Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Amelia Dyer

Amelia Elizabeth Dyer (1838 – June 10, 1896) was the most prolific baby-farm murderer of Victorian England. She was tried and hanged for one murder, but there is little doubt she was responsible for many more similar deaths—possibly 400+—over a period of perhaps twenty years.  Amelia was apparently keen to make money from baby-farming, and alongside taking in expectant women, she would advertise to nurse and adopt a baby, in return for a substantial one-off payment and adequate clothing for the child. In her advertisements and meetings with clients, she assured them that she was respectable, married (Dyer and her husband had actually separated), and that she would provide a safe and loving home for the child.  At some point in her baby-farming career, Amelia was prepared to forego the expense and inconvenience of letting the children die through neglect and starvation; soon after the receipt of each child, she murdered them, thus allowing her to pocket most or all of the entire fee.

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