If you don’t already know, 90 percent of all the most notorious serial killers in the entire world are men, including Richard Ramirez, Ted Bundy, and Jeffrey Dahmer. You might have also watched movies and documentaries on these serial killers, such as Ted Bundy Tapes and My Friend Dahmer.
But can you name any female serial killer, or have you watched any movies or read books on them? If not, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best serial killer movies, TV shows, documentaries, and books based on female serial killers. So, let’s get started.
Female serial killers movies that will make you clench your pillow
Our first pick on the list of the best serial killer movies based on female serial killers is Monster which tells a devastating true story of a bizarre woman. She is also known as the first-ever female serial killer in American history.
The lead role of this brutal serial killer in this movie is played by Charlize Theron, and it is one of the best serial killer movies based on female murderers ever created. The “Monster” shows how a sex worker kills seven men, her clients, brutally before getting apprehended.
It’s a critically acclaimed and highly-rated film that came out in 2003. Charlize Theron won an Academy Award for Best Actress by playing a role of a sex worker in this film. If you like the true crime genre, you must watch this mind-bending film. You can watch this movie on Amazon Prime and Netflix.
- Year: 2003
- IMDB Ratings: 7.3/10
- Director: Patty Jenkins
- Starring: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, and Bruce Dern
- Awards: 1 Academy Award
2. Basic Instinct
Basic Instinct is another excellent film released back in 1992 that follows Nick Curran, a police detective from San Francisco. The detective tries to solve the brutal murder mystery of a popular and wealthy rock star.
While he’s investigating the case, the detective becomes involved in an intense and torrid relationship with Catherine Tramell, the prime suspect of the murder case. She is a serial killer, and it becomes difficult for the detective to pursue the investigation, as he now has a different perspective.
Catherine Tramell is a fictional character but regarded as one of the most shockingly evil ones, which is one the level of Zodiac Killer or Dr Hannibal Lecter. Will she be convicted for her horrific crimes? Watch the Basic Instinct Film on Amazon Prime or Netflix to find out the truth.
- Year: 1992
- IMDB Ratings: 7.0/10
- Director: Paul Verhoeven
- Starring: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, and George Dzundza
3. Serial Mom
Serial Mom is another popular movie that features a female serial killer. It’s based on crime and black comedy genres and was released back in 1994. In this film, you’ll see Kathleen Turner playing the role of Beverly Sutphin, who is an adoring, ultra-capable, well-mannered, caring mom.
However, along with these admirable capabilities, she is also a psychotic serial murderer, and she tortures, torments, and brutally kills people outside of her family who annoy her. As her body count increases, police and her family start suspecting her to prevent her violent crimes.
As her trial goes forward, the police and the relatives of the victims start conferring with Beverly Sutphin because of her shockingly evil nature.
- Year: 1994
- IMDB Ratings: 6.8/10
- Director: John Waters
- Starring: Kathleen Turner, Sam Waterston, and Ricki Lake
Watch Serial Mom: Amazon Prime Video
If you like classic crime and murder mystery movies, you can’t go wrong with Onibaba. It’s a film, released way back in 1964, about the wife of a Japanese soldier who was inducted into war forcefully in the 14th century.
She becomes a mass murderer by killing samurais and teams up with a greedy merchant to sell the belonging of worn-out warriors. Then she finds a facial mask from a samurai she kills and starts wearing it.
But that mask never comes off again, and she becomes a demon in this disguise to hunt more people down. You can watch this piece of art on Amazon Prime.
- Year: 1964
- IMDB Ratings: 8.0/10
- Director: Kaneto Shindô
- Starring: Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura, and Kei Satô
Watch Onibaba: Amazon Prime Video
5. The Ring
The Ring is more like a horror movie released in 2002, and it is the Hollywood adaptation of a same-name movie made by the Japanese in 1998. This movie tells a story of a teenage girl who was born with psychic powers.
She drowns in a well after getting trapped for 7 long days, and then she becomes a serial killer to take revenge for her 7 haunting days in the well.
- Year: 2002
- IMDB Ratings: 7.1/10
- Director: Gore Verbinski
- Starring: Stars Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox
Watch The Ring: Amazon Prime Video
6. Psycho II
You might have already watched the movie Psycho, about Norman Bates. But after 2 decades of real-life events, some more murders took place and all the authorities thought that Norman Bates was back.
However, the investigations later revealed that the new murders are done by Emma Spool who looks like a kind old woman. Psycho II shows that the elderly lady was Norman Bates’s mother and she killed people in order to protect his son.
- Year: 1983
- IMDB Ratings: 6.5/10
- Director: Richard Franklin
- Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, and Meg Tilly
Watch Psycho II: Amazon Prime Video
7. Friday The 13th
Before Jason became the star and the monstrous murderer of one of the most horror movies, Friday The 13th, his mother was the main serial killer. She was named Pamela Voorhees, a murderer who killed people for revenge.
She went back to the campsite, where a devastating event happened and her kid died, and killed a couple of counselors. Pamela did it because she thought that those counselors were neglecting the death of her child.
Then she continues her killing spree by killing more counselors, and all her actions fueled her son to follow her legacy.
- Year: 1980
- IMDB Ratings: 6.4/10
- Director: Sean S. Cunningham
- Starring: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, and Jeannine Taylor
Watch Friday the 13th: Amazon Prime Video
8. The Killing Gene
The Killing Gene is about a seasoned detective, Eddie Argo, and his partner, Helen Westcott, who is honest and always plays by the rules. However, they soon find out that their integrity is at the test as they enter into a sadistic and ruthless game of death.
All the other police officers know that they are two of the very few honest cops in the city. However, as the story progresses, both honest individuals become mass murderers by involving in a series of gruesome murders.
- Year: 2007
- IMDB Ratings: 5.7/10
- Director: Tom Shankland
- Starring: Stellan Skarsgård, Melissa George, and Ashley Walters
Watch The Killing Gene: Amazon Prime Video
9. Lady Psycho Killer
Ella, played by Kate Daly, is a studious and shy young woman raised by a loving but overprotecting mom. During one of her classes, she hears her psych lecturer talking about breaking the sexual norm. However, she thinks that it’s time to lose her virginity.
But she remains deeply conflicted and starts killing all the men who show interest in her. The way she kills her victims is brutal and will give your chills.
- Year: 2015
- IMDB Ratings: 4.4/10
- Director: Nathan Oliver
- Starring: Dennis Andres, David Arrayet, and Daniel Baldwin
Watch Lady Psycho Killer: Amazon Prime Video
Carrie was one of the first novels by Stephen King that also received a silver screen treatment. In this movie, the main character is Carrie White, with an overwhelming body count. However, you’ll only see the deaths of a couple of victims on screen.
She became that monster after bullies at the prom dropped a bucket filled with pig’s blood on her head. Carrie had those psychic abilities that she used to kill all the people except her friend “Sue”. It’s not a true-crime movie, but it’s definitely worth watching.
- Year: 1976
- IMDB Ratings: 7.4/10
- Director: Brian De Palma
- Starring: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
Watch Carrie: Amazon Prime Video
Best TV Shows Based on Female Serial Killers
1. Dark Angel
If you’re a fan of British TV shows and like the true crime genre as well, you should watch Dark Angel. The main character of this TV show is Mary Ann Cotton, a real-life and the very first serial killer of Britain.
The “Dark Angel” is based on a book by David Wilson that features a story of a young woman who marries men just to kill by poisoning them with arsenic to get the insurance money.
The ability of this character to remain unnoticed and do her work without raising any suspicion is what makes this character unique and chilling. However, as her body count as well as wealth increases, her secret is bound to get revealed sooner or later.
- Year: 2016
- IMDB Ratings: 6.8/10
- Director: Brian Percival
- Starring: Joanne Froggatt, Alun Armstrong, and Isla McMonigle
Watch Dark Angel: Amazon Prime Video
2. Killing Eve
Killing Eve is a Romeo and Juliet tale that features the story of Eve Polastri. She was an MI6 agent and had multiple subjects to follow, but then she developed a fatal attraction to one of them (Villanelle).
Villanelle was an international assassin and she was working with “the Twelve”, an enigmatic clan. She was a cold-blooded killer and was ready to resort to all types of murderous means. This TV series shows the capacity of Villanelle to commit murders and that is way beyond terrifying.
- Year: 2018 -2022
- IMDB Ratings: 8.2/10
- Creator: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
- Starring: Jodie Comer, Sandra Oh, and Fiona Shaw
Watch Killing Eve: Amazon Prime Video
3. CSI: Miami
CSI: Miami is a long TV show with 10 seasons, but here we’re only talking about the character of Michelle Baldwin. She appeared in season 9, episode 15, named Blood Lust. She looks like an innocent-looking and sweet redhead, but in reality, she’s with her husband makes up a murderous team. In addition, behind that monstrous team, Michelle Baldwin is the real evil genius.
In the 15th episode of season 9 of this TV show, the team of CSI finds a mutilated body of a young woman in a hurricane shelter. Michelle passes herself as a survivor of the incident, but she was the real cause behind the murder of the woman.
Michelle has this obsession to capture, torture, and then all the young women trying to come near her husband. The count of her victims reaches 10 and then gets apprehended.
- Year: 2011
- IMDB Ratings: 7.5/10
- Director: Gina Lamar
- Starring: David Caruso, Emily Procter, Jonathan Togo, and Alicia Witt
Watch CSI: Miami (Season 9, Episode 15): Amazon Prime Video
4. Criminal Minds
Criminal Minds, just like CSO: Miami, is also a very long TV show with over 300 episodes. Here we’re talking about Episode 16 of season 4, which features Magan Kane played by Brianna Brown. The name of this episode is Please is My business.
Here you’ll see Brianna Brown playing the role of a sex worker and at some point, she becomes a serial killer. Her first couple of murders were covered up by lawyers. What makes her character interesting is that she disguises herself as a businesswoman.
- Year: 2009
- IMDB Ratings: 8.0/10
- Director: Gwyneth Horder-Payton
- Starring: Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster, Shemar Moore, and Brianna Brown
Watch Criminal Minds (Season 4, Episode 16): Amazon Prime Video
5. American Horror Story
There is nothing more terrifying than a TV show character, which is based on a real-life mass murderer. This TV series tells the story of Madame Delphine LaLaurie, played by Kathy Bates, who was a wealthy socialite.
But behind her luxurious lifestyle and glamor, she is a shockingly evil serial killer driven by jealousy and rage. She kills her slaves for sleeping with her husband. The most terrifying and creepiest thing about this character is that she makes a beauty balm from the pancreases of her slaves.
You’ll see Madame Delphine in American Horror Story dressing her slave as Minotaur, her favorite creature from Greek Mythology, and then torturing her. Probably the most disturbing scene of this TV show is when this serial killer chokes the baby of one of her slaves who was fathered by her own husband. Then she used the blood of that baby to make “makeup” items.
The American Horror Story features many other serial killers, but Madame Delphine LaLaurie is by far the most terrifying one.
- Year: 2011 – present
- IMDB Ratings: 8.0/10
- Creators: Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy
- Starring: Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett
Watch Criminal Minds (Season 4, Episode 16): Amazon Prime Video
Best Documentaries Based on Female Serial Killers
1. Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer is a true-crime documentary based on the true story of real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos. She is known as the very first real-life serial killer in American history.
Aileen Wuornos was a sex worker who killed seven men brutally in 1980, who were her clients. You’ll see the trial of this real-life serial killer in this documentary and how she was executed with a lethal injection back in 2002.
- Year: 2003
- IMDB Ratings: 7.1
- Starring: Terry Humphreys-Slay, Nick Broomfield, and Aileen Wuornos
- Directors: Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill
Watch Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer: Amazon Prime Video
2. Murders at the Boarding House
This documentary is about detective John Cabrera who was sent to a boarding house. Before that, the Sacramento Police department received a report of a missing person from the same boarding house sent by a concerned social worker.
Detective John Cabrera goes to that boarding house to find out where the missing person was last seen. He meets an elderly lady named Dorothea Puente, who seemed like a cooperative and friendly landlady.
Detective John Cabrera investigates the area and finds the human remains in the very backyard of the boarding house. Over time, police and detective John Cabrera find more bodies and figure out that the culprit behind these murders is Dorothea Puente.
The elderly lady then goes on the run and Detective John Cabrera must find her to bring her to justice. He pieces together the clues of the dark past of Dorothea Puente to understand why she committed those heinous crimes.
Dorothea Puente gets apprehended by police when a stranger recognizes her face from the newspaper. She goes through a difficult and lengthy trial, and she ends up going to prison for life.
- Year: 2021
- IMDB Ratings: 6.8
- Starring: Lydia-Jane Bateman, John Cabrera, and Matthew J. Miles
Watch Murders at the Boarding House: Amazon Prime Video
3. A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story
A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story is about an American woman, Elisabeth Anne Broderick, who killed Daniel T, her ex-husband, and Linda Broderick, her husband’s second wife. She is a distraught and disturbed woman who took the life of two people in November 1989.
Both of the people were sleeping calmly in their homes in San Diego. The law enforcement authorities took an in-depth look at Elisabeth Anne Broderick’s case to understand what drove her to kill those people.
- Year: 1992
- IMDB Ratings: 7.2
- Director: Dick Lowry
- Starring: Meredith Baxter, Stephen Collins, and Michelle Johnson
Watch A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story: Amazon Prime Video
Best Female serial killer books
Author: Stephen King
If you read books, you would already know how it feels when your favorite character gets killed. You just want the author to rewrite the book where your favorite character doesn’t die but that can’t happen.
However, this is what actually happens in this book which is based on Annie Wilkes. It’s a story of the author when he experienced a car crash and was saved by Annie Wilkes. She takes care of him, and meanwhile, she finds out that he has killed Annie’s favorite character in his book series.
Then Annie holds him hostage, tortures him, and forces him to write another book that brings back Misery to life. Although Annie isn’t a serial killer, what she does to the author is no less than a gory tale of torture.
2. My Sister the Serial Killer
Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite
Kayode and her sister have a dark secret that nobody knows. Her sister is obsessed with killing her new boyfriends, and Kayode is the one who cleans the mess up. A family isn’t supposed to stick together like this.
The team of Kayode and her sister falls apart when the killer sister says that her next target is a doctor whom Kayode likes. What happens between the two sisters? Will they stick together? Find out in “My Sister the Serial Killer”.
3. We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Author Shirley Jackson
This book tells the story of Constance, who was arrested on the charges of killing her family. However, she walks free because of a lack of evidence, and then she starts living with her ill uncle and sister.
Everything goes well and the three of them start living normally until Constance’s cousin, Charles, arrives. Some terribly disturbing events happen within that isolated family and the ending of this novel is also deeply unsettling.
When the story of a movie, documentary, TV show or even a book surrounds the hunt for the serial killer, it automatically draws the attention of the viewer and reader. If you like crime, thriller, slasher, and horror genres, consider watching and reading any of the entries mentioned in this post.
You’ll learn how the mind of a normal human being turns evil and leads them to commit monstrous crimes.