12 Of History's Worst Female Serial Killers

Karla Homolka

Karla Homolka

Let's start off with a fairly light one (in comparison to some of the rest). She might have only been responsible for a few deaths but it's the disturbing way in which she was involved that made us decide to put her on the list.

Homolka was found guilty of helping her husband Paul murder and rape at least two women which included her sister. In 1993, she was able to strike a plea bargain with prosecutors and went to jail on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Gwendolyn Graham

Gwendolyn Graham

One part of the duo with Cathy Wood nicknamed the “Lethal Lovers”, Graham killed five elderly women in a suburb of Grand Rapids, Michigan by smothering them in their sleep as they worked as nursing aids at Alpine Manor nursing home in 1987.



Beverly Allitt

Beverly Allitt

Allitt's killing spree became one of the notorious in British history during her two month stint as a serial killer. She was convicted of murdering four children, attempting to murder three other children, and causing grievous bodily harm to six more. She used insulin among other methods to murder these children, who were as young as seven weeks. She remains in a mental hospital in England.

Miyuki Ishikawa

Miyuki Ishikawa

She was a Japanese midwife and serial killer who is believed to have murdered many infants with the aid of several accomplices throughout the 1940s. It is estimated that her victims numbered somewhere between 85 and 169 however, the general estimate is 103. At the trial, she insisted that since all the victims were deserted children, their parents were to blame for their murders.



Marybeth Tinning

Marybeth Tinning

Marybeth Tinning is responsible for the deaths of between two and nine children. She would smother the children with a pillow. Tinning eventually confessed to the murders of a daughter and two sons and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison and was denied parole for a fourth time in 2013.

Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova

Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova

Russian noble, Saltykova was responsible for the deaths of over one hundred of her servants who were mostly young woman and girls. Not only this, but she also tortured many of her victims.



Elizabeth Báthory

Elizabeth Báthory

Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed was a countess from the renowned Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. She has been labelled the most prolific female serial killer in history although it is debated just how many victims suffered at her hands. Báthory and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls between 1585 and 1610.

Nannie Doss

Nannie Doss

Nannie Doss went through five husbands before being apprehended and charged with a whole heap of murders including those of her five husbands, a mother-in-law, her sisters, two of their children, and her own mother. Spared execution because of her sex, she was never put to death and died in prison at age 59 in 1965.



Kristen Gilbert

Kristen Gilbert

Gilbert was often referred to as the “Angel of Death” was responsible for three first-degree murders, a second-degree murder and two additional attempted murders. Whilst working as a nurse, she killed patients by injecting them with epinephrine. Gilbert is currently serving a life sentence for her crimes.

Rosemary West

Rosemary West

Rosemary Pauline "Rose" West is a British serial killer believed to have collaborated with her husband Fred in the torture and murders of at least ten young woman. She is currently serving time as an inmate at HMP Low Newton, Brasside, Durham, whilst Fred committed suicide in Prison while awaiting trial.



Myra Hindley

Myra Hindley

Often referred to as "The Moors Murderer" or "The Most Evil Woman in Britain", Myra Hindley and her lover, Ian Brady, raped and murdered five young children between 1963 and 1965 in England. The pair were turned in to the police by Hindley's brother-in-law who had witnessed Brady killing a boy with an axe. Hindley died in prison in 2002 at aged sixty years.

Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos was a prostitute who turned her hand to becoming a serial killer. Between 1989 and 1990, she murdered seven men who may have suffered a similar fate if their wives ever found out beforehand. A minor traffic accident in one her victim's cars led to her arrest and execution in 2002.

Aside from perhaps Elizabeth Báthory, Wournos is probably the most infamous of all on this list due to Charlize Theron's remarkable transformation in playing her in the 2003 crime drama based on Aileen's deeds, Monster. Theron received numerous industry awards to go with the overwhelming critical acclaim for her performance.