Taitu Betul (Empress of Abyssinia)
Is murder an outward demonstration of psychosis? Does a thirst for power, and acting on it, make someone a psychotic killer? In my previous blogs, I've discussed novels that pertain to certain psych-killers in fiction. Today, I'll highlight a case that is debatable as psychotic or as simply strategic. Was she a homicidal maniac or extreme opportunist? Maybe she was both.
Taitu Betul is often seen as a heroine in Ethiopia, and hailed the "mother warrior." In the late 1800's while battling with the Italians, she helped to keep the leaders of Italy from taking over the country. She's considered a strong female hero in her country and many websites and articles praise her strength and perseverence.
But who was Taitu Betul before she rose to power? One thing articles of praise fail to mention is that she was married several times in her life. She's alleged to have killed eleven husbands, labeling her one of the most aristocratic "black widows" of her time. The following is a listing of her husbands:
This listing was supposedly obtained from an article written in 1914: