Posts Tagged ‘Maryanne’

Nurse Jane Toppan (Jolly Jane) might not be the most famous serial killer in the world but definitely deserves a mention!

The “jolly” lady confessed to 31 murders just before her trial in 1902. Suspicions about the total count range from 70-100 people.

She was put on trial for one murder, Maryanne (Davis) Gibbs of Cataumet. She was was found not guilty by reasons of insanity, she was then sent to Taunton Asylum where she remained until her death in 1938.

She might only have been charged for one murder but Jane confessed to wiping out the Gibbs family! During 1901 she poisoned the mother, her sister, father and Mrs Gibbs in the course of one summer. She also confessed to murdering her foster sister, Sarah Brigham,  during a vacation in 1899.

When Maryanne took ill her husband, Irving, was at sea working as a ships captain and could not believe the sudden illness given her usual healthy frame. His persistence on the matter led to suspicion falling on Jane Toppan because the district attorney’s office in Middlesex County were already investigating an alleged poison of a patient, one month before the murders of the Davis/Gibs family.

Just days before the trial Jolly Jane confessed to the murders using atropine and morphine. Not so jolly a story given her name!

Taunton Asylum