Women have fought for equality with men in the United States since the mid 1800s with the initiation of the woman’s rights movement. Not for special treatment, not for better opportunities, or even affirmative action, just equality. When it comes to killing, they are simply not viewed as aggressive creatures by the public. They were forced to do it, they are the victims, they must have been mentally or physically abused (Gurian 2011). There is very limited research on female serial killers, and even less so for women in partnerships with men, since they are rare cases. However, according to a study produced by Hickey (2006), 31% of the 64 female serial killers between 1826 and 2004 were in a partnership. Women who enter these partnerships with men either want to be taken seriously as an offender (Thompson 2009), or want to “please their murdering mates” (Fox and Levin 2012). De Beauvoir (1970) claims that a woman in love ‘‘tries to model herself on her lover’s desire… giving herself blindly’.’ Women will try to preserve a relationship by carrying out whatever action they can to satisfy their partner, which means that, in some extreme cases, women will go as far as killing along with them. Couples who kill together generally have a distinct set of techniques for target selection, way of killing, and means of disposing the body when compared to lone serial killers.
Couples will either try to pick out a target together, or use one of the two to bait their potential victim. They tend to be strangers, usually teenagers, as shown in various case studies involving men and women team killers (Gurian 2011). Unlike many serial killers, couples usually do not kill due to a vendetta against certain groups of people, though they always have a reason. They tend to go for whoever they deemed vulnerable and attractive enough to take for themselves to have fun. Couples use a combination of methods to kill them after they rape their victims, the more popular ones being blunt force, firearms, and strangulation, compared to solo female serial killers whom the majority choose poison or medical drugs (Gurian 2011).
According to Jenkins (1990), there are four types of couple serial killing relationships: dominant-submissive, where the dominant (usually the male) engages in the violent crime and the submissive (usually the female) will bait the victims and will engage mostly to please the man rather than to enjoy herself; equally dominant, where the both are equally involved in the crime with pleasure; extended family/group, including actual families or cult-families; and organized ceremonial social groups for a political or religious reasoning (Miller 2014). Male-female partnerships tend to either fall in the former two. Killer couples have a tendency to kill for hedonistic reasons; they will rape and use their victims together for sexual thrills. For the dominants in the partnership, they feel a need for power and control, as...