Something Womanly Wicked: 5 Books of True Crime Depravity

By Nicky M. | Arcadia Staff
Where there’s good, there’s also evil. Americans are no strangers to scandal, and the women of American history have produced some of the most appalling crimes of small-town USA. While families across the country prepare for this upcoming Mother’s Day, we’re featuring some of the seedier stories of American women.

Wicked Women of Detroit1) Wicked Women of Detroit

A crime of passion is no stranger to the women of Detroit. The largest city in Michigan has been home to a number of nefarious women, including Nellie Pope, who orchestrated the death of her husband with her lover, and town Madams Julia Toth and Annie Smith, who ran the city’s infamous red light district. Wicked Women of Detroit explores the stories of each of these women, and exposes the scandals that have rocked the Motor City.


Wicked Women of Ohio2) Wicked Women of Ohio

When Anna Marie Hahn poisoned five men under the guise of being a nurse, she joined the ranks for some of the evilest women to come from the Buckeye State. Wicked Women of Ohio dives into the stories of Anna Marie and the other women in her midst. Written by award-winning true crime author Jane Ann Turzillo, the book talks of women like the murderous Hester Foster, and Madam Clara Palmer, who could never quite be caught.


Witches, Wenches & Wild Women of Rhode Island3) Witches, Wenches & Wild Women of Rhode Island

Not all wicked women committed crimes. Some were accused despite their innocence – take Mercy Brown, who died of consumption before being accused of vampirism by the town and exhumed from the grave. Others, like Goody Seagar, were accused of witchcraft by their neighbors. In Witches, Wenches & Wild Women of Rhode Island, the tales of these ill-fated women are laid out for all, guilty or not.


Wicked Women of New Mexico4) Wicked Women of New Mexico

As a part of the Wild West, the New Mexico territory was a destination for Clydes and their Bonnie counterparts. These Bonnies of New Mexico included Madam Lizzie McGrath, and stagecoach driver turned Madam Sadie Orchard. In addition, gamblers, conwomen, and sharp shooters all made their home in the new territory. Wicked Women of New Mexico shares the tales of all of these women, and the many more who helped put the wild in the Wild West.


Wicked Women of Missouri5) Wicked Women of Missouri

The home of outlaws like Jesse James, the women marauders of Missouri are often overlooked, but they were no less ruthless. From horse theft to bank heists and murder, women like Belle Starr and Ma Barker terrorized the Midwestern state, leaving chaos in their wake. Wicked Women of Missouri pulls all the skeletons from these women’s closets for all to see, just like the sensationalist newspapers of their times.

While most cannot say they’ve made the history books, these American women are remembered today for the most scandalous of reasons. And through today, you can receive 25% off any Arcadia title, and learn more about the wicked women of the United States!