She-Devils: Women behind NSW’s most shocking crimes
These are the women behind some of this state's most unforgettable acts of violence and deadly deceit.
There are less than 1000 women among NSW's 13,400 prison population but among them are mothers and daughters, some of whom killed their own flesh and blood.
DUNG THI NGO - MOTHER, DEALER, KILLER
Dung Thi Ngo is probably the deadliest woman you've never heard of in NSW.
She's a double murderer, a drug "queen pin" and a mother of two.
Ngo was running a methamphetamine empire in western Sydney in 2013 when she formed a suspicion her "ice" cook, Son Than Nguyen, had staged a break-in at the Canley Vale home she rented for him to run as a lab.
A pile of the drug stash had been stolen and she wanted it back.
She instructed others to lure Nguyen back to the house on April 10 and Nguyen took the bait, showing up with his girlfriend Thi Kim Lien Do.
Her henchman Kevin Ly and a group of other men dragged the couple inside and tied them up.
When Nguyen could not tell Ngo where the drugs were, she ordered Ly to kill him.
Ly strangled Nguyen with a piece of garden hose.
Ms Do had been dragged into a bedroom where she pleaded for her life: "Don't kill me, I don't know anything".
Nguyen's body was found that night in a Bankstown property. Do's remains were found months later on a vacant block at West Hoxton.
Ngo and Ly were each found guilty of two counts of murder and sentenced in May 2019 to at least 30 years in jail.
KATHERINE KNIGHT - SHE-DEVIL
Australia will never forget the crimes of Katherine Mary Knight.
Knight stabbed her defacto husband, 44-year-old John Price, 37 times in the middle of the night on February 29, 2000.
Then the former abattoir worker Knight, who had a fascination with knives, cut her husband's head off and placed it in a pot of boiling water on the stove.
She skinned his body and hoisted the skin over a hook on an architrave in his home in tiny Hunter Valley mining town of Aberdeen.
Steaks of Mr Price's flesh were roasted with vegetables and plated up. Beside the plates were notes addressed to each of Mr Price's adult children.
Knight took an overdose of medication that night and claimed later to have no recollection of her offending.
She pleaded guilty and her file was marked "never to be released" - the first woman in Australia to receive the ultimate court sanction.
She appealed the severity sentence, claiming the dismemberment of Mr Price's body occurred after the murder.
It was dismissed and Justice Michael Adams - one of three appeal judges - ruled the mutilation "must be regarded as an integral part of the killing itself".
KATHLEEN FOLBIGG - LETHAL MOTHER
Convicted of killing three of her children and the manslaughter of a fourth, Kathleen Folbigg still has her supporters.
Her first child, Caleb, died at 19 days. Patrick died at eight months, Sarah at 10 months, then Laura at 19 months. They died over the decade to 1999.
Folbigg was jailed for at least 25 years in 2003.
She had the children with her then-husband Craig Folbigg as the family moved around, including to the Hunter Valley towns of Singleton and Thornton.
She maintains to this day each died from natural causes but sentencing and appeal courts have repeatedly ruled she was responsible for their deaths.
A group of legal practitioners petitioned NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman who granted an inquiry into her convictions in April last year.
She was forced to deny accusations from her ex-husband's barrister Margaret Cunneen SC she smothered her babies out of "homicidal rages" and "psychological mood swings".
Folbigg claimed a 1997 diary entry in which she described doing "terrible things" was not a reference to killing her children.
The inquiry found Folbigg's guilt was only reinforced by the evidence it surfaced.
KELI LANE - SADDEST SINNER
Water polo champion Keli Lane screamed "Oh, no!" and collapsed when a Supreme Court jury found her guilty of murdering her baby daughter Tegan.
She had insisted Tegan was handed to her biological father, a man named either Andrew Morris or Norris, in the days following her birth in Auburn Hospital in September 1996.
Morris/Norris and 21-year-old Lane had a brief affair, she claimed, yet an exhaustive search by police could not surface the man.
The Crown argued Lane killed the child because she was committed to competing at the 2000 Olympics.
The circumstances surrounding her case - not just the death of Tegan but two other babies who Lane secretly delivered and adopted out - captivated and saddened the public at the time of her 2010 trial.
Lane was also found guilty of three counts of making false statements on oath regarding documents used in the adopting out of the two other babies.
She appealed on the basis that a charge of manslaughter should have been an option open to the jury and there was no evidence of exactly how Tegan died.
That failed in the High Court and she is serving at least 13 years behind bars.
Tegan's body was never found.
REBECCA BUTTERFIELD - TOO BAD
The act of self-harming to lure guards into her cell so she could attack them was something of a strategy for Rebecca Butterfield.
Her shocking record behind bars, which includes cutting her own throat, earned Butterfield the title of the state's most violent inmate.
In 2015 she completed a 12-year sentence for manslaughter of another inmate who she stabbed 33 times, yet Butterfield remains behind bars.
The NSW Government successfully applied to the Supreme Court for a five-year extension to her incarceration on the basis she was an "unacceptable risk" to society.
In January this year a court heard Butterfield was hearing "voices" when she hurled a plate of food at a guard at Silverwater Correctional Complex.
Magistrate Lisa Stapleton ruled her schizophrenia and personality disorders were so severe Butterfield could not be dealt with under the criminal code and would instead undergo treatment behind bars.
BELINDA VAN KREVEL - "VAN EVIL"
Getting close to Belinda Van Krevel can be a bloody mistake.
Her father Jack Van Krevel was hacked to death on her orders.
Years later, she went back to jail for repeatedly stabbing the man who loved her.
As a 19-year-old in 2000, Van Krevel listened from a neighbouring room as her father Jack succumbed to a brutal attack with, among other things, a tomahawk inside his Albion Park home.
The man responsible was Keith Schreiber, encouraged to carry out the killing by Van Krevel who had maintained Jack was interfering with a member of the family.
Both she and Schreiber were jailed for the murder.
Six years later she was released from jail and free to love.
Van Krevel was dating Marshall Gould in 2013 when she stabbed him five times in the neck, leg and arm inside their Rockdale flat.
She was sentenced to another two years jail despite Mr Gould pleading with the court for leniency and saying he still loved her.
Van Krevel is the sister of Mark Valera who is serving life for killing former Wollongong Mayor Frank Arkell and David O'Hearn.
Dean Shillingsworth just wanted his mother's affection. Like the way he adored her.
But in return for his clinginess and persistence, Rachel Pfitzner "lost it" on October 7, 2011.
A court heard she told a psychiatrist she shook the two-year-old until he was frothing at the mouth. When she realised she had killed her son she became terrified. She stripped off his clothes, put his little body in a suitcase and threw it into a duck pond in Ambervale, near Campbelltown.
She watched it sink and walked away.
She pleaded guilty and in 2009 a Supreme Court judge jailed Pfitzner for at least 19 years.
Department of Community Services had received a number of calls for concern for Dean and a court had just granted an order he be placed in his grandmother's care, when he died.
Pfitzner also told a psychologist "Dean forgives me … he's safe now and with God".
Originally published as She-Devils: Women behind NSW's most shocking crimes