Black Widow: Four women whose marriage led to the gravePictolic
The Black Widow is a species of spider whose females tend to eat the males after mating. The people called" black widows " women whose husbands for some reason do not live long. Sometimes it is a chain of tragic accidents. But not always.
Vera was born in 1903 in a rich family that came from the Hungarian nobility, but neither money nor noble origin seems to have left any trace on the character of this young lady. According to some sources, Vera grew up as a completely uncontrollable child and already at the age of fifteen ran away from home in the company of friends. Vera preferred to be friends with men, and chose those who are much older than her. She also married an older man.
He was a rich businessman from Bucharest, from whom Vera gave birth to a son, Lorenzo. Soon after the birth of the child, Vera began to suspect that her husband was cheating on her, and decided to take revenge. She put arsenic in her husband's wine. After getting rid of the body, Vera told her relatives that her husband left her and her son and went to another woman. A year later, she announced that she had heard rumors about the death of an unfaithful husband in a car accident. Soon she remarried.
Vera's second spouse was her age, but this marriage did not work out either: Vera again began to harass her husband with her jealousy and suspicion, the spouses often quarreled. Soon the second husband of the black widow also disappeared — according to Vera, and he also preferred another one to her. A year later, she allegedly received a letter from him, in which he informed her that he was parting with her forever and would not return home. In fact, the body of the "unfaithful husband" had been lying in a coffin in the wine cellar for a year.
Vera never married again, but she had relationships with various men, including married ones. All her lovers disappeared without a trace — someone a year after the beginning of the novel, and someone literally in the first days. It is believed that the series of murders was stopped by the deceived wife of one of Vera's lovers: allegedly, the woman decided to follow the unfaithful husband and found out who he was visiting, and when the man disappeared, she called the police.
Renzi's house was searched, 32 zinc coffins with bodies of varying degrees of decomposition were found in the basement. Vera confessed to the murders and said that she poisoned all these men with arsenic because they were unfaithful to her. She also stated that she liked to spend time in the basement "with former fans". She also confessed to the murders of both husbands. In addition, it turned out that Vera's son, who came to visit her, accidentally discovered a basement with coffins, then Vera poisoned him too.
According to some reports, Belle Sorensen Gunness (nee Brunhilda Polsdatter Storchett) sent from 25 to 40 people to the next world, including her own daughters Myrtle and Lucy and, possibly, both husbands, as well as all her other children.
Brunhilda, aka Belle, was born in Norway. She was the youngest of 8 children, but she grew up a big and strong girl: according to eyewitnesses, Brunhilda's height was 183 centimeters, and her weight was 90 kilograms, she was very strong. The girl was hired to work on farms and in three years managed to save money for a ticket to the United States, where one of her older sisters had already left. Over the ocean, Brunhilda changed her name and got a job as a servant.
In 1884, Belle married Mads Sorensen from Chicago, where they opened their own candy store a year later, but it burned down a year later. The couple took out the insurance and bought a house with this money.
According to research, Belle and Mads had four children: Caroline, Axel, Myrtle and Lucy. Caroline and Axel died in infancy, allegedly from colitis, the symptoms of which are almost no different from the symptoms of poisoning: diarrhea, nausea, spasms. The children were insured, and after their death, the insurance company paid the parents money. Then Belle poisoned her husband as well. The money she received was enough to buy a farm for herself.
It was to this farm that Belle began to invite men, placing marriage ads in the newspapers. There were plenty of people who wanted to make up the personal happiness of a wealthy widow, but none of them ever became Belle's husband and did not return from the cursed farm. What became of Belle's other children is unknown.
Moreover, it is not known how the poisoner herself died: at some point she simply disappeared, and soon after her disappearance, the police found a decapitated and charred corpse near Belle's farm. The identity of these remains to the criminal remains unproven today, so it is possible that the black widow simply faked her death to avoid punishment.
It is said that the executioner who executed Mary Ann Cotton deliberately prolonged the torment of the victim by incorrectly securing the noose. If this is true, there was something for it: Mary Ann Cotton poisoned about 20 people with arsenic, including ten of her own children, four husbands and a lover.
Mary Ann's childhood was difficult: her father was very religious and often punished children. After his death, Mary Ann's family, consisting of her mother and brother, fell below the poverty line. In Victorian England, this meant that the family would have to go to "labor houses" and break up, but the girl's mother remarried. Hunger and separation no longer threatened the family, but Mary Ann's relationship with her stepfather did not work out: they mutually disliked each other, and the girl was looking for any opportunity to leave her father's house.
At the age of 16, Mary Ann got a job as a farm worker. The owners had no complaints about her work, but almost immediately rumors about her sexual adventures began to spread. However, Mary Ann soon married a miner named William Mowbray and left. Five children were born in this marriage, but four died in infancy. Soon my husband also died: he was injured at work and went home to be treated, but there he was felled by an intestinal disorder, from which the unfortunate man died.
After receiving the insurance, Mary Ann bought herself a new dress. She sent her only surviving daughter, Isabel, to her grandmother, and she found a job in the hospital, becoming responsible for the storage of arsenic.
At the hospital, Mary Ann began an affair with a patient, an engineer named George Ward. Soon after his discharge, they got married, but Mary Ann was in no hurry to take Isabel to a new family, especially since the new husband was ill again. The doctor who was watching George accused the hospital of treating the patient incorrectly, and Mary Ann actively supported this point of view. Soon after, George Ward died, and Mary Ann moved away.
Mary Ann's next husband, James Robinson, was looking for a housewife who would take care of his house and children after the death of his wife. Mary Ann easily passed the interview and was hired. Just a month later, on Christmas Day, one of Robinson's children fell ill with intestinal fever and died. Mary Ann hurried to comfort her unhappy father, and soon she was pregnant with his child.
At this time, her mother became seriously ill, and Mary Ann went to take care of her, and at the same time to visit Isabel. By the time of her daughter's arrival, Mary Ann's mother was already on the mend, but then she suddenly became worse, she died-also from an intestinal disorder. Isabel had to go with her mother to the Robinson house, where she soon fell ill-along with James ' three children. They all died one after the other. He was survived by the daughter of Mary Ann and James Robinson-a very baby.
James himself was saved from death by his own tightness: It turned out that Mary Ann had made debts without his knowledge, and Robinson drove his wife out of the house in a rage. She left with her little daughter, whom she then dropped off to friends. The child was returned to his father.
Mary Ann herself quickly met another widower, Frederick Cotton, and quickly became pregnant by him. Frederick proposed marriage to her, Mary Ann agreed, although she was still officially married to By Robinson. A year later, Frederick Cotton died of the same mysterious intestinal disease, and Mary Ann became the owner of his house and the guardian of his two sons.
She invited her lover to this house, but she could not live with him for a long time: there was an elderly and rich official who needed a nurse very close by. Mary Ann, without changing the usual plan, became pregnant by an elderly rich man, but Cotton's children interfered with this marriage. She immediately poisoned two of Cotton's children (one of whom was her own), and at the same time, her own lover. Only seven-year-old Charles Cotton remained alive.
Mary Ann, confident of her own impunity, sent a future victim for the poison, but they did not sell arsenic to Charles. Then she asked a neighbor about it, he did not refuse, and soon Charles Cotton died. The doctors who recently examined the boy and found no signs of illness were amazed. In addition, Mary Ann's neighbors were shocked by the fact that after the death of her stepson, she went not to the morgue for his body, but to the insurance company for money.
The local newspapers seized on this story, and Mary Ann prepared to escape, but did not have time: the doctor who preserved Charles Cotton's tissues conducted an examination and found arsenic in them. The police arrested Mary Ann, the bodies of her victims were exhumed, the evidence was collected. Mary Ann Cotton was sentenced to death. On March 24, 1873, she ascended the scaffold and died for about three minutes due to an incorrectly made noose by the executioner.
Lydia Shermann or, as she was also called, Borgia from Connecticut lived with her husband in love and harmony for 18 years and only then poisoned him.
At the age of 16, Lydia met the widower Edward Strak and almost immediately married him: the girl grew up without parents and dreamed of a family. Strak was a police officer, and after 18 years of impeccable service, he was reduced. He fell into a depression, which greatly irritated his young wife. Lydia solved the problem by poisoning her husband with arsenic. But realizing that she could not raise children alone, Lydia decided to get rid of them.
She poisoned six-year-old Martha Ann, four-year-old Edward and baby William in one day. Teenagers George and Ann Eliza was killed during the illness — it was easier to cover their tracks that way. The eldest daughter died of natural causes shortly after these events. And Lydia got a job as a housekeeper for a rich farmer, Dennis Harlbort, and soon became his wife.
Soon Dennis died, leaving his widow a substantial fortune. It is not known why Lydia needed to get a job again, most likely for the sake of a new marriage. And so it happened: Lydia got a job as a nanny to Horace Sherman — he was raising his daughter alone. The marriage was generally successful, if not for one thing: Horace liked to drink. This annoyed Lydia so much that she decided to poison Sherman's daughter so that he would come to his senses. But instead, Horace got even more drunk, and then Lydia poisoned him too.
Soon Lydia was arrested and sentenced to death, then commuted to life imprisonment. She ended up in prison.