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16 Most Notorious Black Female Serial Killers in History

Serial killers are terrifying individuals who are known for wreaking havoc as anyone can become their victim.

The worst part is the fact that some of them are the most humble members of society and no one can suspect them for the murders.

The situation can be even more dangerous if they’re women as they’re believed to be gentle and caring.  

Unlike male serial killers, females tend to be familiar with their victims. Most female killers tend to murder their close family members, which in most cases include their kids.

There are more female serial killers than the ones caught, but the following black female serial killers shocked the world:

1. Roberta Elder

Elder was nicknamed Mrs. Bluebeard because she killed various family members between 1938 and 1952. By the time the police arrested her, she had killed over 14 people after taking a life insurance policy on some of them. She even took an insurance policy of $500 on her husband Rev. William Elder before killing him. Her weapon of choice was arsenic which they later discovered that she got from her brother’s farm.

2. Clementine Barnabet

Barnabet and her family members were part of “The Human Five” voodoo cult that killed in hopes of becoming immortal. Clementine confessed to killing 17 people using an axe while attending Christ’s Sanctified Holy Church, but in total, she took part in the killing of about 35 people. The family killed people between 1911 and 1912 along the Southern Pacific railroad.

3. Debra Brown

Brown got involved with Alton Coleman, a known serial killer and rapist in 1984 and they started their killing spree. The two managed to kill 8 people during the 1984 summer months in several Midwestern states. Some of these states included Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Michigan.

4. Credonia Mwerinde

Mwerinde was accused of killing over 700 followers by locking them up in an ark on March 17, 2000. The cult leaders locked the ark and set it afire killing 530 people including children who were buried in a mass grave in Kunungu. The police also found hundreds of bodies buried in the cult’s properties.

She had convinced her members that the world was coming to an end, so they sold their properties and gathered in the church where they died.

5. Raya Ali Hammam

The Egyptians were shocked by the news of the Hammam sisters and their husbands killing people in 1921. They started killing women in 1919 in Alexandria and the police were shocked with the high number of ladies missing without a trace. The missing ladies were in the company of the sisters before being reported missing.

6. Sakina Ali Hammam

Sakina and Raya outwitted the police for about 2 years even after they were caught and interrogated. Unfortunately, the sisters buried the ladies in their homes, so when Sakina’s landlord was installing water pipes, he discovered some human bones buried underground. This resulted in the sisters getting caught and being executed.

7. Josephine Gray

Gray is known as the Baltimore black widow who killed 3 lovers (a boyfriend and two husbands). She wooed a lover to kill her first husband in the 70s and then married him. She then wooed another lover who killed her second husband before killing the lover later. She murdered them in the 70s, 80s, and 90s and collected $165k from the insurance policies she took on them.

8. Jummai Hassan

Hassan was arrested in 2017 after killing 51 people including her dad for ritual purposes. Jummai was a 13-year-old Nigerian student who confessed to the killings in a span of 7 years. She said that she killed her dad for stopping her from killing her grandmother.

9. Angeline Mabhiza

Mabhiza killed her 2 kids and her cousin’s child using pesticide before committing suicide using the same chemical in 2014. The Zimbabwean police later discovered that she had also killed her newborns between 2011 and 2012.

10. Dorothy Williams

Williams was a reverse Robinhood who stole from the poor and used it on herself. Dorothy was sentenced to death for the murder of Mary Harris, a 99 years old woman. She later confessed to killing Cesar Zuell and Lonnie Laws.

11. Rosemary Ndlovu

Ndlovu, a former policewoman killed 6 people in South Africa for their insurance policy. She started with her live-in partner followed by 5 relatives in a span of 6 years. At the time of her arrest, she had collected over $93k from the insurance companies. She was arrested in 2021 and is currently serving a 30 years long jail term for her crimes.

12. Wanda Jean Allen

Allen is the 6th lady to be executed in the U.S. since executions resumed in the country. She was sentenced for killing Gloria Leathers in 1989 in front of a police station in Oklahoma after they had a dispute. But she had also killed her previous girlfriend Dedra Pettus and served a 4 year sentence.

13. Mitchelle Blair

Blair shocked the world when she was caught and sentenced for torturing and killing 2 of her kids and storing their bodies in the freezer and living in the house with her other kids for 2 years.

Back in 2015, she was living in Detroit with her kids when she was evicted from her home.

When the eviction team arrived she wasn’t around, so they started removing her things only to discover two bodies in her freezer. She had wrapped her son with a blanket while covering her daughter’s body with a plastic bag.

14. Annah, Hadj Mohammed Mesfewi’s Accomplice

Annah was a 70 years old lady who helped Mesfewi, a Moroccan serial killer, end the life of over 36 women. The Marrakesh Arch-Killer murdered the ladies who came to his business premises to dictate letters. The two drugged the young ladies before decapitating their bodies. Annah died while being tortured while Mesfewi was crucified in 1906.

15. Daisy de Melker

Melker was a South African nurse who killed 3 people using poison between 1923 and 1932. She poisoned her first 2 husbands using strychnine and cashed their insurance money. She later murdered her son using arsenic for unknown reasons. Daisy made history in 1932 when she became the 2nd woman to be hanged in South Africa.

16. Debra Sue Tuggle

Debra Sue Tuggle, a former mental patient from Little Rock, Arkansas, became notorious for the tragic deaths of her four children and her fiancé’s daughter between 1974 and 1982.

Despite a history of mental illness, Tuggle managed to escape prosecution for years. Her crimes, initially attributed to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), were eventually exposed when suspicions arose about the high number of deaths in her family.

Tuggle’s disturbing pattern of suffocating and drowning her children shocked the community and highlighted flaws in the legal system.

Despite her conviction for one murder, she escaped justice for the others due to insufficient evidence.

Wrap Up

Female serial killers have been known for killing people for financial gain while men do it for sexual gain.

Most women serial killers murdered their husbands for insurance money and they have collected thousands of dollars before being caught.

Their killing method also differs as they use poison while the men are stronger and prefer asphyxiation.

 Luckily, the number of serial killers has been reducing from 198 (1987) to about 12 (2018).

Kenyalogue Contributor


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