According to the Bible, money is the root of all evil. It is an addiction that can persuade some people into compromising their own morality and possibly even kill people just to get their hands on some of it. It’s hard to deny that there may be truth to this statement, when we see it in the news headlines every day.

Inner-city gang violence is heavily rooted in drug and gun sales, as well as the sex trade. Rival gang members attempting to conduct business on another gang’s territory is liable to be shot in cold blood. Violence only breeds more violence, when the other gang seeks retribution for their fallen comrade, and entire communities are caught in the crossfire.

Drug cartels are also known to have some of the most violent and ruthless killers behind them. Like the street gangs that run rampant in the inner-cities of the United States, cartels don’t take kindly to anyone looking to infringe on their business – whether they be law enforcement or competition. And it’s not uncommon for cartels to paint entire cities red with the blood of anyone who dares to stand in their way.

Then there’s serial killers…

Many people believe that serial killers kill because they can’t help themselves. It may be shocking to hear that this isn’t always the case. Some serial killers – particularly female serial killers – may arguably find some joy in the act of killing, but their primary motivation isn’t based on an uncontrollable impulse. Their only motivation is their love of money.

The most prolific serial killer of all time, Amelia Dyer.

The most prolific serial killer of all time, Amelia Dyer.

Take for instance, Amelia Dyer. Dyer ran a boarding house for unwed mothers. Often the mother would leave the children with these boarding houses, since having a child out of wedlock was frowned upon in conservative Victorian English society. Dyer would procure the funds up front, promising the mothers she would take good care of the baby, and then promptly throw the tiny child into the river. Other times, Dyer would place articles in the newspaper offering to take in unwanted children. After collecting the funds, she would murder or emaciate the children to the point of death. It’s unknown how many children died at her hands, but some historians have estimated that the body count may be in the hundreds.

Then there was Belle Guinness. Guinness emigrated to the United States from Norway in 1859. After her marriage she began murdering foster children she agreed to take in in order to collect on insurance policies. It wasn’t long before anyone who dared to get too close to Belle began showing up dead, and Belle wasn’t shy about collecting the money owed at the time of their deaths.

Belle Gunness

Once she ran out of family members to murder, Guinness began luring local bachelors to their doom; robbing the men before burying them in her backyard. Just as the law began to close in on her, Guinness mysteriously died in a fire. There has been some speculation that she faked her own death and sightings of Belle Guinness continued up until the 1930s. Guinness was able to net in a cool $200,000 on insurance policies alone, which translates to roughly $6 million at today’s rate.


Arsenic Annie, warm, friendly, lethal.

Arsenic Annie, warm, friendly, lethal.

Like Guinness, Nannie Doss was a notorious black widow who killed to collect on insurance policies. While she may be the most famous black widow, her lust for money didn’t just extend to her suitors and she has also been accused of killing her own children and grandchildren. She would go on to be the first woman to ever have the pleasure of sitting in Oklahoma’s electric chair.

These are just a few stories of people so encumbered by greed that they would kill their own loved ones if it meant that there was a check involved. Though the definition of serial killer may vary, depending upon the text, these people are as cold blooded as they come. And while their killings may have been financially motivated, make no mistake, they enjoyed every moment of it as they were laughing all the way to the bank.