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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jane Toppan was a nurse who was known to have said she hoped to kill more people than any woman or man who had ever lived. She gained her access to innocent helpless victims as she called them bu being employed as a private nurse in Boston, Massachusetts. 

These many employers did not know of her mother's tragic death when Janie was just a young girl or of her father's subsequent insanity, which impelled him to stitch his own eyelids together. They weren't aware of Jane's own suicide attempts, or the unnerving interest she displayed during her nursing years at Cambridge College, where her odd fascination with autopsies troubled even her supervisors.

Briefly stabilizing during 1880, Jane signed on as a student nurse at a hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Once again, she excelled in her class work, but supervisors and colleagues were disturbed by her obsession with autopsies. Dismissed after two patients died mysteriously in her care, she left the hospital without her certificate, forging the paperwork necessary to find work as a private nurse. Over the next two decades, she was hired by dozens of New England families, caring for the ill and elderly in several states, but few of Toppan's patients managed to survive her "special" treatment

In the early months of 1901 Jane worked for the Davis family of whom Mattie Davis was known to be a friend of Ms. Toppan. They subsequently began dying off like an Egyptian plague. With all the angelic and heroic attempts that Jane attempted to bring comfort to each of the sickly clan with her "injections" it was not use and only the patriarch Alden survived. When Mary, his daughter passed under Jane's care he demanded an autopsy. This triggered Ms.Toppan's flight out of state. Soon the reason was too clear..morphine. The Angel of Mercy had gently put her charges to sleep..forever

 Jane was not finished, yet. Before her arrest in Amherst, New Hampshire, on October 29, she fed a lethal "tonic" to her foster sister, Edna Bannister, and she was working on another patient when police cut short her medical career. 

In custody, Toppan confessed to 31 murders, naming her victims, but students believe her final tally falls somewhere between 70 and 100 victims. No accurate list of her hospital victims was ever compiled, and various New England families avoided the scandal by refusing official requests for exhumations and autopsies. At trial, Jane's lawyer grudgingly conceded eleven murders, staking his hopes on a plea of insanity. Toppan cinched the case with her own testimony, telling the court, "That is my ambition, to have killed more people -- more helpless people -- than any man or woman who has ever lived." 

Declared insane, Toppan was confined for life to the state asylum at Taunton, Massachusetts, where she died in August 1938, at age 84. She was remembered by her keepers as "a quiet old lady," but older attendants remembered her smile as she beckoned them into her room. "Get some morphine, dearie," she would say, "and we'll go out in the ward. You and I will have a lot of fun seeing them die."

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lizzie Andrew Borden (July 19, 1860 – June 1, 1927) was an American woman who was tried and acquitted in the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her case was one of the first  of it’s kind causing Lizzie to basically become a celebrity in the press. As the trial went on it was suggested that she committed the murders in the nude .

During the inquest, the Bordens' live-in maid Bridget Sullivan testified that Lizzie and Emma rarely ate meals with their parents. During further police questioning, and during the inquest, Lizzie stated that she called her stepmother "Mrs. Borden" and demurred on whether they had a cordial relationship. In May 1892 Andrew, believing that pigeons in the barn were attracting local children to hunt them, killed them with a hatchet. Lizzie had recently built a roost for the pigeons and was upset at their deaths. A family argument in July 1892 prompted both sisters to take extended "vacations" in New Bedford. Returning to Fall River the week before the murders, Lizzie chose to stay in a rooming house for four days before returning to the family residence.After the trial, the sisters moved into a large, modern house in the neighborhood called "The Hill" in Fall River. Around this time, Lizzie began using the name Lizbeth A. Borden.] At their new house, which Lizbeth named "Maplecroft," the sisters had a staff that included live-in maids, a housekeeper, and a coachman. Because Abby was ruled to have died before Andrew, her estate went first to Andrew and then, at his death, passed to his daughters as part of his estate; a considerable settlement, however, was paid to settle claims by Abby's family (especially Abby's two sisters).
Despite the acquittal, Lizbeth was ostracized by Fall River society.[36] Lizbeth Borden's name was again brought into the public eye when she was accused of shoplifting in 1897 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Lizzie on TV 
there have been 2 movies made about Lizzie recently by Lifetime  Lizzie Borden has a AX  starring Christina Ricci as Lizzie 

and in the 70s 
Starring Elizabeth Montgomery 
The Legend of  Lizzie Borden

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Fanny Creighton was an American serial murderess. She was wiley in her methods as arsenic poisoning was overshadowed at the time by misdiagnosis and little was known of the after effects that could tell the story postmortem.
Fanny was known as a pretty young matron from Newark area New Jersey. Her full name was Mary Frances Creighton. She is said to have luminous dark eyes devoid of feeling.  Somehow I think that is quite exaggerated because when I look  at her photo I see a young Edith bunker.
As a loving sister would do, Fanny and her husband offered a hand up to Fanny's brother who was in need of place to stay and get on his feet. Charles Avery had just unintentionally intruded upon fanny's plan to have it all. Having lost her mother to "food poisoning" and her father to a heart ailment recently, Fanny was none too thrilled to have Charlie move back into his parents home.
It seemed soon that there was a sudden infestation of rats soon after Charles arrived and down to the local grocery Fanny went to get her a box of "Rough on Rats"  It turned soon to be rough on Charlie boy as he slowly deteriorated as his mother had and died of gastrointestinal distress.
The black-eyed fanny along with her husband were brought up on charges. Yet for the time it wad an impossible task to get a guilty verdict for a young woman., Fanny was freed by the male jury and off ointo the desiccate sunset she rode to face another day.

The tale fast forwards to mid 1930's where John and Mary Frances run a boarding home. The Depression was still strong and the extra cash helped. Everett and Ada Applegate rented the spare rooms and the cohabitation seemed to ease the load of everyday life for the two families.
Everett was known to enjoy his strong drink and womanize. Ada chose to not address this and looked a blind eye when Everett took a liking to Ruth, the 15 yo daughter of the Creighton's.  Fanny took note and did the opposite of what most mothers would do... she encouraged the tryst. There was one problem.. the problem of Ada. Poor Ada saw her own early demise to the Rough on Rats scheme and Everett was free to join his small fortune to that of the Creighton family.

Time did not smile a second time on Fanny. Her free passes were all used up . The law came and Fanny was brought before the court to answer for her crimes. There was no opportunity to bat her dark eyes at the jury this time round as the star witness was M.E Alexander Gettler who testified that the exact poison found in Ada was chemically matched to the rat poison. Both John and Fanny were found guilty almost soley on Getler's ability to prove the assurances of forensic science.

Fanny later admitted to her other crimes and that they were each financially motivated. On July 16, 1936, she and Everett Applegate went to the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison.


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