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Della Sorenson he killed the first of his seven victims in rural Nebraska by poisoning his sister-in-law’s infant daughter, Viola Cooper, on July 23, 1918.
For the next seven years, Sorenson’s friends, relatives and acquaintances died under mysterious circumstances before anyone finally realized that it had to be more than a coincidence.
Two years after little Viola diedWilhelmina Weldam, Sorenson’s mother-in-law, was poisoned.
This criminal then persecuted her own family and killed her daughter, Minnie, and her husband, Joeover a two-week period in September.
Waiting only four months before remarrying, Sorenson settled in Dannebrog, Nebraska. In August 1922, her former sister-in-law came to visit another baby, four-month-old Clifford. Just as he had done with Viola, Sorenson poisoned the poor girl with candy..
The unfortunate Mrs. Cooper, still oblivious to what was happening, returned again in October to visit another child. This time, Sorenson’s poison didn’t work.
Early in 1923, the criminal killed her own daughter, Delia, on her first birthday. When Sorenson’s friend brought her young daughter to visit just a week later, the tiny baby was also poisoned.
After an attempt on the life of Sorenson’s second husband left him ill but not dead, the authorities began to think that there could be a connection between this series of deaths.
Finally, in 1925, Sorenson was arrested when she unsuccessfully tried to kill two neighborhood children with poisoned cookies.. She confessed to the crimes and said: “I like to attend funerals. I am happy when someone is dying”. Sentiments such as these convinced doctors that Sorenson was schizophrenic and that she was committed to a state insane asylum.