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Female murderers Barbara Rogers, Leonarda Cianciulli, and Geraldine Parrish investigated on Deadly Women

Barbara Rodgers and Leonarda Cianciulli
Barbara Rodgers (L) and Leonarda Cianciulli are both featured on this week’s Deadly Women. Pic credit: PA Dept. of Corrections and Wikipedia Commons

Statistically, most murderers are men; however, Deadly Women on ID investigates the occasions when women become violent murderers, and this week they’re examining the crimes of Barbara Rogers, Leonarda Cianciulli, and Geraldine Parrish.

Rogers killed her boyfriend by shooting him at point-blank range and then blamed her crime on a semi-religious alien-reptile cult. Cianciulli was an Italian serial murderer who conducted human sacrifices in the hope that it would keep her soldier son safe from harm.

Whereas, Parrish was a serial killer from Baltimore who seemingly killed friends and relatives purely for money.

The Murder of Stephen Mineo by Barbara Rogers

On July 15, 2017, Barbara Rogers killed her boyfriend, 32-year-old Stephen Mineo, when she pulled the trigger on a gun she had pointed directly at his forehead. The gun was held so close to his head that there were burn marks on his skin.

Rogers was the one who dialed 911 after the murder, but she told the cops that Mineo had forced her to shoot him by putting the gun to his head and clasping her hands on the trigger.

It later transpired that Rogers and Mineo were both under the influence of a religious cult run by Sherry Shriner, an online cult leader who focused on aliens and the end of the world. The couple’s role in this cult had begun to put extreme stress on their relationship.

At the time of the murder, Mineo had concluded that Shriner was actually a reptilian alien who was impersonating a human being. However, Shriner had told Rogers that it was Mineo who was possessed.

In March 2019, Rogers was convicted of third-degree murder. She avoided first-degree murder due to her perceived poor mental state. She was sentenced to spend 15 to 40 years in an Earth prison.

Serial killer Leonarda Cianciulli

Leonarda Cianciulli was an Italian serial killer who killed three women in the town of Correggio, Reggio Emilia, in 1939 and 1940. She was known as the Soap-Maker of Correggio because she turned her victims’ bodies into soap and teacakes.

When Cianciulli’s eldest son announced that he was joining the army to help in Italy’s war effort, his mother bizarrely concluded that the only way to keep him safe was to perform human sacrifices.

The killer chose three neighbors to be her sacrificial victims; middle-aged women called Faustina Setti, Francesca Soavi, and Virginia Cacioppo.

Cianciulli incapacitated her victims by drugging them and then killed them with an ax. She chopped up the remains of Setti and Soavi and actually disposed of the body parts by grinding them into a cake recipe. What’s particularly horrifying is that she fed these cakes to people who came to visit. Cacioppo remains were treated a little differently as she was turned into soap.

Cianciulli came under suspicion when Cacioppo’s sister told the police she’d last seen her sibling disappearing into the killer’s house. Cianciulli refused to admit her crime and only confessed when her son came under suspicion.

She was eventually convicted of murder in 1946 and was sentenced to 33 years in prison. She never showed any remorse and died in jail.

The murders of Geraldine Parrish

Geraldine Parrish of Baltimore, Maryland, organized a series of murders involving friends, family, and acquaintances during the 1980s. Then, between 1985 and 1988, she hired two thugs, Edwin Gordon and Lionel Robinson, to kill her victims so they could pocket their life insurance money.

Parrish successfully persuaded her family and friends to sign up for life insurance policies and make her the sole beneficiary.

Gordon was arrested following an unsuccessful attempt to kill Parrish’s niece, Dolly Brown. He told the police that Parrish was behind the murders, and he agreed to testify against her.

Parrish was eventually found guilty of organizing the murder of four people along with three counts of attempted murder. She was given eight life sentences.

More from Deadly Women

Follow the links to read about more savage violence and murders from deadly women.

Previously the show examined Ciera Harp, Linda Ricchio, and Loretta Burroughs, all of whom tried to get away with the murder of their boyfriend or husband.

The police believe that when Jeanne Harrington and Michael Gabel began having marital difficulties, Jeanne decided she could kill her husband and make it look like a suicide. She used a stun gun on Michael and suffocated him with some plastic wrap, and forged a suicide note. However, the cops were not fooled.

Deadly Women airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

Jerry was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, but is now based in the UK. He specializes in true crime and entertainment news stories. When not writing for Monsters and Critics he loves watching history and political documentaries, as well as any comedy show. He spent many years as a retail manager in the wine and whisky industry before trying his hand at writing. He holds a Degree of Master of Arts in History from Edinburgh University.

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