Experts estimate that approximately 20% of serial killers are female, though they seem to go overlooked a lot of the time. Probably because a lot of them aren’t necessarily violent killings; female serial killers usually have a method of poisoning their victims! But we’ve compiled a list of the more violent women on the serial killer’s list.
5. Suzan Carson (the San Francisco Witch Killers)
Suzan Carson is one-half of the San Francisco Witch Killers along with her husband, Michael. They were very involved in mysticism and counter-culture; describing themselves as “vegetarian Muslim warriors.” Their reasoning for murder was because they believed their victims to be witches and that they were responsible for executing them. They were caught and eventually convicted for three murders between 1982 and 1983 in the San Francisco Bay Area. In exchange for being able to host a press conference where they shared about their ‘mission,’ they confessed to the killings. Investigators suspect that the Carsons are responsible for nine to 12 deaths in the United States and across Europe from a trip they took in the 1980’s. Suzan was recently up for parole and denied because she has never shown any regret for the killings.
4. Aileen Wuornos
Aileen Wuornos killed seven men by shooting them at a point-blank range between 1989 and 1990 in Florida. She worked as a prostitute at the time and claimed that every one of her victims tried to rape her and that she was acting out of self-defense. She was eventually convicted for six of the seven murders and executed in 2002 by lethal injection.
3. Genene Jones
Genene Jones killed between six and 60 young children in her care when she was a pediatric nurse. Her intent was to cause medical crises in her victims with small amounts of digoxin, succinylcholine, and heparin and revive them to receive praise and attention. However, many of the children did not survive. The exact number is unclear because hospital officials allegedly destroyed Jones’ records to prevent further lawsuits.
2. Leonarda Cianciulli
Leonarda Cianciulli is better known as the “Soap-Maker of Correggio.” She murdered three women between 1939 and 1940 after a fortune teller predicted that all of her children would die. She concluded that by sacrificing living people, she could protect them. So Cianciulli drugged three of her friends and then murdered them with an ax; proceeding to turn the bodies into soap that she sold in her shop and tea cakes that she served to her friends. She beamed with pride over her work upon being questioned. “The cakes, too, were better: that woman was really sweet.” She said about her last victim.
1. Mary Bell
The most disturbing of all the famous female murderers is Mary Bell. We have Mary at number one because of her age and the sheer violence of her actions. Between ages 10 and 11 she strangled two younger boys to death. She even returned to one of the bodies to carve a letter ‘M’ into his stomach, cut his hair, and scratch up his legs. She was convicted later the same year of the murders and sentenced indefinitely. Mary served 12 years in prison and was granted anonymity in 1980 at age 23 and is walking free to this day.