Every week we'll highlight some truly heinous person from history! Maybe it's a mass murderer like Vlad the Impaler (this will happen. There's no doubt in my mind.) or maybe it's Lindsay Lohan! Boo! Or maybe some creepy triplets who ate their parents? I feel like patricide is way grosser if performed by multiple birth babies.
Anyway, this week's criminal is *drumroll, please* JANE TOPPAN!
Whaddya mean, you've never heard of her?? Well, whatever. You won't be able to shut up about her soon, because holy shit, she's CrAzY!
Born in 1857 with the name Honora Kelly, Jane was the child of Irish immigrants who lived in Boston. Jane had a sister, two years her senior, and together the sweet little girls watched their mom die of consumption and their dad become a crackpot alcoholic. In 1863, when the girls were 6 and 8 years old, Papa Kelly got sick of them and dumped them into the Boston Female Asylum, which probably has
After two years in the asylum (so Jane is 8 years old now, people. Keep up.) she was blessed with the opportunity to become an indentured servant for the Toppan household in Lowell, MA. See where she got the new name?
Side note: Jane's older sister left the asylum at age 12 to become a hooker. She died young. Shocker!
Anyway, since Jane was obviously a kick-ass nurse, she was promoted to Mass General! She got sacked, but not for murdering people. Apparently she was too lenient with prescriptions. In 1895 she got tired of easy hospital targets, so she poisoned her landlords. Then the Toppan girl (from Lowell, MA, remember?). Not satisfied with that, Jane killed a lady, and then moved in with the lady's husband to comfort/murder him. While Jane was there, she went ahead and murdered that guy's two daughters, too, because if you're on a roll, you're on a roll. After cuddle-killing that entire family, Jane moved back to Lowell and tried to court/kill the widower of the Toppan girl she killed. Fortunately for him, he wasn't buying it, and he sent her away.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, someone decided it was a little funky that an entire family died at the same time, and a toxicology exam was conducted on a body. POISON! OMG! A warrant was issued for Jane's arrest, and she was taken into custody. Of course, being completely batshit bonkers, Jane was fine with confessing to eleven murders. She was locked up in a looney bin where she later let slip that she'd actually killed thirty-one people, and that her goal in life was "to have killed more people — helpless people — than any other man or woman who ever lived..."
Extra credit reading here and here and here.