Beverly Allitt: The Criminal Mind of a Female Serial Killer
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Beverly Allitt: The Criminal Mind of a Female Serial Killer

The last two articles have focused on the criminal mind, and it focused mainly on the mindset of male serial killers. We don’t often hear about female serial killers, but they are also quite common. Women often go undetected as serial killers because the very idea of a woman being the offender goes against the perceived roles of women. Women are perceived as givers and nurturers.

The minds of women work vastly different than those of men; likewise, women serial killers get away with killing much more often than men because they think differently. They have different mental illnesses than men. A woman, for instance, who suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, may systematically hurt of kill her children to gain attention for herself. She may pick on one child and savor the attention she gets from the illness of that one child. The child may actually die from repeated horrific abuse. When one child dies, she may pick on another child.  The children she murders may not even be her own. Let’s look at the infamous Beverly Allitt.

Beverly faked appendicitis and finally got the surgery she wanted. After having the surgery she picked at her surgical incision so much that it couldn’t heal. She did other strange things to get attention, and when she didn’t get the attention she wanted she looked for other ways. She found the perfect way to get attention for herself. She became a caregiver. She became a nurse.

Beverly Allitt was a nurse who murdered children. After being discovered as a serial killer she was said to have Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Prior to killing children, she sought the attention she needed by repeatedly faking injuries and illnesses. This type of illness is called Munchausen syndrome. Instead of hurting other people for attention, the mentally ill person focuses on herself.

Beverly’s first kill was that of a 7-week-old infant. The baby, Liam Taylor, was admitted into the ER with a bad cold. She assured the parents that Liam would be fine. She injected little Liam with insulin and caused him to go into cardiac arrest. She also cut off the alarms so the staff would not be alerted to Liam when his heart stopped.  Liam was discovered and put on life support, but he never regained consciousness. His parents had to make the call to take their son off life support and let him die.

Beverly got away with killing children for a long time. Why wasn’t she detected? She used high doses of insulin and lignocaine (also known as lidocaine and xylocaine) to cause her patients to go into cardiac arrest. It wasn’t until an autopsy was done on another patient, 15-month-old Claire Peck, that Beverly Allitt was suspected of being responsible for the deaths of the children in her care. Of course Beverly denied having done anything to her patients. She didn’t show any emotion during her questioning. She maintained her innocence throughout the trial.  She was convicted of the murder of Claire Peck and suspected of all the others. She will never get a chance to kill children again; she was sentenced to 13 consecutive life sentences.

Sources:

Female serial killers

Criminal minds

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Comments (5)

Nasty woman - when did this take place?  What years?

It was in 1991 when she killed kids in the hospital. She was sentenced in 1993. She should have known she would get caught... especially when all of the deaths took place on her watch! 

Well presented crimnal mind and i have to visit the last 2 articles.

Never heard of this woman. I can't even recall reading about it in the newspapers or hearing/seeing it on the TV newsshows.

Well presented, Charlene.

yes I remember watching a documentary on her

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