Locusta of Gaul: The First Documented Serial Killer

Locusta of Gaul

Research reveals that Locusta of Gaul was the first recorded serial killer by poisoning thousands in mid-first century C.E. She poisoned for pleasure and for gain, eventually becoming one of the most preeminent poison masters in Rome.

In C.E. 54, she was hired by Agrippina to supply a poisoned plate of mushrooms to murder Emperor Claudius so that her son Nero could take the throne. Emperor Nero then saved her from execution and pardoned her for all past murders in exchange for poisoning his step brother Britannicus. For her service, Nero gave her a grand villa and sent students to her to learn this deadly art.

With the patronage of the emperor, Locusta enjoyed a period of great business success – until the Roman Senate finally condemned Nero to death in 68 A.D. Before he could be brought to stand trial for his many crimes, Nero killed himself with his own dagger.

After Nero’s suicide, Locusta was sentenced to death by Emperor Galba.

In an article posted on Cracked (citing from another source), Locusta was allegedly “raped in public by a specially trained giraffe, after which she was torn apart by wild animals”, on orders from Galba.

Although bestiality has been depicted in all forms throughout history, I think it’s safe to say Locusta’s case is an exception. Her fate is contained in the brief mention in Cassius Dio, 63.3: “In the case, however, of Helius, Narcissus, Patrobius, Lucusta [aka Locusta], the sorceress, and others of the scum that had come to the surface in Nero’s day, he [Galba] ordered them to be led in chains throughout the whole city and then to be executed.”


I have no idea where the giraffe came from but I gotta admit that it did pique my curiosity. 🙂 If you know anything about our first serial killer right here please feel free to comment below, and it would make me happier if you could cite some sources.

This has been an interesting way to start the year. And oh, it’s my blog’s first year anniversary so thanks for joining the partaayy 🙂


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