Why did these names make the list? Check out FTK’s roundup of some of the most crazy mother-in-law names in history. These domineering women will make any disagreeable mother-in-law seem like a saint!
1. Elizabeth Ann “Ma” Duncan
Frank Duncan, 29, decided to leave his controlling mother’s side and live on his own. Miserable without him, Elizabeth Ann “Ma” Duncan took an overdose of sleeping pills, which brought him back home as planned. When Ma hired an attractive nurse named Olga, Frank began a relationship with her. Ma began calling Olga every day telling her to stay away from Frank. When this didn’t work, Ma made death threats. Frank and Olga secretly married, and Olga became pregnant. Ma contacted an ex-con so they could pose as Olga and Frank for an annulment of the marriage. Afterwards, she hired 2 people to kidnap and kill a pregnant Olga in Mexico. The men buried her alive. One of them finally gave Ma away after he was caught. Ma claimed until the end that she was innocent.
2. Carolyn Bourne
Before her wedding, Heidi Withers spent a weekend at her fiancé Freddie’s home in England, her future mother-in-law, Carolyn Bourne, sent her a detailed list of instructions on how to behave if she hoped to “be accepted into the Bourne family.” Here’s a partial list of complaints in Carolyn’s cruel note, which went viral:
When you are a guest in another’s house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat – unless you are positively allergic to something. You do not remark that you do not have enough food. You do not start before everyone else. You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.You regularly draw attention to yourself. Perhaps you should ask yourself why…No one gets married in a castle unless they own it. It is brash, celebrity-style behaviour. I understand your parents are unable to contribute very much towards the cost of your wedding. It would be most ladylike and gracious to lower your sights and have a modest wedding as befits both your incomes…One could be accused of thinking that Heidi Withers must be patting herself on the back for having caught a most eligible young man. I pity Freddie.
3. Diana Reaves Costarakis
In 2013, this Floridian told an undercover agent that if he didn’t kill her daughter-in-law, she’d do it herself. Costarakis made up a story that her daughter-in-law was a drunk who was planning to leave her son and take their child with her. She offered the agent $5,000 to commit the crime, handed him $1500, and told him to take the jewelry off the dead body for the rest of the bounty. She was charged with criminal solicitation for conspiring with an officer.
4. Felistus Gopoza
Judah Magarasadza’s wife Rozie Gopoza died in 2008. Two months later his mother-in-law, Felistus Gopoza, moved in with him. The two immediately began a romantic relationship which culminated in them marrying in 2010. The wedding reception was low-key: The two families refused to bless the marriage.
5. Bona Sforza
Bona Sforza was born into a powerful Italian family that ruled Milan. Despite her strong influence, she failed to prevent an arranged marriage between her son Sigismund II and Elisabeth of Austria. She was very vocal about her dislike for Elisabeth, and her daughter-in-law died two years into the marriage. Bona also disapproved of her son’s second wife, his longtime mistress Barbara Radziwill. After Barbara died of a mysterious “illness” five months into the marriage, people came to the conclusion that Bona used poison to get rid of both daughters-in-law.
6. Sara Delano Roosevelt
When Franklin Roosevelt fell for his distant cousin Eleanor, his mother Sara tried to dissuade him from marrying the orphaned debutante. Nevertheless, the couple married on March 17, 1905. As a wedding present, Sara built the couple a townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Her generous gift included her own adjacent home–complete with connecting doors on every floor. Eleanor lived in the shadow of her domineering mother-in-law, who ordered Eleanor to abandon her charity work, manage the household and spoil her children. Eleanor finally left Sara behind when her husband got elected to the New York State Senate and they moved to Albany.
7. Princess Sophie of Bavaria
Sophie of Bavaria convinced her husband to renounce the throne to their son, Franz Joseph, so he could rule Austria instead. She also chose her son’s wife: one of her sister’s daughters. A 16-year-old Elisabeth wed Franz Joseph in April 1854 and gave birth 10 months later. Sophie, who was known to berate her daughter-in-law as a “Bavarian goose” and “silly young mother” took it upon herself to name the baby—after herself. She also took full control of the baby and the three that came after. Sophie’s hostile relationship with her daughter-in-law is said to have destroyed her marriage. It also plunged Elisabeth into depression, anorexia and bulimia.
8. Madge Gates Wallace
In Madge’s opinion, her daughter Bess could’ve done better than marrying Harry Truman, who was then an unemployed college drop-out. The couple lived with this overbearing mother-in-law, and when Harry entered politics, Madge belittled him constantly. When Truman became president, she said it was Bessie’s influence that put Truman in the White House. Surprisingly, Madge moved in with the couple to the executive mansion, where she still put down her son-in-law for his failings.
9. Ruth Zafrin
For years, comedian Sunda Croonquist’s shtick was to describe her life as a half-black, half-Swedish woman who married into a Jewish family. In 2008, her mother-in-law, Ruth Zarfin, sued her, saying her jokes were holding her up to public ridicule. In a 21-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper concluded that the examples cited — including one in which Croonquist says her sister-in-law’s voice sounds like a cat in heat — fell under the category of protected speech. The case was thrown out of the courts. Croonquist had the last laugh.
10. Khalood Bojanowski
The most despised mother-in-law on television is Khalood, who was on the Dr. Phil show several times. Khalood first caught America’s attention when she called her own son-in-law “Dumbass” on national television. She also said her daughter, Fallon, had become just as lazy and disrespectful as her son-in-law, Steve. She wanted them out of her house. However, when Dr. Phil convinced the couple to move out, Khalood was livid. In addition to being belligerent to Steve, she admitted that during the holidays, she slipped “a special ingredient” into his hot chocolate to see him suffer. Khalood also secretly made copies of her daughter’s house key and let herself in two to three times a week because Fallon wouldn’t return her calls. Not surprisingly, she was happy when her daughter’s marriage ended.