Jolly Jane and Typhoid Mary – The Household Killers


A SURE sign you’ve reached the top of the fame totem pole must surely be when you’re known by just your first name – Marilyn, Madonna, Britney and Beyonce are synonymous with the glitz and glamour of showbiz.

But fame on first-name terms is not really that modern a phenomenon. Spanning the 19th and 20th centuries there were two single, independent-minded women – both of Irish parentage – whose names would echo throughout America. One would even be known around the world, and both would forever be linked to death and misery.

These harbingers of gloom were Honora Kelley and Mary Mallon, but they would become better known by their monikers of Jolly Jane and Typhoid Mary.

Honora Kelley was a private nurse who would go down in infamy as a prolific poisoner of patients – killing at least 31 along the way.

Jane Toppan Jane Toppan

Born in 1857…

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