Sunday, April 10, 2011

Karla Homolka

Karla was born May 4, 1970 in Port Credit, Ontario, to the parents of Dorothy and Karel Homolka. Karla was the oldest of her other two siblings and was well loved by family and friends as well as very popular and pretty. She was raised in a nice, middle class home and suffered from no abuse. After high school, Karla developed a strong love for animals and began working in a veterinary clinic. Overall, Karla appeared to be a very happy, smart, and normal girl. However, nobody knew what was really festering deep down inside her. When Karla was 17 she attended a pet convention in Toronto where she met 23 year-old, Paul Bernardo. Like Karla, Paul was tall, blonde, and very smart and she was attracted to him instantly. The two soon realized that they both shared the same sado-masochistic desires. As the two became more and more intimate, Paul soon assumed the role of "Master, " while Karla took the role of "Slave" (Montaldo).

Karla and Paul worked as a team, killing and raping their victims. The duo's first victim was one of Karla's younger sisters, Tammy. Karla had known how upset Paul had been that she wasn't a virgin when they met and she knew his attraction to her younger sister, Tammy. Because of Karla's uncontrollable desire to please Paul, she decided to use Tammy as a "surrogate virgin." The two drugged Tammy at the family's Christmas party with animal tranquilizers that Karla had stolen from work. The two then recorded as the two proceeded to rape the girl. During this time, Tammy was killed. The two dressed her, hid the drugs and the video camera, and called 911. Tammy's death was ruled an accident. On June 14, 1991, the couple struck again. Paul kidnapped 14 year old, Leslie Mahaffy and brought her to their home. The couple then drugged, raped, and killed Leslie. The couple got married soon after this on June 29, 1991. Also during this time, Leslie's body was found encased in concrete in a lake (Marsala, 2005).

The two had an elaborate wedding held at the Niagara-on-the-lake Church. Paul had put himself of the wedding plans having the two ride up in a horse drawn carriage and with Karla in a big white gown. The guests were served an expensive and elaborate meal while they watched as Karla swore to love and obey her husband (Montaldo).

Together, the couple rape and kill one more girl, Kristen French. In January of 1993, Paul became upset with Karla and beat her with a flashlight. Karla let and filed charges against him. A few months later, Paul was arrested and was accused of being a serial rapist in their area. When the police searched the home for evidence, they found all the video tapes of the girls that the couple raped and killed. After a lengthy investigation, Karla had her trial on June 28, 1993. She plead guilty to two counts of manslaughter and received 12 years of prison in return for her to testify against her husband. On June 29, 1995, Karla testified against Paul in his trial. Paul was found guilty of all charges brought against him and was sentenced to life in prison (Marsala, 2005).

Karla spent her 12 year sentence in a women's prison. Karla was released from prison on July 4, 2005. Her departure from the prison was confirmed by prison authorities, but there was no sight of her leaving the prison. Homolka tried to ban the media from finding out her location and from leaking that to the public, in order to keep Karla safe from threats. Her lawyers claimed that upon release, Karla was in a "state of terror," scared to see what the world was going to do her (Montaldo, 2005).


Marsala, K. (n.d.). Karla homolka-a serial killer afraid of abandonment. Retrieved from:

Montaldo, C. (n.d.). Karla homolka-child rapist, torturer, and killer. Retrieved from:

Montaldo, C. (2005, July 4). Serial killer karla homolka released from prison. Retrieved from:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Anna Marie Hahn, "Arsenic Anna"

Anna was born in Germany to the parents of Georg and Katharina Filser. She was the last of 12 children, 9 of which were male. As a young girl she had a lot of medical problems. She was hospitalized on many occasions due to numerous illnesses and was even thought to die at a few points. Being the last born, Anna was her mothers favorite and she loved this attention. However, as Anna grew up she began developing more and more disciplinary problems. She began to stray from her parents and would sneak out late at night to go to parties and be with friends. She ended up not finishing high school and was shipped off to live with her sister in Holland, hoping that her disciplinary problems would vanish ("Anna marie hahn," 2007).

Anna immigrated to Cincinnati in 1929, at the age of 23. However, before coming to America she had married an Italian doctor and had given birth to her first child. The family came to America together but her husband died soon after. Anna had family in Cincinnati and she stayed with them after her husband died. She soon met her next husband, Philip Hahn, a telegraph operator. Anna's lust for money soon began to eat away at this marriage. Her hunger for it became so strong that she began turning to arson to gain insurance money. It was then thought that Anna was plotting to kill her husband. She had repeatedly tried to take out a life insurance policy against him for $25,000. However, each time her refused. Phillip soon ended up in the hospital with an unknown illness and Anna refused to take him to the hospital or care for him. Phillip survived the illness and couple soon separated (Lohr).

Even though Anna had no previous experience of training, she began offering services as a live-in nurse to the elderly men in her German district. Her first client was Ernest Koch. When Anna began working with Koch he was perfectly healthy viable. However, soon after he began working with Anna, Koch mysteriously died, leaving Anna his house in his will. Located on the first floor of Kock's house was a doctor's office, which Anna would visit frequently to steal blank prescriptions for her "patients." Anna's next client was Albert Parker. Parker died after only a few days in Anna's care. Instead of fixing Parker's will, she conveniently borrowed money from Parker right before he died, issuing him an IOU, which disappeared right after Parker died. Anna continued to "nurse" these elder men and killing them off, one by one. Each time she gained more and more money from their deaths ("Anna marie hahn," 2005).

Anna's next patient was George Heiss. He was a rare survivor. Heiss' suspicions of Anna grew each day that she worked for him and he did not trust her. He finally realized that she was trying to kill him when one day she brought him a mug of beer and he noticed that flys were dropping dead around it. He then told her to try the beer first and she refused. Heiss fired Anna on the spot and reported his suspicions to the police ("Anna marie hahn," 2005).

Anna's final victim, Jacob Wagner was the one to get her caught. After so many deaths under Anna's watch and reports from many people about theft, there were a lot of suspicions about Anna. The autopsy report showed that he had 4 times the lethal dose of arsenic in his system. She had been poisoning him through his orange juice. Anna was arrested for Wagner's murder on August 10, 1937. The trial began on October 11, 1937 and Anna was called guilty and sentenced to death by electric chair on November 10, 1937. Anna died at 8:13 p.m. on December 7, 1938 at Ohio State Prison ("Anna marie hahn," 2007).


Anna marie hahn. (2007). Retrieved from:

Anna marie hahn. (2005, February 1). Retrived from:

Lohr, D. (n.d.). Arsenic anna: the true story of anna marie hahn. Retrieved from:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Amelia Dyer, The Baby Butcher

Amelia Dyer was known as many names. Some of these titles included "Baby Butcher" and "Angel Maker." However, Amelia didn't have the typical hard childhood that you would expect a serial killer to have. Amelia was born in a small village near Bristol in 1838. She was the daughter of a master shoemaker and grew up learning to read and write very early. She soon developed a serious love for literature and poetry. When she grew up she trained as a nurse. At the time this was a very hard, but respectable job. From a colleague, Amelia learned of a much easier way to make a living. She began renting out rooms in her home to young, pregnant females who were pregnant out of wedlock and disowned by their families. During this time period, being pregnant out of wedlock was unforgivable and brought on a shun from loved ones and friends. Amelia would let the mothers stay in her home and help them with their pregnancy. After the babies were born, the mothers would leave Amelia's home and sometimes even leave their babies there with Amelia (Rennell, 2007).

In November of 1985, a single mother by the name of Evelina Marmon put an ad in the paper looking for someone to look after her newborn baby girl. When she was looking at her ad in the paper, she noticed an ad right beside hers from a married couple who were looking to adopt a baby and even offered money. The ad was placed by a Mrs. Harding from Oxford Road. Evelina contacted Mrs. Harding and asked if she would be interested in watching her baby. Mrs Harding happily agreed saying that she would be so pleased to have Evelina's baby in her home. A week later Evelina dropped off her baby at Mrs. Harding's and never saw her again. Little did she know, that "Mrs. Harding" was just a disguise that Amelia was using to lure in children ("Amelia Dyer," 2011).

Amelia was known as a "baby farmer," a very common thing in England during her time. Baby farming occurred when parents needed someone to care for there children. They would leave their babies with someone and pay them to care for them. Often times the parents would never come back for their children and when their payment was up, the farmer usually let the baby starve to death. Amelia was one of the worst baby farmers. She would place ads in the newspaper offering her services. She was convicted of killing at least seven babies that were in her care during the year 1896, alone (Grahams, 2010).

Amelia was arrested on April 4, 1896 and charged with the murder of at least six babies. She claimed that she was sending the children to Jesus, because he wanted them far more than their mothers did. Almost all of the babies killed be Amelia had been strangled ans wrapped in paper parcels. In her confession she told police that "you'll know all mine (murdered babies) by the tape around their neck." Amelia went to trial on May 22, 2896 where she pleaded guilty. She was hanged on June 10, 1896 at Newgate Prison ("Amelia dyer," 2011)


Amelia dyer. (2011, January 22). Retrieved from:

Grahams, Adrian. (2010, November 24). Horror of victorian baby farms. Retrieved from:

Rennell, Tony. (2007, September 28). The baby butcher: one of victorian britain's most evil murderers exposed. Retrieved from:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Waneta Hoyt

Waneta Hoyt was born on May, 13 1946 in Richford, New York. Waneta dropped out of high school when she was in the tenth grade to marry Tim Hoyt. Together, they had their first son Eric. Sadly, Eric only lived for a little over one hundred days. Over the next few years every child that the couple had, died soon after birth. Together, the couple had four other chlidren (James, Julie, Mary, and Noah) and none lived past the age of twenty-eight months. For the next twenty years, it was belived that each of these children died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. However, the truth was soon to be discovered ("Waneta hoyt,").

It was deemed by many that the deaths of Waneta's children was due to "unrelated ailments" (Busch, 1997). The couple was then introduced to Dr. Alfred Steinschneider, a pediatric doctor. Dr. Steinschneider determined that each of the infants' deaths were genetically linked. He declared the infants' death was due to a sleep apnea disorder that can occur in perfecdtly healthy babies, causing them to die suddenly in their sleep. The downfall of this disorder was that doctors did not know why this occured in children (Busch, 1997).

Several years after the deaths of their biological children, the couple adopted a boy, Jay, who survived. When Jay was seventeen (1994), Waneta was arrested for the murder of her five biological children. A discovery was made about the deaths of Waneta's last two children, Mary and Noah. These two children were part of Dr. Steinschneider's research about SIDS and sleep apnea. However, as the doctor's research carried on the links just didn't seem to match up and more and more people began to accuse Waneta of murdering her babies. These suspicions rose in 1992 and on March 23, 1994, Waneta confessed to murdering her five children ("Waneta hoyt,").

Waneta was sentenced to seventy-five years in prison for "depraved indifference to human life" (Sanz, 1995). It was discovered that Waneta suffocated each of the five children with pillows, towels, and even her shoulder. Waneta claimed that she killed all her children because she did not want them to cry. The prosecuting attourney gave the argument that each of these five children would not have the chance to grow up, get jobs, and live their life, because their mother could not stand their crying. It was because of this angle that the jury accused Waneta (Sanz, 1995).

Waneta ended up dying in prison of pancreatic cancer in August of 1998, only a few years into her prison sentence (Busch, 1997).


Busch, Frederick. (1997, September 14). A mother on trial.
Retrieved from:

Sanz, Cynthia. (1995, October 9). A mother's fatal embrace.
Retrieved from:,,20101784,00.html.

Waneta hoyt. Retrieved from:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Belle Gunness

It's said that women are not capable of committing crimes as vicious as ones that some men commit. Belle Gunness is a prime example of the kind of woman who could do this and is said to have killed over forty human beings. Belle was born in Norway in 1859 and made her way to America in 1881. Three years into her life in America she married Mads Sorensen and the couple opened a candy store together. This candy store later burned to the ground with rumors of arson as part of it's destruction. In 1900 Belle's husband died. The first doctor that examined his body claimed that he was poisoned. Sorensen's family insisted that it was Belle's fault and wanted her to be investigated. However, there was noaction taken and Belle happily accepted the $8,500 in insurance money. With this money Belle and her children moved to La Porte, Indiana where she purchased a farm. Belle also gave birth to two other children but they died from suspected poisoning (Ashford, 2009).

Soon after this move, part of Belle's property burned down and she was once again entitled to insurance money. In April of 1902 Belle married Peter Gunness. One week after her marriage with Peter, his infant daughter was poisoned and died. Peter, himself, was killed shortly after the two married. Belle claimed that a piece of machinery fell from a shelf and smashed in his skull. Belle was also suspected for this death, but was never proven guilty. She collected another $3000 from the death of her second husband (Ashford, 2009).

After a very brief mourning for Peter, Belle began searching for men through personal ads. The ones she met never stuck around, until Ray Lamphere. Ray became Belle's lover and when accusations continued to arise about the death of Belle's previous two husbands, he helped her fake her own death (Montaldo). On April 28, 1908 Belle's farm house was set fire and burned to the ground. Found inside were four bodies suspected to be Belle and her three children. However, as the investigation of the fire continued more and more suspicions were raised. One clue that set investigators off was the fact that a piano that was kept in the down stairs parlor was found on top of the four bodies. This would be impossible seeing as how the fire took place at four in the morning and the family would be asleep on the second floor. It was later discovered that the victims were killed and then placed in the basement before the fire took place ("The legend of," 2008).

Another clue that the fire victim was not Belle and her family was that the adult woman who's body was recovered was said to weigh around 160 pounds. However, Belle weighed over 280 pounds. Also found in the fire were various bones, teeth, and personal belongings such as men's watches that belonged to her victims (Ashford, 2009). Soon after the fire, Ray was arrested and brought in for questioning. A witness claimed that they saw Ray running away from the scene as the house burst out in flames. Ray tried playing dumb, acting shocked and asking if Belle and the kids were okay. Ray was then charged with four counts of murder and arson ("The legend of," 2008).

Ray was imprisoned and became very sick in jail. When he was near death he came clean about the whole thing. He told police about the body that was supposed to Belle's explaining that it was really the body of the maid that Belle dressed in her clothing. He told police that Belle was still alive and running and that she had planned everything to escape going to jail. Ray also told the police that Belle had killed about 42 people with either poison or by hitting them in the head with a cleaver. She would then cut up the bodies and bury them or feed them to her pigs. It was also estimated that Belle had gained over $250,000 in all her crime sprees (The legend of," 2008). Belle was never caught and never brought to justice for her crimes. Her date of death is marked as April 1908, the final day she was seen alive (Ashford, 2009).


Ashford, Jenny. (2009, May 10). Female serial killer belle gunness. Retrieved from heep://www.

Montaldo, Charles. (n.d.). Bell gunness. Retrieved from p/gunness.htm

The legend of bell gunness. (2008, June 11). Retrieved from

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Aileen Wuornos, "The Damsel of Death"

Aileen Wuornos was born February 29, 1956 to the parents of Diane Pratt and Leo Pittman. Her mother and father divorced when Aileen was very young, leaving their family torn. Her father was a child molester and felon and he was sent to prison for rape and attempted murder. Aileen's mother abandoned her and her brother, Keith, leaving them to live with their grandparents. Aileen had a horrible childhood. Her and her brother began rebelling early by refusing to go to school, using drugs, and engaging in sexual activities. Aileen became pregnant at a very young age but was forced to give her baby up for adoption (Osborn, 2009).

In 1971, when Aileen was just 15, her grandmother died leaving her homeless. To make ends meet she became a prostitute and began committing petty crimes. In 1976, Aileen hitch-hiked to Florida where she met her husband, Lewis Fell (a well-off elderly man). Nine weeks later Lewis filed a restraining order against Aileen because of physical abuse and their marriage ended. After her marriage, Aileen continued to break the law and also continued to work as a prostitute. Over the next few years, Aileen was arrested multiple times for crimes such as armed robbery, forgery, suspected involvement in the theft of weapons, grand theft auto, and assault (Osborn, 209).

In 1989, things change as the murders began. Aileen's first victim was Richard Mallory, 51. Mallory was known for his love of strip clubs and sleazy bars and he picked up Aileen sometime on December 1, 1989. The rest of the story is merely subjective based on Aileen's testimony. The report says that the two drove off and began a money transaction for sex. Aileen reported that Mallory became abusive causing the two to fight. She then pulled out the pistol in her purse and shot him to death. She then covered him with a piece of carpet and drove off in his car. At this time Aileen has been traveling with her lesbian companion, Tyria Moore. Aileen went back to her motel to show Moore the car and possessions she'd stolen, but Moore did not report Aileen (Bankston, 1996).

Then one by one, more victims came rolling on. Other men she killed include David Spears, Charles Carskaddon and Troy Burress. A Marion Country Investigator, John Tilley, was involved in the case of Troy Burress and was out of leads until he heard about the murders of two other men who had also been found shot in the woods. Tilley then met up with the investigators on both the Spears and Carskaddon cases and together they saw a connection between the murders. However, this connection was not enough to stop the killings because days later another man, Charles Humphrcys, was found dead. He had been shot seven times. The investigation continued and the officers began gathering more and more clues. They figured that the killer was a woman because none of the victims had been shot in the head, and women tend to aim lower. Then on November19, the seventh body, Walter Antonio, was found. He had been shot four times and left wearing only tube socks. After this the police went to the press, with a rough sketch of the killer (Bankston, 1996).

Aileen's murdering spree came to an end when her lesbian lover broke up with her. Aileen was living at a hotel at the time and began to heavily to drink the rest of her money away. On January 9, Aileen had been sleeping on a car seat outside a biker bar where two men offered her a $20 motel for the night. When Aileen arrived at the hotel, she was surrounded by officers who were ready to take her in. There had been hundreds of tips suggesting that Aileen was there and the hotel manager also recognized her from the sketch in the media (Bankston, 1996). Aileen was executed by the use of lethal injection on October 9, 2002 after a lengthy mental health investigation. At first she claimed that the killings were in self defense, but later said that was lie, that she had intended to rob and kill those men. She even told the court that if she was released, she knew she would kill again. She was the tenth woman to be executed in the United States since capital punishment resumed in 1977. Aileen's story has been portrayed in two movies, three books, and an opera ("Woman who killed," 2002).


Bankston, John. (2006, January 1). Case file: aileen "lee" wournos. Retrieved from:

Osborn, Jim. (2009, April 5). Aileen wuornos: female serial killer Retrieved from:

Woman who killed six is executed in florida. (2002, October 10). Retrieved from:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dorothea Puente

Dorothea was born in Redwood, California in 1929. Her childhood was rough, like most serial killers' childhoods. Her father died when she was eight years old of tuberculosis, and her mother died a year later in a motorcycle accident. After both her parents died, she and her siblings were split up and sent to live in difference locations. At the age of 16, Dorothea was living in Washington and was working as a hooker and in an ice cream parlor. She met her first husband, Fred McFaul, when she was 22 and the two married in Reno. Together, they had two children, and then moved to Los Angeles where Fred soon left Dorothea. She left her children to be raised by adoptive parents (Gansen, 2010).

She then began forging checks but was soon caught by the police and spent a year in prison ("Dorothea Puente"). As soon as Dorothea was released from prison, she skipped town, disregarding her probation, and married her second husband, Axel Johanson (Gansen, 2010). This marriage lasted a lovely fourteen years. She soon was arrested twice more for running a brothel and was sentenced to ninety days in jail. Upon being released from prison she divorced Johnson and entered into her next marriage with Roberto Puento. She soon discovered that Puento was a horrible drunk who spent most of his time in bars and the marriage ended after only two years. During this time Dorothea also spent time in prison for drug dealing and theft ("Dorothea Puente"). The two opened a halfway house together but by the end of their marriage, the house was closed and Dorothea had accumulated $10,000 in debt. (Gansen, 2010).

In 1976, Dorothea began managing a boarding house and then married one of the tenants, Pedro Angel Montalvo. In 1978, Dorothea was charged with forging 34 checks and was sentenced to five years probation and was forced to have a psychiatric evaluation where she was diagnosed as a schizophrenic. As more and more people started disappearing from Dorothea's halfway house, suspicions started to rise. Her first murder was Ruth Munroe, one of her first tenants. Ruth had brought over $6,000 with her when she moved in and within two weeks was dead. The coroner said that her death was caused by drug overdose (Gansen, 2010).

The murders that Dorothea committed were discovered in 1988 but her trial did not start until four years later. There were 153 witnesses and over three thousand pieces of evidence against Dorothea. Overall, Puente was accused of nine murders and charged with three of them. She is currently incarcerated at the Central California Women's Facility where she continues to claim that they each died from natural causes (Johnson, 2010).


Dorothea puente. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Gansen, Kristyn. (2010, January 15). Alleged murders and trials of dorothea puente.' Retrieved from

Johnson, C. (2010, February 16). Dorothea puente's sacramento victorian where 7 bodies were buried up for sale again. Retrieved from