Their weapon of choice? Aqua Tofana, a deadly cocktail of arsenic, belladonna and lead.
During the 1600s, divorce was off the table for Italian women trapped in unhappy marriages. So, many of them turned to the most extreme exit strategy: murder. Their weapon of choice? Aqua Tofana, a deadly cocktail of arsenic, belladonna and lead.
This particular brand of poison is believed to have been invented by a woman called Teofania di Adamo, who faced execution for her lethal recipe. Later, the concoction found popularity with her presumed daughter, Giulia Tofana, and her Rome-based gang of poisoners who sold their deadly solution to aspiring widows.
The poison's grim legacy suggests over 600 victims, mostly husbands. Even Mozart believed he had been poisoned by the stuff when he suddenly fell deathly ill at 35, but there’s no proof that Aqua Tofana was the true cause.