Amelia Dyer was also known as the Reading Baby Farmer, and is thought to have murdered up to 100 illegitimate children who she took from mothers, promising to look after the babies for a fee before adopting them out to wealthier couples. Instead she would take the money and strangle the children, dumping their bodies in the Thames where they were discovered with the tell-tale tape wrapped around their necks. Amelia Dyer was one of the most prolific serial killers of the 19th century. Born in 1837, she was responsible for helping her mentally ill mother as a child, and later in life she trained as a nurse, but ended up being anything but the caring stereotype. When Dyer was widowed in 1869 with a daughter to support she began to adopt babies for money so she could survive financially.
Image caption Amelia Dyer killed her victims by strangling them with white edging tape before throwing them into the Thames. Following the discovery of the baby's body, DC Anderson analysed the paper and discovered a faintly written name and address. It led police to Dyer's home in Kensington Road, Reading. Museum curator PC Colin Boyes said: "It is likely that detectives would be responsible for bringing evidence to court themselves in the Victorian ages.
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Amelia Dyer is known as one of the most brutal and infamous serial killers in history. Also Known As: Amelia Elizabeth Dyer, Amelia Elizabeth Hobley. Famous as: Serial Killer. Family: Spouse/Ex-: George Thomas, William Dyer. father: Samuel Hobley. mother: Sarah Hobley.
Amelia Dyer wasn’t always a murderer though. She was born into a large family outside of Bristol, was well educated and often spent time reading literature and poetry. She was also a natural caretaker. Her mother developed typhus when Amelia was a child and soon succumbed to fits and bouts of extreme mental instability. It is assumed that over the course of almost 30 years, it is estimated that Amelia Dyer killed over 400 children, and pocketed the money from each of them. In March of 1896, a bargeman floating down the Thames fished a carpetbag out of the river.
Amelia Dyer was arrested when she opened her front door to find two policemen on her doorstep. Finally confessing, she said, "You'll know all mine by the tape around their necks. She was hanged in 1896. The depictions of the stench of Dyer’s home (shit and human decay) described by the police, the mounds of pawn tickets for baby clothes and the hundreds of sweet sounding newspaper ads advertising Dyer’s services as a care-giver/adoption agency for children. It was enough to make me physically sick to stomach.
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