Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ann Miniver Davis, Reputed Repeat Husband Slayer – Australia 1894

FULL TEXT: It is a singular fact that the female convict [Ann Miniver Davis] in the Melbourne Goal, who has to look after condemned women, is a “lifer” for poisoning her husband. She was sentenced to death, but her sex saved her. After serving twelve year’s of her sentence, she escaped from the Melbourne Gaol. She was then a servant to Mr Castieau, the governor of the establishment, and was allowed considerable freedom. No trace of her could be found for years, when she turned up in an extraordinary manner. She was looked up at Brighton on a charge of attempting to murder her husband by poisoning, and on being remanded was recognised as the escaped “lifer.” “Truth is stranger than fiction,” and the story of this woman’s life after her escape proved it. She actually lived in a spot near where she had poisoned her first husband, inveigled an elderly man into her meshes, married him, and then put him through the same torture as she had her former victim. The doctor, however discovered it, and she was arrested m time to save her second husband. Thus, Mrs. Martha Needle was consoled in her last moments by the presence of one who had just as great a respect and admiration for the secret art of poisoning.

[“A Female Poisoner.” The Marlborough Express (Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand), Nov. 5, 1894, p. 3]


NOTE: Another article published the same week – and which, unlike the article above states the killer’s name – offers an entirely different account of her recapture, making no mention of a second husband-poisoning. (“Poisoning By Women – Another Female Poisoner in Victoria.” The Caulfield and Elsternwick Leader (North Brighton, Victoria, Australia), Nov. 3, 1894, p. 8)


For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.


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