When it comes to crimes, men keep their monopoly as in most of the fields. However, there have been some notorious women who found a place for themselves in history books for their heinous crimes which may put the cruelest of the men to shame. Here is the list of top 10 notorious female criminals in history.
10. Sandra Avila Beltran
Known as the Queen of the Pacific, Sandra Avila Beltran was one of the fearsome drug traffickers of her time. She was leader of the Sinaloa cartel and partner and lover of Colombian drug trafficker Juan Diego Espinos. Beltran once controlled a big share of the drug trafficking between Colombia and Mexico. She had a luxurious lifestyle, and she reportedly kept it even in prison after she was arrested.
9. Patty Hearst
The story of Patty Hearst is a fascinating one. She was the heiress of media baron William Randolph Hearst and was kidnapped by guerrilla gang Symbionese Liberation Army when she was a college student. Later she appeared in a video declaring she had joined SLA. She was also caught in surveillance cameras conducting a bank robbery and wielding a gun. The police caught her within a year and she was sentenced in prison for seven years. She was later pardoned.
8. Genene Jones
Genene Jones was a pediatric nurse in Texas who killed several infants, injecting them with drugs such as digoxin, heparin and succinylcholine. She had a wicked idea of shooting to fame by endangering children and saving them before public. However, things didn’t go according to plan and several children died from heart paralysis and breathing problems. Jones was caught but evidence was scarce. After extensive hearing, she was found guilty of one murder and sentenced to prison.
7. Karla Homolka
Karla Homolka was an active participant in several rapes and murders with her husband Paul Bernardo. They murdered a couple of teenage girls and even Karla’s younger sister. They even recorded some of their heinous acts. The police eventually caught them, but Karla managed to get a lighter sentence claiming that she was forced by Bernardo to participate in the crimes.
6. Diane Downs
One of the worst mothers in history, Diane Downs, tried to kill all of her children to keep her boyfriend who never wanted kids. Downs shot her children and drove to hospital with them in car. She fabricated a tale of carjacking, and to back up the story, she had inflicted a wound on herself. Only her second child had died, and the testimony of her oldest daughter proved the mother’s cruel act. She was given a life sentence.
5. Aileen Wuornos
She started as a prostitute at a young age. To make more money, she indulged in petty crimes, bringing her in conflict with the law. She began a relationship with a hotel maid named Tyria Moore, which made her escalate the degree of her operations. They made it a habit to rob Wuornos’ customers, shooting those who opposed them. After an year, seven men had been killed by them. Wuornos was caught found guilty of several murders. She was executed in 2001.
4. Griselda Blanco
Known as the Queen of Cocaine and the Black Widow, Griselda Blanco was not a petty criminal. She was a drug queen and a ruthless one at that. During the 1970s and 80s, she became one of the principal figures in cocaine trade and gang wars in America. She was a merciless killer, not shy to even kill her husband over money. She is said to have killed hundreds of people, including her former husbands. She was caught and sentenced for 19 years in jail. After release, she was shot dead by an anonymous attacker.
3. Lizzie Borden
The prime suspect of the sensational Fall River murders of 1892, Lizzie Borden was figured in one of the gruesome episodes of American history. According to her story, she found her father dead on his couch, covered in blood and his left eyeball split in half. Her stepmother was discovered in same fashion in a bedroom. Lizzie’s testimony was inconsistent and there was an overwhelming amount of evidence against her, including the maid’s testimony. Despite this, she was acquitted and the mystery remained unsolved.
2. Bonnie Parker
Bonnie was the accomplice and lover of Clyde Barrow, who together went on a crime spree during the Great Depression. They with their Barrow gang conducted a series of robberies, kidnappings and murders, evading the police on every occasion. They continued their rampage for four years, till they were caught in a planned ambush in 1934. Bonnie and Clyde were shot and killed in the attack, but their legend, notorious as it is, stayed in the popular culture.
1. Mary Ann Cotton
Perhaps the most infamous of woman serial killers, Mary Ann Cotton was one of the cruelest female characters in history. She married four times, and all of her husbands and their children died of same type of stomach fever. She inherited large sum of insurance amounts each time, which was bound to arouse suspicions at one point. Eventually the media caught up with her modus operandi, and she was proven to have poisoned her husbands, friends and even her mother and children with arsenic. She was arrested and hanged.
Top 10 Notorious Female Criminals
- Mary Ann Cotton
- Bonnie Parker
- Lizzie Borden
- Griselda Blanco
- Aileen Wuornos
- Diane Downs
- Karla Homolka
- Genene Jones
- Patty Hearst
- Sandra Avila Beltran
Author – Nikhil Rajagopalan