Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Female Mass Murderers: Major Cases and Motives

Six Children Murdered

A similar incident occurred more in 19th century England. Mary Ann Brough was the mother of seven children she had with her husband of 20 years, George Brough, a servant in England's royal household.

In 1854, George announced to Mary Ann that he was leaving her because he suspected she had been cheating on him. He also said he intended to take their children away from her, setting into motion a series of terrible events.

On June 10, the day after Mary Ann was confronted by her husband, a man walking by their home spotted a bloody pillow in the window, according to The Encyclopedia of Mass Murder.  Neighbors found Mary Ann inside, still alive, but with her throat slit.  Bodies of six of her children lay scattered throughout the house, their throats cut open. Mary Ann survived and was charged with six counts of murder.  She confessed, telling investigators that she had used a razor on each child, one at a time. One child had protested and another had struggled, but she killed them all before attempting suicide. Mary Ann Brough was found not guilty by reason of insanity. 

It's usually men who annihilate families to "teach a lesson" or to control the situation, but in this case, a woman chose violent means to respond to a threat.

In the Khoua Her case, a restraining order had been placed against her husband, even though it appears she was accused of more serious threats and assaults. Khoua Her received no assistance, and her anger built up until it was too late for her children.

Another mother who killed her five children had a more difficult time with a Texas jury.


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