Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lizzie Brennan, Massachusetts Serial Killer - 1889

FULL TEXT: Holyoke, Mass., Aug. 2.— Mrs. Lizzie Brennan, the woman accused of poisoning her son, Thomas Brennan, and suspected of murdering in the same manner her husband and son, Michael, was today removed from her home to the police station.

At 10 o’clock she was arraigned in the Police Court. Through her counsel, Lawyer Brooks, she waived the reading of the complaint and pleaded “not guilty.”

Mrs. Brennan sat in the dock with her older daughter, Mary, who affectionately entwined her arms around her unfortunate mother’s neck.

The prisoner was calm and collected, and if she was stirred by emotion her firm countenance did not betray her agitation.

By request of her counsel the hearing was continued until next Friday. The woman was then looked up, while her daughter stood at the door wailing piteously.

The complaint slates that on June 24 the prisoner feloniously, wilfully and of her malice aforethought mixed and mingled with water corrosive sublimate, which she knew to be a deadly poison, and which she administered to the said Thomas Brennan; that on June 25 said Thomas died from sickness occasioned thereby and that the prisoner did poison; kill and murder the said Thomas.

Chief of Police Whitcomb this morning expressed confidence that the Commonwealth had scoured sufficient evidence to hold Mrs. Brennan for the grand jury. Judge Pearsons has not yet rendered t he verdict of the inquest, but says that he will do so next Thursday,

The woman was taken to the Springfield jail this afternoon to await the hearing in this city next Friday.

[“Behind Bars, Mrs. Lizzie Brennan Is Placed, For Alleged Poisoning of Her Son. - In Court at Holyoke She was Calm and Composed. - Was Pleads Not Guilty and Case is Continued. - Her Daughter Wails Piteously She is Locked Up.” The Boston Daily Globe (Ma.), Aug. 2, 1889, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): Holyoke, Mass.. Sept. 27.—Simultaneously with the grand jury's finding of a true bill against Mrs. Lizzie Brennan, the alleged murderess, this afternoon, Judge Pearson makes known the verdict of the inquest, which unequivocally states that she caused the death of Thomas Brennan by administering to him arsenical poison.

[“Squarely Charged to Mrs. Brennan.” The Boston Daily Globe (Ma.), Sep. 28, 1889, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3): Springfield, Mass., Jan. 4.—Mrs. Lizzie Brennan, under indictment for murder, for poisoning her son, Thomas, last summer, at Holyoke, for his life insurance. died at the county jail in this city yesterday from Bright's disease.

[“No Trial on Earth.” Newark Daily Advocate (Oh.), Jan. 4, 1890, p. 1]


NOTE: Some reports have the spelling “Brenan.”


For more cases of this category, see: Female Serial Killers of 19th Century America (as of January 20, 2014, the collection contains 61 cases)


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