Index Offence Synopsis of Nancy Hazel

Index Offence Synopsis:

Nancy Hazel, also known as the “Giggling Granny” or “Nannie Doss,” killed her 5th and

last husband before being incarcerated. Nannie Doss’s fifth husband was Samuel Doss, and she

met him through an ad in a section of the Tulsa paper, and she started to write to him. According

to Rice and Rose (2017), Sam Doss was not anything like her previous husbands’; he was not a

womanizer and was also not a heavy drinker compared to her previous husbands. Samuel Doss

was from Carroll County, Arkansas, and he was grieving the loss of his last wife Winnie and his

six children that he lost in a tornado storm (Rice & Rose, 2017). Nannie and Samual got married

in July of 1954. In just a couple of months into the marriage, Nannie got upset and aggravated

with Samuel and was not happy that he did not like romance novels like she did (Rice & Rose,

2017). Samuel did not let her have a TV or a radio, nor did he let her buy one, and she was not

allowed to go to the neighbor’s house and watch TV. Things escalated even more when he did

not let her buy a fan either, even though he did care about her, but she did not have the same love

for him as he did (Rice & Rose, 2017).

Samuel Doss became ill, and he was experiencing flu-like symptoms, so he went to the

hospital. The doctor then diagnosed him with a severe digestive tract infection, and he was not

able to be discharged from the hospital until October 5th. Nannie then cooked up a nice meal for

him at home when he got released from the hospital. She made him a bowl of prunes laced with

arsenic (a chemical element found in alloys or wood preservatives), and to top it off; she loaded

his coffee with poison (Rice & Rose, 2017).

Samuel ended up passing away later that evening.

His doctor was in utter shock that a man could end up passing away the same day when he got

discharged from the hospital, so he started to think there was something off and asked Nannie if

he could perform an autopsy on him. The doctor went on to say to Nannie that the autopsy could help save someone else’s life, and she then said yes to performing the autopsy, which led the

doctor to be even more shocked for her to agree with him quickly. The autopsy showed large

amounts of arsenic to kill ten men found in Sam’s body, leading to Nannie getting arrested (Rice

& Rose, 2017).


Nancy Doss was born on November 4, 1904, in Blue Mountain, Alabama.

Nannie Doss was a 24 years-old female who killed her first victim, her second husband, Robert

Franklin Harrelson. She was 49 years old when she got arrested for her husband Samuel Doss’s

death, the last person she killed before going to jail. Her socioeconomic status showed that the

Linen Thread Company employed her as a factory worker at age 16; Nannie later married

Charles Braggs. He was a coworker that worked at the Linen Thread Company. Charles was the

only one Nannie did not kill; instead, they divorced (Rice & Rose, 2017). There is no evidence

stating what she did for work before her index offense since she continued to find her fairy-tale

romance before her index offense.

At the time of her index offense, her marital status was that

she was married to Samuel Doss, but before this 5th marriage, she had four other marriages. The

first marriage was Charles (Charley) Braggs, 2nd marriage was Robert Franklin Harrelson, 3rd

marriage was Arlie Lanning, and 4th marriage was Richard L. Morton. Nannie Doss had four

children in total that were all females with her first husband, Charley Braggs.


Psychiatric History

Jackson and Pittman (2015) found that the psychiatrists who observed her for 90 days at

Eastern State Hospital in Vinita said Nannie was mentally defective. Still, a Tulsa County jury

ruled she was sane (line.19). According to Rice and Rose (2017), when she was seven years old,

she and Nannie’s family took a trip down to Southern Alabama to see their relatives. They



traveled on a train, and this was Nannie’s first time traveling since working on the farm. While

they were on the train, the train stopped out of nowhere, and Nannie ended up hitting her head on

a metal bar in front of her seat (Blanco, n.d.). After this incident, she had suffered from

blackouts, severe headaches, and Depression. Nannie blamed these symptoms and her mental

instability on the train incident (Blanco, n.d.) even though there is no supporting evidence that

she went to the doctor’s or hospital to get an accurate diagnosis of Depression.

Medical History

Nannie’s Psychiatric History mentioned that she had hit her head on a metal bar in front

of her seat when traveling on a train with her family. After her incident on the train at the age of

7, she suffered from blackouts, severe headaches, and Depression; Nannie blamed these

symptoms and her “mental instability” on the train incident (Blanco, n.d.). The information

described above was the only evidence regarding persistent medical issues in Nannie’s medical


Neuro/Social Development:

Prenatal: Pregnancy & Labor

There is no evidence stating any significant incidents that could have impacted Nannie’s

neurological or social development during the prenatal period.