With the death of her pirate husband in 1807, the former prostitute Ching Shih took command of several hundred ships, extorting money throughout the South China Sea. Her Red Flag Fleet was feared from the Chinese coast to Malaysia. Unable to defeat her, the Chinese government offered her amnesty. She took it & retired w/her immense loot as a respectable millionairess. She also took good care of her crew: most of Ching's pirates were pardoned.