The most wicked women in history (Part I)

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When speaking of women, we often conjure ideas about the better half in life or the best of God’s creation. However, to every rule there is always an exception.

It would take an eternity to list women’s positive contributions to human history, but here we will take a walk through both ancient and modern times to survey the exceptional vileness of the fairer sex.

This list is not just comprised of serial killers and mass murderers, but fundamentally wicked women whose mere existence caused great tragedy and pain in the lives of others.

1. Xanthippe, ”Socrates’ wife”

It may not be a surprise to suggest that the main reason behind Socrates’ wisdom and philosophy was his wife, but it would surely shock to learn exactly how.

The father of Greek philosophy endured a tempestuous and altogether miserable married life that shaped a big part of his philosophy and wisdom; at that time it was believed that Socrates used to flee home from dusk to dawn to escape his wife’s gross mistreatment and dirty mouth. History books overflow with stories that mention those such incidents.

One time, Socrates was having a lesson with his students when his wife poured a carafe of water over his head. He calmly replied with his immortal quote: “Now that is rain, shall we wait for thunder?!”

A portrayal of Xanthippe pouring water over Socrates’ head

Driven by his marital woes, Socrates’ message to his students was: “If you marry a good wife you will be happy, if not you will become a philosopher– but be sure in both cases you will regret it.”

In Socrates’ case, the saying ”behind every great man is a woman” can be understood in a completely different light.

2. Mary Todd Lincoln

She was the American first lady, the wife of the 16th US President Abraham Lincoln.

Mary was like many other women who were negatively depicted in the halls of history; a recent widely-distributed book that was published in the US revealed the secrets behind Lincoln’s married life.

According to the book, Todd used to mock her husband’s physical appearance not only in private, but in front of visitors and guests.

Mary Todd Lincoln

She used to hurl various household objects at him, frequently insult him,and on the fifth day of their marriage, she threw a cup of coffee at him after he accused her of having a bad temper.

The book concluded that one of the the most powerful presidents of the United States and the famous slave emancipator was imprisoned behind the bars of an oppressive marriage.

3. Myra Hindley

Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were responsible for the notorious Moors murders that occurred in Manchester during the mid-sixties.

Together these two monsters were responsible for the kidnapping, sexual abuse and the killing of three children under the age of twelve along with two teenagers, each aged 16.

Myra Hindley (photo: The Telegraph)

Myra and her boyfriend Ian were brought to trial in April 1966.

Hindley denied any contact with Brady and claimed innocence in a lifelong campaign to regain her freedom.

In 1987, Hindley fully confessed in prison to her involvement in all five murders.

In November 2002, Hindley died in hospital after suffering from respiratory complications while serving her 36th year behind bars at Highpoint Prison.

4. Katherine Knight

She was the first Australian woman to receive a life sentence without parole.

Knight had a history of violence in her relationships; she mashed the teeth of one of her ex-husbands, and slashed the throat of another’s eight-week-old puppy right before his eyes.

Her heated relationship with the last of her husbands, John Price, became public knowledge. In suffering his wife’s violent breakouts, Price filed a law suit against Knight. In retrospect it perhaps wasn’t a great idea, as the poor chap ended up being stabbed to death by Knight’s butcher knife.

A poster of Katherine Knight (photo: unknownmisandry)

To add insult to injury, Knight made a gravy from Price’s organs. Luckily, the human feast that was set out for the children was discovered by police before they arrived home.

In June 2006, Knight received a life sentence in prison for brutal murder.

5. Raya and Sakina

Amid the early days of twentieth century Egypt, Alexandria’s Al-Labban district police department was flooded with reports of missing women.

Nearly one year of intensive investigations revealed the evil female duo were responsible for the abduction and murder of 17 women from 1920 until their arrest.

Raya, Sakina, and their respective husbands

The Raya and Sakina crimes were motivated by robbery but overlapped with drugs, racketeering and prostitution. Their modus operandi included burying their victims’ bodies at a home they rented, where the bodies were eventually discovered.

Raya, Sakina and their co-criminal husbands were all tried for murder; all were convicted and sentenced to death on 16 May 1921.

They became the first Egyptian women to be executed in modern Egyptian history.

6. Ilse Koch

Don’t be fooled by the innocent look on her face, this lady was known as “Buchenwälder Schlampe”, or the bitch of Buchenwald.

She was the wife of Karl Koch, commander of the Buchenwald and Majdanek Nazi concentration camps from 1937 to 1943.

Intoxicated by the absolute power of her husband, she lived in depravity and obscenity. She was infamous for taking skin fragments as souvenirs from the corpses of the inmates at the camp.

Ilse Koch (photo: forumaxishistory)

Her reputation of wickedness was well recognized, and got her promoted to the chief overseer of the few female guards at the Buchenwald in 1940.

She has been responsible for hundreds of cases of severe torture and sexual abuse throughout the duration of her service.

Koch committed suicide by hanging herself at Aichach women’s prison in 1967.

The tenderness and nurturing disposition of a woman may be the first sentiments associated with the fairer sex, but let us not underestimate their equality in all things, including their capacity for vicious lechery.