ANGEL MAKER: SERIAL KILLER QUEEN ** U.S.A. 2014 Dir: O.H. Krill 60 mins
One of England’s most prolific serial killers Amelia Dyer (1837 -1896) is the centre of this documentary. She was known as a ‘baby farmer’, which was the practice of accepting custody of a child for payment. Often charging young mothers a fee around the £10 mark, she would take in the child and unbeknownst to the mothers kill the child. Many were killed by drugging, starving to death or by strangulation using edging tape.
Travelling Victorian Britain she would change her name and start her lucrative business up again, and when she felt the police were catching up on her would once again move to start all over again. After several years and countless victims (estimated to be over 400) Dyer was caught, put on trial and executed by hanging in 1896. Sadly this documentary is little more then public domain footage and newspaper articles with little narration about the woman herself. This could easily be one of those videos they would show at school to show you how Victorian Britain was, workhouses, prostitution and murder. I was expecting a more in-depth documentary about Dyer with historians, criminal investigators etc but found this to be little more then a slowly narrated textbook read out. If you know nothing of Amelia Dyer then this is a place to start but if you want to be more informed I would suggest picking up the book ‘Amelia Dyer: Angel Maker: The Woman Who Murdered Babies for Money‘ written by Alison Rattle and Allison Vale.
Review by Peter ‘Witchfinder‘ Hopkins