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The Story of a Female Serial Killer in Bremen: Gesche Gottfrie

It is exciting yet unfortunate that the history of serial killings stems deep into the past. The only thing changing is the style or method of murder and murder tools. Unfortunately, such wrongful deaths are not a thing of the past. Luckily, as the cases become more complex, legal teams suit up more to bring culprits to book while delivering justice to the deceased and their loved ones.

At Robert J. DeBry and Associates, we take pride in our exceptional professionalism and attention to detail while dispensing our legal services. Our team of wrongful death lawyers has over 45 years of experience and quality services to get you the compensation you deserve. While at it, we appreciate that history offers several crucial cases to learn from as we focus on improving our services. A great example is the Arsenic Serial Killer case tracing back to the late 17th to the early eighteenth century.

The Female Serial Killer

Gesina Margarethe Gottfried, alias Gesche Gottfried was the daughter of seamstress Gresche Margarethe Timm and tailored Johann Timm. She was born on March 6, 1785, together with her twin brother, Johann Timm Jr. Not precisely a favorite child in the family, her father pushed her into marriage at the first chance to Johan Mittenberg.

Gresche, as she became graciously known in Bremen, seemingly had two personalities, one that took people long to discover. The bout of death around her appeared to be bad luck, as the people closest to her, including her three husbands, children, mother, and friends, died of stomach pain. To the town, she was the ‘angel of Bremen.’ She got the nickname due to her show of care, resignation, and devotion to the sickly around her. It was not until she would- be the 12th victim that the cards of death matched across all the other victims, and proof of food poisoning came to light.

Johan Rumpff became suspicious when he became ill after the death of his wife, also from stomach pain. He found traces of white powder in his food and consulted his physician, who discovered the presence of arsenic. Gresche killed more people before being captured on her 43rd birthday in 1828.

Why Is Gresche Gottfried’s Case Important?

Aside from her modus operandi, Gresche’s case remains significant as she marks the end of public executions in Bremen. Additionally, her psychiatric history reflects a common trend in most serial killers where their unusual behavioral tendencies begin early- mostly during childhood.

Nevertheless, the victims of any wrongful death must get justice and their kin the compensation they deserve. At Robert J. DeBry and Associates, we build to invest in building solid relationships to help you find closure during challenging moments. Reach out to us today to book an appointment with a professional wrongful death lawyer.


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