The Serial Homicide Case of the Day, from "Hunting Humans, the Encyclopedia of 20th Century Serial Killers" , by Michael Newton
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Becker, Marie Alexander
Born in 1877, Marie Becker spent most of her adult life as a housewife in Liege, Belgium. In 1932, when she was 55 years old, she entered into a tempestuous affair with Lambert Beyer, a local lothario several years her junior. Soon after their first meeting, in a local grocery market, Becker poisoned her husband with digitalis and began spending all her time with her lover. Romance paled as Beyer failed to keep up with her pace, and Marie soon dispatched him, as well.
Bent on recapturing lost youth, Becker became a fixture in the local nightclubs, performing wild dances with men half her age, bribing a series of young lovers to share her bed. It all cost money she could ill afford, and soon Maria opened a modest dress shop in Liege, supplementing her income by robbing and poisoning elderly patrons. Before her sideline was discovered, it is estimated that she murdered ten, at least, obtaining minor sums of cash from each.
A female friend was Becker's undoing, running to Maria with complaints about her husband, declaring that she wished the no-good rascal dead. Maria suggested digitalis, offering a sample from her own supply, and after several days of cooling off, her friend reported the discussion to the police. Maria was arrested in October 1936, with tests revealing poison in the bodies of her husband, Lambert Beyer, and a number of her female customers. At trial, she gloated over details of the several deaths and drew a term of life imprisonment. She died in jail, while World War II was underway.
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