Female Serial Murderer

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Focus on gender bias in perceptions of criminal women, using the extreme example of serial murder. Often, an examination of the extreme can show cultural biases with greater clarity. This book shows that men and women, as with more common homicide trends, carry out serial murdering in different patterns. Lastly, this book will explore another possible definition of serial murder as well as some alternative theoretical approaches to the problem. While there have been numerous studies of male serial killers, studies of female serial killers are lacking, even though, as the statistics of this book document, there have been many over time.


“As any viewer of the National Geographic Channel – or reader of Rudyard Kipling’s poetry – will tell you, the female of the species is not to be taken lightly ... This book chronicles the crime histories of several murderesses, their backgrounds, crimes, and ultimate fate. More importantly, the author places their lives and deeds in statistical and theoretical contexts ... Why should we care about this phenomenon, especially the handful of cases involving female serial killers? Beyond the tragedies associated with any violent victimization, another reason exists. By studying the fringes of human aberrant behavior we often gain insights into more common problems. This is the rationale behind many research efforts in the physical and medical sciences. The author provides guidance for this unusual journey of exploration by reminding readers of the deadliness of the “gentler” sex. Rudyard Kipling warned us.” – (from the Commendatory Foreword) D. Kim Rossmo, Research Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Texas State University

“Serial murder has emerged into the public conscience as a media-driven phenomenon evoking misperceptions, myths and morbid curiosity … Within this context of serial killing is found one of the most fascinating types of violent offenders: the female serial killer ... Dr. Hannah Scott provides an articulate and thorough journey into the realm of the female serial killer. Her sociological examination of serial murder provides a solid framework from which the etiology of multiple homicides can be explored ... This is a text that is a must read for anyone interested in gender issues and violence ... ” – Eric W. Hickey, Professor of Criminology, California State University-Fresno

“The author has most definitely made a contribution to the serial murder literature with this book. It is well written and certainly adds to our understanding of the phenomenon of the female serial killer ... The female criminal has only recently been studied with the necessary vigor for us to begin to understand her. Understanding the female who not only kills but kills and kills again is another story ... The criminal histories that the author provides seems to support her analysis that in many cases these female serial killers are killing, in part, as a result of their victimization by a patriarchal society ... More research is always necessary, but after this book, a little less is now required.” – Steven A. Egger, Associate Professor of Criminology, University of Houston – Clear Lake

Table of Contents

Foreword by D. Kim Rossmo
1. An Introduction to Murder and Serial Murder
2. Time, Opportunity, and Anonymity
3. Black Widows and Angels of Death
4. Less Traditional Murderesses
5. Some Overall Patterns of Women who Commit Serial Murder
6. Some Psychological Explanations of Serial Murder
7. Examining the Idea that Criminality is Learned
8. Some Thoughts on Serial Murder and Leyton’s Proletarian Rebellion
9. The Gentler Sex

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