How Ladies Kill

I’m in the midst of a fascinating discussion on creating a believable female antagonist using Sean Mactire’s book Malicious Intent: A Writer’s Guide to How Murderers, Robbers, Rapists, and Other Criminal Think. Today I want to discuss how females kill their prey.


 (Image courtesy of

For centuries, poison was the go-to weapon choice for women, and it still is today. Here are the most common methods of murder:

Poisoning (50%)
Shooting (3%)
Bludgeoning (3%)
Stabbing (3%)
Torturing (3%)
Suffocating (3%)
Neglecting (3%)
Drowning (3%)
Combining the above (29%)

As a woman, I can see why the less messy options are the most preferred. Keep this list handy when you’re female antagonist needs to polish someone off and you’ll at least have a believable method. In my next post I’ll discuss why females kill (typically called “motivation”).

I’ve begun a guest blogging spot on Melody Steiner’s blog ( where I’m discussing poisons. Go check it out on Thursdays if you’re interesting in learning about poisonous plants found in your own back yard.


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