Guest Author - Vance R. Rowe
Jane Toppan was a cold, heartless, serial killer who preyed on the weak and the helpless.
She was born Honora Kelley in 1885. Janeís mother had died when she was just a young girl and that left her and her sister with an alcoholic father. Eventually, Honora Kelley(Toppan) and her sister were removed from the home and their life of squalor. The two girls were put into an orphanage asylum. After several years in the Boston Female Asylum, Honora Kelley was finally adopted by the Toppan family and Honora Kelley would become Jane Toppan.
Jane Toppan eventually left her adopted home in 1885 and studied to become a nurse. However, instead of an Angel of Mercy, Jane Toppan became an Angel of Death. In the first facility that Jane worked in, she began experimenting with the elderly patients. She would give them Morphine and Atropine to bring them close to death and bring them back again. However, she did eventually kill the patients that she didnít care too much for.
When it was all said and done, Jane Toppan had killed thirty-one people. Her reign of terror eventually ended when she rented a home from the Davis family. Jane got behind on her rent and when one of the Davis daughters went to talk with her about it, that daughter would mysteriously die. Jane Toppan was not yet considered a suspect in the death. That would all change though when the Davisís asked Jane to move in with them and eventually the other daughter mysteriously died. Mister Davis became concerned when his family started dying off for no apparent reason.
With the help of a Harvard Medical School graduate, Mister Davis began investigating the death of his daughters. It was discovered, a few months later, that Jane Toppan was the culprit in these deaths and Mister Davis had her arrested on charges of murder. Her trial took place in 1902 and she had admitted to the other murders as well. Janeís defense was that she was mentally insane and after listening to her exploits over the course of the trial, the judge agreed.
He declared her mentally ill and was sentenced to a mental institution. She remained in that hospital until her death in 1938 at the age of 84.