Ladies. Whether you are loved up on roses and chocolate hearts or drowning yourself in a bottle of burgundy (or one text-free minute away from bathing in your own blood), you have to admit: Valentine’s Day can be a beautiful reminder of intensity and passion and reckless love. Or, in this case, fatal obsession and murderous intentions.
What say, on this mid-February eve of deep red lips and stiletto sashays, we take a look at famous femme fatales in history. I mean, what could possibly be more romantic than a woman with a killer silhouette and an evil mind?
While certainly not the most delicate of the bunch, this robust woman left the bodies of every man who ever adored her at her feet. Having moved from her native Norway to her permanent killing grounds of Indiana, she lured would-be suitors with an ad in the matrimonial columns of Chicago newspapers:
‘Personal — comely widow who owns a large farm in one of the finest districts in La Porte County, Indiana, desires to make the acquaintance of a gentleman equally well provided, with view of joining fortunes. No replies by letter considered unless sender is willing to follow answer with personal visit. Triflers need not apply.’
Little did these non-triflers (no, Destiny’s Child did not make that term up) know that they would soon be, how do you say, disemboweled from their fortunes. Beheaded, fed to the hogs, or buried in a swamp, they all met their demise in one way or another. Forty-two men, a headless woman, and her own children were nothing but fading memories for Belle Gunness as she burnt down her property, feigned her death, and escaped the law for more than twenty years until her end under a still-unconfirmed pseudonym.
BLANCHE TYLER MOORE
Isn’t there something just so terrifyingly nostalgic about arsenic? Mysterious pains in the stomach, nausea, weakness, brittle hair…all telltale signs of the now-famous poison. But before 9-to-5 and The Sixth Sense, arsenic was a silent murderer; an invisible powder by which to mimic natural disease and silence your problems. And Blanche Tyler Moore was a prowess with poison. Boyfriends, husbands, and mother-in-laws were all suspected victims of this ill-intentioned preacher’s daughter. Although only convicted of one murder, that of her then Reverend boyfriend, bodies of her other supposed victims were later exhumed and found to contain high levels of arsenic. Which she obtained in the form of ‘ant poison’ at her place of employment – Kroger’s, a supermarket chain. This femme fatale is still awaiting her death sentence at the North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women.
Oh, Eastern Europeans. How you make me giddy with your sexual accents and unquenchable passion. Born in Romania, this foxy femme fatale was another lover of age-old arsenic. An obsessive lover, some might say – she killed thirty-four of her suitors and one son with the deadly poison. Famous for mysteriously vanishing, all of her victims were later found by police to be encased in unburied zinc coffins in her basement. Never one to forgo being the ultimate object-of-affection, Vera confessed to killing her lovers when their interest waned. This included her son – she wanted to be the last woman he ever hugged. There is no armchair in the world like the one Vera used to sit in from time-to-time, reveling in the adoration of her decomposing lovers.
Also known as Harry Crawford, Eugenia was a transgender female-to-male who escaped notice until a mistaken slip-of-the-tongue aboard a working New Zealand ship. Subsequently raped by his shipmates and left pregnant at the Australian port of Newcastle, Eugenia/Eugene took on the name Harry and met his first love, Annie. Despite marrying and rolling around in the marital bed, Annie remained unaware that Harry had biological female parts until one fateful day when a neighbor revealed his secret. The unsuspecting Annie met her end at a romantic picnic with an ‘accidental’ fall and a rock to the head. Her body was eventually found and Harry was eventually found out. His second wife Lizzie was unaware of the cloth-covered phallus found in his personal effects until the court case, which landed him in a women’s jail for eleven years. He later took on the persona of Jean Ford, a boarding house operator who died tragically in a pedestrian-automobile accident.
*all descriptions modified from Wikipedia.org
Happy Valentine’s Day, deadly lovers. May it be filled with the passion and the fire (but not the arsenic poisoning) that burns inside all of us.
Kiss, kiss, bang.