Lydia Sherman was a female serial killer who became known throughout the United States as “Queen Poisoner” or the “Derby Poisoner” for the poisonous murders of ten people, all of whom were known to Lydia. The murders began when she killed her first husband, Edward Struck. In 1843, Lydia married Edward Struck, a carriage blacksmith, at the tender age of 19. In the following years, Lydia gave birth to seven children. In addition to the six that Edward had from a former marriage, Lydia had to take care of thirteen children. After moving to New York City with his wife and children, Edward began working as a police officer, but was later dismissed from work. He became deeply depressed–
something Lydia could not handle. On May 24, 1864, she mixed a spoonful of arsenic into a bowl of porridge and served it to Edward, who died the next morning. His cause of death was ruled as tuberculosis. In the following months, Lydia killed six of her children with the same method. After collecting the insurance money, Lydia decided to move to Stratford, Connecticut, where she met Dennis Hurlburt and married him around 1868. In the same year, Dennis died a very painful death under the same circumstances– however, the physician certified the cause of death as cholera morbus. At the time Lydia moved to Derby, Connecticut, she had already killed eight people, but was not done yet. In September 1870, Lydia married Horatio N. Sherman, who had three children. Two months after the wedding, Lydia killed Horatio’s infant son with putting arsenic in his milk. Only a month went by when Horatio’s daughter 14-year-old daughter was poisoned as well by Lydia. Horatio could not cope with the unexpected deaths of two of his children and by April 1871, the marriage began to shatter. After coming home from work, Lydia made her husband a hot chocolate. As was to be expected, Horatio died four days later in May of the same year. The killings finally came to an end after an autopsy was ordered on Horatio’s body. Lydia was arrested one month later. She was only charged with the murder of Horatio, although she insisted that his death was accidental. Nonethless, she was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1873. In May of 1878, Lydia died after a long illness in prison.