When most people think of serial killers, their thoughts turn to steely-eyed young men with a penchant for wearing a lady’s skin, not little old ladies. Grandmothers might not be the typical version of a bloodthirsty murderer, but when you think about it, being a sweet, beloved old woman is the perfect cover for murdering a bunch of strangers and burying them under your floorboards. Grandmas who kill are motivated for a lot of different reasons: sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s because they felt God told them to, and sometimes it's out of pure boredom.
Whatever the reason, old ladies who murdered are often the least expected suspect with the most gruesome of crimes. These geriatric female serial killers committed horrific acts of violence, and while most of them paid dearly for their crimes, at least one of them walks free despite her sins. Remember to be nice to grandmother the next time you see her, you never know what hidden talents are up her sleeve.
Italian serial killer Leonarda Cianciulli's murderous career only lasted one year, but this older woman with a penchant for the occult made the most of her victims. Between 1939 and 1940, Cianciulli killed three women as human sacrifices to break a family curse.
Cianciulli suffered numerous miscarriages and lost many of her children to illness when they were young. To protect her surviving children, she turned to the occult for answers, and chose to offer the dark powers human sacrifices in exchange for safety.
In order to dispose of the bodies, she dismembered them. She would turned them into soap or bake them into tea cakes. She noted that her final victim made excellent soap, and a wonderful snack: "The cakes, too, were better: that woman was really sweet.”
Andrea G., The Newborn Baby Killer
A German woman only identified as Andrea G. was arrested in 2016 following the discovery of eight dead babies in her apartment. The woman admitted to killing several of the children, but says she can't remember exactly how many. In a confession read out by her lawyer, Andrea revealed she had given birth to each of the eight babies at home alone and would promptly suffocate any baby that moved or cried. She would then place the body in a plastic bag or containers and hide it in the apartment.
She and her husband lived in the apartment with the dead babies, along with their three other children. She was charged with murder.
For 20 years Amelia Dyer is said to have killed more than 400 infants while she was working as a "baby farmer," someone who adopts children for lump sums of money. It was common practice in Victorian England for older women to take in children for a fee. She offered her services to young mothers who were unwed or unable to care for their children.
Initially, she would neglect the children until they died, but when that began to take too long she started murdering them at the onset of their adoption in order to make more of a profit.
Police were only able to pin one murder on her, but investigators found concrete evidence of 12 and 50 children. However, it's widely speculated she killed hundreds more. She was sentenced to death and killed in the summer of 1896.
Tamara Samsonova - Known as "Granny Ripper" - Ate and Dismembered Her Victims
Tamara Samsonova, also known as the "Granny Ripper," is a 68-year-old woman from Russia who confessed to killing 11 people over the span of two decades. Shortly after she was arrested the police found Samsonova's diaries, which included the gruesome details of how she would murder, dismember, and eat some of her victims.
As brutal as the details of her story are, her journals give a fairly straightforward version of each of her crimes: "I killed my tenant Volodya, cut him to pieces in the bathroom with a knife, put the pieces of his body in plastic bags and threw them away in the different parts of Frunzensky district."