At the turn of the twentieth century, people in Missouri experienced unexpected and horrible deaths due to arsenic. Two different women in two different areas of Missouri, and for two different reasons, used arsenic as a means to get what they wanted. Emma Heppermann, a black widow killer, craved money. Bertha Gifford, an angel of mercy, took sick people into her home and nursed them to death. Follow the trails of these women who murdered for decades before being tried and convicted. From Wentzville to Steelville, Emma left a trail of bodies. And Bertha is suspected of killing almost 10 percent of the population of the little town of Catawissa. Authors Victoria Cosner and Lorelei Shannon offer the gruesome history of Missouri's murderous matrons
About the Authors
Victoria Cosner has spent the better part of thirty years poking around graveyards and digging for lost pieces of history. She is especially fond of delving into missing pieces of women's history. She co-authored a book, Women under the Third Reich (Greenwood Publishing), and next turned her attention to the infamous Madame Lalaurie and her incredible family. It wasn't long before another bizarre historical figure caught her attention: Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell. A longtime member of the Association for Gravestone Studies, she has worked in public history facilities for more than twenty years and has her master's degree in American studies, specializing in cultural landscapes of garden cemeteries.
Lorelei Shannon has spent the better part of thirty years following Victoria Cosner around graveyards for her own inscrutable purposes. Lorelei and Victoria met at the tender age of fourteen. From the very start, they shared a love of history--particularly the obscure and unusual. While Victoria went on to become a respected historian, Lorelei became a novelist. She never lost her love of history, and she frequently incorporates historical elements in her Southern Gothic fiction. She has now collaborated with Victoria on two nonfiction books, and she hopes there will be many more to come.
Published by History Press, 2019. Paperback, 128 pages.