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Notorious infamous woman serial killers, Dorothea Puente, the American female serial killer.

Updated on April 28, 2018
The Femal Serial Killers Weapon of Choice
The Femal Serial Killers Weapon of Choice

Famous Woman Serial Killers, Dorothea Puente

Female serial killers are a reminder that women who kill are a constant threat. Women serial killers usually kill for money or love, unlike their male counterparts who kill for many different reasons or for no transparent reason at all.

There are those infamous female serial killers who do kill for sexual gratification, or possibly as a revenge on the male population for some childhood trauma.

Female serial killers, or murderesses, are very adept at luring their unsuspecting victims into their traps before they are poisoned, bludgeoned, shot or stabbed to death.

There is a minimum of twelve serial killers at any one time in America.

The odds are that at least one of them is a female serial killer. Most women who kill use poisons such as arsenic to carry out their deadly acts.

Dorothea Puente

This sweet granny ( pictured right ) used to love gardening whilst running a boarding home for the mentally handicapped and elderly residents. But instead on manure for her garden, she would bury the guests staying at her home.

Puente is an American female serial killer with a lust for money.

Dorothea Puente was born on January 9th 1929, in Bernardino County California. When she was eight years old she lost her father to tubercolosis and a year later her mother in a motorbike accident. She was sent to an orphanage until relatives in Fresno stepped forward to take her in.

In 1945 she married Fred Mcfaul, a soldier whom had just returned from serving overseas. From this marriage, she had two daughters, Puentue sent one to her family to look after in Sacramento and put the other child up for adoption.

Her husband left her in 1948. She later claimed that her husband had died of a heart attack to avoid any humiliation. She began to forge cheques but was caught and sent to prison for six months.

After being released, she fell pregnant to a man she barely knew. She gave the baby up for adoption. She married again in 1952 to a Swede, and this relationship lasted almost 14 very turbulent years.

Crime Spree

This female serial killers initial crime spree really started in 1960 when she was arrested for running a brothel in Sacramento. On release, she was arrested shortly again for vagrancy.

She began to work as a nurse's aide and cared for disabled and elderly people in private homes. Within a short space of time she began to manage boarding homes. She divorced the Swede and married a Mexican named Roberto Puente who was nineteen years younger than her but this relationship only lasted two years.

Dorothea Puente rented a three floor, 16 room care home at 2100 F Street, Sacramento, California. She began to trawl the local bars looking for gullible elderly men whom were receiving pensions or benefits.

Once the elderly gentlemen had settled in, she began forging the men's signatures on cheques and was caught and charged with 34 counts of fraud.

In 1981 Dorothea Puente rented out an apartment at 1426 F Street, and this is where the murder spree began.

Sacramento address
Sacramento address | Source

The Killings

Woman serial killer Dorothea Puente began her killing career with her 61 year old business partner and friend Ruth Monroe. The two women lived together for a very short period of time before Ruth died of an overdose of Codeine and Tylenol. Puente pleaded to the police that Ruth was depressed and they ruled a suicide verdict.

Within four weeks the police returned to Puente's apartment after a 74 year old pensioner accused Puente of stealing from him and drugging him. Puente was charged on three charges of theft on August 18th 1982 and received a 5 year jail sentence.

It was whilst in jail that Puente started writing to to 77 year old Everson Gillmouth. On her release from jail, Everson picked her up in a red Ford 1980 pickup, they then made plans to marry and even opened up a joint bank account.

Towards the end of 1985, Puente hired a handyman to create a box 6 feet by 2 feet, to allegedly store paperwork and books as well as paneling work around her home.

She gave him a red 1980 Ford pick up truck and $800 as payment for his work. She persuaded the handyman to deliver the box to a storage unit, after she had filled it, and she would go along with him to deliver the box.

On the way to the storage unit, she told the handyman to stop the car on the Garden Highway in Sutter County and helped dump the box on an unofficial dumping site on a river bank.

On New Years Day 1986, the box was discovered by a fisherman on the bank who called police. The police discovered a badly decomposed body of an elderly gentleman.

This body would remain unidentified for another three years, and during that time Puente had taken in another 40 lodgers.

Serial Killings Continue

Puente continued to falsely receive Eversons' pension and wrote to the family to explain that he was ill which is why he had not contacted them. Puente continues to take in elderly residents and intercepted their mail before they could see it. She only gave them a fraction of the cheques they received, pocketing the rest for herself as expenses.

Suspicion was aroused when neighbours noticed some odd behaviour of Puentes' handyman. He was carting soil and debris away from the basement of the property in a wheelbarrow. The basement was then covered with a huge concrete slab. The garage was also knocked down and replaced with a concrete slab. Soon after this, the handyman disappeared.

In 1988, on November 11th, police were enquiring after a missing tenant Alvaro Montoya. After an initial search of the property they discovered the body of former tenant 78 year old Leona Carpenter. Seven bodies were then duly uncovered buried in the garden and in the basement.

During the investigation, Puente was not a suspect and was allowed to be free. She ran away to Los Angeles and befriended an elderly pensioner. But the pensioner recognized her from press articles and called the police. She had a lucky escape from a now notorious and known serial killer.


Puente was convicted of only three murders, as the prosecution could not produce enough evidence to secure convictions for all the murders. She received two life sentences without parole for her crimes of murder and deception which netted her nearly $5000 every month.

She was sent to Central California Women's Facility in Madera County, California. She claimed all the victims died of natural causes for the rest of her life. Dorothea Puente died of natural causes at the age of 81 years, on March 27th 2011.

Other Women Serial Killers

Aileen Wuorous

Killer Prostitute

Amelia Dyer

Known as the baby butcher for killing over 400 children

Jane Toppan

Nurse who murdered many to fulfill her depraved sexual gratification

Nannie Doss

A typical female serial killer whose motives were simply money, and lots of it.


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    • jwhitman profile image


      7 years ago from Albany, New York

      Interesting hub. I am fascinated by serial killers and own quite a few books on the subject. I'd bet there are even more female serial killers than what is suspected. People generally view women as the more gentle sex and it can be hard to fathom that they are capable of such heinous crimes.


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