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Case of the Giggling Granny’: How a Woman Snuffed Four Hubbies and Laughed All the Way to the Bank (FPD CASE VAULT)

Nannie Doss: ‘Giggling Granny’ Snuffed Four Hubbies — With Rat Poison!
Source: AP Photo

Known as the Giggling Granny, the happy-go-lucky killer even smiled for her police mug shot

Oct. 12 2023, Published 3:02 p.m. ET

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To neighbors in Tulsa, Okla., matronly Nannie Doss — aka The Giggling Granny — was a happy wife, and parent. But her laughter and seeming good nature masked a heartless killer who wiped out most of her family with her murder weapon of choice — arsenic.

Nannie was age 16 when she wed Charles Braggs and had four daughters in rapid succession.

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Nannie Doss: ‘Giggling Granny’ Snuffed Four Hubbies — With Rat Poison!
Source: AP Photo

During a break in her May 1955 murder trial, merry monster Nannie Doss hugged granddaughters Peggy Lou (left) and Janice under the watchful eye of their mom Melvina Hedrick.

Then, two of them died months apart. Both were healthy when Charles went to work and suspiciously dead when he returned home.

He fled with their older daughter never to be heard from again, leaving Nannie with their youngest, Florine.



Over the ensuing years, Nannie mourned the deaths of a number of relatives and soothed her pain by cashing in their insurance policies.

Four husbands, one grandchild, her own mother and two of Nannie's sisters all suddenly contracted painful stomach convulsions and died while Nannie was with them.

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Nannie Doss: ‘Giggling Granny’ Snuffed Four Hubbies — With Rat Poison!
Source: Bettmann/CORBIS

Nannie Doss is questioned about the arsenic poisonings of her husbands.

The original Black Widow's reign of terror finally ended after the death of hubby No. 5, Samuel Doss in July 1954. His autopsy revealed enough arsenic-based rat poison to kill 20 men.

Nannie confessed to at least 10 murders spanning 30 years and was slapped with a life sentence in 1955. She died of leukemia in 1965.


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