THE Victorian era saw some of the world's most notorious female serial killers.
This includes evil Amelia Dyer, who murdered hundreds and hundreds of children in her care.
Who was Amelia Dyer?
Born in 1837, Amelia Dyer is considered one of the worst serial killers in history.
She is believed to have murdered up to 400 babies.
Trained as a nurse and widowed in 1869, she went onto became one of the UK's sickest murderers.
Mentally unstable, she was committed to several asylums throughout her life, despite suspicions of feigning.
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What did Amelia Dyer do for a living?
For over twenty-years, Dyer worked as a baby-farmer and adopted hundreds of infants for a hefty wad of cash across Bristol and Reading.
In Victorian-era England, the practice of baby farming – where women would pay people to take custody of their unwanted infants – was widespread.
But instead of caring for them she would allow them to starve, but she soon began killing the kids as soon as the parents had paid and left.
After a doctor became suspicious over the sheer number of deaths at the house she was sentenced to six months labour.
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When she was released she continued working as a baby farmer and serial killer – disposing of the bodies herself this time.
What did Amelia Dyer do with the babies?
Dyer initially cared for the children legitimately, in addition to having two of her own.
However. she then began directly murdering infants she "adopted", so she could pocket the money she was given for looking after them.
Dyer would strangle them, and then dispose of their tiny bodies to avoid attention.
How did Amelia Dyer get caught?
Dyer's downfall came when the bagged corpse of an infant was discovered in the River Thames, with evidence leading back to her.
She was arrested on April 4, 1896.
In one of the most sensational trials of the Victorian period, Dyer was found guilty of the murder of infant Doris Marmon.
At the time of her death, a handful of murders were attributed to her, but there is little doubt she was responsible for many more similar deaths.
It is speculated she killed up to 400 infants in her care, making her a candidate for history's most prolific serial killer.
How old was Amelia Dyer when she died?
Dyer was sentenced to death by hanging for her evil crimes.
She was hanged at Newgate Prison on June 10, 1896.
Asked on the scaffold if she had any last words, Dyer said: "I have nothing to say."
At the time of her death the twisted killer was aged 60.
Does baby farming still exist today?
Baby farming was rife in Britain in the Victoria era.
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However, following Dyer's crimes it was abolished and tighter lawssurrounding the adoption of children came into place.
The killer's case also led to stricter laws for child protection, and helped raise the profile of the fledgling National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), which formed in 1884.
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