Marie Alexandrine was a woman with passable looks and big dreams. She was born in 1877 in Liege Belgium. At age 33 she settled into the role of a virtuous and proper housewife when she married Charles Becker, a cabinetmaker.
By age 53 she was thoroughly bored with her staid lifestyle. One day when she was out buying vegetables at a street stall, she was propositioned by a smooth-talker named Lambert Bayer. The sexual attraction between the two was immediate and they were soon engaged in a passionate affair.
Marie Alexandrine eventually grew tired of pretending to be the faithful wife. She wanted to flaunt her relationship with Bayer openly. So she decided that the only way to be free to live as she wanted was to get rid of her husband. Her drug of choice; Digitalis. Charles Becker was dispatched to the hereafter with a lethal dose in his cup of tea.
Marie Alexandrine collected on Becker's life insurance policy and after observing the proper period of mourning she married Lambert Bayer.
And again it was not long before married life palled. Unfortunately for Bayer it was sooner rather than later. For Marie Alexandrine their relationship no longer held the same appeal as it did when they were involved in an illicit affair. Less than two months after the wedding, Bayer was dispatched posthaste; but not before making sure she was named as sole beneficiary in his will.
If Marie Alexandrine had been a pragmatic female the money that she received from her spouses would have been enough to allow her to live quite comfortably for her remaining years. How ever she was far from pragmatic. She fantasized about a life of luxury and decadence and she was determined to live out her fantasy.
Her nights were spent in dance halls and nightclubs surrounded by men half her age. And it was not unusual for her to buy sexual favors from these men.
In order to maintain some semblance of respectability, Marie Alexandrine opened a small couture dress shop in a fashionable district of town in the hopes of attracting the grand dames of society.
Unfortunately her fortune could not keep pace with her extravagant expenses and though popular, her dress shop did not generate enough income to continue her elevated lifestyle.
Marie Alexandrine had to come up with another scheme and quick. In early July 1935 one of her friends, Marie Castadot began suffering from nausea and dizziness. Marie Alexandrine graciously offered to care for her. Not surprising under Marie Alexandrine's ministrations Madame Castadot became gravel ill and by July 23rd she was dead.
It was not long before she was again searching for more victims. Through her store Marie Alexandrine became acquainted with a number of society's matriarchs. By earning their implicit trust she was able to arrange for private showings in their opulent homes. When the inevitable refreshments were served she would whip out her ever-present vial of digitalis and managed to slip a lethal dose in her hostess' tea. As the victim lay dying Marie Alexandrine would help herself to anything of value that she could stuff in her pockets before she summoned help.
Though she was never got red-handed eventually her actions aroused enough suspicions and the police received anonymous letters accusing her of being involved in the deaths of several elderly women.
But it was her own mouth that would cause her downfall. When a friend complained about her aggravating husband, Marie Alexandrine offered to supply her with a powder that would leave no trace. Appalled the woman went to the police and this latest incident along with the letters were enough for them to launch an investigation. With each suspicious death looked into the police noted that they all had one thing in common, they were in the company of Marie Alexandrine during the last hours of their life.
When the police arrived at Marie Alexandrine's residence they searched her rooms. They found clothing, jewelry, and personal items belonging to the victims. They also discovered her vials of digitalis. Marie was taken into custody immediately and the bodies of several of her victims were exhumed. They found high levels of digitalis in all.
During her trial witnesses testified how she would attend the funerals during the day and by nightfall she would be in the nightclubs spending the money she had stolen from them. She failed to show any remorse about the murders going so far as to make scandalous statements as to how her victims looked when they died. She was convicted of murder and fortunately for her she was spared the death penalty because Belgium rarely executed women. Died in prison during World War II.
For over two years Marie Alexandrine Becker poisoned at least 10 victims. Many fear that her deadly spree claimed many more before she was caught.