She’s the most successful serial killer whose name you’ve never heard. Giulia Tofana killed hundreds of men in 17th-century Italy when she turned her makeup business into a poison factory, selling a deadly concoction called Aqua Tofana, thought to have been laced with arsenic, lead, and belladonna.
Tofana made it her mission — and her business — to help aspiring widows murder their husbands. During the Renaissance, in an era of arranged marriages that left no possibility of divorce, the only way out of an unhappy union was death. Women were often forced into marriage by their families without having a say in the matter. Once married, husbands had complete control over their wives, and women were often completely powerless. Husbands could beat their wives without facing any punishment or subject them to all kinds of cruel treatments.
No wonder some women wanted to be widows. Aqua Tofana provided a quick, discrete solution.
Tofana was able to murder hundreds of men over the course of nearly 50 years without being caught — until, in a shocking twist, a bowl of soup caused her downfall. Read more