Jemma Lilley was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Aaron Pajich.
Jemma Lilley was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Aaron Pajich.

Australia’s worst female killers

Statistically speaking, murder is more of a male pursuit.

Generally, female killers - when they are documented - tend to be cases of violence enacted in self defence or while suffering from mental anguish rather than rage.

However, Australia has its fair share of exceptions.

The following Aussie femme fatales keep up with their male counterparts for sheer malice and lust for blood.

Tracey Wigginton was released from prison in 2012 after serving 20 years for the 1989 murder of father-of-four, Edward Baldock.
Tracey Wigginton was released from prison in 2012 after serving 20 years for the 1989 murder of father-of-four, Edward Baldock.

TRACEY WIGGINTON: THE VAMPIRE KILLER

Blood … in this case, can be taken literally.

According to her friends, Tracey Wigginton's thirst began early on in life with a taste for drinking animal blood. However, in 1989 she craved something more human.

Wigginton, then 25, along with her girlfriend and two friends, lured a highly intoxicated Edward Baldock, 47, to a park on the banks of the Brisbane River with a promise of sex. Instead, Baldock was met with Wigginton holding a large hunting knife where she slashed his face and neck 27 times.

Later in a police interview, Wigginton claimed she "felt nothing" while committing the act and watched Baldock slowly bleed out while smoking a cigarette.

Wigginton had told her friends she wanted to kill Baldock to drink his blood, although it's unclear whether this actually occurred.

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When Wigginton's murder and motivations were discovered, the media went into a frenzy. Reports spoke of the "satanic lesbian vampire killer" who wanted to steal a male's essence to impregnate her partner - claims that appeared to have no basis in reality.

At her trial, it was found that Wigginton likely suffered from multiple personality disorder as a result of childhood abuse. Nevertheless, she was sentenced to life with a minimum of 13 years in prison.

Whether her ultimate motivation was vampiric desire or insanity, Wigginton's murder is infamous for its sheer brutality. To the surprise of many, Wigginton was released on parole in January 2012, having served 21 years in prison.

 

 

Four people died and three others survived at the hands of poisoner Caroline Grills.
Four people died and three others survived at the hands of poisoner Caroline Grills.

CAROLINE GRILLS: TOXIC TEA LADY

Would you like some tea?

Caroline Grills was a sweet, middle-aged, Sydney woman known for her cakes and biscuits. Little did her house guests know that her tea and treats were often laced with toxic thallium, a rat poison.

Before getting caught in 1953, Grills managed to kill her stepmother, sister-in-law and two distant relatives with her sinister sweets. She was also charged with the attempted murder of three others.

Symptoms of thallium poisoning include hair loss, progressive blindness, loss of speech and eventual death. It was these clues which led Grills' sister to correlate the illness to "Aunt Carrie" visits.

Grills' motivations for poisoning her family were unclear and she offered no justifications for her actions, denying any culpability for the deaths.

In prison, Grills was given the name "Aunt Thally" after her poison of choice. She died behind bars in 1960 at the age of 72.

 

Abattoir worker Katherine Knight was charged with the March 2000 murder of her partner John Price.
Abattoir worker Katherine Knight was charged with the March 2000 murder of her partner John Price.

KATHERINE KNIGHT: LADY LEATHERFACE

Katherine Knight loved her knives. She used them to slaughter pigs in her work at an abattoir and was so proud she hung the knives above her bed in a special case.

It's possible that her love of knives was a key factor leading her to skin, decapitate and cook her partner, John Price, at Aberdeen, NSW in 2000.

Knight was an aggressive woman. Abusive to previous partners and Price, she was loved and loathed for her wild antics around town.

It's believed Knight killed Price following an argument, stabbing him 37 times before mutilating his body.

When police entered the scene a day after the murder, Price's skin was hanging from a butcher's hook, his head was cooking in a stew and slices of his buttocks had been cooked alongside vegetables to be served to Price's adult children.

The sheer brutality of the killing have led some true crime buffs to label Knight "Lady Leatherface" after the iconic masked killer in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Knight was sentenced to life in prison in 2001.

 

Jemma Lilley was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Jemma Lilley was sentenced to life imprisonment.

JEMMA LILLEY AND TRUDI LENON: GORE HOUNDS

Dark fantasies should stay just that … fantasies.

But role play wasn't enough for Jemma Lilley and Trudi Lenon, a Western Australian couple involved in the S & M scene who loved true crime and horror.

It was Lilley, 26, who first suggested they murder someone. She had always fantasised about committing real life killings and went by the acronym 'SOS' online - a reference to iconic American serial killer "Son of Sam" or David Berkowitz.

It was Lenon - much older at 44 - who suggested 18-year-old Aaron Pajich, a vulnerable young man with autism, as an ideal victim.

In 2016, the duo lured Pajich to Lenon's home where Lilley first attempted to strangle him to death before Lenon stepped in and stabbed the teenager multiple times. The duo then buried the body in Lenon's backyard.

The couple's undoing was Lilley's excitement. She told several co-workers of her murder and beamed with pride that the police were none the wiser about the missing Pajich.

The pair were sentenced to life in prison earlier this year.

 

Jarryd Bartle is a lawyer turned consultant and writer on sex, drugs and crime

Trudi Lenon, 42, was also convicted of murdering Aaron Pajich.
Trudi Lenon, 42, was also convicted of murdering Aaron Pajich.

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