Best known as part of the legendary criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie Parker was infamous for her bank robberies with her partner Clyde Chestnut Barrow. They apparently murdered several policemen, too. Their crimes were romanticized in many movies including a 1967 film starring Faye Dunaway as Bonnie.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Born to working-class parents, Marguerite Alibert initially sang at local bars and worked as a prostitute. She later became Prince Edward’s (later King Edward VIII of the UK) courtesan. She shot her second husband, Ali Fahmy, to death at Savoy Hotel but got away by showcasing herself as a victim of brutality.
Ruth Ellis began her career as a nightclub hostess as a teen and was also a nude model for a while. She later also worked as an escort. She became the last woman in the UK tot be hanged after she shot and killed her lover, race-car driver and affluent socialite David Blakely.
Karla Faye Tucker was a convicted criminal who killed two people with a pickaxe during a burglary. She committed the crime with a few accomplices in 1983. She was convicted of murder the following year and sentenced to death. She was executed by lethal injection in 1998. She was the first woman to be executed in US since1984.
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.
Barbara Graham was a convicted criminal who was executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin Prison in 1955. She became the third woman in California to be executed by gas. Born to an unwed teenage sex worker, she had a troubled childhood. As a young woman, she became involved with hardened criminals and took to a life of crime.
Olga Hepnarová was a Czechoslovak rampage killer. On 10 July 1973, she killed eight people with a truck in Prague. She was eventually sentenced to death and was executed in 1975. She was the last woman executed in Czechoslovakia. She was a troubled young woman with psychiatric problems and expressed no regret for the crime at her trial.
Madame de Brinvilliers was a French aristocrat who was sentenced to death by the French government after being accused of killing her father and brothers to inherit their estates. Speculated of having poisoned more than 30 sick people in order to test out her poisons, Madame de Brinvilliers' life, killings, and execution inspired many works of art.
Marie-Fortunée Lafarge, a beautiful and cultured French woman, gained notoriety for being tried and convicted of murdering her husband by arsenic-poisoning. Her trial generated much interest and curiosity and became a cause célèbre leading many to arrive from across Europe to witness it. The case had a great-impact on the French society with spectators divided into pro- and anti-Marie factions.
French sisters Christine and Léa Papin, who were serving as live-in-maids, gained notoriety for and were convicted of murdering their employer's wife and daughter. The incident had a profound-impact on the community and was much debated by the intelligentsia, with some considering it as a case of class-struggle. Several works including plays, films and publications were inspired by the case.