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When Women Kill Together

Traditional ideas about women serial murderers argue that these offenders are motivated primarily by profit, are less violent than men, are largely reactive rather than initiating, and compulsive sexual not in her attempt to kill. But there are exceptions to the rule, especially when it comes stereotypes about serial murderers. Some women who repeatedly kill have certainly been predatory and brutal. Some have been sexually compulsive. There is no reason to believe that women are immune to a rise in erotic act of murder, and we will examine several cases to illustrate this. Not surprisingly, many turn to the healthcare industry.

Jane Toppan, a nurse in the late nineteenth century, experienced in patients with a mixture of drugs that killed slowly. As she was losing consciousness, she he climbed into bed to cradle them, while it fell into oblivion. (Schechter, 2003). After she went to work for a family, its members began to die one one with soft Jane at his side. Finally, someone became suspicious and examined more closely these deaths, Toppan detention. During its consideration and trial, Toppan admitted to being aroused by death, placing it squarely in the category of a murderer in lust. In fact, she says her only regret was that she had been arrested so soon, and if I had married and had a family, she was sure she would have killed them all too.

There has been little or no research on murderers female lust, in part because it is an unexpected phenomenon, and partly because the cases are rare. However, similar to the murder of male lust, the female counterpart driving by a paraphilia, such as excitement at seeing a corpse or by rubbing against someone inappropriate. Often, there is something abnormal in their sexual development that provided the excitation and therefore feeds a compulsion.

erotic motivation is even more common among women who kill in partnerships with other women (although This behavior does not occur in all cases). There are not many documented examples, but we have identified with at least one person with a scheming mind, a degree of psychopathy and the ability to get a thrill from deciding that others must die. In our first case of two women is not entirely clear who was actually the dominant partner, but violence allegedly gave the two sexual rush.

Catherine May Wood was described by her former husband, Ken Wood, frivolous, overly sensitive, moody and unpredictable (Cauffiel 1992). She started chasing something and even for months, but later reduced to something else. He said he could never have believed it to commit and I had never known unconditional love. As a result, he thought, she was both needy and insecure. She once surprised him by admitting that she wondered what would to stab someone. She also felt no affection for her mother's daughter. Annoyed by his excessive weight, however, still eating junk food.

The Woods separated in 1986 but not before Ken could see the kinds of friends Cathy is maintained in the nursing home where she worked as a supervisor, the mansion of the Alps in Walker, Michigan. Apparently, a group of lesbian women employed there had become friends of the party, among them Cathy. His sense of morality, already tenuous, Ken seemed have taken a back seat full.

Cathy told Ken that she was in love with an aide, Gwendolyn Gail Graham, but some of the things we did together scared. Graham had come from Texas, and this rider, 22 years old, had its tough side. Cauffiel (1992) states that people see her as masculine. She had been seriously wounded several times and that's often the scars on her arms, sometimes lie about how they were obtained. Apparently, they had severe reactions to what he perceived as neglect, including the type of self-mutilation is common to people with borderline personality disorder. Several of Graham's colleagues liked, but she took it Cathy and became lovers. Then they became partners kill.

Alpine Manor, with over 200 beds, an average of about 40 deaths a year and therefore, six unnatural deaths, especially "Total Care" patients who require more attention, do not stand out. One of the victims had gangrene, one had Alzheimer's disease, and all are expected to die there in some time. It was an easy situation to exploit, especially with 70 staff covering all shifts.

According to Wood, whose story became the primary legal record, Graham was the first who addressed the issue of murder. At first Wood said she was only a witness, but later admitted to participate. During questioning and later in the trial, Wood described how they had practiced sexual asphyxia to achieve greater orgasms, so she thought Graham was joking when he suggested killing a patient. However, the pain and pleasure attached to their sex games had become threaded with images of cruelty against others. Just talking about murder, he said, got so much sexually aroused. For Finally, they decided to do so.

They started killing patients in January 1987 and continued for three months, initially attempting to select the victims, whose names would be part of a spelling game. Got the idea while working on a crossword puzzle. They knew the Alpine mansion registered the names of patients who had died or were discharged in a book. Just for fun, I wanted to do the first initial of six names in a row, when read downward, spell MURDER.

However, it was very difficult to select the right patients in a way that minimizes risk and also writes the word, so that only selected patients seemed easy to kill without being discovered. His new ground, said Wood, was to share this secret so they would be bonded "Forever." With each murder, which added an extra day for that period of time so that after the third murder that could sign a love letter, "forever-three days." Wood said he agreed to be an accomplice because he feared losing Graham, who reportedly killed ease personal tension.

Acting as a sentinel, wood, seen as Graham tried to quell the older women, but some fought so hard he had to retreat. Oddly enough, none had a complaint, and indeed the majority of patients liked these two women. In many respects, it looked good in this study, patient and compassionate.

The first victim to die was actually a woman suffering from Alzheimer's disease both knew it would be unable to fight. His last name began with an "M" Place a cloth over the nose and mouth of women, Graham suffocated to death. In the weeks that followed, Graham went to another and then another, leaving a towel in the room as his "calling card." After he failed to kill one of the male patients, they stuck to women, especially those difficult care. In one version of the story, which had attacked at least 20 different people, among other guests.

To relive the crimes, Graham took elements of victims, such as jewelry, personal memories, and socks. She and Wood placed these memories in your home on a special shelf. In a morbid postscript, sometimes enters the body as part of routine post-mortem, and the handling of deceased victims even more exciting.

Then he grew bolder. He told colleagues were doing, because the confessions said his sexual desire increased, but their accounts were dismissed as sick jokes. Nobody could believe that a person entered into active health kill a patient, much less become a predator completely. Wood, in particular, is known to lie and play mind games, as partners just their took it seriously. Shelf of memories even impressed no one.

Graham Wood then pressed to take a more active role: she would kill one of the patient herself. The wood was not prepared for this, or what they said later. This infuriated Graham, who was with another woman and returned to Texas. From there, she wrote letters worrying about wanting to smash the faces of babies in their care at another facility. Wood ex husband took the oath of secrecy and confessed However, admitting that he had killed patients because it was fun. Despite his promise to her, Ken felt endangered with only know about their activities, reported as a therapist, and a year later, the police. Wood tried to divert the investigation, but quickly collapsed and accused Graham. (There some speculation that Graham made this confession to punish her for leaving.)

After an investigation that involved two exhumations (which offered no physical evidence), the two women were arrested. Wood turning state witness against his former lover sentenced to 20 to 40 years, with parole conditional. Graham also testified, but was the most eloquent testimony of Graham's current lover, who admitted that Graham had confessed to six murders her. Others stated in the same direction.

On September 20, 1989, the jury deliberated for only six hours before it rendered a verdict: Graham was convicted of five counts first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. He pointed to six life sentences without possibility of parole. In media accounts communication, the role of Wood played down the "casual observation post, and today the case remains controversy about whether there were more murders and if there are any murders at all. There is some speculation, especially after a psychological evaluation of Graham, that even if Graham did death Wood was the mastermind.

In studies of the murderers of equipment, researchers have found that many couples, no matter what gender, are a common pattern: Two people meet, feel a strong attraction, and establish an intimate familiarity that allows them to share fantasies, even violent. When erotic, this approval encourages action, and if the partners succeed in the commission of a violent crime without getting caught, they grow bolder. The dominant person tends to be charismatic and maintains psychological control, erotic preferences set the tone.

In the case of Graham and Wood, irrespective that actually carries out the murders, his fantasies and activities to improve their sadomasochistic sex. Therefore, until it broke, the "game" became an essential aspect of pleasure and a way to manipulate each other. They encouraged each other, but also exploited the fear of discovery to threaten others. The fact that killing elderly women also gave a solution to problems with their mothers both had added another level of motivation. However, the murder was both fun and fulfilling.

When lust is not the engine, but females nevertheless kill the camaraderie, it still seems be an element of excitement with erotic manifestations. They do not kill specifically for a sexual thrill, but the pact and actions are offered the same stimulation. We see this phenomenon in a series of murders in Vienna, Austria.

It was again a nursing assistant who started the wave of six years in the General Hospital Lainz. Most victims were elderly, many terminally ill. The killings began in 1983, and by the time officials began to investigate, the number of dead stood at 49 (Protzman 1989). Trial reports published in the New York Times.

Waltraud Wagner, 23, a patient of 77 years of age One day he asked for help to end their suffering. Many nurses in the care units or facilities over the face of such applications. Wagner hesitantly obliged overdose of the sick woman with morphine. Once achieved this without being discovered, apparently felt a surge of energy. Soon recruited accomplices on the night shift to attend in this "euthanasia." Maria Gruber, 19, and the neglect of the nursing school, I was happy to participate. This was Leidolf Ilene, 21. The third was hire a grandmother, 43 years old Stephanija Mayer. While the initial idea was to do something beneficial, soon found pleasure in killing the patients you have in your nerves. Many do not even get sick of death, they were just annoying.

Wagner showed others how to give lethal injections to insulin and tranquilizers, and added a mechanism of its own creation: ". water cure" This brutal method involved holding the nose of a patient while he or she to forced to drink water, which fills the lungs and cause a painful death. However, it was almost impossible to find as murder, because many elderly patients already had a certain amount of fluid in his lungs.

At first, nurses were killed from time to time, but by 1987 had increased and rumors that it had a murderer in Hall 5. Apparently, Wagner could have killed his own estimate of 75 before he retired parts of his confession. Then he said that killed nine, although one of his accomplices put his near death toll to 200.

As he grew bold, nurses also grew careless. Over drinks one day, revives one of his last cases. A doctor listened, and went to the police, who launched an investigation. It took six weeks, but the four women were arrested on April 7, 1989. The physician in charge of his ward, who had been alerted to the killings last year was suspended.

As Wagner and others insisted on disinterested motives, the jury disagreed. Ultimately, Wagner was convicted of 15 murders, 17 attempted murder and two counts of assault. She received a life sentence. Leidolf also lives of the five murders, while the other two drew 15 years for murder and several counts of attempted murder. This relatively mild set of statements may indicate how difficult it is for society to accept the idea of a predator murderer of women- Not to mention four working together.

Investigator Carol Anne Davis (2001), who wrote about Graham and Wood, said that many murderers of women do not plan their crimes, a sense of power when they go with them. Solo, it might be "bad news" in other ways, but hiring a partner willing to go the distance can be a catalyst for the murder of repetition. Dominant women intent on violence, she says, tend to be sexually oriented, narcissistic, secret and manipulative. Often, victims in some way during their lives, turn to this for other victims. Having a partner who has passed or sub that gives energy, including making they feel invincible. Once captured, in an attempt to manipulate the system, still believing in his own power. Sometimes they even succeed, thanks in part to the perception Violent women wrongly encouraged by incorrect stereotypes. As more cases arise, we will learn more about this type of crime, and formal studies kill the female teams is clearly in order.


The Associated Press. (1989, November 3). Former nursing home aide is term the life of every five deaths of patients [Electronic version]. The New York Times.

Cauffiel, L. (1992). Provided five days. New York: Zebra Books.

Davis, C. (2001) Women who kill. London: Allison & Busby.

Beefeaters, B. (1999). Bad girls. Psychology Today, 32 (6).

Protzman, F. (1989, April 18). The massacre of 49 patients per nurse aid 4 stuns Austrians [Electronic version]. The New York Times.

Schechter, H. (2003). Fatal: Toxic life of a female serial murderer. New York: Pocket Books.

Women killed to secure love, a witness, "(1989, September 14). Detroit Free Press.

About the Author

Katherine Ramsland, PhD, CMI-V, has published 25 books, including The Human Predator: A Historical Chronicle of a serial murderer and Forensic Investigation. Dr. Ramsland is assistant professor of forensic psychology DeSales University in Pennsylvania. She is a Certified Medical Investigator (CMI-V) and has been a member of the American College of Forensic Examiners since 1999.

About the Author

The American College of Forensic Examiners Institute (ACFEI) is an independent, scientific, and professional association representing forensic examiners worldwide.

Multi-disciplinary in its scope, ACFEI actively promotes the dissemination of forensic information and the continued advancement of forensic examination and consultation across the many professional fields of membership. ACFEI has elevated standards through education, basic and advanced training as well as Diplomate and Fellow status.

ACFEI serves as the national center for this purpose and circulates information and knowledge through the official journal – The Forensic Examiner, lectures, seminars, conferences, workshops, continuing education courses, and home study courses.

3/30/10: White House Press Briefing

One Comment

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