19th-century serial killer Jane Toppan demonstrates her characteristic smile.
Jane Toppan: what you should know
Jane Toppan (17 August 1854 – 29 October 1938), born Honora Kelley, was an American serial killer, nicknamed "Jolly Jane". After her arrest in 1901, she confessed to 31 murders. She is quoted as saying that her ambition was "to have killed more people—helpless people—than any other man or woman who ever lived".
An article in the Hoosier State Chronicles published shortly after her arrest reported that Toppan would fondle her victims as they died and attempt to see the inner workings of their souls through their eyes. When Toppan was questioned (after her arrest), she stated she derived a sexual thrill from patients being near death, coming back to life and then dying again.Toppan would administer a drug mixture to the patients she chose as her victims, lie with them and hold them close to her as they died.
Toppan is often considered an 'angel of death', a type of serial killer who takes on a caretaker role and attacks the vulnerable and dependent, though she also murdered for seemingly more personal reasons, such as in the case of the Davis family. It is possible Toppan was also motivated by jealousy, in the case of the murder of her foster sister. She later described her motivation as a paralysis of thought and reason, a strong urge to poison.
Toppan used poison for more than just murder, reportedly poisoning a housekeeper just enough so that she appeared drunk in order to steal her job and kill the family. She even poisoned herself to evoke the sympathy of men she was courting. - Wikipedia