From being murderers, kidnappers, robbers, to drug gang queens, women have tried it all, and don’t be surprised to find some of the world’s deadliest beings to be women criminals. Unlike the notion that its mostly men who kill and rape without conscience, and are psycho killers, its women too that have made this world a scary little place. With more and more number of women dominating the world crime scene, its a must that an article be written to uncover the names of some of the most lethal and dangerous female criminals so that one is aware of their existence.

Some of the stories associated with these deadly women are ghastly and will send shivers down your spines. Go ahead and read!


1. Griselda Blanco

Female Criminals

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The concept or the trend of motorbike drive-by shooting was made popular by this deadly criminal, also known as the ‘Cocaine Godmother’. Griselda Blanco was behind countless murders and revenge attacks and is considered as one of USA’s most deadly and lethal drug queens. Blanco, in her endeavor to push the drug industry in US, started a company that sold lingerie with hidden compartments for exporting cocaine out of the country. It was in 1985 that she was arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison. In 2004, she was sent to Columbia when she retired. However, her end arrived soon when she was shot dead.

2. Phoolan Devi or Bandit Queen

Female Criminals

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Phoolan Devi aka The Bandit Queen was one of the most dangerous women criminals to have lived on this planet for she had many a murders, kidnappings and arson in her kitty, the most famous being the Behmai massacre. The queen of the dakoits of Chambal, Phoolan was a feared woman who took her ultimate revenge on the 22 Rajput men who had gang raped her by lining them up and shooting them indiscriminately. She surrendered to the police and was arrested in 1983 following which she served 11 years in jail. Phoolan Devi was freed and she became an MP. It was in 2001 that Phoolan was shot dead at her bungalow’s gate by an upper caste man called Rana to avenge the Behmai massacre.

3. Bonnie Parker

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The name of Bonnie Parker reminds one of the famous Hollywood movie ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ that became a cult classic for many a movie lovers. The title roles were played by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway and the film was based on the notorious criminal duo of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. The pair were behind multiple murders and robberies that shook America in the 1930’s. The couple were actively involved in these crimes for almost two years after which they were ambushed by police and shot dead.

4. Reshma and Shabana Memon

Notorious Female Criminals

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Reshma and Shabana Memon were the two most notorious female criminals to have plagued India. Reshma was the wife of Dawood Ibrahim’s aide Tiger Memon, a dangerous and wanted terrorist, while, Shabana was the sister in law. These two women were involved in the bombings that shook Mumbai in the year 1993 and resulted in the massacre of 350 innocent people. These criminals are still on the radar of the police and are absconding. Some reports hint that they are now based and operating out from Karachi.

5. Samantha Lewthwaite or The White Widow

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A lethal criminal and terrorist belonging to Al-Shabaab, a radical Islamic group, Samantha Lewthwaite features on top of most wanted terrorists list. She was the wife of Germaine Lindsay who was a terrorist bomber that shook London in 2005. She is known as the Black Widow and has been known to train her children in carrying out bombings and following her legacy to spread terrorism worldwide. She also plotted the bomb attacks in Kenya.

Also Read: 13 Biggest Nuclear Explosions in History

6. Maria Licciardi

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Maria Licciardi also known as The Godmother is counted as one of the most heartless female criminals in the world. An Italian by birth, Licciardi was the head of Italy’s largest criminal syndicate called the Camorra and conducted prostitution racket on a wide scale all around Naples. Her business grew to garner her million of money. Her syndicate imported foreign women from all parts of the world and then forced them into prostitution. Licciardi was infamous for being a psycho as she would kill women who turned old. She was responsible for a heroin dispute that led to the murders of 100 people. She is still absconding.

7. Seema Parihar

Notorious Female Criminals

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Though Phoolan Devi was known as the queen of bandits, yet, there is another name that features boldly when one speaks or writes about killings and kidnappings. The name is that of another bandit queen – Seema Parihar. She worked as a bandit or dakoit for 18 long years after which she surrendered to the police in 2000. Parihar has 200 kidnappings, 70 murders and 30 lootings in her career. However, the former queen of bandits is now living a life of an ordinary citizen and has also contested elections.

8. Genene Jones

Female Killers

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One of the most heartless women to have ever lived in the world was Genene Jones, a pediatric nurse who killed almost 46 babies in 1977. She carried out her murders while the infants were put under her care, and used injections to induce heart attacks that proved lethal for them. Most children died due to heavy doses. Jones was given a sentence of 99 years in jail in the year 1985. Her scheduled year of parole is slated to be 2018.

9. Nisreen Mansour Al Forgani

Female Killers

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A criminal, Nisreen Mansour Al Forgani is a remorseless trained sniper of the Libyan military who was involved in many brutal killings and kidnappings. She was better known as Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s girl executioner who carried out the murders for his military. It was in the early days of the Libyan Civil War when Nisreen shot 11 rebel prisoners at point blank range. The pretty criminal minded lass was raped by the military officials and inducted into the army for carrying out heinous murders.

10. Myra Hindley

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A notorious woman criminal, Myra Hindley was involved in the rapes and murders of 5 children between 1963 to 1965. She worked along with her partner Ian Brady who too was involved in the crimes. The murdered children fell in the age group of 10 to 12 years of age. It was because of Hindley’s brother in law that the police could arrest the criminal couple. It was the brother in law that had seen them killing a 17 year old boy with an axe. The couple had no remorse even after their arrest and conviction. All through her trial, Myra Hindley never confessed of her crimes, but in 1987, she gave her confession, and later in 2002 passed away in prison.

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11. The Manson Family Women

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When writing about deadly female killers, we must mention a little something about the Manson Family women criminals that shook the lives of many people. A quasi commune called Manson family achieved much notoriety when a famous actress called Sharon Tat e- the wife of Roman Polanski, and four other people were murdered brutally on the fateful day of August 8th, 1969.

The family was controlled by Charles Manson and the murders were committed by three women called Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel along with a man named Tex Watson on the command of Charles Manson. A heavily pregnant Sharon Tate was murdered gruesomely by Atkins who was 21 years of age at that time. A merciless woman, she killed the actress in cold blood. She also murdered a couple called Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

The other Manson Family woman named Leslie Van Houten was also involved in the killing of the couple. She stabbed Rosemary 16 times, and in her trial showed her regret at not being there to witness Sharon Tate’s murder. She was given life imprisonment.

The other woman called Patricia Krenwinkel was another accomplice in the murders. She was the one who wrote ‘Death to pigs’ in blood out of total hatred for the couple. Though, sentenced to death, the 22 year old Krenwinkel was re-sentenced to life imprisonment later.

12. Diane Downs

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No mother can be as hard hearted and deadly as Diane Downs, a psychopath mom, who in 1983, murdered her 8 year old daughter Christie and shot two of her other children in her car. The other two children named Cheryl-7 years and Danny-3 years old were shot by Downs which led to a stroke and a paralytic attack for them. The conniving mother of three also shot herself in the arm to make the scene look like an attack by a carjacker.

The entire episode happened because of her obsession with a man she used to stalk. It also came to light that the man didn’t want any kids and therefore, in the race to win him over, she committed the crimes. In her trial, she was found to be suffering from many disorders of the personality. She was sentenced to life imprisonment plus another 50 years.

13. Nannie Doss or The Giggling Nanny

Female Killers

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There cannot be any woman as dangerous and deadly as Nanny Doss who climbed the ladder of notoriety when she murdered her own family members in cold blood. Also known as the Giggling Nanny, she murdered her own mother, sister, four husbands, grandson, and mother in law. She committed all these killings using arson and when caught by the police, she appeared to be giggling and remorseless.

14. Miyuki Ishikawa or The Demon Midwife

Female Killers

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Who ever imagined that an elderly looking midwife could commit such a wide scaled infanticide when the world was at war and in turmoil? Usually we see midwives to be nothing short of nurses as they help bring new lives into the world. But, this is not the case with Miyuki Ishikawa, also known as The Demon Midwife who killed almost 103 infants during World War II in Japan. A soulless woman, she had no problem putting an end to the lives of the infants of the poor people. She thought them to be a burden on the society and justified her acts. However, Ishikawa was sentenced only to four years in jail.

15. Leonarda Cianciulli or The Soap Maker of Correggio

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The world has seen numerous deadly women criminals, but there have been very few instances where elderly women have been found guilty of heinous crimes. Such is the case with the Soap Maker of Correggio, otherwise named Leonarda Cianciulli who rose to infamy by killing people and using their flesh as a secret ingredient in her teacakes and soaps.

Yikes!! Yes, this Italian housewife made teacakes and soaps, just like anyone else. But when her son Giuseppe was inducted into the Italian Army, she developed a superstition. Her belief was that only human sacrifice could protect him from being killed. The woman went on to murder three women in Correggio for one whole year and then used the flesh of the corpses in her teacakes and soaps.

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16. Enedina Arellano Felix

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Heading Mexico’s top drug syndicate called Tijuana Cartel, the female drug lord or queen Enedina Arellano Felix was the world’s first woman drug lord. She carried on the drug business by committing many violent crimes including murders and kidnappings. The syndicate was run and controlled by her six brothers before she took over the reigns and started a violent system of drug trafficking in Mexico.

17. Stacey Castor

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The Black Widow or Stacey Castor is America’s most deadly woman criminal who committed the murders of Michael Wallace, her first husband, and David Castor, her second husband. She also attempted to kill her daughter Ashley Wallace in 2007. Stacey Castor was arrested and then went on trial where she never confessed to her crimes. According to Stacey, the 11 year old Ashley committed the murder. However, the law found her guilty of the killings and she was sentenced to 51 years in jail.

18. Aileen Wuornos

Notorious Female Criminals

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The story of Aileen Wournos may melt some hearts. But the fact remains that this woman murdered 7 men in Florida in cold blood. Aileen worked as a prostitute when she committed the murders from 1989 to 1990. After her arrest, she confessed to her crimes but also defended herself saying they were committed in self defense. As per her testimonial, she killed the men when they tried to rape her. Aileen was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 2002.

19. Shashikala Patankar or Baby

Women Criminals

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Mumbai (India) can never forget its female drug lord called Shashikala Patankar aka Baby who started the infamous drug racket called Meow Meow. Originally a milk vendor, Patankar went on to deal in brown sugar and marijuana, and later moved on to a much lethal drug called Mephedrone or Meow Meow. She was arrested and sent to jail after the seize of 12 kilos of Mephedrone from the locker of her constable partner.

20. Juana Barraza or The Old Lady Killer

Female Criminals

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The name of Juana Baraza has to feature in any list of notorious female criminals as she was responsible for the gruesome killings of 11 or more elder women who had no family to take care of them. While, we would have read about Jack the Ripper who murdered prostitutes, this woman, aka The Old Lady Killer was no less heinous. She took out her anger on these women because of her hatred for her own mother who was an alcoholic.

Baraza had a deep grudge towards her mother who, in order to drink, bartered her young girl to a man who raped her. Baraza not only murdered these old women but also looted them. The woman is in prison and will be there for the rest of her life.

Also Read: 15 Most Bizarre Deaths in the Ancient World

21. Jane Toppan or Jolly Jane

Notorious Female Criminals

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With 31 murders under her belt, Jane Toppan, or Jolly Jane was a sadistic woman who committed the killings of patients in 1931 but was never convicted. She was not found guilty on account of her insane bent of mind. She was a nurse who experimented with various kinds of lethal drugs on her patients. She would administer the drugs and then wait for her patients to die painful deaths.

So….readers….how was it reading about these dangerous women criminals? Now, its clear that its not just men who rule the crime world. Women, too are equally involved. These 21 female criminals were ruthless and heartless. Its good to know that many of them are either dead or behind bars.