ARSENIC ANNIE: CINCINNATI’S CUT-THROAT CARETAKER

Meet Anna Marie Hahn, widely known as “Arsenic Annie.” This Cincinnati area serial killer who was the first woman sentenced to die in Ohio’s electric chair after murdering at least 5 men.

Anna was born into a large Bavarian family back in 1906 and was the youngest of 12 siblings. When she was 18, she gave birth to a son out of wedlock and was consequently shamed and shunned by her family. As a result of her acts she was sent off to America to live with her relatives Max and Anna Doeschel in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was here where she would meet her husband, Philip Hahn, a fellow German immigrant. After Philip was struck by a mysterious illness their marriage suffered. Fortunately he recovered, but their relationship did not.

Although she had no experience, Anna Hahn began working as a caregiver to elderly people in the city of Cincinnati. Primarily men. You see Anna was able to use her charm to gain access into her charges private affairs and after a month or so of Anna caring for the feeble individuals, they would pass away. Interestingly enough, upon their deaths all of them would leave a will, life insurance or vauable asset.

Guess who was the beneficiary?
Anna Hahn.

As she charmed her way into the homes of these poorly older men she was able to claim more and more of these filthy funds as Hahn’s infirmed patients weren’t dying of natural causes, they were being poisoned. Her corrupt concoctions were discovered after the highly suspicious death of her fifth victim, Georg Obendoerfer.

During his autopsy it was revealed that Obendoerfers’s body exhibited all the signs of arsenic poisoning, which obviously aroused police suspicions. Hahn was immediately arrested and upon the search of her home a detective commented that they found enough poison there to kill half of Cincinnati. Subsequent exhumations of two of her previous patients revealed that they too had been poisoned.

In the end Arsenic Annie killed five men; Ernst Kohler, age unknown; Albert Parker, 72; George Gsellman, 67; Jacob Wagner, 78. After a trial Hahn was convicted and suffered her fate in the electric chair. She was the first woman to be sentenced to death in the state of Ohio.

SOURCE CITATIONS

Telfer, Tori; Darcy, Dame (2017). Lady Killers : Deadly Women Throughout History (First ed.). New York City: Harper Perennial

The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio)16 Oct 1937, Saturday. Page 6

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