Top 10 Notorious Female Criminals

Top 10 Notorious Female Criminals in History

When it comes to crimes, men keep their monopoly as in most of the fields. However, there have been some notorious women who found a place for themselves in history books for their heinous crimes which may put the cruelest of the men to shame. Here is the list of top 10 notorious female criminals in history.

These are 10 of the Most Notorious Female Criminals in History:

10. Sandra Avila Beltran

Sandra Avila Beltran Notorious Female Criminals
Sandra Avila Beltran – Notorious Female Criminals. (Image source;

Known as the Queen of the Pacific, Sandra Avila Beltran was one of the fearsome drug traffickers of her time. She was leader of the Sinaloa cartel and partner and lover of Colombian drug trafficker Juan Diego Espinos. Beltran once controlled a big share of the drug trafficking between Colombia and Mexico. She had a luxurious lifestyle, and she reportedly kept it even in prison after she was arrested.

9. Patty Hearst

Notorious Female Criminals Patty Hearst
Patricia Hearst (L) and husband Bernard Shaw.

The story of Patty Hearst is a fascinating one. She was the heiress of media baron William Randolph Hearst and was kidnapped by guerrilla gang Symbionese Liberation Army when she was a college student. Later she appeared in a video declaring she had joined SLA. She was also caught in surveillance cameras conducting a bank robbery and wielding a gun. The police caught her within a year and she was sentenced in prison for seven years. She was later pardoned.

8. Genene Jones

Notorious Female Criminals Genene Jones
Notorious Serial Killer Genene Jones.

Genene Jones was a pediatric nurse in Texas who killed several infants, injecting them with drugs such as digoxin, heparin and succinylcholine. She had a wicked idea of shooting to fame by endangering children and saving them before public. However, things didn’t go according to plan and several children died from heart paralysis and breathing problems. Jones was caught but evidence was scarce. After extensive hearing, she was found guilty of one murder and sentenced to prison.

She is a suspected serial killer as well as one of the most notorious female criminals. She is responsible for the deaths of up to 60 infants and children.

7. Karla Homolka

Karla Homolka Notorious Female Criminals
Homolka – Canadian Serial Killer (image source

Karla Homolka was an active participant in several rapes and murders with her husband Paul Bernardo. They murdered a couple of teenage girls and even Karla’s younger sister. They even recorded some of their heinous acts. The police eventually caught them, but Karla managed to get a lighter sentence claiming that she was forced by Bernardo to participate in the crimes.

This notorious Canadian serial killer along-with her husband raped and murdered 3 young girls. She got a worldwide media attention when she was convicted of manslaughter following a plea bargain in the 1991 and 1992 rape-murders of two Ontario teenage girls, Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, as well as the rape and death of her sister Tammy.

6. Diane Downs

Notorious Female Criminals Diane Downs
Diane Downs.

One of the worst mothers in history, Diane Downs, tried to kill all of her children to keep her boyfriend who never wanted kids. Downs shot her children and drove to hospital with them in car. She fabricated a tale of carjacking, and to back up the story, she had inflicted a wound on herself. Only her second child had died, and the testimony of her oldest daughter proved the mother’s cruel act. She was given a life sentence.

A movie named “Small Sacrifices” made on her life. It was inspired by the book of same name by Ann Rule. She’s named one of the histroy’s most notorious female criminals.

5. Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos Notorious Female Criminals
Aileen Wuornos – (image source;

She started as a prostitute at a young age. To make more money, she indulged in petty crimes, bringing her in conflict with the law. She began a relationship with a hotel maid named Tyria Moore, which made her escalate the degree of her operations. They made it a habit to rob Wuornos’ customers, shooting those who opposed them. After an year, seven men had been killed by them. Wuornos was caught found guilty of several murders. She was executed in 2001.

Wuornos named one of the most notorious female criminals in history. She was a monstrous serial killer from America who murdered seven men in Florida. The 2003 film, Monster chronicles Wuornos’ story from childhood until her first murder conviction. The film starred Charlize Theron as Wuornos. In addition, the Therone won an Academy Award for Best Actress for playing Wuornos.

4. Griselda Blanco

Griselda Blanco Notorious Female Criminals
Griselda Blanco (image source;

Known as the Queen of Cocaine and the Black Widow, Griselda Blanco was not a petty criminal. She was a drug queen and a ruthless one at that. During the 1970s and 80s, she became one of the principal figures in cocaine trade and gang wars in America. She was a merciless killer. Even not shy to kill her husband over money. She is said to have killed hundreds of people, including her former husbands. She was caught and sentenced for 19 years in jail. After release, she was shot dead by an anonymous attacker.

This Colombian drug lord is one of the most notorious female criminals. In addition, she is the pioneer in the Miami-based cocaine drug trade and underworld during the 1950 to early 2000s. During the transporting of cocaine from Colombia to New York, Miami and Southern California, she has murdered up to 200 people. Finally, her story ended on September 3, 2012. She was shot and killed at the age of 69.

3. Lizzie Borden

Lizzie Borden Notorious Female Criminals
Lizzie Borden – (image source;

The prime suspect of the sensational Fall River murders of 1892, Lizzie Borden was figured in one of the gruesome episodes of American history. According to her story, she found her father dead on his couch, covered in blood and his left eyeball split in half. Her stepmother was discovered in same fashion in a bedroom. Lizzie’s testimony was inconsistent and there was an overwhelming amount of evidence against her, including the maid’s testimony. Despite this, she was acquitted and the mystery remained unsolved.

2. Bonnie Parker

Notorious Female Criminals
Clyde and Bonnie – Lovers on the Lam (image source;

Bonnie was the accomplice and lover of Clyde Barrow, who together went on a crime spree during the Great Depression. They with their Barrow gang conducted a series of robberies, kidnappings and murders, evading the police on every occasion. They continued their rampage for four years, till they were caught in a planned ambush in 1934. Bonnie and Clyde were shot and killed in the attack, but their legend, notorious as it is, stayed in the popular culture.

Bonnie Parker named one of the most notorious female criminals in history. In addition to other crimes like robberies, she is most prolific murderess too. She along-with her gang is believed to have killed at least 9 police officers and several civilians.

1. Mary Ann Cotton

Mary Ann Cotton Notorious Female Criminals
Joanne Froggatt as Mary Ann Cotton in Dark Angel.

Perhaps the most infamous of woman serial killers, Mary Ann Cotton was one of the cruelest female characters in history. She married four times, and all of her husbands and their children died of same type of stomach fever. She inherited large sum of insurance amounts each time, which was bound to arouse suspicions at one point. Eventually the media caught up with her modus operandi, and she was proven to have poisoned her husbands, friends and even her mother and children with arsenic. Collectively, she murdered as many as 21 people, including 11 of her children. Of Mary Ann’s 13 children, only two survived. She was arrested and hanged at Durham County Gaol on 24 March 1873.

In 2015, a television drama, Dark Angel was filmed on Mary Ann’s life. The drama was inspired by the book Mary Ann Cotton: Britain’s First Female Serial Killer by David Wilson.