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Women Who Kill

Since the early 1970s, law enforcement authorities have noted a significant increase in the number of women convicted of murder. Their victims are typically close to them — quite frequently family members or close acquaintances. And the motive? It often involves personal gain — most often, life insurance policies naming the suspected murderess as the benefactor.

Here, we take a look at some of the most notorious murder cases committed by women over the last century that involve their families and friends as victims — some of the world's deadliest and most notorious "black widows."

By Constance Parten, Senior Producer

Posted Feb. 5, 2010