Unlock The Past will be at

Unlock the Past Cruises

Carol Baxter — Black Widow

Event Information

  • 10 Nov 2015 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • 280 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000
  • Sydney CBD
  • New South Wales
Other Information
  • Cost: Free and open to the public

Join Carol Baxter to discover the true story of Australia’s first female serial killer,


Louisa Collins was known as ‘The Botany Murderess’ or ‘Lucretia Borgia of Botany Bay’. Found guilty of using arsenic to murder both her first and second husbands, Louisa Collins’ case immediately became the cause celebre of Australia. The thought of a woman murdering her husband was bad enough, but doing it twice was unprecedented.


Collins was brought to trial three times, only for each of the hung juries to be dismissed. Eventually she was found guilty and sentenced to death at her fourth trial in 1888, the result provoking community outrage and claims of an official vendetta. Louisa Collins was executed in 1889, the last woman hanged at Darlinghust Gaol.


This is a rich and detailed story told in the way only Carol Baxter can, bringing to life so many of the human aspects of our colonial history.