Episode 6: Bertha Gifford, the first woman serial killer in Missouri

Hello and welcome back to “Breakfast with Mom”!

Today I want to tell you a story about Bertha Gifford, Missouri’s first known woman serial killer.  As always you can find my resources in the show notes along with our facebook link and email address.

Bertha Alice Williams Gifford was born October 30th 1871 to William and Matilda Williams in Morse Hill Missouri, she was one of ten children.  She would go on to marry Henry Graham in December 1894, they had one child- a daughter named Lila.  Henry would die sometime in 1906, I am not sure what would cause his death.  I couldn’t find anything about him.  She would go on to marry in 1907 to a man named Eugene Gifford; they had a son named James.  Eugene and Bertha would live in Catawissa Missouri and their neighbors would tell reporters she was a good cook and very attractive.  They would also say she was a very caring neighbor that was always willing to step in and take care of the sick and injured.  That would turn out to be a mistake, it is reported that an estimated 17 people would die under her care.  It is reported her mode of murder was to use arsenic.  I will tell you about some of them.  I was only able to find 15 questionable death certs on berthagifford.com.

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