A Victorian nurse claimed to be kind and nurturing, but in reality had murdered hundreds of babies.
She tricked the parents into letting her take care of their newborns but, in reality, the nurse was one of the most prolific women among the serial killers registered in the UK.
Amelia Dyer brutally murdered babies by starving, drugging and strangling them for almost 30 years.
Dyer, originally from Bristol, but who went to Plymouth and elsewhere in England to fetch babies, was paid by single mothers and wealthy families to take care of their offspring in exchange for money. usually between 10 and 80 pounds. equivalent of £ 1,000 to £ 8,000 today.
In 1869, she began posting ads in local newspapers to adopt healthy children, attracting them by mentioning that she was married – which was a lie, her husband having died the same year – and had a "beautiful rural home".
This arrangement was known as "baby-farming," reports Plymouth Live.
In most cases, parents, called "small peasants", put their children in a new home with love, sometimes returned to their mother once they were financially stable.
However, in Dyer's case, she would obviously kill them and if their parents wanted to pick up the baby, she would give them another child.
She began to murder her innocent and helpless victims by overdosing them with a cordial, called "mother's friend".
It is thought that she has murdered more than 300 hundred babies, but the exact number will never be known.
The murders were not detected by the authorities because of the high rate of infant mortality in the Victorian era, but in 1879 a doctor became suspicious because of the number of death certificates that were made. he was delivering for babies "taken care of" by Dyer.
She was eventually jailed for negligence – not for murder – and sentenced to a six-month prison term in a labor camp – but as soon as she was released, she resumed her sinister habits.
This time, she changed her method of strangulation and continued to place ads and collect payments.
Realizing that she had already been discovered by doctors, she failed to report their deaths and instead cast their lifeless bodies into rivers, including the Avon River and the Thames, or bury them.
Some people would ask that their babies be immediately murdered after birth, because of the shame of single parenthood at the time, knowing that coroners would be unable to differentiate between suffocation and stillbirth.
Dyer moved to avoid being caught by the authorities and changed his identity several times.
She moved from town to town not to discover his heinous crimes and even simulated a mental illness by being admitted to a psychiatric asylum.
In 1896, she slipped by dropping two bodies in the Thames River at Reading, but did not weigh the weight of the cartons enough, which allowed a soldier to discover them.
In the package was Helena Fry's one-year-old body with a white band around her neck – but Dyer had forgotten something vital.
The package was stamped with the address of a Mrs. Thomas of 26 Piggott's Road, Caversham, maiden name and Dyer's home address.
Detective James Beattie Anderson examined the package, which is now on display at the Thames Valley Police Museum, and discovered the index.
Neighbors told the police where Dyer had been relocated and, upon her arrival at her home in Reading, were greeted by the stink of decaying bodies, stacks of baby clothes, and ad receipts that had been left behind. she had placed in various newspapers in the United Kingdom.
The officers ordered the dredging of the Thames and discovered six other babies, all with a cassette identical to that used to murder Helena Fry.
She told them coldly, "You'll know everything about me because of the tape around their necks."
On May 22, 1896, she went to Old Bailey for the trial of the murders.
The 57-year-old woman then tried to plead the dementia, but was convicted by a jury, which took less than six minutes to convict her.
The true extent of his heinous crimes will never be known, but eyewitnesses at the trial said he saw Dyer receiving up to six babies a day.
After finally confessing her crimes, she was hanged on June 10, 1896 in Newgate Prison.