Here are all the most famous female serial killers in America
When we talk about serial killers, the conversation usually veers toward men. Male serial killers are the most well-known, but that doesn’t mean that women don’t commit serial murders. There are many women throughout the course of history who are serial killers. We’ve talked about the most famous of these women, at least in the US, Aileen Wuornos.
What about the others? What other female serial killers are known throughout the US? Well, there’s a whole host of them to look at. Here’s some famous female serial killers in America to definitely keep you up at night.
From 1884 to 1908, it’s believed that Belle Gunness killed, at least, 14 people. Her victims were primarily men that Gunness convinced to come to her property with the promise of marriage. What’s even more terrifying is that Gunness was never properly caught or discovered.
That tale is even more frightening. In April 1908, a fire broke out on the Gunness homestead. Authorities who responded to the scene found the body of a headless adult woman and three children, believed to be Gunness and her children. Further investigation of the property led to the discovery of human remains.
Now here’s the scary thing. Some people aren’t sure if Gunness died in the fire. In Nov. 1908, Ray Lamphere, a hired hand of Gunness’, went into detail about Gunness’ crimes, how she robbed and murdered the men that came to her farm. She also said that she told Lamphere to burn down the farmhouse with her children inside. A brother of one of her victims was coming to investigate, Gunness was apparently feeling the pressure.
Lamphere maintained that the body believed to be Gunness was probably a woman that Gunness killed to make it look like she perished in the blaze. A confession Lamphere made to a reverend, however, would contradict this. In that confession, Lamphere said that he killed the Gunness family (including Belle) and set the house ablaze. Belle Gunness’s survival remains a big question mark and has never been resolved.
Nannie Doss is believed to have killed at least 11 people from the 1920s to her capture in 1954. Before Black Widow the superhero overtook the name, it was a title given to women believed to have killed their husbands. Doss certainly earned that title. She has married a grand total of five times with Doss killing four of her husbands.
Doss would be arrested after an autopsy of her fifth husband, Samuel Doss, revealed a large amount of arsenic in his system. She gave a full confession. In addition to killing four of her husbands, Doss also confessed to killing her mother, sister, grandson, and one of her mothers-in-law.
In addition, it’s believed that Doss killed two of her daughters from her first marriage, whose deaths were suspected food poisoning.
Doss pled guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment. She died of leukemia in 1965.
Linda Hazzard may have had no medical degree, but still passed herself off to be a doctor nonetheless. Hazzard used fasting as a treatment for a variety of ailments, creating her own sanitarium where she swindled her clients out of a lot of money. Under her care, 15 people died. She was convicted of manslaughter for one of those deaths, but received a full pardon from the Governor of the state of Washington.
Hazzard would continue to sell her fasting treatment throughout the rest of her life. She even moved to New Zealand for a fresh start and a fresh group of victims. In 1920, it was revealed that she did not attend medical school so she was fined and she went back to the States. She opened another sanitarium, under the name of “health school” due to her lack of credentials, which mysteriously burned down.
Eventually, Hazzard would become a victim of her own treatments in 1938. She died of starvation while attempting her own fasting cure.
Puente is also known as the “Death House Landlady”. From 1982-1988, she ran a boarding house for the elderly and mentally disabled. Amongst her tenants, she was either a stingy miser or a warm and generous woman. Either way, she killed at least nine people with another six unconfirmed for their Social Security checks.
Puente would drug her victims and dispose of their bodies in her backyard, hiring people to help her with the projects, though some were unaware. When she was arrested in 1988, seven bodies were discovered on her property.
Out of the nine confirmed murders, Puente was convicted of three. The jurors could not agree about the other six murders that she was indicted for. Puente was sentenced to life without parole and maintained her innocence, saying the tenants died of “natural causes”. Puente died of natural causes herself in 2011.
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