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Nannie Doss


Born: 1906
Died: 1965 (cancer)
Birthplace: Blue Mountain, Alabama
Best known as: "The Jolly Black Widow" serial killer

Name at birth: Nannie Hazle

Nannie Doss was a serial poisoner responsible for eleven murders between the 1920s and 1954, when she finally confessed in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Doss's fifth husband died in October of 1954, and an autopsy found that he'd been poisoned with arsenic. More investigations revealed that in all Nannie had killed four husbands, two children, her two sisters, her mother, a grandson and a nephew. She admitted that she had killed her husbands because they didn't measure up: "I was searching for the perfect mate, the real romance of life." She became infamous for appearing amused while recounting her crimes, and the papers dubbed her "The Giggling Granny" and "The Jolly Black Widow," as well as "Arsenic Annie." Sentenced to life in prison, she died in 1965 of cancer.

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More on Nannie Doss from Infoplease:

  • Nannie Doss - Biography of Nannie Doss, "The Jolly Black Widow" serial killer
  • Selected Biographies: D - Selected biographies of well-known people and fictional characters

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