Sexually and physically assaulted by her own grandfather during her childhood and teenage years, Aileen Wuornos took to prostitution to support herself. From becoming pregnant at age 14 to engaging in sexual activities in exchange for drugs, Aileen's early life played a major role in turning her into a serial killer. Her story eventually became quite famous in popular culture.
Irish pirate Anne Bonny is considered one of the most famous female pirates of all time. She operated in the Caribbean in the early 18th century. As a teenager, she became the partner and lover of the notorious English pirate captain Calico Jack Rackham. She was captured in 1720 when she was pregnant. Her fate remains unknown.
Karla Homolka raped and killed three minors along with her ex-husband Paul Bernardo. After their arrest, Bernardo was sentenced to life imprisonment, while Homolka served 12 years in prison following a plea bargain. Although she had claimed that she was an unwilling accomplice to the killings, a videotape that surfaced after the plea bargain suggested otherwise, resulting in public outrage.
10 Susan Atkins
Susan Atkins was an American murderer who was convicted for participating in eight killings, including the infamous Tate murders, carried out by members of the Manson Family. Sentenced to life imprisonment, Atkins was the longest-serving female inmate in California history at the time of her death.
Assata Shakur is a former member of the revolutionary organization 'Black Liberation Army'. Sentenced to life for murder, Shakur escaped from the 'Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women' and was eventually granted political asylum in Cuba. She is the first woman to be added to FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list. Her life inspired the documentary film Eyes of the Rainbow.
12 Diane Downs
13 Amy Fisher
Leslie Van Houten is a convicted murderer. A former member of the infamous Manson Family, Houten played a major role in the Tate-LaBianca murders of 1969. Since her highly publicized court trials, Leslie Van Houten has been portrayed in several films; she has been played by actresses like Kristen Hager, Tania Raymonde, Greer Grammer, Hannah Murray, and Victoria Pedretti.
A former member of the notorious Charles Manson's "Family," Patricia Krenwinkel is a criminal who has participated in multiple murders. She was part of the gang that murdered actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant at the time of her death. Krenwinkel has been denied parole fourteen times and is currently incarcerated at the California Institution for Women.
16 Pamela Smart
18 Andrea Yates
Andrea Yates is an American woman who confessed to killing her five children by drowning them in her bathtub in 2001. Although she was initially sentenced to life in prison, she was acquitted in 2006 as she was found not guilty by reason of insanity; it was revealed that she had been suffering from postpartum psychosis, postpartum depression, and schizophrenia.
20 Mary Surratt
21 Mary Read
23 Irma Grese
Irma Grese, or the Hyena of Auschwitz, served as an SS guard at the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Ravensbrück. She was also the warden of the ladies’ section of the Bergen-Belsen camp and ended up being convicted of torture and murder of prisoners. She was executed at 22.
24 Mary Bell
25 Susan Smith
Susan Smith is an American murderer who was convicted for murdering her children, Michael and Alexander, who were three-year-old and 14-month-old respectively. She falsely claimed that her kids were kidnapped by a black man before being adjudged guilty of the crime. Sentenced to life in prison, Smith is currently incarcerated at the Leath Correctional Institution in South Carolina.
26 Ilse Koch
Magda Goebbels was one of the most important members of the Nazi Party. Due to her closeness with Adolf Hitler, Goebbels is sometimes referred to as the unofficial first lady of Nazi Germany, although she was married to Joseph Goebbels. At the end of the Second World War, Joseph and Magda Goebbels killed their six children and committed suicide.
28 Phoolan Devi
Phoolan Devi was an Indian bandit who later on became a politician. She was a victim of child marriage and later on gang raped by a group of upper caste men. To avenge her humiliation she went on to become the leader of gang of bandits Later on she became a politician and served as Member of Parliament. She was assassinated by an upper caste man.
Virginia Hill was an American woman best remembered for her association with the Chicago Outfit crime organization. She served as the outfit's courier, passing important messages between mobsters, during the mid-1930s. She became the subject of a 1974 TV film. Her relationship with mobster Bugsy Siegel was dramatized in the 1991 movie Bugsy, where she was portrayed by Annette Bening.
Called the ‘white widow’, British national Samantha Lewthwaite is one of the most wanted terrorists in the world. She has been linked to the Somali terrorist group Al Shabaab and was reportedly involved in the 2013 Nairobi Westgate shopping mall terror attack. She is the widow of one of the four suicide bombers who carried out the July 2005 London subway terror attacks.
32 Ching Shih
Ching Shih went from being a prostitute who worked in a Canton brothel to a notorious pirate who controlled the Red Flag Fleet. Legend has it that pirate Zhèng Yi, or Cheng I, had married Ching Shih when he raided her brothel, and she had then taken over his fleet.
34 Ruth Ellis
Beverley Allitt is an English serial child killer, convicted ,of murdering four children and grievously injuring several others. Previously employed as a State Enrolled Nurse, she attacked 13 children over a 59-day period, out of which four died. She received 13 life sentences for the crimes and is detained at Rampton Secure Hospital in Nottinghamshire.
37 Ma Barker
41 Mary Brunner
Leonarda Cianciulli was an Italian serial killer who murdered three women and turned their bodies into soaps and tea cakes. She is also known as the "Soap-Maker of Correggio." Between 1939 and 1940, she killed three of her neighbors--all of them middle-aged women--as part of human sacrifices. She was eventually found guilty of her crimes and sentenced to prison.