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Women Killers: Karla Homolka, Sarah Jo Pender, Susan Wright - I Want to Know What Went Wrong - Do You?

Updated on June 14, 2014

Why Women Kill?

What went wrong? Why women kill? Why daughters, wives, mothers decide to commit the unspeakable? What leads them to an act of taking somebody’s life? What made them plan horrific events?

“You never know with women – in love or in anger. You can’t ever guess what they think, or what they might do” (Author Unknown).

Let’s take a quick look at three of countrywide known female killers. Three beautiful women tied up in horrific crimes. Maybe if we try to get to know them, we will be able to figure out reasons behind their terrifying actions. They either claim they are not guilty, or were defending themselves. They claim THEY are the victims here. Are they?

Alcatraz - Inside the Main Cellhouse
Alcatraz - Inside the Main Cellhouse | Source

Karla Homolka

Karla Homolka – a convicted Canadian serial killer, who, together with her husband, Paul Bernardo, committed three atrocious murders. A good looking blond girl, well dressed. I bet if you met her in a grocery store, you would think nothing less of her, but that she was a law abiding citizen, and it wouldn't ever cross your mind what she was capable of.

  • Tammy Homolka (Karla's little sister!) - Bernardo and Homolka raped Tammy while she was drugged by them. Tammy later choked on her own vomit and died.
  • Leslie Mahaffy - Homolka and Bernardo held her hostage for 24 hours, repeatedly sexually assaulting her. They recorded the assaults on videotape, including a scene, where Karla pretties herself up for the camera before raping the girl. Eventually, they killed her, cut up her body, disposed of it in cement blocks and dumped it in the lake.
  • Kristen French - Homolka and Bernardo tortured, abused and sexually assaulted her for three days.

Before and during her imprisonment, Homolka had been evaluated by numerous psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health and court officials. Some of their opinions:

1. Homolka "remains something of a diagnostic mystery. Despite her ability to present herself very well, there is a moral vacuity in her which is difficult, if not impossible, to explain" (

2. "...what is particularly compelling – and telling – is how radically different are the faces she presents" (Christie Blatchford;

3. "Homolka's actions were those of a psychopath, not of an abused, controlled woman" (Wendy Lutczyn, coworker; - Karla said she was abused by her husband, and manipulated into joining him in crimes. She said she was afraid of him.

4. Dr. Graham Glancy diagnosed Karla with a classic case of hybristophilia. According to him she was an individual who was sexually aroused by a partner's violent sexual behavior.

So who is she? A psychopath? A mentally ill person? An abused victim of her sick husband? By the way, in 2012, Homolka was found living in Guadeloupe, under the name Leanne Bordelais, with her husband and their three children. Really???? You can be a mother and a wife after what you have done? What are you going to tell your children??? Maybe if there is no conscience, there is also no crime...

Alcatraz Island - prison cell
Alcatraz Island - prison cell | Source

Sarah Jo Pender – Female Charles Manson

Sarah Jo Pender - convicted along with her boyfriend, Richard Edward Hull, of murdering their roommates, Andrew Cataldi and Tricia Nordman. She came to national attention in August 2008 after she escaped from prison and was featured on America's Most Wanted (she was recaptured in December 2008). Again, just like Karla Homolka, Sarah was a pretty, blond girl, dressed neatly, with a beautiful smile.

Hull was arrested and he admitted he committed both murders. "Sarah Pender explained later that after he committed these murders, she didn’t call the police, but instead stayed with him out of love, fear, loyalty and stupidity" (Wikipedia).

The only hard piece of evidence against Sarah was a letter she supposedly wrote to her boyfriend after the murder (which he was supposed to destroy), where she took responsibility for the murder. Later on Richard Hull, in a signed affidavit, has recanted and admitted the letter was a forgery. Also, no fingerprints of Sarah's were found on the letter. Was she even guilty then? Well, she was sentenced to 110 years in prison.

In April 2007, Sarah Pender submitted a petition for writ of Habeas Corpus, but her petition was dismissed. She later wrote: "Once my appeals were exhausted I had no hope left and I chose to create my own justice. I served the equivalent of 21 years of my sentence and I felt that was enough. I escaped, because I felt justified in doing so" (Wikipedia).

Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Larry Sells likened Sarah Pender to a Female Charles Manson,to describe her influence over Richard Hull. Sells said about Pender: "Lurking within is a dark evil demon. She has the ability to seduce others into committing atrocious acts. She's like Charles Manson. Besides having a Jeckyll/Hyde personality, she has a Charles Manson-like ability to manipulate people to act as surrogates for her to commit crimes" (

On other hand supporters of Sarah claim that she is far from being manipulative, and she has often been used by others as a convenient scapegoat to elude their own responsibilities in crimes they committed, "or used in the media as a mean to get high ratings and more copy of their newspapers" (WIkipedia).

What is the truth about Sarah? What really happened to her? What is hidden behind those pretty, seductive eyes?

Susan Wright - Blue Eyed Butcher

Susan Wright - an American woman, who made headlines in 2003 for stabbing her husband, Jeff Wright, 193 times, and then burying his body in their backyard. She actually attempted to cover up the crime scene by painting the bedroom, and the next day, Wright filed for a restraining order against her husband (she claimed husband abused her for years), intended to explain his absence. When arrested, she admitted to stabbing her husband in self-defense.

Wright's prosecutor and defense attorney had very different portrayals of her. Assistant District Attorney, Kelly Siegler, depicted Wright as a scheming wife, who seduced her husband into bed, tied him up, repeatedly stabbed him, and then buried his body in their backyard, all in hopes of collecting a $200,000 life insurance policy. Siegler contended that Susan Wright was a "card-carrying, obvious, no-doubt-about-it, caught-redhanded, confirmed, documented liar" (, who by frequent shows of emotion during the trial tried to influence the jury.

On the other hand Wright's defense attorney, Neal Davis, claimed that his client had suffered years of physical and emotional abuse by her husband, and killed him to protect herself and their children.

At her trial, Susan Wright testified in her own defense. In her emotional testimony she said: "I couldn't stop stabbing him; I couldn't stop. I knew as soon as I stopped, he was going to get the knife back and he was going to kill me. I didn't want to die” (

Who is Susan Wright? Innocent, abused women, who finally exploded, or tried to defense herself? Or a cold-blooded criminal? Blue eyes, pretty face, blond hair. Innocence… Yes or no?


Two Sides

What brings women to murdering another human being? Mental disease? Desire? Greediness? Or maybe simply they are not guilty? Maybe they are victims of vicious people and the system?

All we can really do it’s to wonder. We can read studies, we can try to explain abnormal behaviors, but we will never really know. We will never be able to tell what happened in somebody’s mind. Every single person, every single brain works differently. We think we could categorize it, but do we really? Can we classify something as mysterious as human mind?

Women. Delicate creatures. Compared to flowers and angels. Devoted to their children. Devoted to love.

Women. Materialistic beings. Compared to vipers and devil. Overachieving mothers. Possessive lovers.

The first thing people always ask is “why”? We will never know, because just like there are always two sides to every story - there are two sides to all of us.

Life and death remain a mystery.

© 2012 Agnes


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    • Monis Mas profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment FlourishAnyway. I find intriguing and I enjoy studying cases like those.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      I found it interesting that their physical appearance and their intimate relationship with a partner were important aspects. I think there are some people who just aren't wired the same. Such an intriguing hub. Voted up and more!

    • Monis Mas profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      What a fascinating point of view, grand old lady! BY the way, I have watched the movie about Jodie Arias. That was really something!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      It's interesting that all three women committed these crimes with the help of their partners. However, there are now women who kill alone, like Jodie Arias who killed her former lover. The story of the lady who lives incognito and is raising a family is so eerie. As you said, she can present so many faces of herself, I wonder what face she is using now, and how well the face connects to who she is inside. You wonder if who she is inside will reemerge, or already has and is killing secretly. Yikes!

    • Monis Mas profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      David. You are right. This is so out of question!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Karla is totally guilty. Her first kill was her own sister. After she made the deal they found the videos of her being a willing participant in the murders. She only told on her husband as he started to beat her and she thought she was next.

    • Monis Mas profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      CrisSp, thank you, and I am glad you found my article interesting. I have to check out that book, I know I would enjoy it!

    • CrisSp profile image


      7 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Very, very interesting hub! These women fascinates me in a way. We sometimes find it impossible to believe what they are capable of doing...brutal murders. I strongly believed they should be locked up in jail or confined in a mental institution.

      Have you read the book, "Evil Women by John Marlowe"? Susan Wright's story is in there and many more unbelievable crimes committed by women. Apparently, unlike men whose motive is sex, women kill because of money--the source of all evil.

      I had a good read here...thanks.

    • Monis Mas profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Dear Colin, thank you for taking a look at Adam and Eve - I know is long, but I couldn't make it any shorter to tell the story :-). Please give me your honest opinion, when you get a chance to read the whole thing!

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      I've read the first chapter of Adam and Eve, my friend and I enjoyed it immensely - you have such a keen eye for detail and narrative tension - I will return tomorrow again to read parts 2 and 3 - my eyes are getting a bit weak now so I will take a break and you make sure to get a good sleep - okay - and as Scarlett Ohara once said - tomorrow is another day (or was that - lol - my mum)

      Sending you warm wishes and a pleasant good night

      10:45pm LE time

    • Monis Mas profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      I can't imagine living almost next door to somebody like Karla and Paul... Terrifying. I am pretty passionate about the topic, watched a few movies etc. I appreciate any sharing, dear Colin!

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      Yeah I know all about Paul and Karla - they lived in St. Catherines (not even 2 hours from here) and they committed the most heinous crimes in Canadian criminal history of the last 30 years. Their stories can be found on You Tube and it certainly upset the psyche of the Canadian people especially in this province of Ontario.

      Their house is long torn down now but the street is still there and Karla got out of jail after 'a deal with the devil' so to speak and is living with her new husband, incognito, and with a child of her own , down in the Caribbean , I kid you not , and Paul, her ex is in jail for life - although I think they should have fried them both on the 'chair' with Karla sitting on his lap.

      Thank you for the other two crime reports too. This is such an excellent and absorbing hub presentation with your usual world class research and passionate eye for detail.

      I will send over one of St. Louis' greatest criminal investigators, Miss Amy B to have a read.

      lake erie time 8:25pm and sending you good energy and a cup of cheer to cheer you up .....

    • Monis Mas profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      These kind of topics aren't easy to talk about, but I am sure we all often wonder what happened there... Thank you for your thoughtful comment, travel_man1971!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      They sure are very scary, even though they're beautiful. Truly, looks can be deceiving and so does evil.

      This is a very informative hub. :)


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