7 Mothers-In-Law Who Were Seriously Despicable

7 min read

I’m not sure if it’s because their daughter-in-law outnumbers them, or if they just get a kick out of being wickedly mean, but mothers-in-law have a tendency to be particularly despicable. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with one, then you know what I mean.

These women can make your life a living hell, with their snide comments and incessant meddling. So, in this post, I want to take a look at some of the evilest mothers-in-law to have ever walked the earth. Brace yourself – it’s about to get ugly!

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Not everyone is blessed with wonderful mothers-in-law. Sometimes they get stuck with someone who is so different from the person they raised that you have to wonder what happened.

But, at least they’re probably not out to get you, which is more than we can see for these seven ladies, who made themselves more than known to their world by vying for the title of worst mothers-in-law ever.

1. Styllou Pantopiou Christofi

Hella Christofi and her partner Stavros Christofi had been happily married for 15 years in 1953. That’s when Stavros decided to invite his mother, Styllou Pantopiou Christofi, to come and live with them in England. Having moved from Cyprus, Styllou spoke no English. She was also incredibly jealous of Hella’s relationship with her son and caused considerable tension with her demands and behaviour.

7 Mothers-In-Law Who Were Seriously Despicable | Stay at Home Mum

In July of 1954, Styllou had decided she’d had enough of her daughter-in-law. She bashed her over the head when Stavros was out, then dragged her out into the garden and set her on fire. She tried to tell police that she had merely found Hella burning, but police were suspicious, and she was eventually tried and sentenced to death. Interestingly, Styllou had previously been acquitted of murdering her own mother-in-law!

2. Huajiao Zhuang

Huajiao Zhuang was a 50-year-old immigrant from China who came to Melbourne to be close to her son, Peter. This son was married to 21-year-old Selina Lin, who Zhuang didn’t like at all. Zhuang felt that Lin wasn’t respectful enough to her, and was a negative influence on her son. She was trying to encourage her son to marry another woman from China, and accept a large sum of money due to Peter’s Australian citizenship.

7 Mothers-In-Law Who Were Seriously Despicable | Stay at Home Mum

Then, in May of 2012, Zhuang attacked Lin with a hammer. She bashed her in the head some 33 times, all while Lin’s two-year-old son watched. Following the murder, Zhuang wrapped up Lin’s body, and dumped it in a creek. She was found guilty, and sentenced to 22 years in prison.

3. Heather Emmonds

Sometimes, you just can’t escape your mother-in-law, and nobody knows this better than Tina Casey. When she was 42, she decided to take her young son and move away, all because her ex-partner’s mother was too much to handle. The mother-in-law, Heather Emmonds, was demanding and had allegedly put crushed sleeping pills in Casey’s food on two occasions to poison her.

7 Mothers-In-Law Who Were Seriously Despicable | Stay at Home Mum

Casey moved more than 320 kilometres away, but it wasn’t enough. In February of 2013, Emmonds broke into Casey’s house and attacked her from behind. She stabbed Casey in the neck and stomach 15 times, all while Casey’s son played upstairs. Emmonds then attempted suicide, before being found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

4. Bachan Kaur

Bachan Kaur was an older lady from India who migrated to England with her two sons. When it came to law, it didn’t get much higher than Kaur, who controlled every aspect of her son’s lives. One of her sons was placed into an arranged marriage with a girl named Surjit Athwal when the girl was just 16. By the time she was 27 and a mother of two, Surjit was ready to break out, and started to have her own friends, wear makeup and get her hair cut. That was not to be tolerated by Kaur.

She invited Surjit, her own daughter-in-law back to India to attend a wedding, under the proviso that Surjit would be able to do lots of shopping. When she was in India, Surjit went missing and was never seen again. Kaur and one of her sons were charged with her murder about nine years later, and they admitted to hiring thugs to kill her and dispose of her body.

5. Cynthia Cdebaca

Cynthia Cdebaca lived in California with her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren. Her son-in-law, Geoward Flores Eustaquio, was by Cdebaca’s reckoning, a lazy guy who forced Cdebaca’s daughter to work as the sole provider for the family. On Cdebaca’s 63rd birthday, she was greeted by Eustaquio, who made a rude comment about her clothing. It appears that it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Cdebaca stormed upstairs and got a pistol. She returned downstairs and shot Eustaquio five times. Amazingly, she didn’t kill him. So she went outside to her car, where her ammunition was, reloaded and then walked back and shot him another five times. He was still not dead, so Cdebaca went back to the car, reloaded, and shot him five times point blank, finally finishing the job. Then she went out for a birthday brekkie, did a bit of gambling, and had some coffee before being arrested and charged.

6. Graciela Guerra

Graciela Guerra had always hated her daughter-in-law, Brenda, so when she heard that Brenda and her son, Christian, were getting divorced, she was thrilled. Guerra saw her son as being utterly perfect, despite him being impacted in domestic violence and known to be having an affair. Still, the two decided that they should try and reconcile, but Guerra wasn’t having a bar of it. She wanted Brenda gone.

In May of 2008, she followed her son to a motel where he was meeting Brenda. She forced her way into the hotel room and, with two knives, stabbed Brenda 31 times in front of Christian and their two children. Christian didn’t stop to defend Brenda from his mother either, he just ran. Guerra was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

7. Elizabeth Ann Duncan

Elizabeth Ann “Ma” Duncan was a woman who worshipped her children, to the point of obsession and overbearing. When her son told her he was getting married, she allegedly broke down and begged him not to leave, saying he should choose his mother over his pregnant wife, Olga. Duncan continued to harass Olga, trying to drive her away from Frank, but it wasn’t working.

More drastic measures were clearly called for. So, Duncan hired two thugs. They lured Olga outside of her home, choked and pistol-whipped her and dumping her body (possibly alive) in a shallow grave. The thugs were arrested a few weeks later, where they snitched on Duncan. All of them were put to death.

What are the craziest stories you’ve heard about mothers-in-law has ever done?

Think your mother-in-law is bad? Well, you’re in for a surprise. We all know that mothers-in-law can be pretty terrible sometimes, but these seven take the cake! From driving their sons crazy to trying to control the family, they were all seriously despicable.

If you’re like most people, you probably think of mothers-in-law as sweet, helpful, and supportive. But sometimes, mothers-in-law can be seriously vile. Here are seven examples of heinous mothers-in-law from history.

7 Mothers-In-Law Who Were Seriously Despicable | Stay at Home Mum

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Oceana Setaysha

Senior Writer A passionate writer since her early school days, Oceana has graduated from writing nonsense stories to crafting engaging content for...Read Morean online audience. She enjoys the flexibility to write about topics from lifestyle, to travel, to family. Although not currently fulfilling the job of parent, her eight nieces and nephews keep her, and her reluctant partner, practiced and on their toes. Oceana holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Writing and Indonesian, and has used her interest in languages to create a career online. She's also the resident blonde at, where she shares her, slightly dented, wisdom on photography, relationships, travel, and the quirks of a creative lifestyle. Read Less

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