Female Killers · Oklahoma · Serial Killers

Serial killer “The Giggling Granny” dies in prison

June 2, 1965
McAlester, Oklahoma
Nannie Doss, known by various names including “The Giggling Granny,” dies in prison

Doss was a Blackwidow, killing her husbands both for insurance money and to search “for the perfect mate, the real romance of life.” She elaborated by stating her actions were inspired by romance novels and the pursuit of the perfect husband. Her victims were not limited to her husbands, however. When questioned in the death of her fourth husband, Doss surprised police by not only confessing to his murder, but those of 7 other victims as well: her first three husbands, her mother, grandson, sister, and mother-in-law.

Another grandchild may have been killed by her as well; her daughter, delirious from childbirth, thought she saw Doss stick a hatpin into the newborn’s head. As Doss informed the child’s father and aunt the baby had died, the pair noticed Doss held a hatpin in her hand as she delivered the news. Doctors were unable to determine an explanation for the baby’s death. Doss is also suspected to have killed a son-in-law and two children.

Doss earned her moniker of “Giggling Granny” by her mannerisms while describing each murder. Even during her trial and other public appearances, she was seldom without a smile. She pleaded guilty to the murder of Samuel Doss in 1955 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. She died in prison ten years later of leukemia.

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