Serial killers are actually very rare creatures, and the female of the species is truly unusual. Perhaps that is good reason not to make a big deal about something so rare. One thing, though, caught my eye and made me think lovefraud readers may be interested too. I’ll summarise the story and you tell me what you think.
Here’s what raised my eyebrow
She allegedly committed all the murders single-handedly and for gain. She is no psychopath, the commissioner said.
Arrested in a sting operation after being spotted trying to sell jewellery and two cell phones, Mallika confessed to having poisoned six women to death with cyanide.
Mallika’s chit business had run into financial troubles and, with “money lenders making life difficult and her kin turning against her”, she deserted her family in 1998. (She has a son and two daughters – all now grown.) She has lived in temples since, frequently changing venue.
“Innocent devotees easily fell prey to her tactics as they wanted to get rid of their problems,” says the newspaper.
Posing as a pious woman who was acquainted with pujas and religious rituals, Mallika befriended well-to-do women devotees frequenting the temples. She recommended a host of rituals and poojas to women devotees, to overcome their bad times. Winning the confidence of her potential victims, Mallika would suggest to them that she herself would conduct pujas and rituals at some temple. She used to choose the temple with great care to ensure that it was nowhere near the victim’s place. She would then take her victim to the temple and rent out a room in the choultry attached to it. Once inside the room, she would begin performing pujas and ask the victim to close her eyes. Later, she would thrust cyanide into the the victim’s mouth.
Except in one case where she first strangulated her victim before administering the cyanide, that is. Before leaving the scene she took any jewellery and valuables.
She was methodical, never returning to a temple where she had committed a murder. She obtained the cyanide from a gold polishing shop, enough to kill 2,000 people. When the owner was away she told his 10-year old son that his father had promised to sell her the cyanide for an ache she was suffering.
The police are concerned about the gap of nearly eight years between the first and second murders. One can assume that had she not be stopped now the killings would have continued, even accelerated. Four of her murders were reported within eight days in December 2007.
Should one use terms like ‘sociopath’ or ‘psychopath’ in this case?
Is there anything particularly female about these crimes or do they look like any other serial killer horror story?
Is there anything to be learned from the case?