serial killers The Most Famous Female Serial Killers

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This list of notable or famous female serial killers includes photos and other information on women serial killers as well. These are among the most infamous female serial killers in history, with many of these women's stories having been adapted into films, which are included on the list of the best serial killer movies ever. Most, but not all, of these notorious female murderers are from the USA. You might also enjoy this list of people who married convicted serial killers and killers who poisoned their victims. While this is not a comprehensive list of all worldwide female serial killers and women killers, you could certainly find your top 10 and more here - including Jeanne Weber and, of course, Aileen Wuornos.

From the first woman serial killer to other women murderers, this list has some of the most violent and brutal killers in history. While there are fewer known female serial killers than male, the women on this list of female serial killers rank among the worst serial killers of all time and committed thousands of murders collectively. Featuring black lady serial killers and American's worst psychopaths, this list has them all! 

A woman serial killer might be more rare than men, but they still dot the pages of history and have left their mark. Whether you're interested in female mass murderers and women killers from a historical standpoint, want to know where they've come from, or what drove them to kill, there's a wealth of information below - then once you're hooked on reading about female killers, check out this list for more information on this deadly women.

Aileen Wuornos is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Famous Female Serial Killers
Photo: Florida Department of Corrections/Wikimedia Commons

Between 1989-90, prostitute-turned-killer Aileen Wuornos murdered seven johns who had the misfortune of looking for a little extra-marital action. A minor traffic accident in one her victim's cars led to her arrest and eventual 2002 execution.

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Aileen Carol Wuornos was an American serial killer who killed seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990. Wuornos claimed that her victims had either raped or attempted to rape her while she was working as a prostitute, and that all of the homicides were committed in self-defense. She was convicted ...more

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Age: Died at 46 (1956-2002)

Birthplace: Rochester, Michigan, USA

Nationality: United States of America

Cause Of Death: Lethal injection, Capital punishment

Place Of Death: Florida State Prison, Florida, United States of America

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Myra Hindley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Famous Female Serial Killers
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Known as "The Moors Murderer" and "The Most Evil Woman in Britain", Myra Hindley and her lover, Ian Brady, plotted and carried out the rape and deaths of five young children 1963-65 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 age 60.

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Age: Died at 60 (1942-2002)

Birthplace: Crumpsall, United Kingdom

Nationality: England

Cause Of Death: Myocardial infarction

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Jane Toppan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Famous Female Serial Killers
Photo: Freebase

Jane Toppan, a nurse with a private practice, racked up dozens of victims between 1885 and her capture near the turn of the century. While in police custody in 1901, she admitted to being aroused by the process of killing and was eventually found to be insane and not guilty of her crimes.

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Jane Toppan, born Honora Kelley, was an American serial killer. She confessed to 31 murders in 1901. She is quoted as saying that her ambition was "to have killed more people — helpless people — than any other man or woman who ever lived...". ...more

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Age: Died at 81 (1857-1938)

Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Profession: Nurse

Place Of Death: Taunton, Massachusetts, United States of America

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Nannie Doss is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Famous Female Serial Killers
Photo: Police Mugshot

Nannie Doss was a black widow who went through five husbands before being caught and charged with a slew of murders including those of her five husbands, a mother-in-law, her sisters, two of their children, and her own mother. She was never put to death (because she was a woman) and died in prison at age 59 in 1965.

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Nannie Doss was an American serial killer responsible for the deaths of 11 people between the 1920s and 1954. She finally confessed to the murders in October 1954, after her fifth husband had died in a small hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In all, it was revealed that she had killed 4 husbands, 2 ...more

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Age: Died at 60 (1905-1965)

Birthplace: Blue Mountain, Alabama, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Cause Of Death: Leukemia

Place Of Death: McAlester, Oklahoma, United States of America

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Amy Archer-Gilligan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Famous Female Serial Killers
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

In order to gain access to life insurance money, the nursing home proprietor murdered at least five people by poisoning them. This included her second husband, Michael Gilligan. As for the others, they were lived in her nursing home. She may have killed more people, but that is still unconfirmed. For her crimes,Archer-Gilligan was sentenced to death, but ended up in a mental asylum instead.

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"Sister" Amy Duggan Archer-Gilligan was a Windsor, Connecticut, nursing home proprietor and multiple murderer. She systematically murdered at least five people by poison; one was her second husband, Michael Gilligan, and the rest were residents of her nursing home. It is possible that she was ...more

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Age: Died at 94 (1868-1962)

Birthplace: Connecticut, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Place Of Death: Middletown, Connecticut, United States of America

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Rosemary West is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Famous Female Serial Killers
Photo: Police Mugshot

West, along with her husband, was convicted of murdering 10 young women in 1995. Most of the crimes occurred between April 1973 and August 1979.

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Rosemary Pauline "Rose" West is a British serial killer, now an inmate at HMP Low Newton, Brasside, Durham, after being convicted of 10 murders in 1995. Her husband Fred, who committed suicide in prison while awaiting trial, is believed to have collaborated with her in the torture and murder of at ...more

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Age: 63

Birthplace: Barnstaple, United Kingdom

Nationality: England

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Mary Ann Cotton is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Famous Female Serial Killers
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Mary Ann Cotton was an English woman convicted of murdering her children. She was believed to have murdered up to 21 people, mainly by arsenic poisoning. ...more

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Age: Died at 41 (1832-1873)

Birthplace: County Durham, United Kingdom

Nationality: England

Cause Of Death: Capital punishment, Hanging

Place Of Death: Durham, England

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Kristen Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Famous Female Serial Killers
Photo: Moproducer/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Known as the Angel of Death, Gilbert was responsible for three first-degree murders, a second-degree murder and two additional attempted murders when she was a nurse. She killed patients by injecting them with epinephrine. Gilbert is serving a life sentence.

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Kristen Heather Gilbert born Kristen Heather Strickland, November 13, 1967 is an American serial killer who was convicted for three first-degree murders, one second-degree murder and two attempted murders of patients admitted for care at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Northampton, ...more

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Age: 49

Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Profession: Nurse

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