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Publisher's Summary

When you think of serial killers throughout history, the names that come to mind are likely Jack the Ripper, John Wayne Gacy, and Ted Bundy. But what about Tillie Klimek, Moulay Hassan, and Kate Bender?

The narrative we're comfortable with is one where women are the victims of violent crime - not the perpetrators. In fact, serial killers are thought to be so universally male that, in 1998, FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood infamously declared that there are no female serial killers. Inspired by Telfer's Jezebel column of the same name, Lady Killers disputes that claim and offers 14 gruesome examples as evidence.

Although largely forgotten by history, female serial killers rival their male counterparts in cunning, cruelty, and appetite. Each chapter explores the crimes and history of a different female serial killer and then proceeds to unpack her legacy and her portrayal in the media as well as the stereotypes and sexist clichés that inevitably surround her.

©2017 Tori Telfer (P)2017 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about Lady Killers

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Abby Whitman
  • 2018-10-02

Interesting but falls flat

As a true crime fan, I was very excited for this book. Many of the stories are similar in nature to each other which made it difficult to listen to straight through. Narration is also unexciting. Overall, the stories were well researched.

8 people found this helpful

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  • JBT3
  • 2019-02-01

Equal opportunity murder

There is no doubt that this is a well researched, well-written book. The narration is also very good which I feel can make/break an audiobook before it even starts. What made me do a double take (if you can do that while listening to an audiobook) was the author's attitude which seems to convey that women weren't getting their just due in the serial killing department. Ms. Telfer lets us know in no uncertain terms that women are more than up to the task of slaughtering innocents and implies that they do not get the same amount of credit as do their male counterparts. Okkkk. Congrats. Women are equal to men...at slitting throats and stabbing hearts..yea for you guys...let's bronze you a liver!! Really?! To be fair the book is very good and if you don't find the whole "I can kill as good as you can" thing offensive there is a lot of great information to be had. Maybe this is too critical but at times it felt very wrong and God Forbid, if I had lost a loved one via murder am thinking this would hurt.

7 people found this helpful

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  • AV
  • 2018-02-04

enjoyable

I really enjoyed this book...it was interesting and informative as well I was ready for more

5 people found this helpful

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  • Charlie Jenkins
  • 2021-01-11

Deadly Women Through 1952

I got this book looking for insights into the most contemporary female serial killers - even just one case study I could draw on - and that never happened. The book primarily covers the 1600s-1800s with one case ending in 1952. I'm docking the author minor points for a misleading title. On the other hand, the book has a very level take on the subject matter, finding insight and at times pity for the subjects but not treating them like "the ultimate feminists." In other words, the author treats them just like you would male serial killers, but with some insight into how their gender shaped the tactics they used and targets they chose. It raises questions about gender psychology without claiming to definitively answer them. It's a well-done book.... for any purpose except mine.

3 people found this helpful

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  • D
  • 2020-09-16

Historical True Crime

This book touches on the more historical Lady Killers and has a wide range of women who do it for different reasons. It’s seems to be well researched.

3 people found this helpful

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  • cola
  • 2018-12-13

Tori Telfer is an excellent storyteller

I fell in love first with Tori’s podcast, and love her writing! Every story is intriguing, human, and well-researched. It took me a while to get used to the narrator here as opposed to Ms Telfer’s much more animated and personalizing podcast narrations, but enjoyed it nonetheless.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Shawna Mahan
  • 2021-04-11

Love It

Good stories, gleefully narrated. Women serial killers exist throughout history, revealed!!! I can listen over and over again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Buretto
  • 2021-08-13

Interesting stories, but a shaky premise

The audiobook works well as a filler, and details some interesting historical murders committed by women. If it were merely that, it might have sufficed, but the author seemed compelled to attach a larger sociological significance to all the accounts. Now, nobody can rightly say that history is not rife with sexism and misogyny, however the author seems bent on applying such motivations with the most tenuous of speculation. The author vacillates between, at once, criticizing the sexualization of the murderers and then in the next moment condemning the body-shaming of others. The flaw in this plan was revealed early on, when (at the author's suggestion) a google search of Erzsébet Báthory, the Blood Countess, returns very little in the way of overtly sexualized representations of her, despite the author's assurance it would.

There is an epilogue, which largely addresses the inconsistencies in the book (perhaps a mea culpa for caving in to pressures of editors or publishers to sex it up... no irony there). But it's the half-hearted claim that she doesn't admire these women that convinced me that it was merely "pretty good", and not worthy of 4 stars. In my opinion, she does approach a level of inappropriate admiration throughout the book, which is tough to wash away with a few sentences tacked on the end. Worth a listen, but not great.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-07-20

Excellent Narrator

The narrator of this book was wonderful and I hope to listen to more from her in future. The book itself was well-researched and interesting, although the subject matter is, of course, macabre.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-07-10

Exactly what you want it to be.

Loved this. It was an incredibly interesting and somewhat lighthearted dive into the stories of murderers that happened to be women. The stories were woven together to drive the point home that female serial killers are just not treated the same as male killers. I appreciated that the author uses the stories of these women to reflect on societies skewed views towards women. Given in examples like how the public doesn't like sentencing women to death cause they're the weaker sex or that a charming woman who murders her husband is just taking care of business versus committing a terrible crime.