returning them after the time was out unto the parish who paid her for them, thinking her to be a careful and good woman; and this was the reason that many children were brought unto her, and if any time any child forsaken by the wicked mother was left upon the parish, she would be ready to receive and undertake to bring it up being a nurse as wicked, and more cruel than the mother.

Seven years thus she lived, and no notice was taken of what became of her children if any were missing, it being believed that they died by sickness, or having so many of them lying on her hands she had delivered the charge of them to some poor woman to be careful of them. It was oftentimes murmured indeed amongst her neighbours that such a child was conveyed away and much suspicion there was amongst them because they could not tell what was become of it, and the suddenness of the removal of the child without any noise of sickness or discontent did add much unto their jealousy. At the last, it pleased God that this wicked woman and her husband did fall out, where in the heat of his passion he did upbraid her with the children she had made away.

This presently was taken notice of by the neighbours, who affirming it was pity was wicked creature should live upon the Earth, did acquaint the constable with it. Who, carrying her before a justice of the peace (she having but little to say for herself), was sent to Newgate, and at the Sessions following, which began on Wednesday, December 15th, her indictment was read for murdering of four children. And she being not able to say anything for herself, as to give answer what became of the children or, if they were dead, to satisfy where they were buried, the jury found her guilty, not only for that horrid murder, but for the charge against her that she had made a trade of it, and that the Quarter Day she would borrow children of her poor acquaintance and bring them to the master of the parish as if they were those she had taken into her custody to nurse, and having received her pay for them she would return them again unto those of whom she had borrowed them.

All the confession which she made at the bar was that indeed once one of her children lying sick and but little hope of life, she did wring it by the neck and killed it to put it out of its pain. For this and her other horrid murders she was condemned to suffer death and be hanged at Cheapside, which accordingly was performed on Wennesday, December 22nd, 1658. Being come to the place of execution, either the stubbornness of her resolution or the desperateness of her condition had made her almost senseless, for she made no confession at all being advised of the shortness of her life and to meet with God by repentance, she would return no answer to the admonitions of the divine nor of any other that did give her any saving counsels. It is observable that being on the ladder, as the executioner was fitting the fatal rope about her neck, she turned suddenly unto him as if she had been in some passion and said unto him, “What! Do you make account to choke me?” She had time given on her to make confession, but the people perceiving that she abused their expectation the hangman as the last turned her off the ladder and she died miserably, as she died mercilessly.

[from pages 10-14, in: A True relation of the most horrid and barbarous murders committed by Abigall Hill of St. Olaves Southwark, on the persons of foure infants; parish children, whom she undertooke to nurse, and her most deceitfull borrowing of other children of her poore acquaintance, whom on every quarter day she would bring to the over-seers of the parish, and receive her quarters pay for them, as if they had bin the same children which had bin committed to her charge to nurse. For which most cruell murders, being convicted and condemned at the sessions held at the Old-Baily. Wednesday Decemb. 15. Shee [sic] was accordingly executed on Wednesday, Decemb. 22. in Cheapside neare unto Woodstreet. Together with a true account of the strange and stubborn end she made, and her jeering of her executioner at the houre of her death. And a caveat to all other women that are suspected for the like unnaturall and most unmercifull practises. London : Printed for F. Coles, 1658.]


NOTE: Wikipedia: In British and Irish tradition, the quarter days were the four dates in each year on which servants were hired, school terms started, and rents were due. They fell on four religious festivals roughly three months apart and close to the two solstices and two equinoxes. The significance of quarter days is now limited, although leasehold payments and rents for land and premises in England are often still due on the old English quarter days. The quarter days have been observed at least since the Middle Ages, and they ensured that debts and unresolved lawsuits were not allowed to linger on. Accounts had to be settled, a reckoning had to be made and publicly recorded on the quarter days. The English quarter days (also observed in Wales and the Channel Islands) are Lady Day (25 March), Midsummer Day (24 June), Michaelmas (29 September), Christmas (25 December).



More: Female Serial Killers Executed


For more cases of “Baby Farmers,” professional child care providers who murdered children see The Forgotten Serial Killers.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Youthful Borgias: Girls Who Murder – The Forgotten “Lizzie Bordens”

“Youthful Borgia, “Young Borgia” were common terms used in the nineteenth century to describe girls who committed or attempted to commit murder.

The vast majority of the cases listed here have failed to attract the interest of criminologists, forensic psychology experts and “gender” studies professors. Those “experts,” like Prof. Michael Kimmel, purveyor of Cultural Marxism-derived theories condemning large swaths of male sex as pathologically violent, those of them not properly feminized (particularly “white” gentile ones), have neither knowledge nor place in their fallacious ideology for such cases as those cited here.

Kimmel asserts: “Seldom do the news reports note that virtually all the violence in the world today is committed by men. Imagine, though, if the phalanxes of violence were composed entirely of women. Would that not be the story, the only issue to be explained? Would not a gender analysis occupy the center of every single story? The fact that these are men seems so natural as to raise no questions, generate no analysis.” [Michael S. Kimmel, The Gendered Society; Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 243]

Almost all? It is not clear what he means by “almost all” or by “violence.” What we can be sure of is that Kimmel has no familiarity with the large body of evidence of female perpetrated violence – evidence which he and his colleagues, because of rigid ideological bias, bend over backwards to ignore. In the fundamentalist "social constructionist" ideology females who are individual agents capable of violence (that is not caused by socially imposed “gender roles”) are supposed to be nonexistent. This type of mentality is akin to magical thinking (as practiced by children and low IQ adults).

Note: This list is still in progress. Included are cases which are included in the collection “Serial Killer Girls.”


Sample case:

Click to enlarge


Of particular interest, of course, are the youngest of the murderesses. Here is a list of those 10 and younger that will be found below:

Age 3 – 1906 – Ziapasa daughter
Age 4 – 1885 – Lizzie Lewis
Age 4 – 1897 – Retta McCabe
Age 6 – 1892 – Bottoms Girl
Age 6 – 1899 – Lizzie Cook
Age 7 – 1887 – Virginia Hudson
Age 7 – 1925 – Alsa Thompson
Age 8 – 1867 – Martin Girl
Age 8 – 2001 – Jummai Hassan
Age 8 – 1900 – Valentine Dilly
Age 9 – 1885 – Mary Cooper
Age 9 – 1884 – Annie Beebles
Age 9 – 1890 – Eleanor O’Neill
Age 9 – 1902 – Anna Peters
Age 9 – 1896 – Hattie Record
Age 9 – 2005 – “East New York girl”
Age 10 –1873 – Sarah Reeves
Age 10 – 1897 – Geneva Arnold
Age 10 – 1886 – Jane Walker
Age 10 – 2010 –  “Sandy Springs girl”
Age 10 – 2012 – Kelli Murphy


Cases in which the murderess falsely accuses a boy of committing the murder she has carried out:
1895 – Anna Bell ("Annabell") – Fairfield County, South Carolina – age 14; tortured a boy (9) to try to get him to falsely confess.
1899 – Carrie Sampson – Tallahassee, Florida, USA – age 13; claimed a “big boy” had committed the murder.
1902 – Nellie Corneilson – Wichita, Kansas – age 11; blamed bother (5) of murdering sister (3).


1838 – Anne-Marie Boeglin – Stetten, Haut Rhin, Alsace, France age 17 – murdered father and two adult brothers in succession.
1844 – Mary Johnson – Lincoln, England – age 12, murdered two brothers at same time using poison. (double murder)
1851 – Rachel Clark – Carlisle, Pennsylvania – “young girl”; poisoned to death "several," crippling one.  (serial killer)
1852 – Catharine B. Bushler – Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, USA – age 12; murdered sister; cut throat with butcher knife. (Mar. 10)
1860 – Constance Emily Kent – Rode (Road in 1860) Wiltshire, England – age 15; murdered half-brother, 4, with razor. (Jun. 29)
1865 – Marie-Françoise Bougaran – Brest & Lesneven, France – age 15; killed 4 children "by forcing them to swallow excrements, and then cutting the veins of the neck with a knife." (serial killer)
1867 – Martin Girl – Cassville, Barry County, South Carolina – age 8; shot brother (4)  deliberately, mangled the body. (Jul. 4)
1867 – Elizabeth Wheeldon – Shirland Delves, near Alfreton, Derby, England – age 17 at time of apprehension; She poisoned two children of her at employer on different occasions so that she would have less work to do. (2 murders on separate occasions)
1868 – Barber Girl – Corning, New York – threw young child on floor, stamped it until almost lifeless, then roasted it to death. (Nov. 25)
1868 – Elizabeth Stang – Chicago, Illinois – age 10; poisoned parents, sister (11), brother (4), all survived through intervention by physician, the brother was near death. (Jan. 19)
1870 – Catharine Hummel – Douglass Township, Pennsylvania – age 14, nurse girl; cut throat of boy (23-mo) with butcher knife. (Jun. 20)
1871 – Mary Brister - Pennington, Pennsylvania, USA – age 13, murdered 3 (or 4) infant step-siblings over period of 2 years.
1871 – Agnes Norman – London, England – age 15; murdered 4 children on different occasions and attempted to murder a fifth; also killed a dog, two cats, six or eight birds (parrots included), and some gold fish. (serial killer)
1872 – Martha Whetstone – St. Louis, Missouri – age 16; murdered four children, including her own sister, in a space of four months. (serial killer)
1873 – Mary Kabal – Winona, Minnesota – age unstated, "little girl"; poisoned a family of 7; all survived. (Apr.)
1874 – Sarah Reeves – Elizabeth, New Jersey – age 10; poisoned a family; all survived. (Jun. 27)
1874 – Henrietta WeibelNew York, NY – age 15; 1 murder & 1 attempt; she stated she had a mania for burning babies and setting fires.
1876 – “La Flèche Serial Killer Girl” – La Flèche, France – age 12; smothered two children on different occasions; removed to the hospital of La Flèche, and there felt impelled by some unnatural force to assassinate the patients. (serial killer)
1878 – Berlin Girl – Berlin, Germany – (age?); a series of various tortures killed baby sister. (circa April)
1878 – Jennie Post – Spring Valley, New Jersey – age 16; murdered an employer, husband of benefactor and attempted to murder female benefactor, who barely survived. (Jun. 17?)
1880 – Agnes Criddle – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA – age 14; oxalic acid in coffee, poisoning female employer and two men; all survived. (Aug. 17)
1880 – Eliza Sudds – Ravenna, Ohio – age 15; poisoned female employer, baby (18 mo.), and a nurse; all survived. (Oct. 20)
1881 – Margaret Messenger – Cumberland, England – age 13 at time of first murder, 14 when arrested; murdered two children by drowning. (2 murders on separate occasions)
1883 – Adeline Hamilton – Wilmington, Delaware – age 14; burned the feet of a 1-y-o baby boy  to the bone; died less that 2 weeks later. (injured circa Nov. 28; died Dec. 10)
1884 – Annie Bebles – Tarheel, North Carolina – age 9; beat 5-year-old sister to death with a stick (Jun. 26)
1885 – Mary Cooper – Scottsville, Albermarle Cty., Virginia – age 9; killed boy cousin (7), by hanging him with rope and beating head with shovel. (ca. Mar. 18)
1885 – Lizzie Lewis – Port Jefferson (Long Island), New York – age 4; stabbed sister (6 mo) in the eye and repeatedly slashed her face with a knife. (May 20)
1885 – Rebecca Samuels – Barnesville, S. C. – age 12; soaked child in pot of lye, killing it; a previous crime “of this sort” occurred about 2 years earlier. (2 murders on separate occasions)
1886 – “Marie Schneider” – Berlin, Germany – age 12; robbed 4-year-old girl of earrings and threw her out of a fourth story window, killing her. (Jul. 9)
1886 – Mary & Jennie Green – Frederiksburg, Virginia – age 18, 13?; murdered foster family (man, 65, and his sister) beating them with clubs so as to steal $350. (Jun. 11)
1886 – Jane Walker – Millbrook Township, South Carolina – age 10; administered lye to the child of a near relative, causing death (May)
1887 – Axey Cherry – Allendale, South Carolina – age 11; nurse girl; murdered baby by putting lye in its mouth; sentenced to be hanged; reprieved. (Jul. or earlier)
1887 – Blanche Cook – Baltimore, Md. – age 11; 2 attempts to murder a family, first by poisoning the water, then by turning on gas to asphyxiate the residents. (Jun. 29)
1887 – Minnie Demorse – Manistee, Michigan – age 18; tortured and smothered baby to death; possible attempt to poison a family; multiple arson. (arrested Oct. 11)
1887 – Virginia Hudson – Granville, South Carolina – age 7; hit 1-y-o on head with board and threw it in well, killing the child. (Jul. 23)
1888 – Minnie Kratzenburg – Chicago, Illinois – age 13; attempted to murder family with rat poison. (Sep. 28)
1888 – Mary Sowards – La Porte, Indiana – age 12; poisoned with arsenic her father, who died, and 2 children (siblings) who survived. (Nov.)
1889 – Marie Doiselet – Bar-sur-Aube, France – age 15; smothered to death two children aged 6-months and the other 2 ½ years, a month apart. (2 deaths)
1889 – Flora Rohr – Fayette, Missouri – age 16; shot her boyfriend’s mother to death for objecting to her son’s intention to marry her. (Jan. 19)
1889 – “The Weeks Girl” – Mechanicsville, Alabama – age 17; poisoned 4 younger sisters, two of whom died. (Jan. 21)
1890 – Annie Banks – Clarksburg, West Virginia – 14; poisoned a family with rat poison (all survived?). (Dec.)
1890 – Sadie McMullen – Akron, New York – 17; threw two girls (aged 4 and 6) off bridge; the 4-y-o died. (Oct. 31)
1890 – Mary Metzdorf – Baltimore, Maryland – age 16; murdered 3 with poison “just for fun”; brother (6), mother, another woman. (Aug.) (triple murder)
1890 – Mary Stewart – McKeesport, Pennsylvania – age 16; brother (4) died of poisoning; 3 other family members survived. (Apr. 18)
1891 – Lilly White – Lexington, Kentucky – age 17; poisoned four family members, two of whom died. (Jan. 18)
1892 – Bottoms Girl – Atoka, Kentucky – age 6; murdered sister (18-mo) after planning long in advance; “she mashed the poor little innocent’s finger and toe-nails off with a hatchet” 10 days before bludgeoning the child to death; after apprehension she expressed desire to murder more babies. (serial ideation)
1892 – Millie Brown – Gaffney, South Carolina – age 15; poisoned a girl (10) to death with carbolic acid (ca. Jun. 10); executed at Spartansburg for the murder. (ca. Oct. 8, 1892)
1892 – Mattie Ellis – Barton, Texas – age 11; stabbed 11-y-o boy to death with butcher knife (Jul. 19)
1892 – Ella Holdridge – Tonawanda, New York – age 14; murdered one child and made several other attempts to murder children; she was obsessed with attending funerals, this being her apparent motivation for murder. (serial killer)
1892 – Laura Smith – Easton, Maryland, USA – age 15; poisoned father & brother; the father died. (Jan. 11?)
1893 – Katie Horlscher (16) Mrs. Harriet Ritter  – Philadelphia, Pa.– Age 16; poisoned 5 family members who survived (3 adults; 2 toddlers, 2 and 3) on 4 occasions in same month (Jan. 3-14)
1893 – Ada Urry – Eastney, England – age 14; murdered 5-y-o girl, thrown into well, drowned. (Apr. 30)
1893 – Mary Yusta – Deadwood, South Dakota – 17; shot a young woman to death. (Dec. 17)
1894 – Lizzie Daniels – Scottsdale, Pennsylvania – age 14; shot to death 16-y-o girl with a revolver, bullet to the eye. (Aug. 8)
1894 – “Novgorod Teenage Serial Killer Nurse”Novgorod, Russia – age 14; confessed to murdering 17 babies “because they bothered her, and she disliked the trouble of attending to them.” (serial killer)
1894 – Lou Paris – Henderson County, North Carolina – 16; stabbed young man in heart with a penknife, died. (before Jun.)
1895 – Anna Bell ("Annabell") – Fairfield County, South Carolina – age 14 at time of apprehension; At the age of 11 she murdered a baby. At the age of 14 she murdered and dismembered another then tortured a 6-year-old boy in an effort to force him to confess to the crime she had committed. (2 murders)
1895 – May Pierce – Grand Haven, Michigan – age 13; murdered her mother. (Jul. 8)
1896 – Anna Isaac – Wisacky, South Carolina – age 14; murdered girl (13) cousin by splitting head open with axe. (Nov. 27)
1896 – Lavinia Jones – Suffolk, Virginia – age 13; poisoned family of 6 with rat poison, killing one. (Apr.)
1896 – Hattie Record – Holly Springs, Mississippi – age 9; fatally split open the head of her 2-year-old sister with an axe. (Aug.?)
1896 – Fanny Scovell (“Scofield”) – Oswego, New York – age 13; poisoned two children, killing them. (2 murders on separate occasions)
1896 – Minnie Swanger – Altoona, Pennsylvania – age 13; poisoned 4 with rat poison; one died (Jan. 21)
1896 – Gertrude Taylor – Craig, Missouri – age 13; poisoned parents, brothers, sisters; adult brother died. (Mar. 10)
1897 – Geneva Arnold – Sedalia, Kansas –10; paid $5 by her mother for the deed, she beat baby sister to death. (Mar. 16)
1897 – Retta McCabe – Troy, New York – age 4; beat baby brother to death; assaults other children. (Sep.)
1899 – Nora Barrett – Leipsic, Delaware – age 16; burned 18-months-old boy to death (circa Jun. 20)
1899 – Marie Anderson – Des Moines, Iowa – age 15; poisoned foster parents, who barely survived. (Feb. 9)
1899 – Lizzie Cook – Tuscaloosa, Alabama – age 6; burned to death her brother (2). (Feb. 26)
1899 – Mary Fears – Lagrange, Georgia – Age 13 – killed her sweetheart (Nov. 11)
1899 – Cora Hicks – Durham, North Carolina – age 11; burned baby to death throwing into a fire with hot coals. (Feb. 21)
1899 – Mary Owens – Gloucester, Ohio – age 11; fired musket into a group of children, fatally wounding a boy. (Oct. 31)
1899 – Carrie Sampson – Tallahassee, Florida, USA – age 13, nursemaid; cut boy baby’s ear, and other cuts; on later occasion roasted the child to death. (Aug. 12)
1900 – Laura Humber – Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin – age 12 – using fine broken glass she attempted to murder her parents and 3 sisters; vandalism and torture of animals (May 21?)
1900 – Valentine Dilly – Armentieres, France – age 8; stabbed 2-year-old girl to death; a dozen stabs. (Dec. 3)
1901 – “Mysore Girl” – Mysore, India – age 11; killed 2 small boys after robbing them, pushing them into a well. (Dec. ?)
1901 – Beatrice Farmer – Melbourne, Australia – are 13; poisoned a boy (11), who survived. (Jun. 19)
1902 – Nellie Corneilson – Wichita, Kansas – age 11; cut the throat of 3-year old sister, ear to ear, killing her. (Jan. 1)
1902 – Anna Peters – Staunton, Virginia – 9; threw baby down stairs (2 or 3 times) then struck her on the head with wooden bed slat killing her. (Oct. 20)
1903 – Gertrude Mary Chalmers – Cooktown, Australia – age 14; burned niece (4) to death. (Oct. 27, charged)
1903 – Nellie Kinsley – Corning, N. Y. – age 13; poisoned adoptive parents with rat poison, motive being inheritance; both survived, the woman “will probably be crippled for life.” (Jan. 26, confession)
1904 – Sis Bates – Salisbury, North Carolina – age 12; beat and pushed blind girl (10) into creek, drowning her. (Nov. 11)
1904 – Jeanne Bonnaud – Chatain, Haute Vienne, France – age 18 at time of apprehension; murdered 4 children (including her sister) using various methods; attempted 2 other murders. (serial killer)
1904 – Okato Take – Sasebo, Japan – age 15; planned to murder 4 children as human sacrifices to fulfill a superstitious belief; murdered a boy (4), and attempted to murder two 7-year old girls, all by drowning. (Mar. 4, murder of boy)
1905 – Emilie Bienert – Interbog, Germany – age 13; poisined nun at reformatory school three times, killing her the third time.
1905 – Josephine Carr – Toronto, Canada – age 13; pushed 9-month-old baby face down in shallow water, drowning it; had stolen baby carriage with the infant inside. (May 19)
1905 – Antoinette Seidensticker – Wheaton, Minnesota – age 14; shot lover (19) through the heart, killing him. (May 25)
1906 – Jennie Ruth Burch – Carmel, New York – age 14; nurse girl; poisoned 3-y-o boy, killing him. (Sep. 21)
1906 – Susie Hannon – Concord, North Carolina – age 12; shot to death boy, 18 (Feb. 17)
1906 – Mary Maher – Dunkitt, County Kilkenny, Ireland – age 11; During a three-month period, Mary Maher murdered three sisters (aged 1, 3, 4 ½), attempted to murder another sister, aged 8, and then, a week later, committed suicide. (serial killer)
1906 – Lillian B. Thornman – York, Pennsylvania – age 15; murdered one child by roasting it on a stove; injured and tortured 3 other children. (serial killer)
1906 – Ziapasa daughter – Benwood, West Virginia – age 3; fatally attacked 2-month-old boy with butcher knife, cutting off nose, almost severing arm, multiple stabs in chest. (Apr. 11)
1907 – Ida Schnell – Munich, Germany – age 13; murdered 8 or 9 babies by sticking a hairpin into the skull. (serial killer)
1910 – Catherine Manz - Massilon, Ohio - age 16; poisoned sister (19) with strychnine, jealous of her dresses. (Mar. 17)
1910 – Ebby Shepherd – Newkirk, Oklahoma – age 13; murdered father & uncle by battering heads with axe. (Sep. 16)
1911 – Clementine Barnabet (Bernebet) – Lafayette, Louisiana – age 18; cult priestess who confessed to personally murdering 17 persons and leading many other murders; the killings were human sacrifices and always involved decimation of entire families; she used an axe and mutilated the corpses. (serial killer)
1912 – Ivanova Tamarin – “Kurdio,” or “Kulda,” Estonia (?)  – age 17 at time of apprehension; A mother and her daughter and accomplices she robbed, murdered, mutilated and cannibalized 27 persons. (serial killer)
1913 – Kathleen Oka Simmon – Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada – age 13; murdered playmate girl (9) with shovel, pounding her face until it was unrecognizable. (Jul. 21)
1915 – Inez Burk – Noblesville, Indiana – age 16; murdered mother striking with an axe twice and then slashing her with a paring knife; said mother had threatened to kill her. (Jul. 4)
1919 – Frances Sulinski – Brooklyn, New York, N. Y. – age 13; killed 14-month-old baby boy by giving her Lysol; attempted to kill 70-y-o woman by same method. (Aug. 1)
1921 – Ineigo Kaneiko – Kumakura, Japan – age 18 at time of apprehension; presumably 16 or 17 at time of the first murder; with husband, killed with poison 18 people whose lives she had insured in her favor. (serial killer)
1925 – Dorothy Ellingson – San Francisco, California – age 16; shot mother to death. (Jan. 13)
1925 – Alsa Thompson – Los Angeles, California – age 7. (serial killer, or, attempted serial killer)
1926 – Kaethe Hagedorn – Duisberg, Germany – age 18; murdered a boy (9) and a girl (6) out of “mania.”
1928 – Erna Janoschek – Oakland, California – age 17; strangled 1-y-o to death to get revenge on mother. (Jun. 26)

1929 – Avelina Teodoro – San Fernando, Philippines – age 16 – stabbed female schoolmate 37 times, killing her. (Sep.)

1930 – Katherine Riefer – Saarbrucken, Rhenish Prussia – age 12; confessed to the killing of a four-year-old infant, and to inflicting savage injuries on four others.” (serial killer)
1936 – Gladys Dillon – Hamlin, West Virginia – age 14; poisoned 8 family members, though seriously to critically ill, all survived (Feb. 22) 
1954 – Juliet Marion Hulme & Pauline Yvonne Parker – Christschurch, New Zealand – age 15  & age 16; beat to death, with a brick in a stocking, Pauline’s mother. (Jun. 22)
1956 – Patricia Corcoran – Oakland, California – age 12; murdered aunt with an axe and butcher knife. (Oct. 4)
1968 – Mary BellScotswood, Englandage 11; murdered 2 small boys by strangling, seriously injured another, pushing him from an elevation; several attempts to strangle female playmates to death. (serial killer)
1975 – Toby Jackson – Sarasota, Florida – age 15; shot mother to death. (Aug. 22)
1980 – Helen Patricia Moore – Claymore, Australia – age 18 when apprehended, first murder when 17; murdered five children aged from one to seven years, and crippled another, aged 2. (serial killer)
1984 – Latasha Speight –  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – age 15; strangled to death a 2-y-o girl (Tansha Collins). (Jun. 16)
1984 – “Santa Ana Babysitter” – Santa Ana, California – age 15; kicked and stomped to death a 7-m-o boy (Matthew Bullard). (Jun. 3)
1985 – Paula Cooper – Gary, Indiana – age 15; stabbed to death a 78-y-o woman, stabbing her 33 times. (May 14)
1988 – Michelle Burks – North Portland, Oregon – age 15; stabbed elderly woman (Neva Vasil) 21 times, killing her. (Jun. 29)
1992 – Sharon Carr – Camberley, Surrey, England – age 12; stabbed 18-year-old girl 29 times, mutilating her private parts. One diary entry read: “If only I could kill you again, I promise I’d make you suffer more this time. … Your terrified screams turn me on.” (Jun. 7)
1992 – Melinda Loveless (16) Mary Laurine (Laurie) Tackett (17), Toni Lawrence (16), Hope A. Rippey (16) – Madison, Indiana – tortured and burned to death a 12-y-o girl. (Jan. 11)
1995 Elizabeth Clark – Tucson, Arizona – age 12; murdered 1-y-o boy, 2 separate “blunt trauma” head injuries. (Mar. 11)
1995 – Victoria Dalton – San Antonio, Texas – age 12; murdered 2-yo girl & 5-m-o boy. (Jan. 16)
2001 – Jummai Hassan – Maiduguri, Nigeria – age 13 at time of apprehension, first murder at age 8; confessed to participating in 51 human sacrifice cult killings using “a powder” to kill them. (serial killer)
2003 – Sarah Johnson – Bellevue, Idaho – age 16; shot parents to death. (Sep. 2)
2004 – “Girl A” / “Nevada Tan” / “Sabebo Slasher” – Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan – 12; slashed classmate (Satomi Mitarai, 11) with a utility knife, killing her. (Jun. 1)
2004 – Courtney Schulhoff – Altamonte Springs, Florida – age 16; bludgeoned to death her father (Feb. 10)
2005 – Holly Sweeney & Stephanie Quesnoy – Lakeview, Oregon – ages 13 & 12; put rat poison in milk of two girls who survived. (Sep. 19)
2005 – “East New York Girl” – East New York, Brooklyn, N. Y. – age 9; stabbed 11-y-o girl (Queen Washington) to death with steak knife. (May 31?)
2005 – “Shizuoka Girl” – Shizuoka, Japan – age 17; poisoned mother multiple times; keeping detailed diary of her suffering.
2005 – Nakisha Waddell & Anastasia Belcher – Wytheville, Virginia – age: each 15 – murdered Wadell’s mother by stabbing her 43 times, the set her corpse on fire. (Jun. 16)
2006 – Jasmine Richardson – Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada – age 12; with boyfriend, stabbed to death parents and brother (8). (Apr. 23)
2009 – Alyssa Bustamante – Cole County, Missouri – age 15; murdered neighbor girl (9), by stabbing, slashing throat and wrists and strangling. (Oct. 21)
2009 – “Sao Paulo Girl”São José do Rio Preto, Brazil – age 17 at time of apprehension; first murder at age 15; confessed to stabbing 30 men to death. (serial killer)
2009 – Lorraine Thorpe – Ipswich, Suffolk, England – age 15; 2 murders. (Aug. 1-9)
2010 – “Sandy Springs girl” – Sandy Springs, Georgia – age 10 (correct age, usually reported as 11); beat to death a 2-year-old girl (Zyda White). (Jan. 18)
2010 – Tasmiyah & Jasmiyah Whitehead – Conyers, Georgia – age 16 (twins); bludgeoned and stabbed mother to death, severing her spine. (Jan. 13)
2011 – “La Perris” (alias) – Medellin, Colombia – age 17 at time of apprehension; assassination for a drug gang; multiple adult deaths presumed; 1 child death; 2 attempts, both with serious injury. (serial killer)
2012 – Tyaisa Jackson – De Kalb, Georgia – age 13; stabbed 2-y-o half-sister to death, stabbed her in heart 7 times and threw body off balcony. (Nov. 19)
2012 – Kelli Murphy – Fairfield, Maine – age 10; murdered baby, 3-months-old. (Jul. 8)
2012 – Shelia Eddy & Rachel Shoaf – Monongalia County, West Va. – each 16 y-o; stabbed 16-y-o female friend to death. (Jul. 6)
2014 – Lisa Borch – Kvissel, Denmark – age 15; inspired by Islamist terrorism, she stabbed mother 20 times with kitchen knife, killing her. (Oct. 8)
2014 – Morgan Geyser & Anissa Weir – Waukesha,Wisconsin – each aged 12 – stabbed girl (12) 19 times with a 5 inch blade, “1 millimeter from certain death,” survived. "The Slender Man stabbing." (May 31)
2014 – Breeze Macha Henke – Detroit, Michigan – age 17; scalded to death a 1-year-old girl. (Aug. 8)
2014 – “Mundelein Girl” – Mundelein, Illinois – age 14; stabbed 11-y-o half-sister (Dora Bettancourt) 39 times, killing her. (Jan. 21)
2014 – “Sasebo Dissection Girl” – Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan – age 15; murdered and dismembered girl classmate. (Jul. 26)
2014 – “Vinod daughter” – Manjalpur, India – age 16 – with boyfriend (Sapan Purane), drugged then stabbed parents (Srihari Vinod, Sneha), to death. (Aug.)
2015 – Destiny Garcia – Brooklyn, New York, N. Y. – age 15 (possible male accomplice, 15); murdered mother (shot multiple times) and mother’s boyfriend (shot and stabbed); lived several days with corpses; bodies found 8 days after the murders. (Dec. 27)
2015 – Misty Kornegay (15) & Sister (11) – White Springs, Florida – shot brother to death (16). (Jan. 12)
2015 – Jamie Silvonek – Upper Macungie Township, Pennsylvania – age 14 – plotted with boyfriend to murder parents; mother stabbed to death. (Mar. 15)
2015 – “Wickliffe Girl” – Wickliffe, Ohio – age 11; beat girl (2) to death. (Feb. 6)

2017 – Wooodthorpe Teen (15) – Woodthorpe, York, England – allegedly murdered Kate Thorpe (7) – severe slash wounds to neck and chest (Jan. 9)



1885 – Lizzie Lewis – Port Jefferson (Long Island), New York, USA; age 4.

Four-year-old Lizzie had told her mama before that she hated her six-month-old baby sister and that she thought the infant “should be cut up.” One day, when the adults were not around, Lizzie said to her six-year old brother Henry, in her toddle lisp: “Lets till baby, will we?” [sic]. The toddler picked up her papa’s fish-gutting knife and, laughing, clucked to little Henry: “Watch me.” The terror-stricken boy warned his sister, “Don’t hurt her, Lizzie, or she’ll cry.” Then Lizzie plunged the knife into her infant sister’s eye. Henry ran out to get help. Lizzie continued to torture the child, slashing up its face. When the horrified mother arrived the four-year old, proud of her handiwork, announced, “Oh, mamma, dust see baby, all tut up.” [sic]


1892 – Bottoms Girl – Atoka, Kentucky, USA; age 6.

“I've killed the baby, come and get it.” This is what the six-year old daughter had to say for herself after beating her baby sibling’s brains out with a club. It was ten days earlier that she had first attacked the child, “when she mashed the poor little innocent’s finger and toe-nails off with a hatchet.” Following the crime the diminutive killer expressed no regret for her act, but rather was quite open about her homicidal obsession, announcing that she “always intended to kill the baby, and would have done so long ago had she not been watched so closely that she could not.” The witnesses, a fifteen-year-old girl, who discovered the horrible carnage described the girl’s demeanor immediately following the murder as gleeful.


1925 – Alsa Thompson – Los Angeles, California, USA; age 7. She claimed to have murdered her twin baby sisters (with ground glass) and a caretaker (with poison), later retracting these claims. The caretaker’s remains had been cremated and the twin’s bodies were not disinterred. Symptoms preceding the deaths were consistent with the supposed murder method as well as with the death certificate presumptions noted as probable cause of death. Alsa confessed also to several poisonings and other attacks that were corroborated by witnesses.

Long text of Alsa Thompson’s February 4, 1925 confession:

“I poisoned my baby sisters by feeding them ground glass in some breakfast food. They died in a few days after I gave them in the glass. I put ant paste in food that was to be given Miss Nettie Steele of 276 South Avenue Fifty-two because I wanted to see her die. She lived about two weeks. I put acid in the food at the Platts home because I wanted to kill them. I don’t know I did it. I might do it again, some time.”

This is what the little child told the tree questioning men at the psychopathic ward and then she repeated her story later to Chief Dept. Dist.-Atty. Buron Fitts yesterday afternoon. She has told the same story since her arrest by Policewoman Feeley from the Hollywood Police Station two days ago.

Going to the details of the various poisonings which she declares she planned, Alsa told Judge Gates and the doctors that she was unable to state when she first thought of poisoning her little twin sisters, 2 years of age.

“I was while papa was living with mama and we were all in Canada,” Alsa said. “I had two sisters then and they were 2 years old. They were twins. One was named Mildred and the other Muriel. They were pretty little girls and I used to play with them.

“One morning before breakfast I took a little glass jar from the kitchen and smashed it upon the sidewalk in the front of the house. I picked up the little pieces and put them in some corn flakes and milk that mama had fixed for the twins. I watched them eat it and then went out to play.”

“Why didn’t you stay in the house,” asked Judge Gates.

“Well, you see I was afraid that mother find the glass and scold me about it.”

“My sisters died a few days after they were sick, but I could hear them crying. They had a lot of doctors around the house. When they died I cried, too, and everybody else cried. I felt sorry after they were dead.”

“If you felt sorry after your little sisters were dead why did you let them eat the glass?” This question was put by one of the doctors.

“I was sorry after they were dead, but I wasn’t sorry while they were sick. I used to hear them crying and I wasn’t sorry then.

“After we came to Los Angeles I went to live with Mrs. Steele. I didn’t like her daughter because the little next door kept stealing my toys and then Mrs. Steele would scold me. I made up my mind to poison her and so put some ant paste in her food. She got pretty sick and after a while she died. It was after that that they moved me over to Mrs. Platt’s house on on McCadden Place.

“Mrs. Platt has a little girl, Lorraine, and my little Maxine went over there with me. A friend of Mrs. Platts put a radio in the house and he told me never to touch the battery because it was poison. My mother told me once never to play with glass and never to put it in my mouth because if I swallowed any of it I would die. Mrs. Steele told me not to play with the ant paste, because it was poison. That’s how I knew that if I made my sisters eat the glass they would die and that’s why, I put the ant paste in Mrs. Steele’s food.

“Well, I got up late one night and dipped some of the acid out of the battery with a little toy spoon. I put the poison in the can and the next day put some of it in their coffee. I didn’t drink any of the coffee, but everybody else did and they all got sick. I left some of it in the can and the next day put some of it in the coffee. I didn’t drink any of the coffee, but everybody else did and they all got sick. I left some of it in the can and hid it and after a while I fed some of it to Maxine with a spoon. She got pretty sick.

“A couple of nights after the first time I took the acid out of the battery, I got some more and put it on the lamb chops. Everybody got sick again but me, because I didn’t take any of the stuff. After a while I thought that I would cut my little sister’s wrists with a butcher-knife that Mrs. Platts had sharpened, but after I got Maxine into the bathroom and had taken the knife from the drawer, I heard Mrs. Platts coming, so I ran away.

“After I had used the acid for a while I thought of the ant paste and took some of that form a kitchen shelf and spread it around on the food. Everybody got sick again and called a doctor. At last, Mrs. Platts asked me about it, and I told her and then they had me arrested.”

Alsa told her story without much prompting from the judge or the doctors. A few questions by Judge Gates regarding each attempt to poison some one was enough to start the child telling the details of her various plans. She seemed to be clear in all of her details of her various plans. She seemed to be clear in all of her details and even remembered how the victims acted.

“I guess I liked to see them suffer.”

This was about the only explanation for her actions yesterday.

The remarkable part of the child’s grewsome account was the care which she told of taking to hide her operations and then naïve statement that she told Mrs. Platts “because she asked me about it.

Pressed for a reason for her actions Alsa could give none for the poisoning of her twin sisters except that she “liked to see them suffer.” Miss Steele died, she stated, because she “was cross with me.” The attempted poisoning of the Platts family was not explained. “Mrs. Platts was always good to me,” the child said.

[Excerpted from: “Alsa Calm In Confession – Shows No Fear or Remorse in Monstrous Tale of Death Plot Against Twin Sisters,” The Los Angeles Times (Ca.), Feb. 5, 1925, p. 5]


1867 – Martin Girl – Cassville, Barry County, South Carolina, USA; age 8.

She said she killed her brother “because he pulled her flowers and declared “if the other children pulled any more of them, she would shoot them too.”


1884 – Annie Bebles – Tarheel, North Carolina – age 9.

“A 9-year-old girl named Annie Bebies murdered her 5-year-old sister at Tarheel, in Bladen County, to-night. After beating her victim to death with a stick, the young murderer threw the body into a creek near the scene of the crime. The reason for committing the fiendish act was that the murdered girl ate the food given to her. The girl said she had to work for her living and her sister ought to do the same.”


1887 – Axey Cherry – Allendale, South Carolina – age 11.

11-year old Azey Cherry was employed by the Williams family of Barnwell, South Carolina, to help with house work, but “poked around the house and attended to her duties in so negligent a manner that she had to be constantly scolded. After a scolding one day she was overheard muttering to herself that she was not going to bother with that baby much more. A few days after this, concentrated lye was used in scouring the floor, and when Mrs. Williams left the room for a few minutes she told Axey that the lye was poisonous and that she must not touch it. On her return, Mrs. Williams was horrified to find her baby’s mouth full of concentrated lye. Axey ran out of the house saying as she left:

‘I don’t reckon I’ll have to nurse that baby much longer now.’”

The baby died.

1968 – Mary BellScotswood, England; age 11.

Mary Bell committed two strangling murders, seriously injured another chiold by pushing him off an elevation and was interrupted multiple times in the midst of strangling other children.

“I like hurting people.”

“Brian Howe had no mother, so he won’t be missed.”

“If I was a judge and I had an eleven-year-old who’d done this, I’d give her eighteen months. Murder isn’t that bad, we all die sometime anyway.”

Norma, Mary's 13-year-old best friend, who took part in the second murder, stated that Mary told her: “I squeezed his neck and pushed up his lungs that’s how you kill them. Keep your nose dry and don’t tell anybody.”

“Oh, I know he’s dead, I wanted to see him in his coffin,” Mary said to the mother of the child she murdered.


• 1886 – “Marie Schneider” – Berlin, Germany – age 12; robbed 4-year-old girl of earrings and threw her out of a fourth story window, killing her. (Jul. 9)

EXCERPT FROM CONFESSION: “I left little Margarete on the stairs, and there I found her again. From the yard I saw that the second-floor window was half open. I went with her up the stairs to the second floor to take away the ear-rings, and then to throw her out of the window. I wanted to kill her, because I was afraid that she would betray me. She could not talk very well, but she could point to me; and if it came out, my mother would have beaten me. I went with her to the window, opened it wide, and set her on the ledge. Then I heard some one coming down. I quickly put the child on the ground and shut the window. The man went by without noticing us. Then I opened the window and put the child on the ledge, with her feet hanging out, and her face turned away from me. I did that because I did not want to look in her face, and because I could push her easier. I pulled the ear-rings out. Grete began to cry because I hurt her. When I threatened to throw her out of the window she became quiet. I took the ear-rings and put them in my pocket. Then I gave the child a shove, and heard her strike the lamp and then the pavement. Then I quickly ran downstairs to go on the errand my mother had sent me. I knew that I should kill the child. I did not reflect that little Grete’s parents would be sorry. It did not hurt me; I was not sorry; I was not sorry all the time I was in prison; I am not sorry now.”

• 1956 – Patricia Corcoran – Oakland, California – age 12; murdered aunt with an axe and butcher knife. (Oct. 4)

The girl, Patricia Corcoran, told police she also intended to kill her uncle but added:
“When I saw him I just couldn’t do it.”
In confessing the murder of her aunt, Mrs. Lavern Bruce, 44, Patricia said:
“I murdered her. I must be crazy.”

[“12-Year-Old Tells Police How She Killed Aunt,” Corsicana Daily Sun (Tx.), Oct. 5, 1956, p. 1]
2006 – Jasmine Richardson – Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada – age 12; with boyfriend, stabbed to death parents and brother (8). (Apr. 23)

“I have this plan. It begins with me killing them and ends with me living with you.”

“[I]t was Richardson, who, after hearing her eight year old brother plead, “I’m scared. I’m too young to die,” plunged a knife into his chest. The boyfriend followed that by cutting the boy’s throat. The couple murdered her parents in another room of the house. [Paul Elam, “Murderess Jasmine Richardson attends Mount Royal University,” A Voice for Men, Sep. 14, 2011]

2014 – Morgan Geyser & Anissa Weir – Waukesha,Wisconsin – each aged 12 – stabbed girl (12) 19 times with a 5 inch blade, “1 millimeter from certain death,” survived; “The Slender Man Stabbing.” (May 31)

Morgan Geyser (12): “People that trust you are very gullible.” “It was weird that I didn’t feel remorse.”

Anissa Weir (12): “The bad part of me wanted her to die; the good part of me wanted her to live.”


1881 – Margaret Messenger – Cumberland, England – age 13 at time of first murder, 14 when arrested.

14-year-old Margaret Messenger laid an infant face downward in a boggy place, placed a stone upon its head, and so suffocated it.  She even confessed later on that she had herself killed the baby alone and unaided. At the time of committing the crime she was only 13, and had but just attained her 14th year when brought to trial. She also confessed that she had murdered another child of the same family – the little boy who was drowned in the well a short time before – having purposely thrown him in, The idea occurred to her, to quote her own words, as she was chopping sticks in the yard and she took him to the well and drowned him. [edited from linked source]

“The idea occurred to her,” to quote her own words, “as she was chopping sticks in the yard and she took him to the well and drowned him.”

1903 – Nellie Kinsley – Corning, New York, USA; age 13.

Nellie was adopted by the Kinsleys of Corning, New York at the age of two. When she was thirteen the child cooked up a scheme to get rich quick. But she had a big mouth and got caught.

“Do you know how to get money and houses and everything you want?” she asked her playmates while her parents were ill. “When your father and mother are dead all they own will belong to you. I found that out a little while ago, and I took some of the rat poison papa got to kill the rats with and put it in the supper I cooked. I did not eat the supper, but papa and mamma did and then they got sick, if they die I will have money.”

Both victims survived the murder attempt, but the step-mother was injured by the poisoning so badly that she was thought to have been probably crippled for life.

1905 – Josephine Carr – Toronto, Canada – age 13.

Josephine Carr was in the habit of stealing baby carriages. One day she ran off with one containing a baby. Not sure what to do about it she deciding that murdering the infant would solve everything. She got caught. She told one story about throwing the child off a bridge.

“Then I got frightened,” she said. “I was afraid papa would be mad, so I threw it over the embankment.”

But the autopsy showed that it was probable than Nellie took the child and pushed its face into the mud drowning it in shallow water.

1919 – Frances Sulinski – Brooklyn, New York, New York, USA; 13.

“I waited my chance. Thursday afternoon Mrs Kramer went out into the yard to fix some clothes. A moment before she had been in the kitchen, where the nurse and I were, and had told us she was going to the market with some eggs. I thought she had gone. I went upstairs. The child. Solomon – oh, yes; I loved him – was asleep. I waked him up. I took down the bottle of lysol. I said to the little fellow. “Here! Take some cough medicine.’ Then I poured it in his mouth. When he screamed I became frightened am! knew I had done wrong. I ran out of the room. But as I ran out I met Mrs. Kramer who had heard the child cry. She ran in and returned a moment later declaring the child had been poisoned. It was my idea that it would appear that the boy got the poison by mistake Then the nurse would have been blamed. When I saw that this might not work I poured some of the lysol in the teapot. You know they have a habit in thjat house of making tea and letting it stand and then adding hot water to the strong tea.”


1870 – Catharine Hummel – Douglass Township, Pennsylvania – age 14.

After murdering baby Frances, only a few months old, Catherine Hummell, the nurse girl charged wity caring for the infant, ran out of the house to where her victims’ parents were working and announced that “Francis has the knife in his hand, he cut himself and will die.”

What was sone to the baby: “Dr. Rhoads made a post mortem examination of the body and found the throat cut from ear to ear. The wind pipe was divided completely, the right carotid artery and jugular veins were also cut, and death must have occurred almost immediately from hemorrhage. The knife used was a common butcher knife with a thick blade and extremely dull, so that the girl must have used considerable force in accomplishing the monstrous crime.”

1892 – Ella Holdridge – Tonawanda, New York, USA; age 14.

Ella Holdrige observed, concerning a poackage of rat poison she was considering put to use that: “If it killed rats and mice it would kill children.” Ella seems to have succeeded in only one of the several murders she attempted. Her motive was a bit unusual. For, you see, little Ella got her kicks from the pomp and drama of funerals. She was, one might say, addicted to them.

“The frightful death of Louisa Stormer, and the severe illness of five or six other children of Tonawanda, has brought to light the fact that 14-year-old Ella Holdridge is a murderess. Her frightful crime is the result of a morbid desire to see death scenes enacted. She was attended every funeral that has occurred in the neighborhood for several years past. Funerals have been infrequent hereabouts lately. Ella, it seems, took upon herself the duty of supplying subjects. She administered rat poison to several pupils of Father Baker’s institution at Limestone Hill. They suffered frightfully while she stood by and coolly awaited the coming of death. The helpless little ones ran shrieking from her presence. Medical aid was summoned and her lives were saved.”

Of Louisa Stormer, the girl she did succeed in murdering with rat poison, Ella Holdridge said, “made the prettiest corpse ever put under New York soil.” “Yes, she’s dead. Poor Louisa! But she looked awful pretty, and her funeral was awful nice.”

1894 – “Novgorod Teenage Serial Killer Nurse”Novgorod, Russia; age 14.

She confessed to murdering 17 babies “because they bothered her, and she disliked the trouble of attending to them.”

A newspaper report: “A terrible confession has been made by a 14-year-old nurse girl at Novgorod, in Russia, one revealing quite a phenomenal and cold-blooded development of a passion to murder on the part of a mere child. The girl was arrested on suspicion of having caused the death of a baby she was nursing, and confessed to the police that she had killed seventeen children, “because they bothered her, and she disliked the trouble of attending to them.” The murders were carried out with great cunning, the girl not exciting the least suspicion, until the death occurred for which she was arrested, although her path from house to house was marked by the hand of death, and infant after infant placed in her charged sickened and died.”

1906 – Jennie Ruth Burch – Carmel, New York – age 14; nurse girl; poisoned 3-y-o boy, killing him. (Sep. 21)

Jennie Ruth Burch, 14-year-old,  poisoned 3-year-old Wilbur Winship, killing him.

Excerpt from Jennie’s confession:

Then I carried out my plan. I poured some strychnine from the bottle upon the cotton. The bottle I threw on the ground, covering it with some grass and dead leaves. With the cotton in my hand I started for the house. On the way there Wilbur ran out to meet me. He pointed to the big red peach in my hand, and walked with me to the house, trying with his little hand to pry the peach out of my strong one. We went into the house I found Mrs. Winship sitting at a table, reading. She looked at me coldly and dropped her eyes upon her book without a word.

“Wilbur wants some of the peach. May I give him some of it?” I asked

“Yes,” she said, “if it is ripe.”

My chance had come. Wilbur followed me to the table, and I went and sat down directly opposite his mother peeled the peach in plain sight of Mrs Winship. She didn’t notice us. I stopped for a minute after I had peeled the peach and looked at her. I quickly lifted up the tablecloth. The cotton was damp and dark with the iodine. I was afraid Mrs. Winship should smell it, but she bent her head over her book. Holding the tablecloth up a little, so that Mrs Winship could not see if she turned round suddenly, I rubbed the iodine and strychnine sprinkled cotton on the peach. I handed Wilbur a piece of it and ate the rest myself.

I watched him eat every morsel of it. Then I put him into his little rocking chair and left the room. Going to the kitchen stove I threw the cotton into it and watched it out. I hurried out on the porch and threw the peach pit into the high grass in the yard.

Almost as soon as I went back the baby was then sick. He twisted his poor little body and cried as though he was in terrible pain. I almost cried, too, but at that Winship telephoned for the doctor and put us both to bed. I lay there and waited and waited. I wanted to hear that the baby had gone. In a little while I heard his screams and I twisted the bedclothes and cried because he was in agony. The screams stopped, and the doctor, coming to my door, said. “Wilber is dead.”


1874 – Henrietta WeibelNew York, N. Y., USA – age 15 (13?) at time of apprehension. (1 death & 1 attempt)

Fifteen-year-old Henrietta Weibel murdered one baby by burning it to death and attempted to repeat the scenario with another infant victim. She stated she had a mania for setting fires and burning babies.

An interview with a newspaper reporter resulted in the following revelations:
“Henrietta,” queried the writer, “is it true that you tried to burn a baby at West Farms?”
“Yes, sir,” was the prompt and apparently ingenious reply.
“What could have prompted you to attempt such a wicked deed?”
“I don’t know, sir; something told me to do it.”
“Would you not have been sorry had you succeeded in killing the child?”
“No, sir, I don’t know that I would.”
“Then you don’t seem to like babies?”
“No, sir.”
“Was that the first time you ever tried to burn a child?”
“No, sir. When I was living with Mrs. Kinney, at Tarrytown, I had a mind to set fire to the baby, but I didn’t do it.”

1906 – Lillian B. Thornman – York, Pennsylvania, USA; age 15.

A news report: “Lillian B. Thorman, a thirteen-year-old girl, today fatally burned the three-year-old child of Robert Dorsey of this city.

“The girl, who was employed to do light work around the house literally fried the child was writhing and screaming in its agony an aunt entered the room and rescued it, but the child had been roasted from head to foot and cannot live.

“The servant girl in jail tonight confessed that she had fatally burned three other children in a similar manner, giving their parents the impression that they had fallen on the stove accidentally while climbing to reach something.

“With a mania for burning children when they are bad, because, as she says, “I am a devil and will burn them,” Lillian Thornman, a 13-year-old colored girl, knocked upon a red hot stove a two-year-old daughter of Robert Dorsey, also colored, and for several seconds calmly watched her struggle to get off the stove and away from the boiler of hot water, which was poured over her body as she alighted on the stove. Another girl then ran in from the yard and saved the child from further injury. This was the Thornman girl’s third victim. A year ago she set Esther Louise Harris, aged three years, on a red hot stove and hold her fast until she made the statement that she was a devil.”

With a mania for burning children when they are bad, because, as she says, “I am a devil and will burn them.” “I did it because I have the devil in me.”

1954 – Juliet Marion Hulme &Pauline Yvonne Parker – Christschurch, New Zealand; ages 15, 16.

Diary entries:

Entry 20/6 was: — “Afterward we discussed our plans for murdering mother and made them clear, but peculiarly enough I have no qualms of conscience — or is it peculiar.”
The last entry, dated 21/6 was: — “Deborah rang and we discussed a brick in a stocking, instead of a sandbag. Mother has fallen in with the plans beautifully. Feel quite keyed up.”
Entry 22/6 (date of alleged murder) was: — “I felt very excited last night and sort of nightbeforeChristmassy, but I did not have pleasant dreams.”

2009 – Alyssa Bustamante – Cole County, Missouri – age 15; murdered neighbor girl (9), by stabbing, slashing throat and wrists and strangling. (Oct. 21)

‘I just f***ing killed someone. I strangled them and slit their throat and stabbed them now they’re dead. I don’t know how to feel atm [at the moment]. It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the "ohmygawd I can’t do this" feeling, it’s pretty enjoyable. I’m kinda nervous and shaky though right now. Kay, I gotta go to church’

• 2014 – “Sasebo Dissection Girl” – Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan – age 15; murdered and dismembered girl classmate (Jul. 26)

“I wanted to kill someone. I bought tools by myself.”

“I told her [the victim] that I wanted to see her and asked her to come. I came home with her so I could kill her.”

• 2014 – Lisa Borch – Kvissel, Denmark – age 15; inspired by Islamist terrorism, she stabbed mother 20 times with kitchen knife, killing her (Oct. 8)

“I heard my mother scream and I looked out the window and saw a white man running away. Please come here, there is blood everywhere.” (the murderess’s report to the police).


1890 – Mary Metzdorf – Baltimore, Maryland, USA; age 16.

“Mary Metzdorf confessed this morning to having poisoned Miss Louise Broadwaters, her little brother James, and her mother, Catharine. She said she put arsenic in the coffee ‘just for fun.’ Though not quite 17 years old, she bears herself like a hardened criminal. Miss Broadwaters died almost immediately after drinking the coffee, and James, her 6-year-old brother, expired last night. Mrs. Broadwaters, the third victim, is still in a critical condition. It is now probable that she will also died.”


1867 – Elizabeth Wheeldon – Shirland Delves, near Alfreton, Derby, England – age 17.

Elizabeth Wheeldon poisoned two children of her at employer on different occasions so that she would have less work to do.

The Coroner then reviewed the evidence at some length, remarking that there was no doubt the servant girl knew where the poison was kept, and they would have to consider her conduct throughout both illnesses, and also the fact that when she was asked if she was not sorry the children were dead, she said “No; I shall have less work to do.”

1928 – Erna Janoschek – Oakland, California, USA; age 17.

“I strangled the baby because I felt her mother wasn’t supporting me in managing her other child, and because I felt they were working me too hard — At this point the girl interrupted her explanation to laugh. “I have to laugh when the impulse comes over me,” she said. “When things like this happen I have to laugh.” 


1911 – Clementine Barnabet (Bernebet) – Lafayette, Louisiana, USA; age 18.

Clementine was an 18-year-old priestess in a voodoo-derived human sacrifice cult. She lad her group on a months long campaign of axe-murders. With her own hands she murdered seventeen persons, but she oversaw many more gruesome murders in which the victims were ritually dismembered. Her cult targeted families in their homes, never individuals.

In court she boasted: “I killed them all, men, women and babies, and I hugged the babies to my breast. But I am not guilty of murder.”

“We weren’t afraid of being arrested because I carried a ‘voodoo,’ which protected us from all punishment.”