The history of mass murderers and serial killers show they are more of a male phenomenon; however, women commit ten to thirteen percent of homicides in the US. A mass murderer is defined as someone who kills four or more people with no “cooling-off period” and is usually performed at a singular location, whereas a serial killer kills three or more people over the course of time. Here are six of the most vicious female murderers that you probably didn’t read about in your high school history class.
1. Jane Toppan
Jane Toppan was a nurse in Massachusetts during the late 1800s. Her parents were Irish immigrants and she was exposed to violence and instability at an early age. Her father was an alcoholic and her mother died of tuberculosis. Shortly after her mother’s death, her father brought her to a girls orphanage and never saw her again. Jane was soon placed in a wealthy home owned by the Toppans, where she served as their indentured servant.
During her residency at Cambridge Hospital, she experimented poisoning her patients using a combination of morphine and atropine and fabricated their medical charts. She even climbed in bed with them and held her patients as they drifted in and out of consciousness. She later admitted she was sexually aroused by this when she was in police custody.
Jane eventually killed thirty-one people, from her landlords to her private patients and even foster sister. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to life at Taunton Insane Hospital.