Lavinia Fisher was allegedly America’s first female serial killer. And although historians speculate how much of this story is true, her crimes, trial, and execution continue to be one Charleston’s most notorious legends.
There’s only circumstantial evidence that this alluring woman ever murdered anyone, however, the twisted hearsay about what really happened is absolutely horrifying.
During the early 1800’s, she and her husband John, a convicted bank robber, owned The Six Mile Wayfarer Inn, where folks are said to have checked in for a lovely stay but often never checked out. Using her charm and seduction, she would invite male guests for dinner to gather whatever information she could about how much money they had. Afterwards, she would send her unwary victims back to their rooms with a cup of poisoned tea.
The concoction was meant to put them to sleep forever, but just to make sure they didn’t awake and escape, John would enter the room and stab them. Other tales say there was a lever located at the side of the bed that would unexpectedly drop guests into a dark pit filled with countless corpses.
When people were reported missing, there was an investigation into the disappearances but deputies didn’t take them seriously because there wasn’t any substantial evidence, albeit two unidentified bodies were found on their property.
Even when they were finally arrested and charged, it wasn’t even for murder–it was for highway robbery. This is the main reason historians believe Lavinia and John were never true killers, just a couple thieves in an infamous posse called The Six Mile Gang.
Back in those days, robbery was a hanging offense, and in 1820, they got the noose.
If the legends about Lavinia and her inn of horrors wasn’t enough to keep folks talking, what she said right before being put to death is enough to give you shivers up your spine.
“If anyone has a message for Hell, give it to me, and I’ll carry it.”