Notorious Female Serial Killers: Background information when reading Good Me Bad Me

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Good Me Bad Me

by Ali Land

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land X
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2017, 304 pages
    Oct 2018, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Erin Szczechowski

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Notorious Female Serial Killers

This article relates to Good Me Bad Me

Print Review

In Ali Land's debut, Good Me, Bad Me, Ruth Thompson is on trial for the heinous murders of multiple children. The case is notable not only for the particularly brutal nature of the crime, but also, in part, because Ruth is a woman, and society's perceptions of women who commit violent crimes is often skewed. We stereotype men as aggressive and women as caring, which makes it seem all the more perverse when women are convicted as serial killers. While a horrible and shocking topic, humans seem to have an underlying fascination with the grotesque – making shows like Law and Order and CSI hits. For those interested in reading about some of history's most notorious female serial killers, here are five that will keep you up at night:

Myra Hindley
Arguably Britain's most infamous female serial killer, Hindley, alongside partner Ian Brady, raped and murdered five children. Her brother-in-law turned her in to the police, and she was charged with three counts of murder in 1966. Known as "The Moors Murderer" because two of the victims were found buried on Saddleworth Moor, Hindley is also sometimes referred to as "the most evil woman in Britain."

Elizabeth Báthory
Thought to be the most prolific female serial killer, Báthory was a Hungarian Countess during the 16th century, whose body count is speculated to be anywhere from 80 to 650 young women. Legend goes that the Countess drank the blood of her victims and, while without evidence, the accusations gained Báthory the title of "The Blood Countess."

Amelia Dyer
Operating in Victorian-Era England, Amelia Dyer, or "The Reading Baby Farmer" is thought to have killed somewhere between 200-400 babies. Dyer would accept unwanted babies for a fee, but instead of giving them a loving home, Dyer let many die from neglect, and outright murdered the others. After pleading guilty to only one out of hundreds of murders, Dyer was hung in 1896.

Nannie Doss
This infamous murderess killed her own children before expanding to other relatives and various husbands, all of whom passed away from mysterious "stomach problems." Posthumous testing found that arsenic poisoning caused all of the "Giggling Grandma's" deaths. Sentenced to life in prison, Doss avoided the death penalty but died of leukemia in 1965.

Juana Barraza
Last on the list is "The Old Lady Killer", who murdered upwards of eleven victims, all aged between 64 to 79 years old. Juana would gain entry to her victims' homes by pretending to be a nurse, and then strangle them to death with their own stockings or cords. After the police caught up to her, Barraza was sentenced to a whopping 759 years in jail.

This "beyond the book article" relates to Good Me Bad Me. It originally ran in October 2017 and has been updated for the October 2018 paperback edition.

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