In a slightly bonkers interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel, the author of a new book called “Are Women the Better Murderers?” drops some knowledge on the whole matter of lady murderers, and it’s kind of great. In a murder-y way.
While men kill 10 times as many people as women, the lady’s method of killing tends to be more, well, let’s say “interesting.” One example seems ripped straight from a soap opera: a wife in China killed her husband by “passionately” kissing him and in the process slipping a cyanide capsule into his mouth. “She combines an act of love with murder,” says author Sigrun Rossmanith. “Would a man come up with such an idea?” Maybe Shakespeare would, in the climax of some tragedy, but your average Joe murderer? Seems doubtful.
Rossmanith says we all have the capacity for insanity, and for murder, and that women’s “dark side” is often suppressed or ignored. I can’t help but think of Lizzie Borden, who was famously acquitted for murdering her parents with an axe because an 1890s jury simply couldn’t believe a woman was capable of murder. (There’s a good Halloween costume – Victorian dress, bloody axe, and you’re done!)
The interview has a few other examples, like a daughter who killed her abusive mother, and a mother who killed her children rather than give up custody, that are much less badass than the cyanide kiss, and mostly just depressing. So, no, maybe being named better at killing people isn’t the feminist victory we were all waiting for. But we’ll take what we can get, creepy nursery rhymes and all.
Image via Veer