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10+ of the Most Notorious Female Serial Killers

Today, we live in a very male dominated society. Certainly, females have come a long way over the centuries but there may be one area that ladies have proven to be just as skilled and proficient as the men.

Notorious Female Serial Killers: The Crazier, The Better

We all know that a woman’s mind is always crazier than a man’s mind in all matters, whether it is studies, games, shopping, love or hate. Usually, women have been the hunted instead of being the hunters when it comes to the domain of serial killers, it just so because of an enhanced sense of emotions in them. But when woman overcomes her emotions and goes far enough in losing her mind, a devil is born inside of her mind. She becomes a true, manic killing machine and one would not find it pleasurable to be in the way of a notorious female serial killer. Here is a list of 15 of the most dastardly dames in the history of the world.

Charlene Gallego

charlene gallego - serial killers

Source: via daily news

Part of a matched set with her husband, Gerald, Charlene kept sex slaves The two would torture and then shoot their victims with a preference to point blank execution style. Upon apprehension, Charlene testified against her husband in the state of California so she was not charged. She was however found guilty in Nevada.

Served: 16 years 8 Months

Currently: Free

Maria Swanenburg

maria swanenburg - killers

Source: via Daily News

Swanenburg lived from 1839 to 1915, caring for children and the sick in her neighborhood of Leiden. This notorious female serial killer was linked to dozens of murders, even members of her own family. In the 1880s, she was connected to an arsenic poisoning. There were 102 people affected by the chemical with 27 actual deaths, including Swanenburg’s mother. Those that survived endured serious health issues. Her motive was to collect her victim’s inheritance.

Served: Life in Prison

Currently: Deceased

Waneta Hoyt

waneta - serial killers

Source: by MICHAEL OKONIEWSKI in NyDailyNews

This notorious mother lived in New York from 1946-1998, was charged with killing five of her children between 1965 and 1971. Due to the young ages of the children, Doctors ruled that they had died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Sids). A District Attorney launched an investigation, which led Hoyt to confess to the crimes. She later recanted, stating that she was coerced. She died in prison, which under New York law exonerated her of her crimes.

Sentenced: 75 Years to life

Currently: Deceased

Helene Jegado

helene jegado - serial killers

Source: NyDailyNews

Helene Jegado was a domestic servant and notorious female serial killer. She lived from 1803 to 1852 and in that time killed as many as 36 people with arsenic over an 18-year period. The bulk of her killing spree took place from 1833 to 1841, but she took it up again in 1551. Pleading ignorance to the effects of arsenic was known as the “Pious Prisoner”.

Sentenced: Death by Guillotine

Currently: Deceased

Gesche Gottfried

gesche gottfried - killers

Source: NyDailyNews

Dubbed the Angel of Breman due to her method of caring for her victims after poisoning them with arsenic, this notorious female serial killer’s spree ranged from 1813 to 1827. Gottfried liked to keep it in the family as she killed her children, parents, two husbands and a fiancée before she was caught. She would mix arsenic into her victim’s food.

Sentenced: Death by beheading

Currently: Deceased

Amelia Dyer

amelia dyer - serial killers

Source: via Daily News

Amelia Dyer was born in England and convicted of killing one infant. Hardly a reason to list her among the notorious female serial killers, however, her name was attached to much more. She worked at a “Baby Farm” in the 1800s and over a twenty-year span killed over 400 babies. If this statistic is accurate that would rank her with the highest profile serial killers of all time, male or female.

Sentenced: Hanging

Currently: Deceased

Darya Saltykova

darya saltykova - serial killers

Source: via Daily News

Darya Saltykova was a Russian noblewoman and notorious female serial killer. Focusing mainly on female serfs, Saltykova was tried publicly at the behest of family members of her victims in 1762. Investigators found as many as 138 suspicious deaths linked to Saltykova. She was found guilty of torturing 38 female serfs and put on display wearing a sign that stated her crimes. She died in prison in 1801.

Sentenced: Life in Prison.

Currently: deceased.

Elizabeth Bathory

elizabeth bathory - serial killers

Source: Public Domain

Drawing comparisons to Vlad the Impaler, Elizabeth Bathory was not only a notorious female serial killer but one that spawned a legend. Descended from noble blood, Bathory and four accomplices were accused of torturing and killing up to 650 victims, a Guinness World Record. Her family was the upper crust protected her from these accusations however she was thrown into solitary confinement until her death 5 years later.

Sentence: Life in Prison

Currently: Deceased

Dagmar Overbye

dagmar overbye - killers

Source: Public Domain

This notorious female serial killer targeted children born out of wedlock. From 1913 to 1920, Overbye strangled, drowned or burned up to 25 children. She would then cremate, bury, or hide the bodies. Her actions led to changed legislation in Denmark. She was sentenced to death in 1921. the Sentence was later commuted.

Sentenced: Life in Prison

Currently: Deceased

Leonarda Cianciulli

leonarda cianciulli - serial killers

Source: public domain

Leonarda Gianciulli was a notorious female serial killer who seemingly had good intentions. All of her kills were meant as a sacrifice to ensure that her son would be safe in WWII. Lasting from 1939-1940, she killed her middle-aged female neighbors

and turned the first two into tea cakes which she served to guests and the final victim into soap which earned her the nickname the “Soap-Maker of Correggio”. She was convicted of murder in 1946.

Sentenced: Life in Prison

Currently: Deceased

Juana Barraza

juana barraza - serial killers

Source: AFP:Getty Images

Juana Barraza was a Mexican professional wrestler and one of the most notorious female serial killers in the world. Born in 1957, she came to be known as the ‘Old Lady Killer” as she killed between 42 and 48 women. Beginning in 1990, Barraza would beat and rob her victims. in 2006, she was convicted of 16 counts of murder and aggravated burglary.

Sentenced: 765 years

Currently: Serving

Aileen Wuornos

aileen wuornos - serial killers

Source: AP

Aileen Wuornos was a prostitute in Florida and notorious female serial killer. From 1989-1990, she shot 7 men in the head at point-blank range. Claiming self-defense, she stated that each of the men had raped her while she was working the streets. This defense did not work and she was sentenced to death via lethal injection.

Sentenced: Death

Currently: Deceased

Miyuki Ishikawa

miyuki ishikawa - killers

Source: Public Domain

Miyuki Ishikawa was a midwife responsible for anywhere between 85 and 169 victims all of which were, abandoned babies. She and her husband, Takeshi eventually sought payment from the abandoned children, reasoning that the payment they asked for would be cheaper than raising a child. Since Ishikawa didn’t actually harm the children, no murder charges were filed. She was only charged with the crime of omission.

Sentence: 4 years

Currently: Deceased

Belle Gunness

belle gunness - serial killers

Source: via

Belle Gunness was one of the most notorious female serial killers in the world. She had racked up over 40 bodies near the beginning of the 20th Century. The first two were her husbands and the rest are believed to e suitors she obtained through a personal ad. When suspicions arose, she committed arson to her large farmhouse and used one of the corpses, dressed as herself to fake her death. She was reportedly seen around the United States for decades but her ultimate fate is unknown.

Sentence: Unknown

Currently: Deceased

Jane Toppan

jane toppan - serial killers

Source: via

Jane Toppan was a nurse in the early 20th century when she confessed 31 of her patients. She was using them as experiments with morphine and atropine. She made up most of the patient’s conditions herself, even going so far as to forge fake progress charts. She was caught and fired which sent her on a killing spree. She poisoned her landlord, foster sister and the went after her foster sister’s husband. After finally being caught she admitted to getting sexually aroused by being with her victims as they died and won a plea of insanity.

Sentence: Mental hospital until her death.

Currently: Deceased.

Whether it be self-protection, revenge, profit, or presumed mercy killing, these ladies excelled taking human life. The fact that these women even existed is enough to keep good people awake at night. Just remember, the stories you hear around the campfire about serial killers running rampant may not always include male killers.

Mostly, the methodology of murder and homicide espoused by a notorious female serial killer has always proven to be far more horrid than those of a male. The power of a woman’s madness in unfathomable; even the evilest ones would beg for mercy when victimized by a female serial killer – well, they would if they even get the chance! You must have read how female serial killer like Gesche Gottfried and Helene Jegado used arsenic to murder their victims and pretended to be oblivious to the effects of arsenic.

It is indeed the instinct of the devil, to do the dirtiest of the work but in a way that cannot prove if it actually was the work of the devil. A woman has that capacity of deception in her; to play the victim after making people their casualty. And they do it quite perfectly. If you such a notorious female killer crosses your path, you better make a run for it because once she plays her mind games on you, you’ll be ultimately misled into a brutal demise.