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Satan’s Sweethearts

Poems by

Marge Simon & Mary Turzillo

Satan’s Sweethearts

Marge Simon & Mary Turzillo

© 2017 Marge Simon & Mary Turzillo

Cover © 2017 Marge Simon

Weasel Press

Manvel, TX

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book, or use of characters in this book, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher, except for educational purposes.

Table of Contents

A Mother Only Satan Could Love

The Ones Who Kill Their Own

Bloody Mama

Mother Marti

Flower Gardens

Paper Doll

Flower Boxes

Never Choke A Stranger

The Piano Teacher

Half-Hangit Maggie

Velma Immortalized

Sisters of Dreadful Mercy

Broth and an Occasional Teaspoon of Orange Juice

Fifty Nine Days in the Children’s Ward

With God and Texas On My Side

Not-So-Sweet Jane

The Joys of Arsenic

Amelia Dyer, Baby Farmer (1837 – 1896)

Trick or Treat

Jimmy’s Angels

Sister Dread and Daughter Death

Lizzie’s New Toy

Mary’s Tale

Sister, Mine

Three Sisters, a Kingdom, and a Glass of Wine

The Sister

Jeanette in Trousers, Howling

The Last Wife’s Club

M” is for Murderess

The Hero’s Head

Agrippina Chats with a Portrait of the Former Empress

Gesche’s Deathmask

Mad Love

Katherine Knight’s Demon

Zinc caskets in the basement.

How to Bake a Wedding Cake

The Marriage of Suicide Sal

Queen of Clubs

Winnie and the Big Black Trunk

June Wedding, far from the Temple

Dames from the Deepest Circle of Hell

Delphine Lalaurie’s Upstairs Room

Red Witch of Buchenwald

Lady Bathory’s Procurer

The Most Evil Woman in Britain”

Dragon in Phoenix Skin

Lady M

Five days of Forever Love


Cathy Wood: Still Breathing

Mary Farmer Took An Axe

Born Mean

Kindred Spirits

Caril Fugate’s Angel

A Legend in My Time

Coveted Cianciulli Recipes


Little Sandra Cantu

Remembering Lady Jane Grey, as We Lay Dying


Empty Pistol

The Choice

The Woman’s Fault


We respectfully wish to dedicate this collection to Mary’s sister, Jane Ann Turzillo, who inspired the idea for this book and several of the evil women that she has written about or found, and to the families of the victims of these most heinous crimes.



Marge says: I believe it stands to reason that monstrous women — like monstrous men, have been around since before recorded time. So when Mary approached me with the idea of writing poems based on Evil Women in history, I was instantly ready for another collaborative poetry collection.

Once we got into it, we realized that we had taken on a very difficult project. Women of any race or era can be very creatively nasty and despicable. Some were so bad that we had to step away and do something else before returning to finish the poem. I am quite serious about that. Read my poem about Delphine LaLaurie and what she kept upstairs in her New Orleans mansion!

We include women like the serial killers Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood in our other collaborations. Whether it’s because something terrible was once done to them or because they just needed to feel more powerful, they made victims of the helpless elderly who were entrusted to a healthcare facility. Thus their damage was more profound than whatever they did to their victims. In a real way, society itself becomes their ultimate victim. You will find other women like Graham and Wood in these poems:

“Bloody Mama”

“Linda Burfield Hazzard”

“Louise Masset”

“Mary Farmer”

I’m afraid there is nothing light-hearted about any of our poems in this collection. Is it a fault of society, of what life you’re born into? Is it genetic –a few rogue chromosomes? That conundrum bothers me. Maybe you will be bothered too.

Mary says: Crime fiction and fiction in general, has a convention that when murder or mayhem occurs, the victim is typically female and the perpetrator typically male. I know this isn’t universal, but readers come to expect a tale of an innocent weak woman falling to a conniving evil man. In society in general, when domestic disturbances occur, the expectation is that the man incited it and is the final offender. Yet these stereotypes do not fit reality. Women do murder. Domestic violence may be the fault of both parties, and it’s often the women who picks up the gun or the frying pan of hot grease, in self-defense, she may claim, but how are we to know? Murderpedia lists almost half as many women as men as murderers. When women become tyrants (read: political leaders) they often commit atrocities as horrific as the scope of their powers (a trend I tell of in poems of Queen Ranavalona and Bloody Mary, not to speak of the various pirate and criminal queens that we so gleefully celebrate, as if a man pirate is evil, but a woman pirate is to be admired for her “spunk.”

According to one source (“Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008” United States Department of Justice (2010), about 90% of homicides are committed by men. Yet, in murders of children under 5 by biological parents, almost half of perpetrators are women (ibid.). This suggests that women murder almost as frequently as men when their victim is more helpless than they are. One also wonders if the low conviction rate for women murderers might be due to their superior cleverness at concealing their guilt, as poisons, for example, are a favored weapon of women.

I’ve been the victim of spousal abuse, so I’m not speaking out of school. But I’ve also seen men abused by their wives and girlfriends. Not weaklings, not handicapped men, but big strong men who could or would not even lift a hand to defend themselves. Call it chivalry; what choice did these man have? If they had struck back, they would have been the offenders. And I’ve seen false accusations, on the advice of dishonorable attorneys, used to discredit a husband and take away his property or access to his children.

We live in a world of stereotypes. Jodi Arias claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse, and yet her defense was 19 stab wounds and a bullet to her beloved’s head.

Marge and I decided to explore this very dark aspect of human life. It wasn’t easy. There were times when I was so horrified and depressed by what my gender was capable of that I dodged the project. Thus it was when I read Marge’s poem “Delphine Lalaurie’s Upstairs Room.” Marge has several times written poems that sent me reeling, but she also kept me on task, and I’m glad she did. I hope these poems, which are not about facts, but rather the feelings we have about evil women, will open some discussion and some thought in the readers’ minds.

A final note: my heart goes out to the living relatives of these women. I can’t imagine the pain that the husband, parents, and children of these offenders must deal with every day. Perhaps they believe her to be innocent, but no matter: they must live with what the public thinks of their near relation.

These are dark poems, but I hope they speak to you, reader, whether you are a man or a woman.

A Mother Only Satan Could Love

The Ones Who Kill Their Own

When I was a little girl, my parents got a Siamese cat. They wanted to breed her. So when the time came, that was done. By and by, she had a litter of six kittens. But as we watched each born, she would not clean them. She did nothing. So we did that, and put the tiny ones back into the birthing box with clean towels.

Come the morning, she was cleaning herself. Six small bodies lay mutilated, dead. There was blood on her tongue.

-Marge Simon

Ma Barker (1873-1935)

Bloody Mama

Killed in a shoot-out

a Tommy gun beside you,

such a ruthless matriarch,

ended by a single shot.

Ruthless matriarch, me?

I gave them birth, not moral sense.

Their deeds made headline news,

but I just rocked the cradle, not the world.

“A vicious mastermind

of crime,” so said J. Edgar,

commander of the F.B.I,

an authority to heed.

You, J. Edgar, call me a mastermind?

You, who think that women shouldn’t vote?

Thank Jesus I’m no Negro babe,

and no card-carrying hotsie leftist Red!

Herman, Lloyd, Art and Fred

before and after robberies,

kept you sumptuously pleased,

wanting their dinner hot

when they got home.

Am I to blame for loving my dear boys?

Sure, they wrought havoc when they could.

You swore to hunt them down, you pig.

With Bureau agents armed with Tommy guns.

You so loved the lifestyle,

the fruit of your boys’ crimes,

had many a lover along the way,

some approved of, some not;

apparently you felt you deserved

some wanton fun.

Some wanton fun, you vicious dick!

I saw Feds slaughter Fred, my precious son,

before they send a bullet to my heart.

I loved my sons just as you love your Clyde.

Family? you had no love except for him,

and now I lie here, cold as your black heart,

on Timberhill, in Oklahoma dirt.

So what? You’d have had no legend otherwise,

would have died in the lonesome Ozarks of your birth

a victim of poverty, no docudramas of your fame

to celebrate your misappropriated life.

-Marge Simon & Mary Turzillo

Enriqueta Marti 1868-1913

Mother Marti

They were my children by right of possession,

and soon forgot their parents, I made sure of that.

Some I beat, some I only pinched for discipline.

While in my care, their lives were fine.

I dressed the handsome ones in grand attire,

be they boy or girl of less than eight years old,

and for a price, the rich could take their pleasure

in my Mezzanine on Ponent Street.

Those too old or homely for the fornication game,

or those that caused my personal disfavor,

I disposed of with good intention, making remedies

from their blood and bones to cure the ills

of wealthy Barcelona gentry.

They were my children, my charges, and I fed them –

potatoes and stale bread, but sustenance enough,

those ones I deemed desirable, or useful otherwise.

Why do my cellmates stare at me that way?
Why do they hold those clubs, that rope?
Are we not all sisters under this wretched roof?

-Marge Simon

Mary Ann Cotton 1832-1893

Flower Gardens

Ms. Mary contrary

had one at a time.

Her garden of children

grew to twelve.

“Stomach fevers”

claimed all of her little ones,

along her path of woe.

Arsenic in her watering can,

left nothing for her to garden

but a bed of tangled thorns.

-Marge Simon

Mary Ann Cotton (1832-1873)

Paper Doll

The green wallpaper, she said, did Freddy in.

Flakes of it fell into his great snoring mouth.

Her element was paper:

wedding certificates,

birth notices,

the banknotes she spent too freely,

the promissory notes when pounds and pence ran out,

pawn tickets for her husbands’ furniture,

the papers to insure her husbands’ lives

for she had men aplenty,

more than her share of husbands,

four, though the last, poor Freddy Cotton,

was somewhat deceived, her third

not quite yet in the ground.

The children were a bother;

she couldn’t get much life insurance

for most: they died with bellies full of agony.

Of Freddy’s son, Charles Edward, she opined,

“He won’t last long, like all the Cottons:

inflamed digestion.” Then, when he died:

“Stomach fever,” she told the coroner.

Turns out this lady’s passe-partout was cheap fly-paper:

infused with arsenic

she harvested by soaking.

So, yes, it was the paper

that killed Fred Cotton, plus twenty others:

husbands, mother, friends, and children.

But not wallpaper.

Green wallpaper could tell many a tale if it could speak.

But fly-paper was Mary Ann’s best friend:

shopkeepers must have thought her pestered with a lot of flies,

right up until the coroner exhumed Fred Cotton.

And made her infamous in paper tabloids

and for two centuries in books,

which, come to think,

are made of paper, like her deadly means.

-Mary Turzillo

Megan Huntsman 1975 —

Flower Boxes

They died

before blooming,

for I crushed their stems;

each cried only once,

then into the baggie,

and into the box.

It wasn’t the pot,

nor was it the meth,

they had to be virginal births —

of all my six born,

not a one lived

to open its eyes to the sun.

-Marge Simon

Kathleen Folbigg 1967 –

Never Choke A Stranger

I’m not a serial killer.

never killed a living soul,

not like crazy Katherine Knight,

or that nasty Yank, Aileen.

My babies dead and buried,

Cot Deaths, every one.

Our friends testified it so,

but later came to doubt.

True, there was my silly diary,

my husband found it tucked away.

Those details only make-believe,

at least I’m pretty sure of that.

Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Liz —

but none beyond a toddler’s age.

Besides, I never choked a stranger

like real serial killers do.

-Marge Simon

Louise Masset 1866-1900

The Piano Teacher

Little Manfred’s father wouldn’t marry me.

I didn’t mind, he wasn’t much in bed,

—about the French gentry, that’s often true—

but he sent me a stipend for our baby.

Her slender fingers danced upon the keys

Playing “Oh Promise Me,” a foreign tune.

I paid dear Miss Gentle to keep my son,

for he was my folly and my charge.

I saw him on Wednesday when I was free,

and ever a loving mother appeared.

Her loving fingers prowled piano keys,

played “She May Have Seen Better Days.”

Is it my fault for God-given needs,

a discrete encounter between the sheets,

especially after meeting Eudore,

I couldn’t wait to jump his bones!

She played, with fingers yearning,

Believe Me if All those Endearing Young Charms.”

Yet my lover was still such a young man,

wanting no part of another man’s child,

and my little boy was the problem.

This matter I faced and dealt with.

Her fingers twitched, long and full of song,

A D’Oyly Carte show tune: “With Cat-like Tread.”

I set out to send Manfred to France

to visit his papa, a righteous lie,

then secluded in London Bridge Station,

took a brick to his head, my hands on his nose,

I put an end to the business, right there.

Musician’s fingers strong as steel, entuning

She’s More to be Pitied than Censured.”

Strong fingers, strong hands,

Solving her issues, then humming,

A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight.”

Consider the names he’d be called!

“bastard” or “son of a whore”!

I spared my poor son such a fate.

My final words, “what I suffer is just –“

and it was all for a decent fuck.

-Marge Simon & Mary Turzillo

Margaret Dickson (1702-1724, then died again c. 1753)

Half-Hangit Maggie

You haunt me, Maggie Dickson,

who had commerce, willing or not, with that man/boy,

you, who dreaded the shaming to your neighbors,

who hid your growing belly under a thick apron,

who suffered labor pains in a trance,

claiming you knew nothing of the birth,

who lost all memory of time and the place,

you, whose child slipped so easily into the cold River Tweed.

Was it God’s will, Maggie,

that the coroner found the babe’s lungs filled with air

so it must have died before he went in the river?

Was it God’s will,

that Edinburgh court and the jury found you wanton,

that the people hated your fornication

or perhaps hated your vulgar howls mongering fish,

God’s will that they believed 

you had strangled the fruit of your womb,

and deserved not just hell after death,

but the tight rough knot, half-strangulation, the neck-snapping drop?

Was it God’s will, Maggie,

that Grassmarket gibbet was crowded that day,

that the hangman boggled his trade,

or that your neck was too stout, 

or maybe too slender, for the noose,

God’s will, or blind luck,

that you had friends to drive you to the boneyard,

that you lay insensible in your wood box til just the right time,

when the sounds of your fists on the lid

made them open the coffin?

And was it God’s will, pretty Maggie

that the law said you could be hanged only once

so you now were a dead woman,

free to remarry the fisherman who had abandoned you?

Was it right, jolly Maggie,

that the rest of your life you were called Half-Hangit Maggie,

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