Annotated Bibliography

Amatuzio, J., Delong, C., and Kellner, M. (2010). Deadly Women-Angels of Death, Black Widows, Female Sociopaths, and Predators. Deadly Women. Investigation Discovery. ID: Investigation Discovery : Hollywood Crimes, Forensics, Murderers. http://investigation.discovery.com.

            Investigation Discovery has a series they air on their network called “Deadly Women”. They have many different episodes of “Deadly Women” as I listed above. All of the episodes have credible sources explaining significant details about each type of woman killer. Kellner, Delong, and Amatuzio all contributed significant information to the episodes regarding why and how women kill. Kellner is a crime writer, Delong is a criminal profiler, and Amatuzio is a forensic pathologist. All three of these sources seem to have significant ethos in each of their fields and logos when explaining their take and research done on women killers. I believe that this source is vital for my blog and has given me ample information to use when talking about women who kill. Investigation Discovery has given me the most credible information for my blog.

Kett, R. The Biggest Female 6 Serial Killers. Retrieved from http://hubpages.com/hub/The-5-Biggest-Female-Serial-Killers.

            This article was one of the first that I came across when I was initially started to do my research. Although this article/ blog post is written by someone that does not have the ethos of some other experienced writers his information was backed up by his sources at the end of the article. The article was very use in finding research about serial killers specifically. The serial killers he listed were some of the more famous ones that I came across in other research I did. Kett used simple logos by stating the woman serial killer and explaining a bit about her life and why she was famous. I used some information from the article, but it did not play any role except in my blog post about serial killers.

Jensen, V. (2001). Why Women Kill: Homicide & Gender Equality. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

            This book by Jensen gave me vital information for blog. I found great facts about the difference between male and female killers and gender in society. This book has great ethos because Jensen is a credible published author. The logos of the book was set up very well and was easy to follow when trying to find the information that pertinent to my blog. This book was exactly what I wanted to discuss in my blog and was very interesting to read. Although I only used specific quotes from this source a few times the information I found helped me to form opinions and state information that was necessary to help make my blog credible.

Macleod, M. Aileen Wuornos: Killer Who Preyed on Truck Drivers. Retrieved from http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/women/wuornos/1.html.

            TruTv.com has multiple articles about all different topics including female murderers. This specific article by Marlee Macleod was about prolific serial killer, Aileen Wuornos. The article talks about Wuornos childhood as well as the murders she committed and her conviction. I am not sure how credible Macleod is because the information I found on her did not describe particular ethos regarding her writing but mostly talked about her career as a singer/songwriter and showed some of her other articles. Although I could not find much about the author I was able to pull some information from this source that I thought was credible and was able to find in other outlets as well. TruTv.com displayed ethos through its website and most articles displayed.

Meyer, C., Oberman, M. (2001). Mothers Who Kill Their Children. New York, NY: New York University Press.

            This book was interesting to read and it gave me great background information when I first began to research my topic. In the end I did not end up using information from this source. Nothing I found in this book would have enhanced my blog at all, but just got me thinking about topics for blog posts. I believe this source had great ethos and if I could have gone more in depth into I think I would have found something to use in my blog. The logos of the book threw me off a bit because the contents did not list anything that I was specifically looking for. This source is one that I did not use but did look into for information.

Schurman-Kauflin, M.D., D. (2000). The New Predator: Women Who Kill. New York, NY: Algora Publishing.

            This book I used most out of all the other books I discussed. This source had great ethos and logos. The author of this book is a doctor and seemed to know a lot about women who kill. The way the book was set up was easy to follow along with and set out the information in an effective manner. This source was vital in my research and helped to write a lot of my blog posts. I also was able to quote this source quite a few times throughout my posts. The book explained how society explains women who kill and did a good job at also comparing men and women killers which was a component in my blog. This source was one of the first that I found which helped me to figure out other blog posts.

Sons, K. (2005, December 16). Why Some Mothers Kill Their Children. Retrieved from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/14935/why_some_mothers_kill_their_children_pg2.html?cat=17.

This article used content from multiple other sources to try and explain why women murder their children. The article talked about what can cause women to commit such a horrific crime and some of the women who have done so. Associatedcontent.com has many articles about many different topics. They pay writers to contribute to their website so people can read about various things. Kelly Sons is a contributor for associatedcontent.com. She is described as a freelance journalist and nonfiction writer who has been working in this field for the past 12 years. Sons attended Kaplan University and Motlow State. I believe this source had good information for my topic and seems to be credible. Although the website pays their writers for their content, which leads me to believe that their work is researched and checked before being published, I am not sure how the writers are chosen to be contributors to the website so that lacks some credibility.

Walker, L. (1989). Terrifying Love. New York, NY: Harper & Row Publishers.

This book helped a lot with one specific post I had about why women kill and their backgrounds. I found that this book had great ethos and logos because it mixed actual stories of people lives as well as credible author’s comments. I found this book one of the most interesting to read and at the same time I found a lot of information. This book explained about the woman behind the murder and the batterer or victim of the murder behind the woman. It was interesting to read real life accounts of these woman’s lives and for them to explain why they did what they did.

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Background and Similarities of Women Who Kill

One of the main similarities behind women that kill is many have experienced being physically, sexually, and psychologically abused. Sexual abuse is the largest similarity between women that had attempted or murdered their abuser. 87 percent of the 90 women evaluated in one study had been sexually abused by that person. Also, many of the cases in which battered women killed their abusers, the batterers had sexually abused or made sexual advances on their children.  One similarity between the batterers of women who have killed is the abuse of alcohol. Their inability to control their alcohol intake increased overtime and increased the violence. According to Walker (1989), “Women who killed perceived their men as using greater violence, more frequently, resulting in more and graver injuries to them, than did those battered women who did not kill” (pg.103). Mothers and children also can be victimized by law enforcement because they either act too slowly, too ineffectually, or not at all, which jeopardizes their safety from further abuse after they have left their batterer. This repeated abuse against both women and their child results in the woman ending the violence by taking it into their own hands.  

            One example of a woman who resorted to taking the life of her abuser is Jenny Eisenman. Jenny shot her husband after she suffered abuse for years. Jenny claimed the shooting was in self-defense. This clip from the 48 Hours episode Trigger Point with Richard Schlesinger shows a brief glimpse of Jenny’s story.

Sources:

Terrifying Love by Lenore E. Walker

The New Predator: Women Who Kill by Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin

Video Source:

(2009, January 26). Trigger Point [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFvlhlB2JC0.

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Angels of Death

An angel of death is the name given to a woman who works in the medical profession that takes the lives of her patients. There are far more female killers in the medical and nursing profession than men. Angels of death are hard to spot and you don’t suspect someone working in that type of environment to be a murderer. Angels of death are known to be very nurturing, intelligent, sweet and kind, but most of all manipulative. According to Delong (2010), “They are characterized as being female, mid to late 20s to 30s, not generally high ranking, and work as part of a team taking care of a lot of people.” These women know the medical system and can be very lethal for a long time. One commonality between angels of death is that they have had some type of troubled childhood and they also crave attention. Beverly Allitt, an English nurse, was only 23 years old when she started to attack children in the hospital where she worked. Allitt murdered four children and injured five in 1991. Allitt attacked children between the ages of just a few weeks and eleven years old. She would inject the children with insulin causing them to have seizures. Allitt received a sentence of a minimum of 40 years in prison. According to Amatuzio (2010), “I think a whole host of human emotions can play a role in turning somebody from giving life to taking life.”

Sources:

Investigation Discovery’s series, “Deadly Women” with crime profiler Candice Delong

Investigation Discovery’s series, “Deadly Women” with crime writer Michael Kelleher

Investigation Discovery’s series, “Deadly Women” with forensic pathologist Janis Amatuzio, MD

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Women Who Kill Their Children

Mothers killing their children are more common than people might think. According to the American Anthropological Association, more than 200 women kill their children in the United States each year. According to Sons (2005), “FBI crime statistics show that women commit only two crimes as frequently as men. Shoplifting and the murder of their own children” (p.1). In review of cases of mothers murdering their children they have found two distinguishing groups. The two groups include mothers who kill their newborns and mothers who kill their children. According to Sons (2010), “Although women commit less than 13% of all violent crimes they are also responsible for about 50% of all parental murders. Many of these instances are contributed to postpartum depression or Baby Blues- triggered by the births themselves says Nancy Scheper-Hughes, a medical anthropologist specializing in motherhood, violence and mental illness” (p. 1). Impulses like rage and frustration will often end in shaken baby syndrome or suffocation from covering a crying child’s mouth. According to Sons (2005), “More than half of the 45 women on death row are there for killing their husbands and/or children and almost all reported that no one believed them when they cried out for help saying, ‘I cannot be trusted with my children.’” (p.2).

            Andrea Yates, a mother of five is one of the most well known women to have killed her own children. Yates methodically drowned all of her children in a bathtub then calmly called police. The birth of each of her children was followed by a hospitalization for deep depression. This clip from 60 Minutes with Ed Bradley explains Andrea’s story in an interview with her husband and what he believes made her do it.

Source:

“Why some mothers kill their children” by Kelly Sons

ClipArt Source:

Note. Clker.com. User-OCAL. Reprinted with permission.

Video Source:

(2007, November 1). Andrea Yates Story-60 Minutes [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjJuN9Qfr0I.

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Black Widows

Black Widow is a term to describe women who kill people very close to them, either their spouse or children. The Black Widow spider eats its mate after mating giving the comparison between the spider and a female who murders her husband. Typically the black widow killer will use poison to attack quietly. They are known to be very nurturing and concerned about their victim after they have murdered them. According to Delong (2010), “Black widows are women that you do not generally expect to be murderers, but are very good at what they do.” They are also very successful at hiding what they have done compared to men and are the least suspicious of killers. According to Kelleher (2010), “These women attach themselves to a potential victim and set in motion a series of events that are well planned and will benefit them usually financially.”

            Judi Buenoano is one of the most notable black widows. Buenoano poisoned her husband with arsenic and three days later collected his life insurance money. She was also suspected of poisoning one of her boyfriends. Buenoano drowned her own son by capsizing a canoe, her son was partially paralyzed. Her last attack was when she attempted to murder her fiancé by blowing up his car. Buenoano did not care about the people in her life; she was just after the money she could get after they were gone.

Sources:

Investigation Discovery’s series, “Deadly Women” with crime writer Michael Kelleher

Investigation Discovery’s series, “Deadly Women” crime profiler Candice Delong

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Sociopaths

The main characteristic of a sociopath is a disregard for the rights of others. Sociopaths are also unable to conform to what society defines as a normal personality. Antisocial tendencies are a big part of the sociopath’s personality. According to Kelleher (2010), “Sociopaths don’t feel love the way normal people do. They know what’s right and wrong but they choose to do wrong.” This pattern usually comes into evidence around the age of 15. If it is not treated, it can develop into adulthood. Things that happen in childhood directly impact how that child will act as an adult. Abuse and neglect can bring out the sociopathic behavior and sexual abuse is the most common. They are good at working their way in and out of relationships. Sociopaths learn what they can get away with and how to manipulate people with each relationship they have. They learn from childhood how to get what they want at the expense of others. Researchers have not determined if people are born sociopaths or if they are created. According to Delong (2010), “Four percent of the population seems to become someone with the diagnosis of a sociopath, but the vast majority of these people do not kill.” Both male and female sociopaths are similar and there are no defining characteristics of female sociopaths that differ from males.

             This clip is an example of a sociopathic killer, Mary Bell. The clip from a documentary about her life explains Mary’s story and why she is known as sociopath.

Sources:

Investigation Discovery’s series, “Deadly Women” with crime writer Michael Kelleher      

Investigation Discovery’s series, “Deadly Women” with crime profiler Candice Delong

Video Source:

(2010, February 2). The Mary Bell Case [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuXsVRMo3_Q.

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Women Serial Killers

Female serial killers are a lot more rare then males and usually murder men for personal gain. One of the greatest motivations found was financial reasons. According to Kett (2010), “An analysis of all female serial killers from the USA found that victims were normally children, the elderly or spouses. Sexual or sadistic motives are believed to be extremely rare in female killers but are the most common motive for male serial killers” (p.1). Sometimes female serial killers are part of a team with a male killer. Some of the most prolific serial killers of all time are Countess Erzebet Bathory, Belle Gunness, Mary Ann Cotton, Rosemary West, and Aileen Wuornos. Wuornos is probably the most well known because of the Charlize Theron portrayal of Wuornos in the 2003 film Monster. Wuornos was a prostitute in Florida and between 1989 and 1990 she murdered seven men. Wuornos’ mother abandoned Aileen and her older brother Keith in 1960 and they were later adopted by their grandparents. Wuornos was known to have engaged in sexual acts with multiple partners from a young age, including her own brother, and at the age of thirteen became pregnant. Wuornos claimed that the pregnancy was a result of being raped by an unknown man.

                         This clip from an E! Special called “Fatal Beauty: 15 Most Notorious Women” explains more about Aileen Wuornos and why she made their list at number three.

Source:

“The 5 Biggest Female Serial Killers” by Ryan Kett.

“Aileen Wuornos: Killer Who Preyed on Truck Drivers” by Marlee Macleod.

Video Source:

(2009, June 6). Fatal Beauty- 15 Most Notorious Women-E! Special [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUxgZLImlD4&feature=related.

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Men vs. Women Killers

 

 Gender equality provides the greatest explanation of rates of women’s killings verses men. Women suffer from disadvantages in a patriarchal system which may be one explanation of the different patterns of homicide for both genders. In society women have always been seen as less violent than men. Gender roles in society and the way in which women carry out murders seem to go hand and hand. Women generally tend to murder powerless victims that cannot defend themselves. 80% of people who are victims of a female killer are intimately known to her. According to Schurman-Kauflin (2000), “The portrait then is a woman who strikes in close range. She is less likely than a male to roam the streets and kill a stranger; her victims will be close emotionally and physically” (p.146). The majority of U.S. homicides occur in the largest cities and women only represented less than 10 percent of offenders in those cities. Also, the majority of those murders involved acquaintances and strangers and this pattern reflected men’s homicide. Women most often killed intimate partners, followed by acquaintances. Men’s victims tend to be killed in public spaces such as bar brawls, gang violence, and robberies. Women tend to kill in private, domestic spheres, and include intimate partners, children, and elders. This information shows that the reason women kill differs from men significantly because of gender and gender circumstances.

Sources:

The New Predator: Women Who Kill by Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin

Why Women Kill: Homicide & Gender Equality by Vickie Jensen

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Women Who Kill

Although the amount of research done by scientists on female killers compared to male killers is insignificant we can still see some specific traits and patterns of a women who kills. The reasons women kill are vast and this blog will help us to understand the difference between male and female killers, types of female murderers, and the psychology behind the female killer.

Source: Why Women Kill: Homicide & Gender Equality by Vickie Jensen

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