Mental Floss

Served Cold: 5 Scorned Women Get Their Revenge

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Who shot J. R.? A scorned woman. Who gave Mr. Bobbitt a belated bris? A scorned woman. Who bested Buttafuoco? You guessed it. Those guys could have picked up a thing or two from these poor saps, who learned not to upset the fairer sex the hard way.

1. "Mrs. Jack Johnson"

Black heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson was known for two things: (1) his conquests in the ring and (2) his conquests of the fairer sex. One of his favorites of the latter was Belle Schreiber, a prostitute at Chicago's glitzy Everleigh brothel. And though the Everleigh was for whites only, Johnson knew how to pull a few strings. In truth, Belle was only one of five white Everleigh girls Johnson saw, but when he married not one but two white women, Belle was crushed. Her high-class career ruined by her widely publicized affair with Johnson, Schreiber was broke and strung out on absinthe and drugs. Agreeing to testify for the government in their prosecution of Johnson for violating the 1910 Mann Act (which outlawed taking a woman across state lines for the "purpose of prostitution or debauchery") Belle's testimony got him a year in prison and seven years of exile in Canada. She also got her way: The stint put an end to Johnson, ruining his stellar boxing career.

2. Boudicca, One Bad British Babe

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3. Perfect for the Part of Tyrant: Lady Mao

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4. Rhymes with "Odious"

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5. Cochiti Caught Cheatin'

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Ed. note: This list was excerpted from Forbidden Knowledge, available here.

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