Locusta was probably the first recorded serial killer and/or hired hit-woman. It is believed she knew a great deal about herbs and plants- and when she moved to city of Rome, this knowledge was sought out for evil purposes.
Agrippina the Younger hired her in 54 AD to serve up poisoned mushrooms to murder Emperor Claudius (so that Agrippina’s son, Nero could become Emperor). It worked.
Nero became emperor and, with good reason, was extremely paranoid. Claudius’s other son, Britannicus, had claim to the throne. So… Nero ordered Locusta to be released from prison (for poisoning another victim) and set her up to start an assassin school. She was given a large estate where students were sent to “learn her craft.” Again, her mad skills were effective, Britannicus died from poisoned wine while dining with Nero and Agrippina.
Business was good after that. Land, money, gifts… imperial referrals, assignments. Cha-Ching! That is…
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