When it comes to British history, most people think that one killer, Jack the Ripper, was the worst and most infamous. However, while the mystery of Jack the Ripper is very intriguing, the ripper had absolutely nothing on another serial killer from around the same time. Her name was Amelia Dyer.
To describe Dyer as pure evil wouldn’t be an overstatement. From the 1860s until her death in 1896, it’s estimated that Dyer was single-handedly responsible for the deaths of at least 400 infants.
Dyer’s specialty was taking advantage of single, unwed, and poor mothers. She would convince them to let her adopt the child for a fee. She would promise to give the child a better life. Instead, though, Dyer would strangle the children with dressmaking tape. She would then dump their bodies in the River Thames.
In the late 1860s, Dyer’s first deadly enterprise was a so-called “house of confinement” in the Bristol suburbs for unmarried pregnant women with no where to go. There, she helped care for the mothers. If the desperate women wanted a way out, Dyer would smother their children for them.
For the next decade, Dyer ran a “child fostering” business. Dryer would drug her infant foster children with a powerful opiate so they would be quiet as she slowly starved them to death. However, she was eventually caught in the act and arrested. Sadly, she only served 6 months in prison for infant neglect.
After getting out of prison, Dyer began her final and deadliest venture in the city of Reading. She began taking out newspaper ads advertising adoption services. Many mothers took her up on the offer. However, instead of halfheartedly taking care of the children while killing them slowly, she decided to strangle them outright. Then she would dump their bodies in the river.
After the body of an infant washed up on the river bank in parcel paper with Dyer’s address on it, she was finally arrested. Police described a scene of absolute horror inside Dyer’s home with the smell of rotting flesh and baby clothes everywhere.
Dyer was found guilty of her heinous crimes and hanged at Newgate prison in 1896. She was dubbed the “Angel Maker” by the press at the time.
(source: The Daily Mail)
After Dyer’s death, the country’s adoption laws were rewritten to prevent anything like this from happened again. I can’t believe evil like this actually exists in the world.