One of this site’s recurring themes and criminology’s iconic trappings, the poison arsenic carried off many a soul.
Poison has been around forever, of course, but “inheritance powder” was a slow-motion moral panic in the Victorian years — when a man on the make could be imperceptibly nudged into an early grave by a friend or a spouse or a maid using a product that could be had for pennies from the local apothecary.
Who can feel safe, when little old ladies could make a murder spree of afternoon tea?
For the next several days, we’ll remember a few of the arsenic era’s more notable nudges … and a few of the distinct minority of poisoners who found that stealthy powder equally fatal to the hand that stirred it.
March 22: Hannah Bocking, 16-year-old poisoner
March 23: Ann Bilansky, the only woman hanged by Minnesota
March 24: Mary Ann Cotton, serial poisoner
March 25: Sarah Chesham
March 26: Henry Lovell William Clark, Raj poisoner
March 27: The Brassell boys