The fairer gender is not typically associated with serial killing. Murder or the act of killing itself is mostly considered as a domain of men and as less likely it is for a woman to be a murdered, it is believed equally less likely for a woman to be a serial killer.
Shocking Female Serial Killer Statistics
Here are some female serial killers statistics that may shock you and will show you how the fairer gender can be equally brutal like the males.
1. In the United States, about one in six serial murderers was a female. In two hundred years, from 1800 to 2000, among 416 known serial killers, 64 were females. These female serial killers statistics do not take into account the speculation of genders of unknown serial killers. Even if serial murders were recognized and noted down, if the killer was not nabbed or definitively identified, the gender or the profile of the murderer has not been laid out and hence not been included in these female serial killers statistics.
2. Female serial killers have between 427 to 612 victims. The numbers do not include murders that were unsolved. Also, this data pertains to United States alone. It doesn’t include any serial killings by males or females in other countries.
3. It was erstwhile believed that female serial killers existed in the medieval London or in the Victorian era when females were subjected to much injustice and some like Black Widow fought back and avenged the wrong done to them. That perception was proved to be wrong when studies revealed that women often don’t kill for any revenge or anything remotely close. They may kill for the fun of it and may even have their own agendas with the victims having done no wrong. It is estimated that more than 75% of all female serial killers have thrived during the second half of the twentieth century and not during the sixteenth to nineteenth century.
4. There is also a perception that female serial killers tend to murder men and the men are either absolutely helpless or considerably powerful. That perception is wrong too. Female serial killers are equally likely to murder other women and even children. In United States, more than 51% of female serial killers have had at least one female victim and more than 30% of them had murdered at least one child.
5. Among all reported and solved cases of female serial killings, only 26% cases had material gain as the reason for the killings. Sexual factors were found to be a reason in as many as 10% of all reported cases, 11% of the cases had enjoyment as the reason and 14% of cases had control as the primary motive. It is thus not rational or naturally derived to infer that women murder multiple victims, usually more than three to be classified as a serial killer, only for material or financial gains.
Additional Facts About Female Serial Killers
Indeed, there are more male serial killers than females. However, there are females who murder and there are many who would murder more than once. In recorded history, there is one female murderer to every nine male murderers. Interestingly, there are fifteen female serial killers to eighty five male serial killers. Men are more likely to murder than women and they are more likely to become serial killers but among women, those who murder once will have higher chances of murdering again, in comparison to men.
Female serial killers go on a murdering spree for completely different reasons than men but there are many similarities as well. It was erstwhile believed that female serial killers murdered for material gain. They were more inclined to usurp the property and assets of their husbands, lovers, family members and relatives. As more research went into the subject and more cases of female serial killers came to light, it was apparent that women don’t just murder for material gain. Expression of rage, proving to oneself that one is in control, sexual reasons and psychopathological behavior were equally the reasons for females committing multiple murders. Regardless of all the classifications, there are specific reasons which may be unique to every case. It is difficult to paint all cases with the same reasons.
Female serial killers have been around for hundreds of years. The term ‘black widow’ which is today popular as a superhero name is actually a term used to define a certain type of female serial killer. The original Black Widow, who was so named, was regarded as one of the female first serial killers who got caught and convicted. There were possibly many before her but her case became a sort of a beginning of analyzing female psychologies, actions and reactions pertaining to serial killing.
Most Famous Female Serial Killers
There have been some shocking cases of female serial killers in the past. Some had become national and international news while some were low key and quietly went through the rigors of law. Over the last two hundred years and a bit more, there are dozens of female serial killers who have had the wrath and brutality of male serial killers, some had more but none had any less ability than the less fairer gender.
1. Delphine LaLaurie was a serial killer during the early nineteenth century. Born in 1775, she lived in New Orleans along with her husband. They had two daughters. Apparently, they were a rich family with all the means needed for a well provisioned and prosperous life. Despite all the joys and luxuries, Delphine LaLaurie abused and tortures their slaves. She was notoriously known to have amputated the limbs, sealed the mouths and chained and tortured her slaves. She was also known to have conducted a number of macabre experiments. Despite the evidence being there, the family managed to evade being convicted. They fled and it was later reported that Delphine LaLaurie possibly died in Paris.
2. Lavinia Fisher was one of the first female serial killers in America. She was also one of the first to have been convicted. Born in 1793, Fisher and her husband used to kill the guests staying at their hotel. They did so for money. After killing the guests by poisoning, the duo would rob them. There were reports indicating missing guests and the local sheriff at Charleston in South Carolina but it took a long time for the law to catch up. Lavinia and John Fisher were later convicted in 1820 and hung for the serial killings.
3. Jane Toppan was a trained nurse who killed 31 people during her employment at the Cambridge Hospital in Massachusetts. She conducted strange experiments on patients under her care and many eventually lead to murder. She experimented on the patients for her own amusement. She poisoned her patients and watched them die but she also reported having sexual pleasure when she watched her victims succumb to her brutality. She did not stop at the patients. She killed her landlords in 1895 and she also killed Elizabeth, her sister, four years later. Jane Toppan was eventually caught but she was not convicted. She was held insane and was sent to the Taunton Insane Hospital.
4. Belle Sorensen Gunness was of Norwegian origin but she lived in the United States and had killed more than 40 people. Gunness was what experts call a conventional female serial killer. She killed people whom she knew for financial gains. She murdered two kids among the four she had with her then husband circa 1900. She acquired the insurance money, moved to Indiana and married her second husband, Peter Gunness. After an accidental death of Peter Gunness, Belle wanted to remarry. She advertised and suitors who went to her farm to win her hand were robbed, murdered and most went missing. Belle Sorensen Gunness was never found and never convicted. She was mistakenly considered to be dead when her house burned down and the headless body of a woman was recovered from the debris.
5. Amy Archer-Gilligan was another female serial killer in the United States who murdered the elderly she was supposed to take care of. Her first and second husbands were killed by poisoning and their deaths made Amy substantially rich. It is estimated that she had murdered up to 50 people or possibly more.
6. Bertha Gifford was a female serial killer who murdered the relatives and people under her care. She poisoned the sick and ailing with arsenic. She was caught but she averted conviction due to insanity.
7. Nannie Doss, born in 1905, is one of the more recent female serial killers. She killed her husbands, relatives and her grandsons. She killed as many as five husbands, several relatives and had acquired a lot of wealth from those marriages and insurance moneys subsequent to the deaths of the husbands. She was convicted and imprisoned for life after admitting to the murders.
8. Dorothea Puente killed as many as 9 people during the 1980’s when she operated a boarding house. Elderly people would end up at her boarding house where she would kill them by poisoning. Bodies of seven elderly people were found buried at the property. She was convicted and imprisoned for life. She died in California in 2011.
9. Aileen Wuornos is one of the most recent cases of female serial killing. She did not kill for money or due to any psychopathological problems. She shot her victims and almost all of them were strangers. She was a young prostitute in Michigan and later moved to Florida. She was supposedly a highway prostitute at the time of murdering the seven men. Although she claimed to have acted in self defense after the men tried to rape her, she did admit to the murders and the court did not consider her self-defense plea. She was given a death sentence.