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History's First Serial Killer or Killers

Roman Woman or something wicked?


Serial Killer or Killers?

The world as we know it has a vast variety of people, places, things i.e., buildings, temples, tombs, and pyramids. But what of its people? Has there ever been a serial killer before Jack the Ripper made headlines all over England and H.H. Holmes in America? What makes a serial killer a killer? Though there are many speculations, the basic idea is that some are born that way, while others are made to be that way. Here, I would like to indulge you in hearing of a FEMALE serial killer who historians believe could have been the first in recorded history. Her name was Locusta.
Rome, Emperor Claudius was ruling over the enormity of the ever-expanding WAR machine called the Roman Empire and ruled it in a very odd way, however, there was a few fishy things going on behind the scenes. His wife Agrippina, known to the common folk and senators as Agrippina the Younger, had born into the world an heir to the throne, their son Nero. As Nero grew and learned the ways of the Empire, his mother was being to have declining thoughts about her husband and wanted him out of the throne to have her offspring rule instead.
That’s when she reached out to a young woman named Locusta. She had been known to the royal family as an expert with poison, and she could use her poison techniques to harness a man dead as soon as she wanted. Agrippina knew that this woman was well verst in making men suffer if she wanted or not. There is no known information on a relevant kill count per say, nor are there any confirmed notions that this woman was the one who finished off Claudius, but the evidence as well as her conviction in 69 A.D. has led historians to be able to admit she “Could have done it.”
Extraordinarily little is known about Locusta or her entire relationship with the royal family or of any popular practice. There is hearsay as far as that goes for the Romans did not keep extensive documentation regarding issues that they deemed irrelevant. Which when looking up information around that time does make things a little more difficult. Furthermore, with Locusta’s execution in 69 A.D., it leads history to believe that this was A) not her first act and she was well acquainted with poisoning of people to B) murdering a high-end target, such as an Emperor, meant little to nothing if the price was right. It could have also been a ploy, a way to C) remove an obstacle, a person to blame something on that he or she may have had nothing to do with. Since there is not definitive information regarding the act, there can only be speculation.
Herein lies the dilemma, no major record keeping, mixed with the idea that her trail was an important thing or as popular as those we see on the television due to their high-profile cases, the only evidence we, as common folk get, is when historians can find proof without any doubt. Which then would beg to differ if this practitioner of poison were able to silence an Emperor yet alone get near him, he was being watched every day and in complete disorder, so for someone to be able to sneak some poison into his food or to stab him with a poisoned blade is still rather unlikely.
Which then leads onto the next idea, a year later, a man is put to death for the savage killing of 130 or more Roman citizens and his death was just a year later, in 70 A.D. Aspernas.
It had been stated that due to the meticulous records we keep now-a-days were not so in the days of the Great and Powerful Roman Empire, so, it is anyone’s guess as to how many he did slaughter or not. It is also speculated that he too was a poison expert and used it often and in a wide variety of ways. Ways different enough for him to claim a notice by the Roman Heads and begin to be a feared vigilante of sorts.
Due to these ideas and evidence, historians believe that these two individuals were the world’s first recorded serial killers and to earn that title (per say) had to have required a great deal of time and effort on the part of the original two players who were only to be executed a year apart from one another. Who is to say that they know of their motives or a rational reasoning behind them? Fame? Fortune? Just because they could? Who knows and being honest, who knows if or when we ever will?


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 William L Truax III

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