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-- There are over 210,000 Web sites devoted solely to women criminals, on subjects ranging from current women's prison conditions to tales of 18th century pickpockets in New York City.
Mistresses of Mayhem: The Book of Women Criminals tells the often grisly and sometimes horrifying tale of 100 women who made their names in the world of crime. For example: there's Donnie Clark Barker, better known as Ma, who led her brood of five homicidal sons on a six-state crime spree that included bank robbery, murder and kidnapping; Virginia Hill, mistress to the Mob; Anne Bonney, notorious pirate queen of the 18th century; Lizzie Borden, who took an axe and proceeded to dismember her father (with forty whacks) in 19th century New England. Then there was Jean Harris, who in 1980 shot her lover, Dr. Herman Tarnower, author of the "Scarsdale Diet" book, in what became one of the most celebrated murder cases of the decade. In the 1950s, Barbara Graham was the first woman to die in the gas chamber in California; she maintained her innocence right up until the end. All these colorful women, and 93 others you'd probably not want to bring home to meet your mother, are profiled in loving detail in Mistresses of Mayhem.
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