The 17th Century Italian Woman Who Poisoned 600 Men Using Her Unique Makeup

Tom Blank of Weird History tells the story of Giulia Tofana, who was responsible for the death of over 600 men, poisoning them with her unique line of makeup in 17th century Italy.

Giulia Tofana was a widow maker in the literal sense, playing judge, jury, and executioner in an era where divorce was but a distant dream. With a higher body count than Vlad the Impaler, Tofana was one of the deadliest female criminals in history. And she provided her service to others for a price.

The makeup included Aqua Tofana, an odorless, tasteless, and essentially undetectable poison made up of arsenic, lead, and belladonna. She sold the concoction inside a powder and a saintly tonic, both of which were easily hidden so they could be used against abusive men when the time was right.

Now a reasonable person might wonder why Tofana created such an undetectable poison intended to exclusively kill husbands. Tofana claimed she was only helping a woman get out of a marriage where the husband was abusive…