Murder Most Rare: The Female Serial Killer

By Michael D. Kelleher; C. L. Kelleher | Go to book overview

2
BLACK WIDOWS

Black Widow: a poisonous spider of the genus Latrodectus, especially the female, which devours its mate.

Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary

The Black Widow is the archetype of the organized, successful female serial murderer. She typically begins her criminal career after the age of twenty-five and actively murders victims for a decade or more before she is apprehended or her killings cease for another reason. Although there is a general perception that the Black Widow murders only family members, this is usually not the case. Despite the fact that this category of serial killer will focus her activities on family members, she will also be willing and capable of attacking others with whom she has developed a personal relationship. However, the Black Widow will rarely claim a sranger among her victims; rather, her criminal activities depend heavily on a relationship with her victim that provides ample opportunity for murder. Because of the victim-specific nature of her crimes, the female serial killer must comply with a rather strict definition in order to be considered a Black Widow: a woman who systematically murders multiple spouses, partners, other family members, or individuals outside of the family with whom she has developed a personal relationship.

The Black Widow is typically intelligent, manipulative, highly organized and patient; she plans her activities with great care. Her crimes are usually carried out over a relatively long period of time, and she is rarely suspected of murder until the victim count has become significant or the number of deaths

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Murder Most Rare: The Female Serial Killer
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • 1 - The Quiet Killers 1
  • Notes 17
  • 2 - Black Windows 19
  • Notes 57
  • 3 - Angles of Death 59
  • Notes 70
  • 4 - Sexual Predators 73
  • Notes 83
  • 5 - Revenge 85
  • Notes 91
  • 6 - For Profit or Crime 93
  • Notes 106
  • 7 - Team Killers 107
  • 8 - The Question of Sanity 161
  • Notes 172
  • 9 - The Unexplained 173
  • Notes 187
  • 10 - The Unsolved 189
  • Notes 196
  • Appendix 1 - Statistical Information 197
  • Appendix 2 - Alphabetical Listing of Female Serial Killers 199
  • Appendix 3 - Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy 201
  • Selected Bibliography 205
  • Index 209
  • About the Authors 214
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