Nurses Who Killed: Amelia Dyer

Amelia Dyer is one of the most notorious serial killers in history. Although she was convicted of only 12 murders, evidence suggests her true body count was at least 400. The murders took place during a 20-year time span in the late 1800s, and all of her victims were babies.

Dyer was a trained nurse who turned to baby farming to make money. She would offer to adopt or nurse a child in return for a fee, but would typically kill the babies within days by drugging them with opium-based substances or smothering them. She actually served six months in prison for negligence in 1879 before returning to her murderous ways. Dyer wasn’t arrested for her crimes until 1896. Her reign of terror finally ended permanently on June 10, 1896, when she was executed by hanging for the murder of 12 infants.

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Interestingly, some have suggested that Amelia Dyer could have been Jack the Ripper; the murdered women would have been the victims of her botched abortions. However, there’s little to no evidence to back up these claims.