Top 20 Most Evil Women in History

10. Williamina “Minnie” Dean 1844 – 1895

Death Toll: 3+

Minnie Dean was the first, and only, woman to be executed in the history of New Zealand. She was executed by hanging. Under the guise of helping poor young girls, this evil woman murdered their children and took what little money they had to improve her own lifestyle. At the time, a young woman becoming pregnant without a father was severely stigmatized by society. This gave rise to a phenomenon called “baby farming” in which people would offer to take the children and raise them for a moderate regular fee. Dean was one such farmer, but rather than raising the children, she murdered them at the soonest opportunity and kept the money. This was made possible because “adopting” parents were not required to be registered by law. In many cases the children simply vanished in to the homes of these “farmers” never to be seen again. Dean murdered at least 3 children but it is likely that there were many more whose bodies were not recovered. In my youth I was given a tour of the New Zealand Police private museum and I saw the bones of the 3 recovered children – it was something I will never forget.

9. Dorothea Puente 1929

Death Toll: 9

Dorothy Puente was an elderly woman who ran a boarding house for down and outs. During her years in the house she slowly murdered the people who lived with her and forged their signatures on social security checks in order to live the high life. She refused to allow her tenants to touch the phone or mail. She would take any money that was sent to them and keep most of it for herself. Among her victims were drunks, and schizophrenics. One of the bodies found in the back yard had had its head, arms, and legs removed. The money she stole helped pay for luxury clothing and perfume as well as a face lift shortly before she was caught. Puente showed no remorse for her crimes and is currently serving time in jail where she will die.

8. Karla Homolka 1970

Death Toll: 3 (at least 5 others suspected)

Karla Homolka is a Canadian serial killer who attracted worldwide media attention when she was convicted of helping her husband, Paul Bernardo, rape and murder teenage girls, including her sister Tammy Homolka. Karla videotaped her husband brutalizing and murdering young women – these videotapes were used against them in court and parts have leaked on to the internet despite the fact that the Canadian government ordered the videos destroyed. Shockingly, Homolka was released from jail in 2005 after just 12 years and is now living in the sunny paradise that is the West Indies. Justice commonwealth style.

7. Elena Ceauşescu 1916 – 1989

Death Toll: Genocidal

Elena Ceauşescu was a Romanian self-proclaimed scientist, wife of Romania’s Communist leader Nicolae Ceauşescu, and Vice Prime Minister of Romania. Romanians hold Elena Ceauşescu responsible for the elimination of birth control that created crisis conditions during the 1970s and 1980s, resulting in a flood of unwanted infants, babies, and children that were housed in substandard state operated orphanages throughout the country. She also headed the State health commission, which denied the existence of AIDS in Romania, leading to one of the largest outbreaks (including pediatric cases) in the western world. She was also responsible for the destruction of churches and the food rationing that took place in Romania in the 1980s. She was eventually executed for her crimes against humanity and died screaming “go to hell” to her executor. I wonder how she is finding it there.

6. Elizabeth I of England 1533 – 1603

Death Toll: Thousands (at least)

Elizabeth I, in order to suppress Catholicism, had thousands of Catholics in England and Ireland murdered. While she did good things with regards to parliament, she was an evil tyrant who is, unfortunately, portrayed as “Good Queen Bess” these days (as we know, the victors write history). Additionally, Elizabeth gave Queen Mary of Scots refuge, then immediately betrayed her and kept her prisoner for nearly 19 years, then murdered her (with no intervening freedom!). She encouraged piracy against Spanish ships and allowed the slave trade to thrive.

5. Marybeth Tinning 1942

Death Toll: 9

Between 1972 and 1985, Tinning had 8 children, all of whom she murdered, and adopted one whom she murdered also. Throughout the duration of the deaths, no one had any suspicion that she was murdering them, blaming genetics. This happened despite the fact that her adopted child was the seventh child murdered. She confessed to smothering her children, but later retracted the confession. She was eventually sentenced to 20 years in prison – since then, both attempts at parole have been denied.

4. Rosemary West 1953

Death Toll: 12+

Together with her husband Fred, Rosemary West is believed to have tortured and murdered at least 12 young women. In August 1992 Fred West was arrested after being accused of raping his 13-year-old daughter three times, and Rosemary West was arrested for child cruelty. The Wests developed a habit of picking up girls from bus stops in and around Gloucester, England and imprisoning them in their home for several days before killing them. West had a voracious sexual appetite and enjoyed extreme bondage and sadomasochistic sex. She was bisexual, and many of their victims were picked up for her and her husband’s sexual pleasure. West also worked as a prostitute. Two of her children were fathered by these clients. West is one of only two women ever being condemned to die in prison in the United Kingdom (the other was Myra Hindley who is now dead).

3. Phoolan Devi 1963 – 2001

Death Toll: 22+

Phoolan Devi was an Indian Dacoit (armed robber) who had a brief career as a politician later in her life. In the 1970s she was kidnapped by a gang of dacoits and she eventually joined them in their crimes. At one point she was raped by a group of men in Behmai, a village they attacked. She managed to escape and continued her life of crime, stealing from the wealthy. She eventually returned to Behmai and she ordered all of the men in the village lined up and had them shot. At least 22 men were murdered at her command. She was finally arrested and spent 11 years in jail. She went in to politics but her short lived career ended due to abuse of her power. Shockingly, in 1998, Phoolan Devi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by some members of the British Parliament. In 2001 she was assassinated by a man in revenge for the murders she caused in Behmai.

2. Delphine LaLaurie 1775 – 1842(?)

Death Toll: 10+

LaLaurie was a sadistic socialite who lived in New Orleans. Her home was a chamber of horrors. On April 10 1834, a fire broke out in the mansion’s kitchen, and firefighters found two slaves chained to the stove, who had appeared to have started the fire themselves in order to attract attention. The firefighters were lead by other slaves to the attic where the real surprise was. Over a dozen disfigured and maimed slaves were manacled to the walls or floors. Several had been the subjects of gruesome medical experiements. One man appeared to be part of some bizarre sex change, a woman was trapped in a small cage with her limbs broken and reset to look like a crab, and another woman with arms and legs removed, and patches of her flesh sliced off in a circular motion to resemble a caterpillar. Some had their mouths sewn shut and then starved to death, whilst others had their hands sewn to different parts of their bodies. Most were found dead, but some were alive and begging to be killed to release them from the pain. LaLaurie fled before she could be bought to justice – she was never caught.

1. Jiang Qing 1914 – 1991

Death Toll: 500,000+

Jiang Qing was the wife of Mao Tse-tung the Communist dictator of China. Through clever maneuvering she managed to reach the highest position of power within the communist party (short of being President). It is believed that she was the main driving force behind China’s Cultural Revolution (of which she was the deputy director). During the Cultural Revolution, much economic activity was halted and countless ancient buildings, artifacts, antiques, books, and paintings were destroyed by Red Guards. The 10 years of the Cultural Revolution also brought the education system to a virtual halt and many intellectuals were sent to prison camps. Millions of people in China reportedly had their human rights annulled during the Cultural Revolution. Millions more were also forcibly displaced. Estimates of the death toll, civilians and Red Guards, from various Western and Eastern sources are about 500,000 in the true years of chaos of 1966—1969 but some estimates are as high as 3 million deaths with 36 million being persecuted.

We all tend to focus on the evil men in the world and forget some of the truly evil women that have lived. I hope to correct that with this list. Here we have not just serial killers, but other utterly despicable women who have caused tragedy in many people’s lives. So, without further ado, here are the top 10 most evil women in history.

10. Queen Mary I Born: 1516; Died: 1558

Mary was the only child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon to live past infancy. Crowned after the death of Edward VI and the removal of The Nine Days Queen-Lady Jane Grey, Mary is chiefly remembered for temporarily and violently returning England to Catholicism. Many prominent Protestants were executed for their beliefs leading to the moniker “Bloody Mary”. Fearing the gallows a further 800 Protestants left the country, unable to return until her death. It should be noted that Elizabeth I shares position 10 on this list for her equally bad behavior.

9. Myra Hindley Born: 1942; Died: 2002

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were responsible for the “Moors murders” occurring in the Manchester area of Britain in the mid 1960’s. Together these two monsters were responsible for the kidnapping, sexual abuse, torture and murder of three children under the age of twelve and two teenagers, aged 16 and 17. A key found in Myra’s possession led to incriminating evidence stored at a left-luggage depot at Manchester Central Station. The evidence included a tape recording of one of the murder victims screaming as Hindley and Brady raped and tortured her. In the final days before incarceration, she developed a swagger and arrogant attitude that became her trademark. Police secretary Sandra Wilkinson has never forgotten seeing Hindley and her mother Nellie, leaning against the courthouse eating sweets. While the mother was obviously and understandably upset, Hindley seemed indifferent and uncaring of her situation.

8. Isabella of Castile Born: 1451; Died: 1504

Isabella I of Spain, well known as the patron of Christopher Columbus, with her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon, are responsible for making possible the unification of Spain under their grandson Carlos I. As part of the drive for unification, Isabella appointed Tomás de Torquemada as the first Inquisitor General of the inquisition. March 31, 1492 marks the implementation of the Alhambra Decree; expulsion edicts forcing the removal or conversion of Jews and Muslims. Roughly 200,000 people left Spain; those remaining who chose conversion were subsequently persecuted by the inquisition investigating Judaizing conversos. In 1974, Pope Paul VI opened her cause for beatification. This places her on the path toward possible sainthood. In the Catholic Church, she is thus titled Servant of God.

7. Beverly Allitt Born: 1968

The “Angel of Death, Beverley Gail Allit, is one of Britain’s most well known serial killers. Working as a pediatric nurse, she is responsible for the murder of 4 children and the serious injury of 5 others in her care. When available, insulin or potassium injections were used to precipitate cardiac arrest; smothering sufficed when they were not. Although convicted with death or injury in nine cases, Allit attacked thirteen children over a fifty-eight day period before being caught red-handed. Allit has never spoken of the motive for her crimes, but Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy explains her actions. This debatable personality disorder involves a pattern of abuse or harm to someone in your care in order to garner attention (Alitt was known as a child to wear bandages and casts over wounds, but would not allow them to be examined).

6. Belle Gunness Born: 1859; Died: 1931

Belle Gunness was one of America’s most degenerate and productive female serial killers. Standing 6 ft (1.83 m) tall and weighing in at over 200 lbs (91 kg), she was an imposing and powerful woman of Norwegian descent. It is likely that she killed both her husbands and all of her children at different times, but it is certain that she murdered most of her suitors, boyfriends, and her two daughters, Myrtle and Lucy. The motive was greed-pure and simple; life insurance policies and assets stolen or swindled from her suitors became her source of income. Most reports put her death toll at more than twenty victims over several decades, with some claiming in excess of one hundred. Inconsistencies during her post mortem examination; the corpse was reported to be two inches shorter than Belle’s six feet, paved the way for Belle Gunnes to enter American criminal folklore, a female Bluebeard.

5. Mary Ann Cotton Born: 1832; Died: 1873

Englishwoman Mary Ann Cotton is another for-profit serial killer, predating Belle Gunnes by thirty years. Married at age twenty to William Mowbray, the newlyweds settled in Plymouth, Devon, to start their family. The couple had five children, four of whom died of ‘gastric fever and stomach pains’. Moving back to the north-east, tragedy seemed to follow them; three more children born, three more children died. William soon followed his offspring, dying of an ‘intestinal disorder’ in January 1865. British Prudential promptly paid a 35 pound dividend, and a pattern was established. Her second husband, George Ward, died of intestinal problems as well as one of her two remaining children. The power of the press, always a force to be reckoned with, caught up with Mary Ann. The local newspapers discovered that as Mary Ann moved around northern England, she lost three husbands, a lover, a friend, her mother and a dozen children, all dying of stomach fever. She was hanged at Durham County Gaol, March 24, 1873, for murder by arsenic poisoning. She died slowly, the hangman using too short a drop for a ‘clean’ execution.

4. Ilse Koch Born: 1906; Died: 1967

“Die Hexe von Buchenwald” the Witch of Buchenwald, or “Buchenwälder Schlampe” the Bitch of Buchenwald was the wife of Karl Koch, commandant of the concentration camps Buchenwald from 1937 to 1941, and Majdanek from 1941 to 1943. Drunk on the absolute power rendered by her husband, she reveled in torture and obscenity. Infamous for her souvenirs; tattoos taken from the murdered inmates, her reputation for debauchery was well earned. After building an indoor sports arena in 1940, with 250,000 marks stolen from inmates, Ilsa was promoted to Oberaufseherin or “chief overseer” of the few female guards at Buchenwald. She committed suicide by hanging herself at Aichach women’s prison on September 1, 1967.

3. Irma Grese Born: 1923; Died: 1945

Another product of the Nazi’s final solution, Irma Grese or the “Bitch of Belsen” was a guard at concentration camps Ravensbrück, Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Transferred to Auschwitz in 1943, (she must have shown particular enthusiasm and dedication to the job), she was promoted to Senior Supervisor, the 2nd highest ranking female in camp, by the end of the year. In charge of over 30,000 Jewish female prisoners, she reveled in her work. Her work included; savaging of prisoners by her trained and half starved dogs, sexual excesses, arbitrary shootings, sadistic beatings with a plaited whip, and selecting prisoners for the gas chamber. She enjoyed both physical and emotional torture and habitually wore heavy boots and carried a pistol to facilitate both.

2. Katherine Knight Born: 1956

The first Australian woman to be sentenced to a natural life term without parole, Katherine Knight had a history of violence in relationships. She mashed the dentures of one of her ex-husbands and slashed the throat of another husband’s eight-week-old puppy before his eyes. A heated relationship with John Charles Thomas Price became public knowledge with an Apprehended Violence Order that Price had filed against Knight and ended with Knight stabbing Price to death with a butcher’s knife. He had been stabbed at least 37 times, both front and back, with many of the wounds penetrating vital organs. She then skinned him and hung his “suit” from the door frame in the living room, cut off his head and put it in the soup pot, baked his buttocks, and prepared gravy and vegetables to accompany the ‘roast’. The meal and a vindictive note were set out for the children, luckily discovered by police before they arrived home.

1. Elizabeth Bathory Born: 1560; Died: 1614

Countess Elizabeth Bathory is considered the most infamous serial killer in Hungarian/Slovak history. Rumors had circulated for years about missing peasant girls; offered well paid work at the castle, they were never seen again. One of these rumors reached the ears of King Mathias II, who sent a party of men to the massive Castle Csejthe. The men found one girl dead and one dying. Another was found wounded and others locked up. Described atrocities, collected from testimony of witnesses, include; severe beatings over extended periods of time, the use of needles, burning or mutilation of hands, sometimes also of faces and genitalia, biting the flesh off the faces, arms and other bodily parts, and the starving of victims. The victim total is thought to number in the hundreds occurring over a twenty-five year period. Due to her social status she was never brought to trial but remained under house arrest in a single room until her death. The idea that the Countess bathed in the blood of her victims is folklore, and one of the few things she did not do.



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