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Women Behaving Badly

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Women Behaving Badly




Women who murder . . . why are they so much more fascinating than their male counterparts?

Just take a look at the past 150 years in Cleveland, for example.

Measure almost any murder committed by a female during those fifteen decades against any homicide by a mere male and you'll soon discover there is simply no comparison in cunning, quality, and sheer entertainment value between the shallow, predictable murders of men and the complex, richly nuanced slayings perpetrated by women.

For evidence of this tantalizing truth, dip into any of the sixteen strange-but-true tales collected in this anthology by Cleveland's leading historical crime writer.

Here, you'll meet ill-fated Catherine Manz, the “Bad Cinderella” who poisoned her step-sister in revenge for years of mistreatment, then made her getaway wearing her victim's most fetching outfit, a red dress and an enormous feathered hat . . .

Velma West, the big-city girl who scandalized rural Lake County in the 1920s with her “unnatural passions”—and ended her marriage-made-in-hell with a swift hammer's blow to the skull of her dull husband, Eddie . . .

Eva Kaber, “Lakewood's Lady Borgia,” who, along with her mother and daughter, conspired to dispose of an inconvenient husband with arsenic and knife-wielding hired killers . . .

Martha Wise, Medina's not-so-merry widow, who poisoned a dozen relatives—including her husband, mother, and brother—because she enjoyed going to funerals . . .

And a whole cast of other, equally fascinating women who behaved very, very badly.

This is wickedly entertaining reading!


“From the Kaber case, which finds a grandmother, mother and granddaughter indicted for the same first-degree murder, to the 'Bad Cinderella' who poisons her abusive stepsister, Bellamy once again masterfully brings to life decades-old tales that won't let you look away.” — Cleveland Magazine

“A collection of true crime tales that can quickly disabuse anyone of the notion that women are really the 'gentler' sex. Any one of these would easily qualify for the supermarket tabloids. But they were taken from 150 years of murder and mysterious death cases pivoting around women in the greater Cleveland area.” — Morning Journal

“Nothing is open and shut in 'Women Behaving Badly'. The latest look-back by true-crime maestro John Stark Bellamy recounts the life and crimes of Cleveland's most gruesome killers . . . But more than that, it revisits sexual roles in transition, where change comes with a revolver, a knife, or cup of poison-and female intuition gone berserk.” — The Plain Dealer

“Fascinating, even in the preface . . . Great fun, in a gruesome sort of way . . . Straightforward and easy to read, and each case is short enough that when you finish one, you want to start on the next.” — Record Courier

About John Stark Bellamy II

John Stark Bellamy II is the author of five books about Cleveland crime and disaster. The former history specialist for the Cuyahoga County Public Library, he comes by his taste for the sensational honestly, having grown up reading stories about Cleveland crime and disaster written by his grandfather, Paul, who was editor of the Plain Dealer, and his father, Peter, who wrote for the Cleveland News and the Plain Dealer.

Contains References to:

Anna Kempf, Bad Cinderella, Catherine Manz, Christina Lipscomb, Cleveland True Crime, Dorothy Kaplan, Elsi Bass, Eula Dortch, Eva Kaber, Female Murderers, Jennie Droz, Lakewood's Lady Borgia, Mabel Champion, Margaret Heldman, Martha Wise, Mary Barger, Mary Garrett, Minnie Peters, Ohio True Crime, Sarah Victor, The Neumeister Family, Velma West


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