How to spot a murderess*


Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Technology Sydney

View more articles from Alecia Simmonds

*No legal proceedings needed

Accused murderer ... Casey Anthony.

Accused murderer ... Casey Anthony. Photo: Getty Images

It is a truth universally recognised that ladies are deeply duplicitous. From the deceitful artistry of make-up, to coquettish gold-diggers, to women who invent sexual assault claims just to bring a good man down. The false and the feminine go hand in hand.  

You can never really know a woman.

Look around you. You may think of the women in your life as your friends, lovers, colleagues or family, but how do you know that they’re not secretly plotting to impale you? How do you know that the ratsack in the cupboard has not found its way into those cupcakes?

Luckily, murderesses are pretty rare. Nonetheless it’s worth being able to identify them before becoming too close. Remember, it’s all fun and games until someone loses A HEAD. From my study of lady killers, I have found four defining characteristics. If you notice any of these traits in your ladyfriend, you should report her immediately so as to save your furniture and quite possibly yourself, from unsightly bloodstains.


1)      Murderesses are really, really horny.

 Think Amanda ‘Foxy Knoxy’ Knox. Think Faith ‘here comes slutorama’ from Buffy. Think those two New Zealand schoolgirls who killed one of their mothers and who were cinematically reincarnated in Heavenly Creatures in the throes of Sapphic sex. Sexual assertiveness  means an appetite for murder. Why? Because normal women are chaste and passive. Their sexuality is safely confined in marriage and motherhood. The murderess is the normal woman’s sexual antipode. As the father of criminology, Cesare Lombroso explained in the late nineteenth century: ‘delinquent women are closer to the man – criminal or not – than to the normal woman….virility forms the nucleus of the criminal type.’  Crime, like sexuality, is the domain of men.

When women are charged with murder they become excessively eroticised and their sexuality is proof of their criminality. Amanda Knox, for instance, had evidence of her sexual independence (an email telling a friend about a sex romp on a train, condoms and a vibrator) used in court to establish her guilt. Of course! She likes sex! She MUST have stabbed her flatmate in cold blood.

 So ask yourself: does my friend own a vibrator? Has she had sex in a public place? Is she attracted to women?  If the answer is yes, then I’m sorry, your ladyfriend is mostly likely a murderess.

2)      Murderesses are very bad mothers.

Not just bad. In fact they are evil, witchy mothers whose idea of parental discipline is death. And the more monstrous and manipulative they appear, the more effete their poor husbands become. Where the libidinous murderess is outside the domestic sphere, these she-devils are destroying it from within. We hate these women with a perfect hatred. Much more than we hate the men.  

Think Kristie Abrahams and her husband Robert Smith. Before any court verdict has been handed down the media and community have already judged Kristie the greater villain. It started with evidence of her bad parenting (not his) and ended with her murderous renunciation of woman’s most sacred duty: MOTHERHOOD. One protestor called her ‘evil’. ‘Here she is popping them out and then she goes and kills them.’ Her husband, by contrast, has been described as a ‘quiet sort of fellow’. ‘Couldn’t get boo out of him.’

 How can we explain Kristie’s rejection of motherhood, that most natural of feminine duties? Clearly, she is not a woman. She is an evil monster. Look at her, devouring her mute husband while plummeting from the sanctified heights of maternity to the other worldly hell of child-murderersses.

If your ladyfriend is charged with murder ask yourself: did she practice attachment parenting? Is she submissive to her husband? If the answer is no then, sadly, she is a murderess.

3)      Murderesses have problems showing their feelings.

Don’t worry about inconsistent or weak evidence in a murder trial. If that lady on the stand is a little TOO self-composed, if she is not showering herself in ashes or clawing at the courtroom floor wailing her dead child’s name then you need no further proof. You have yourself a ladykiller.

Unlike men who are congratulated for their dignified restraint in public, women carry a most tiresome burden of having to publicly exhibit their feelings. Lindy Chamberlain spent years in prison because she didn’t cry enough. Casey Anthony’s unemotional (read unfeminine) public appearances made her ‘America’s most hated woman’.

So, try causing your ladyfriend some distress, then watch her closely. How much did she cry? Has she beaten her breast? If not, she is creepy and unfeminine, and most probably also a murderess.

4)      Murderesses have floating wombs.

If women are by nature more likely to dissolve into tears than murderous rage then how can we explain ladykillers? HYSTERIA is how! They are ladies gone mad. ‘Hysterical women’, wrote Lombroso in 1898, ‘stab, rob [and] poison’. And we still tend to agree. Women who kill their partners after enduring domestic violence have to prove in court that they suffer from ‘battered women’s syndrome’. Their defence rests on a psychological diagnosis. Of course, there is nothing rational about killing your assailant. She must be mad!

Murderesses are potentially everywhere. But, to recap, you can avoid death this winter through steering clear of ladies who like sex, show self-restraint, aren’t perfect mothers and engage in self-defence.


  • très amusant

    Date and time
    August 07, 2012, 8:30AM
    • Is this for real................or a joke? if the writer thinks that way, then most of the females in this country will be murderesses...

      Date and time
      August 07, 2012, 11:28AM
    • @Pavoma "Is this for real................or a joke?"

      Full marks for asking the question at least. Now think about it very carefully applying, as always, the presumption of irony and see if you can answer it.

      Date and time
      August 07, 2012, 12:51PM
  • I will never again look at a laden cup-cake stand as an innocent embodiment of the feminine nurturing instinct...

    Date and time
    August 07, 2012, 8:31AM
    • Ha, took me a little longer than it should to recognize that this article is sarcastic..

      Date and time
      August 07, 2012, 8:38AM
      • That's because it's so poorly written. The intent is ok but the execution is terrible.

        Date and time
        August 07, 2012, 11:15AM
    • Thanks for the tips
      Your logic for finding murderesses is a bible I will follow from now on.
      We can disband all those CSI divisions instantly
      I will call the police the instant I see any women that fit these categories, I will double check they fit the first category just to be sure but of course the ugly ones are always guilty, no one can pull off an orange jumpsuit, think Charlize Theron in Monster

      Average guy
      Date and time
      August 07, 2012, 9:09AM
      • Wow. This has made my day. Best (and deepest) article ive read in a long time!

        Date and time
        August 07, 2012, 9:11AM
        • I think you will find that Amanda "Foxy Knoxy" Knox was accused of stabbing her flat mate, not of shooting her in cold blood.

          I didn't read any further after that blazing error. Are people paid to write these stories, or do they perhaps come from work experience, or some other charitable venture?

          Thomas the doubter
          Date and time
          August 07, 2012, 9:22AM
          • You are right. We apologise for the error. It has been corrected. Thank you for letting us know.

            Daily Life
            Date and time
            August 07, 2012, 10:28AM

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