World’s deadliest female assassins from brainwashed spy to cop slayer temptress

It was a case that shocked the world in 2017 – the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un ’s half-­brother by two young women who rubbed VX, the world’s deadliest nerve agent, in his face.

But the plot thickened even further when the women claimed they thought they were just taking part in a prank for a TV show.

The story of the killing of Kim Jong-nam at an airport in Malaysia is being told in a new documentary called Assassins.

Siti Aisyah, then 25, a masseuse from Indonesia, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, a Vietnamese ­waitress, said they were tricked into carrying out the killing in a North Korean plot.

Four North Korean suspects left the airport after the killing and got back to the country.

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The women were initially charged with murder, but in 2019 those charges were dropped.

Aisyah was released while Huong pleaded guilty to “voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means” and was freed a month later.

While these women appear to have been accidental assassins, there have been many lethal women in history.

Here, Daily Star looks at the deadliest female assassins of all time…

Kim Hyon-hui

Kim was recruited directly from university in Pyongyang in 1981 to become a spy.

After six years of training in martial arts and fitness, she struck in 1987 when South Korea was preparing to host the Olympic Games in Seoul.

North Korea was determined to prevent the games taking place and Kim was ordered to take down a plane. She placed a bomb in the overhead compartment of Korean Air’s Flight 858, before disembarking during a stop-over. The bomb detonated, killing all 115 on board.

Kim was captured, confessed and sentenced to death in 1989 – but was pardoned on grounds of brainwashing.

Mata Hari

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She might not have killed by her own hand but the world’s greatest female spy sent up to 50,000 French soldiers to their death in World War One.

Dutch-born Hari’s real name was Margaretha MacLeod and she had gone through an abusive marriage and the death of her son before reinventing herself as an exotic dancer in 1905.

This combined with a series of illicit romances with married men made her notorious across Europe and German intelligence recruited her to obtain top-secret knowledge about the Allies from her lovers.

Hari insisted her real plan was to seduce her way into German high command to get secrets for the French, but the French doubted her and she was arrested in 1917.

She was executed by firing squad – rumour has it she flung open her coat to reveal her naked body in a bid to distract the men as they took their shots.

Idoia Lopez Riano

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She was dubbed “La Tigresa” – The Tigress – for her sexual prowess and appetite, and bedded policemen before leaving to shoot their colleagues.

Riano was an assassin and leading commando in ETA, the terror group which fought for Basque independence from Spain in the 1980s.

Joining them aged 18 in 1984, the femme fatale with the piercing eyes brutally slayed at least 23 people. She also took part in the 1986 massacre of 12 officers in Madrid.

Riano earned a reputation as a psychopath who would pause to admire her reflection before eliminating her next victim. No wonder she was the inspiration for Killing Eve’s Villanelle, as portrayed by Jodie Comer.

She was arrested in France in 1994 and extradited to Spain, where she served 23 years behind bars.

Today aged 56 she lives in Barcelona – and last year her mother revealed La Tigresa now works for the humanitarian charity Red Cross.

Brigitte Mohnhaupt

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Once described as the most evil and dangerous woman in Germany, Mohnhaupt took part in nine murders of leading figures in West Germany during the 1970s.

She was a prominent member of the Red Army Faction, also known as the Baader-Meinhof gang, a radical militant group responsible for a wave of terror in Germany during the 1970s.

In total the group were responsible for more than 30 killings and the hijacking of a plane. Mohnhaupt personally shot a banker at close range after handing him flowers and was involved in an assassination attempt on an American commander and his wife using a rocket launcher.

After her arrest in 1982 she was sentenced to five life terms but controversially paroled in 2007 despite never expressing remorse for her crimes or cooperating with authorities.

She is still alive today.

Charlotte Corday

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Corday was an aristocrat in 17th century France who became embroiled in the French Revolution.

Despite being a toff, she was part of the moderate revolutionaries who didn’t want the war to go in a violent direction. She believed she could prevent it by taking out radical journalist Jean-Paul Marat.

She talked her way into his house pretending she had vital information and then stabbed him with a six-inch kitchen knife as he sat in the bath.

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Arrested there and then, at her trial she said she “killed one man to save a hundred thousand”, but was executed for the crime four days later, at the age of 24, by guillotine.

In 1847, a writer gave her the nickname The Angel of the Assassination.

Maria Jimenez

Known as La Tosca – “The Tough One” – Jimenez was Mexico’s most prolific female assassin.

She confessed to murdering 20 people for the dangerous Zetas drug cartel and was paid around £1,400 per month to kill her victims – including rival drug traffickers and a police officer.

In her 20s she ran a hit squad including women, men and teenagers, which carried out kills across northern Mexican cities.

She was arrested with three men in 2012 aged 26, and charged with murder, car theft and kidnapping.

*Assassins is available on Dogwoof On Demand ( watch.dogwoof.com ) and other digital platforms from today.

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