Elisabeth Wiese was a German serial killer from Hamburg, convicted and executed for the killing of five children.
Early Life of Elisabeth Wiese
As a young woman Elisabeth Wiese worked as a mid-wife. She already had a daughter, Paula, when she married the tradesman Heinrich Wiese. After being convicted of carrying out illegal abortions, she was prevented from carrying out her profession and money grew scarce. Tensions grew between herself and her husband. She tried to murder him on several occasions, firstly by poisoning his food and then by attempting to cut his throat with a razor while he slept. She was not successful and was sent to prison after being convicted of several crimes.
Upon release from prison Elisabeth Wiese offered her services as a child-care giver to women who could not raise their children themselves, or who had illegitimate children. Initially she charged the mothers a one-time fee for handing the children over to adoptive parents, who in turn had to be paid. However, she did not always pay the adoptive parents, who returned the children to her, so they had to be gotten rid of. She then informed the mothers of babies left in her care that she had had the babies adopted by rich families in distant countries. What she actually did was poison the babies with morphine and burn their bodies in a stove in her apartment. However, suspicions grew about the fate of these babies and investigations began.
As she had to distance herself from dealing in babies, Elisabeth Wiese forced her daughter Paula into prostitution. Paula fled to London, but became pregnant. She returned to Hamburg and gave birth in a cellar. Immediately after the birth Elisabeth Wiese drowned Paula’s baby and burnt the body in the stove. When the police started investigating the case they searched Wiese’s apartment and discovered her cache of morphine and poisons. As she lived in St. Pauli, a suburb of Hamburg, she became known as “the angel-maker of St. Pauli”.
On October 10th 1904 Elisabeth Wiese was convicted in court of fraud, living off immoral earnings and the murders of five children. She was executed by guillotine in 1905.
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