Like serial killing, the practice of cannibalism is not limited to men. Many well-known cases of cannibalism involve men, but there are a number of women murderers who also ate their victims.
Studies show some males get sexual satisfaction out of eating their victims, whereas females are more likely to consume the meat of their lover or spouse. There are exceptions to this, as some women reportedly consumed the meat of their own children, neighbors, and even complete strangers.
Although the motives for cannibalism vary, this list includes female killers who all ate their victims. In some cases, the women callously hacked through meat and bone, while others took the time to skillfully peel the skin off and cut up the flesh of their victims. Some female killer cannibals enjoyed their meals alone. Others turned their sadistic ritual into a celebration by serving their manmade dishes to unsuspecting neighbors, friends, relatives or even their kids.
Much like the tale of Sweeney Todd's Margery Lovett, the women of this crime trio made pies out of human meat. In 2012, authorities arrested and charged Jorge Beltrao Negromonte da Silveira, his wife Isabel Cristina Pires, and his mistress Bruna Cristina Oliveira da Silva for the disappearance and murder of at least three women. After killing their victims, the trio dismembered the bodies, seasoned the meat with cumin and salt, and put it in pies. They ate some of the pastries and sold the others to neighbors, school children, and hospital personnel.
The Brazilian trio believed eating human meat would cleanse their souls. Their most horrific crime involved killing a teenage mother in the presence of her 18-month-old daughter. Negromonte da Silveira admitted feeding the girl parts of her mother’s flesh. Oliveira da Silva raised the child for four years until police caught the threesome. In 2014, the courts sentenced each to at least 20 years in prison.
In February 2000, Katherine Knight stabbed her then-partner John Charles Thomas Price at least 37 times, after Price revealed his reluctance to divorce his ex-wife. After killing Price, Knight, who was "obsessed" with knives, used her skills as an abattoir worker to peel all his skin off in one piece.
She left the skin hanging on a meat hook inside the living room. Soon after, Knight removed his head and cooked part of his buttocks with pumpkin, baked potato, zucchini, beetroot, yellow squash, and cabbage, then served the dish with some gravy. When police arrived at the home, two plates containing the dead man’s remains were on the dining room table; Knight wanted to serve her partner’s fileted remains to his two adult children.
Australia’s Supreme Court sentenced Knight to Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre, marking the country’s first life without parole verdict for a female murderer.
In May 2007, police stationed near Brno in the Czech Republic responded to a call from a neighbor of the Mauerova family. When the police explored the Mauerovas' cellar, they discovered the partially skinned body of a young boy. Klara Mauerova had been slowly torturing and eating her sons, 8-year-old Ondrej and 10-year-old Jakub.
The two boys had been chained and abused for months. They had also been given knives and forced to slice themselves. Mauerova installed a baby monitor so she could watch the boys’ torture sessions from inside the kitchen.
According to local news reports, police arrested the 31-year-old mother, along with other members of a cult called the Grail Movement: Mauerova’s siblings, sister Katerina Mauerova and brother Jan Skrla, Barbora Skrlova, and Jan Turek. Mauerova pointed to mid-30s Skrlova, who was posing as a teen girl, as responsible for the crimes. Reportedly, they were members of a cult called the Grail Movement, and the cult’s leader, known only by the name “Doctor,” had instructed them to feast on Ondrej’s raw flesh.
Czech authorities sentenced Klara Mauerova and her sister to nine years in a maximum-security prison. Prosecutors also charged the cult members involved with prison sentences from five to seven years.
Italian Leonarda Cianciulli obtained the moniker "la saponificatrice di Correggio," or "Soap-Maker of Correggio,” for killing three women and using their remains to make tea cakes and soap. Cianciulli was a superstitious mother of four, as she had previously lost 13 children as infants and in the womb. When her eldest son Giuseppe signed up to join the military and fight in the World War II, she believed human sacrifices would protect her favorite child.
Between 1939 and 1940, Cianciulli drugged three female shop visitors and killed them using an axe. She then boiled their bodies in a pot filled with “caustic soda,” a compound used in breaking down organic substances. Cianciulli scooped the coagulated blood off the basin and cooked it in the oven. She mixed the blood with some flour, chocolate, milk, eggs, margarine, and sugar to make teacakes. Several shop visitors ate the crunchy desserts, as did Cianciulli and her son.
Correggio’s police unwittingly discovered Cianciulli’s hand in the women’s disappearances when Cianciulli used one of the victim’s money vouchers. The court sentenced Cianciulli to 30 years in prison and an additional three years in an asylum. Her infamous pot now sits in Rome’s Criminological Museum.