Maria Catherina Swanenburg (Leiden 9
September 1839 - Gorinchem 11 April 1915) was a Dutch serial killer,
who murdered at least 27, and was suspected of killing more than 90
Swanenburg was the daughter of Clemens Swanenburg
and Johanna Dingjan. After her first two daughters died at a young
age, she married Johannes van der Linden on 13 May 1868. The result of
this marriage was five sons and two daughters. The marriage lasted
until 29 January 1886. Her nickname was Goeie Mie, also spelt
as Goede Mie in modern Dutch (which translates as Good Mee)
which she got for taking care of children and ill people in the poor
neighbourhood of Leiden in which she lived.
It was established with certainty she poisoned at
least 102 people with arsenic of which 27 died between 1880 and 1883.
The investigation included more than ninety suspicious deaths.
Forty-five of the survivors sustained chronic health problems after
ingesting the poison.
Swanenburg's motive was the money she would receive
either through the victims' insurance or their inheritance. She had
secured most of the insurance policies herself. Her first victim was
her own mother in 1880; shortly after this, she killed her father too.
She was caught when trying to poison the
Frankhuizen family in December 1883. Her trial began on April 23,
1885. Maria Swanenburg was found guilty of murder of her last three
victims and sentenced to live in a correctional facility for the rest
of her life. She died there in 1915.