America has had some very infamous female criminals throughout time. From killer nurses to murderous wives, the list goes on and on. Let’s take a look at some of America’s most terrifying criminals and the trail of death they left behind.
One of the most infamous female criminals was Delphine LaLaurie, who tortured and murdered slaves at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. She is so notorious a season in American Horror Story (Coven) was inspired by her devilish acts. Madame LaLaurie was a prominent and wealthy socialite in New Orleans. She owned many slaves and mistreated them with such cruelty that rumors ran rampant across the town. One slave jumped to her own death after being whipped by LaLaurie. This all happened because the slave caught a snag in LaLaurie’s hair while combing it.
In 1834, a suicidal slave tied herself up to the stove and started a fire. She would rather take her own life than be taken to the uppermost room to be punished by LaLaurie. Bystanders broke into the home and found seven alive but horribly mutilated slaves. They were all suspended by their necks and their limbs appeared to have been stretched. More bodies were discovered in her backyard, but these were of murdered slaves.
Imagine having a nurse that was trying to murder you. Would you survive? If you were bedridden surely not, but what if you had a minor cold? Jane Toppan was a private nurse who was accused of murdering 31 hospital patients and relatives. Let’s backtrack a little bit. Her mother died during her infancy and her father was committed to an insane asylum after trying to stitch his eyelids together. Her father’s unstableness was a trait that Toppan carried with her.
In 1880, she was a student nurse but was let go after two mysterious deaths occurred under her care. She then became a private nurse in New England and served homes. Few patients survived under her care. She murdered the entire family of Alden Davis, including himself. She killed her patients with lethal doses of morphine and lethal tonic. Toppan’s goal in life was to murder more helpless people than any man or woman alive. She is one of the most infamous female criminals to date.
Let’s just say you are lucky you weren’t one of Doss’s husbands. In her lifetime, Doss poisoned eight to eleven of her husbands. Children and relatives were not saved from her destruction either. Doss got married for the first time when she was 16. She had four kids and two of them died right after each other “mysteriously.” Her husband ran off with one of the remaining children, leaving the other, Florine, behind.
When Florine bore her own child, the infant died in Doss’s care. In the early 1950s, Doss’s husbands and relatives were dropping like flies. She used the insurance money to buy acres of land. With each death, she became more and more wealthy. When her fifth husband dropped dead after their wedding, an autopsy was performed. It revealed arsenic in his system, enough to kill twenty men. Doss finally confessed to at least 10 murders within three decades.
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