Finding the Female Serial Killer

Serial killers are typically associated with sadistic males like the one portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs and the criminal mastermind who haunts the silver screen in the Saw movies. Rarely does the image of a patient, gentle woman come to mind. But, female serial killers exist.

Female serial killers, however, follow a much different pattern of slaughter than their male counterparts. Males tend to kill for some sadistic sexual motive, whereas a woman tends to kill for financial gain. What’s more, male serial killers enjoy slaughtering random strangers and innocent victims, whereas female serial killers enjoy killing their husbands, relatives, or kids. And lastly, female serial killers tend to have caregiving professions such as nurses or teachers. It’s hard to say which deviant is more terrifying.

Take for instance the famous female serial killer Lydia Trublood. She had an extremely long run before being brought to justice by her own hand in a suicide. During her lifetime she killed four of her husbands, her daughter, and her brother in law. She collected life insurance steadily along the way.

Another notable female serial killer spawned the phrase “please excuse my dear aunt Thally.” This phrase was coined by a group of death row inmates locked up with an eighty-five-year-old woman who killed all her relatives by slipping thallium into their tea. Thallium is an element on the periodic table that is almost impossible to trace. If it’s administered in small doses over a long period of time it can be deadly. Well, this serial killer killed her entire family, all for financial gain using TI (81). She was eighty-five when she was finally arrested and eighty-seven when she was administered a lethal injection shot.