Jane Toppan (born Honora Kelley) was a Victorian-era serial killer who confessed to murdering 31+
people in Boston and on Cape Cod with lethal doses of poisonous admixtures over a span of about 20 years—starting in the 1880s up until her capture in October of 1901. Her victims included patients at hospitals where she worked as a nurse, her friends, her landlords, and even her own foster sister. In June of 1902, Toppan was brought before the Barnstable Superior Court on the charge of murdering Mary D. Gibbs and was found not guilty by reason of insanity. She spent her remaining years in the Taunton State Hospital and died in 1938.
The State Library has recently digitized the transcript of the 1902 trial and it is now freely available to download through our DSpace digital repository: http://archives.lib.state.ma.us/handle/2452/734741
Caption: Jane Toppan (1857-1938)