“Female Criminals” delves into the motivations, psychology, and horrors of women behaving badly, twisting laws, and committing heinous crimes. In this weekly series, listeners will hear all about murderers, gangsters, thieves, and notorious criminals where women are the perpetrators.
Stream the series in any order, although many criminals are covered over multi-part episodes to stream in chronological order. The average run time is 40 minutes long, and the stories shared run the gamut from high-profile criminals to lesser-known cases in over 500 episodes to choose from.
Since 2018, “Female Criminals” has released episodes about mob queenpins, a college admissions scandal, escape artists on the lam, femme fatales, alleged witchcraft, assaults, and kidnappings – just to name a few crimes covered.
Hosts Vanessa Richardson and Claire Dellamar will break down the cases and lives of each featured female criminal. In November, we heard about “Lady Gucci” Patrizia Reggiani, a socialite who married Gucci empire’s heir, Maurizio Gucci. The couple divorced, Patrizia called a hitman, and Maurizio was gunned down in the 1990s. The episode shared that Patrizia was money-motivated and miffed that his new marriage would reduce her alimony payments. As part of the divorce settlement, she could no longer use the Gucci surname. She was arrested and sent to prison. Patrizia’s story was adapted in last year’s release, House of Gucci.
“Female Criminals” was Podsauce host Alesha’s Murder Most Foul pick on a recent episode. She listened to several episodes including Australia’s “The Cannibal Cook,” Katherine Knight. Knight suffered childhood abuse, and fell in and out of many tumultuous relationships as an adult.
With former partners, Knight had a history of violent behavior, including strangulation attempts in fits of jealousy and rage and slicing the neck of her boyfriend’s dog. However, it would appear that one day, Knight snapped. Her latest paramour, John Charles Thomas Price was about to leave her when she had a revelation – she would take matters into her own hands. Knight was charged with murder after stabbing Price to death, skinning his body, and hanging it on meat hooks. She cooked his body parts and planned on serving human-based foods to his kids.
Alesha also tuned into the “The Savage Mistress” two-part episode, sharing New Orleans resident and Creole socialite Delphine LaLaurie’s stories behind rumors in the 1830s. It wasn’t until a fire broke out in 1834 that gruesome discoveries were made. Delphine would torture slaves to death, and an elderly cook was found chained to the stove. She said the fire was an attempted suicide. Season 3 of American Horror Story: Coven adapted Delphine’s character, and she was played by actress Angela Bassett. After Delphine’s crimes were revealed, Delphine fled to France.
If you’re interested in learning more about the 1960’s Manson Murders, there are episodes including 1969’s “The Manson Girls.” In other episodes, you’ll hear about the “Arsenic and Old Lace Killer” Amy Archer-Gilligan, who committed crimes at her elder care facility. There’s a two-part deep-dive into Kathryn Kelly, wife of prohibition era gangster Machine Gun Kelly (not the artist), whose schemes started way before meeting her husband. Later on in the 1920s and 1930s, she and her husband’s crime sprees escalated, and their actions shaped the future of law enforcement. In other episodes about notorious crime couples, hear about “Bonnie & Clyde’s” Bonnie Parker with crimes including grand auto theft and bank robberies.
“Female Criminals” covered Lee Israel’s case, a professional forger duping customers with fake letters and documents from celebrities before committing other crimes. “The Black Widow of England” was a Victorian-era career gold-digger who murdered her husbands and collected their insurance policies. This story sounds a bit like the true crime podcast, “The Thing About Helen and Olga.”
“Female Criminals” is a Spotify Original from Parcast Network, and by the same creators of the true crime podcasts “Cults” and “Serial Killers.” New episodes are available every Wednesday on Spotify.