Jane Toppan

Demographic Info

Jolly Jane, Angel of Death31FemaleCaucasianUSATerritorialSexual, Sadistic1857 (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)1938 (Taunton, Massachusetts, USA; Natural causes)


Fatal : The Poisonous Life of a Female Serial KillerHarold SchechterAmazon


Deadly Women: The Disturbed (Episode 3x03)

Jane Toppan was born in 1857 in Boston. She was born the youngest of three known siblings.

At the age of 6, Toppan and her sister were taken into the Boston Demale Asylum, when their father begged for them to be taken in. Toppan was indentured to Mrs. Ann C. Toppan, who would mistreat and abuse Toppan.

At the age of 29, Toppan began nursing at Boston’s Cambridge Hospital. It is thought that this is where she began her serial series at the age of 30. All of Toppan’s victims were either patients of family members. All of Toppan’s victims were poisoned to death through the use of morphine, atrophine or arsenic.

Toppan was arrested on October 29, 1901 for the murder of Minnie Gibbs. It was soon discovered that she had been using the same method to murder many other patients. On December 6, 1901 Toppan was charged with the murders of the four members of the Davis family. While serving time in prison, Toppan confessed to 11 more murders. On June 23, 1902 Toppan was sentenced to Taunton Insane Hospital as she was found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. Toppan later admitted to murdering 31 more victims. She passed away in 1938.

Blog Posts

Episode 052: The Serial Killer Cycle, Part 2

on October 28th, 2011 in Podcast Episodes, Psychology, Serial Killers by | No Comments

Last week, we looked at 4 of the 7 phases of the serial killer cycle: the aura phase, the trolling phase, the wooing phase, and the capture. This week, we look at the last three phases: the murder, the totem phase, and the depression phase. By the way, this episode…

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Episode 046: Questions & Answers II

on September 16th, 2011 in Podcast Episodes, Pop Culture, Serial Killers by | No Comments

This week, we’re having our second Questions and Answers episode. The questions we’ll answer are: How many serial killers are active at any one time? What do you think of the cultural hero-worship of some serial killers? Why do so many killers have three names? Are there many serial killers…

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Victims of Jane Toppan

on January 1st, 2010 in Serial Killers, Victimology by | No Comments

Jane Toppan was charged with the murders of four people, but is thought to be involved in the murders of at least thirty-one people. We currently have information on ten of her victims. Israel Dunham Israel was poisoned to death in 1895. Lovey Dunham Lovey was poisoned to death in…

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