5 Of The World's Most Deadliest Female Killers (My 70th #TrueCrime Post)

(Yours truly. I'm not a murderer lol, I just write about them. IG: @CaledonianKittyx)

So, I wanted to do something a little bit different for my 70th true crime post on my blog and instead of focusing on one case, I thought it would be an interesting idea to make a compilation of five cases. In this post I will briefly visit each of the cases where a female has been the culprit (or co-partner) in a series of cold blooded murders. 

Obviously there are quite a number of high profile female murderers in the world, past and present but I have selected just five that come to my mind. I hope you find this post interesting and informative. I also want to thank you for all of the support these past few years and I just want to remind you that my new Instagram (previous was KittysOnTheCase which was deleted by Instagram) is @CaledonianKittyx

All of my other links can be found here

So, let's get into it and find out if some women really are more deadlier than the male....

Aileen Wuornos:

(Aileen Wuornos. Picture credit: themorningbulletin)

Aileen's probably the most infamous female murderer in the world with dozens of books, documentaries and even a movie (detailing some of her life on the road as a hooker, her killings and trial: Monster, 2003) being based on her and her crimes. Charlize Theron won an Oscar for her amazing performance as Aileen in the movie, Monster. 

Aileen's story is a complicated one, some think of her as a cold blooded murderer who killed her punters for money and some people believe that she was a victim who was defending herself against men who were a potential danger to her.

Her life was a nightmare from the beginning and she had to learn how to survive from such a young age. Everyone, except for a childhood friend Dawn Botkins, took advantage of Aileen in one way or another and I'm not excusing her crimes but in my opinion she was psychologically damaged from her childhood. 

Aileen had dreams and tried to live a decent life but it seemed that every time she tried, the doors were always closed to her and all she felt that she could do was sex work. In a desperate need for love she began a lesbian relationship with a woman by the name of Tyria Moore. Tyria, who Aileen was devoted to, turned out to be like a lot of the other people in Aileen's life and proceeded to live off of Aileen's earnings as a prostitute. Tyria had been working in a hotel when they first got together but decided that Aileen made more money from hooking so she gave up her job and it was on Aileen's shoulders to support them both.

Having spent a number of years hitchhiking and having sex with various strangers for money, Aileen was used to the hard life and had dealt with various people in the past but something happened with a male punter that set her on the path to murder.

Aileen hitched a ride with a man named Richard Mallory and unknown to Aileen, Richard had a background of sexual violence towards women. He had actually spent time previously in prison for rape and had been fired from a job for molesting a female co-worker. 

That night on the 30th of November 1989, it began like any other ''arrangement'' with a punter for Aileen, they drove somewhere secluded, had a few laughs and a few drinks but according to Aileen, Richard suddenly turned nasty as well as verbally abusing her, forcing himself on her, he assaulted her and raped her with an iron bar. Aileen's version of events of that night have varied and we may never know for sure what really happened that night but something happened for Aileen to feel the need to pull the gun out of her purse and shoot Richard Mallory, the first punter out of hundreds she had before, to be murdered, why him?. 

Richard wasn't a man that was missed, nobody seemed to care that he was missing. He had a bad reputation and with so many enemies, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack for the police. 

After this incident, Aileen went on to murder six more men who she claimed were about to sexually assault her. The circumstances were similar, they picked her up, drove to a secluded area, all seemed fine at first and then things turned deadly. As I mentioned before, Aileen had been hitchhiking and hooking for a long time and people came forward years later to testify that they had picked Aileen up in the past and never had a problem with her. 

One wonders if, in these situations with these six other men, did they suddenly turn nasty? It's not uncommon for customers of sex workers to turn nasty or violent, they think that because someone is a sex worker and they pay them some money for their time that they are somehow beneath them and do not deserve respect. Whether we want to admit it or not, toxic masculinity exists, there are amazing men out there but there are also not so amazing men who like to take advantage of women. Aileen was clearly a woman who had been though a lot of hell in her life and had gotten to the point where she wouldn't tolerate anyone trying to harm her or disrespect her.

You can imagine the scene, these guys getting hot and heavy and expecting more than what Aileen was willing to give or they had not agreed to. It's so easy for that situation to turn nasty. 

I used to work for a support organisation whilst I was studying Counselling and Psychology at university and had heard a lot of stories about what sex workers had to go through whilst working on the streets. It is a very difficult and often very dangerous way to earn a living.

Aileen was eventually caught and the woman she though would be by her side, Tyria, ended up sailing Aileen down the river to save her own skin. Tyria pleaded ignorant to everything, claimed she knew nothing of the murders but in reality she knew far more than she let on and sat back counting the money and enjoying the items from the men who had been murdered that Aileen had brought home. After Richard Mallory's murder, Aileen and Tyria used his car to move some of their belongings to another residence and there was still blood in the car.

Aileen was found guilty and sentenced to death. She was executed on the 9th of October 2002 by lethal injection. She was just 46 years old. 

It was also clear to anyone who had paid attention to Aileen's interviews leading up to her death that she wasn't of sound body and mind. It was a wonder why her execution was allowed to have gone ahead. A lot of people believed that Aileen should have been placed in a psychiatric hospital and should have had help a long time ago.

Aileen was cremated and the one and only person she could rely on in her life, Dawn Botkins took her ashes and scattered them under a childhood tree back in Michigan which was Aileen's wish. 

Joanna Dennehy

(Joanna Dennehy. Picture credit: Metro)

I remember when the Peterborough Ditch murders were first reported in the media and Joanna Dennehy's name was printed wrong and the name reported was exactly the same as mine! It's very strange to see your full name next to the words Serial Killer. 

Joanna is considered by criminologists and true crime authors to be more deadlier than Aileen Wuornos. Joanna was motivated by the need to just kill and enjoyed stabbing her victims over and over again, up close and personal. Her victims were all male, one was her landlord and the other four were just random people walking their dogs down the street. 

In March of 2013, Joanna stabbed to death three men in Cambridgeshire, England and attempted to kill two more but the two victims survived. 

Joanna's childhood was nothing like Aileen's, she had quite a promising childhood and the benefits of a middle class upbringing and was considered to be quite a bright, bubbly girl but as soon as she reached her teen years, something went wrong and she fell in with the wrong crowd. From there she continued her downward spiral. 

She has never given a motive to why she killed or why she wanted to kill other than she enjoyed seeing the blood and in some cases licked her victim's blood off of her knife. She has never shown any remorse for what she did and always claimed to be 100% guilty.

Joanna was sentenced to life imprisonment and will never be released from prison, she often tops the polls for deadliest female killer. 

Myra Hindley

(Myra Hindley. Picture credit: The Sun)

This is an evil woman who needs no introduction. Some people in the United Kingdom still struggle to say her name, they prefer to call her ''Monster'' or worse.

I've been asked many times to cover the Moors Murderers and so far I haven't written about them because the case is so well known but I will cover the case if my readers wish me to do so. 

Myra and her lover, Ian Brady murdered five children in Manchester in the 1960s. The murders were calculated, sadistic and beyond evil. Myra would help procure victims for Ian who would then sexually abuse, murder and bury the children in an area known as The Moors. Myra and Ian would often spend time in The Moors and would take pictures of themselves posing next to their victims graves.

Myra later claimed to have been a victim of Ian, she claimed to have been frightened of him but the truth is was that she was infatuated with him and very much took part in the murders. With one of the victims the evil pair recorded the horrific murder and Myra was heard being aggressive towards the child, Lesley Ann Downey. Lesley who was just 10 years old was stripped naked by the pair and forced to pose nude before being sexually assaulted and strangled. The tape that was later entered into evidence was said to have been so horrendous that seasoned detectives still have nightmares to this day at what they heard on that recording. 

Myra and Ian were eventually caught after Myra's brother in law witnessed Ian murder a 17 year old boy by the name of Edward Evans and contacted police.

The pair never expressed any genuine remorse for their actions, Ian Brady remained cold as day until his death on the 15th of May 2017, he was 79. Myra tried for years to paint herself as a victim of Ian and proclaimed to be a born again Christian. Myra died on the 15th of November 2002 aged 60.

When the deaths of Ian and Myra were announced in the newspapers, the public celebrated. One of their victims was a 12 year old boy named Keith Bennett and for decades his mother begged both Ian and Myra through letters to tell her where they had buried Keith's body, they would never reveal where his remains were other than the fact that they were somewhere on The Moors. 

Kristen Gilbert

(Kristen Gilbert. Picture credit: Film Daily)

Kristen Gilbert may not be a name that rings sudden bells for you but she is often included in lists of deadliest females. So who is she? Well Kristen falls into the ''Killer Nurse'' category. This case might put you in mind of another story I covered: Nurses Who Kill: Lucy Letby And Beverley Allitt

Kristen's childhood seemed quite normal and she was a gifted and friendly girl but was prone to making up stories to gain attention and faked suicide attempts (much like Beverley Allitt. If you've read my other post on Beverley you'll see a lot of similarities between the pair).

Whilst Kristen was on her night shifts at the Veterans Affairs Medical Centre in Northampton, Massachusetts (USA), a number of incidences were occurring where patients either passed away or became very seriously ill. Her colleagues nicknamed her ''Angel of Death'' as a joke (if you can believe that) because of the number of situations that seemed to be going wrong whenever she was on the scene.

As with Beverley Allitt, Kristen would put patients in serious situations then rush in at the crucial moment to appear to be the life saving nurse who saved the day, she loved the attention and admiration from colleagues that it brought. She enjoyed the power of having other people's lives in her hands. 

Eventually, Kristen's colleagues began suspecting all was not as it seemed and word soon got around with patients refusing to go into the ward where Kristen was working for fear something terrible may happen to them. Kristen was investigated and she was suspected of being responsible for 350 deaths but was only charged with four deaths possibly due to lack of evidence?

Kristen's method of killing was inducing heart attacks by injecting her patient's intravenous bags with an untraceable heart stimulant known as Epinephrine.

In 2001, Kristen was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. She would have gotten the death penalty if the murders had taken place in another state. 

Rose West

(Rose West: Picture credit: Wales Online)

Well, where do I start with Rose West? The last on my short list of female murderers but certainly not the quietest, for behind the frilly blouses and the glasses is a cold. calculated, manipulative murderer, torturer and rapist who, together with her late husband Fred West, murdered 12 victims. 9 bodies of young women were found in their back garden at a house of horror infamously known as 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, England. Another victim's (an 18 year girl who was 8 months pregnant with Fred's baby) dismembered remains were found in a cornfield. 

Rose had come from an abusive childhood, her mother had suffered from psychological problems and her father sexually assaulted her. Rose also molested her two younger brothers.

So her background was very messed up from the start so when she met Fred West at the age of 15 and he was 27, he seemed to be the love and care that she thought she was looking for but she was very naive and quite behind with her mentality. With Fred's blessing and some say orders, she went into prostitution which her parents soon caught wind of and sent her to a home for troubled girls.

Despite the problems and her parents not approving of the relationship with Fred, she soon moved in with him. Her parents did what they could to stop her seeing Fred but it was of no use as she was completely infatuated with him and refused to stay away. To her parents further horror she ended up pregnant and placed into care but claimed that she would have an abortion if she was released. Rose decided not to have the termination and moved in with Fred resulting in her parents disowning her.

Whilst Fred was in prison for petty crime, Rose murdered her step daughter (Fred's daughter from a previous relationship) Charmaine who had been living with them and this was said to be the beginning of the murderous horror that was to take place at the hands of Rose and Fred West. When Fred came out of prison he helped dispose of Charmaine's body. 

Rose continued with prostitution and even advertised her services, Fred would even watch her have sex with punters through a hole in the wall. 

After a series of horrendous rapes, murders and burying the most of the remains of their victims in their back garden, Rose and Fred West were finally brought to justice. Rose was given a whole life order with no chance of parole. Fred West committed suicide whilst on remand in prison on New Years Day in 1995. 

Rose is currently serving time in HM Prison New Hall.

In another snippet of unbelievable information which is in fact true, Rose West and Myra Hindley had a brief affair whilst being held at the same prison. 

The murders at 25 Cromwell Street is a huge case and one which has a lot of detail to cover so I have attempted to briefly cover it here but obviously there is so much more to this case with what went on. This is another case which has been requested by my readers and it is on the list to look into further in a future post but hopefully in this post you get a brief idea of what happened and why I have included Rose on my list.

Well, I can't believe I have now published my 70th true crime post here on my blog. I hope you have found this post an interesting read and I look forward to your comments if you wish to share them here or elsewhere on my social media. I will be discussing the cases I've mentioned in this post, further in my podcast on my Patreon

Thank you for your support, if you have enjoyed my past 70 true crime posts and wish to make a little donation or buy me a coffee to show your support for my work, please donate here. Thank you so much x

Further reading & sources:

Talking With female Serial Killers | Christopher Berry Dee

Love of Blood | Christopher Berry Dee

Monster (Book) | Christopher Berry Dee

Fred & Rose | Howard Sounes

The Moors Murders | Emlyn Williams

Kristen Gilbert | Lynn Dillman

Aileen Wuornos | Wikipedia

Joanna Dennehy | Wikipedia

Moors Murders | Wikipedia

Kristen Gilbert | Wikipedia

Rose West | Wikipedia

Aileen Wuornos | Born To Kill (Documentary)

Joanna Dennehy | Born To Kill (Documentary)

Myra Hindley | Real Stories (Documentary)

Moors Murders | CTSB (Documentary)

Angel Of Death Documentary

Rose West Documentary 

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  1. Wow!!! For your 70th true crime post this was incredible as all your work has been.
    These 5 women are exactly as you depicted... deadly... dangerous and frightening. I remember the case of Kristen Gilbert vividly as my mother had just gotten out of a nursing home at the time when she made the news as the "Angel of Death" was captured.
    The news made her fearful of what could of happened if that lady or someone like her had worked at three facility she was in at the time.
    Each one of these women you have mentioned are truly frightening and this was well done. A truly brilliant addition to your volumes of work and sets a perfect post for your 70th case!
    Truly Incredible! 👏👏👏❤❤❤

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  3. Thank you so much for the comments and taking time to read the post. I really appreciate it x