PHOTO CAPTION: She married John McDonald at London, Ont., Oct. 23, 1883. McDonald died Sep. 23, 1901, at Jackson, Mich., of alcoholism.
She married Warren Thorpe Oct. 28, 1901, at Jackson, Mich. Thorpe was killed by “a burglar” at his home June 13, 1903.
She married John M. Quinn at Kalamazoo, Mich., not longer after Thorpe’s death. Quinn was shot dead by “a burglar” at Chicago Nov. 2, 1911.
FULL TEXT: The deaths of the three husbands of Mrs. Jane Taylor Quinn are being investigated by the Chicago police while she is in a cell. Her first husband died of alcoholism. Her second husband was shot dead and she accused a burglar. Charles E. Thorpe, her step-son, testified that she was alone with Thorpe when he was killed, a few hours before he was to have transferred his property to his son. Her third husband was shot in his Chicago home Nov. 2. She accused a burglar of the deed. A revolver was found later hidden in her bathroom. Two of her husbands were insured in her favor.
[“Her Three Husbands Are Dead - Tacoma Times (Wa.), Nov. 14, 1911, p. 7]
FULL TEXT: Chicago, June 1.—As soon as she recovered from a fainting spell which overcame her when the verdict of not guilty was read, Mrs. Jane Taylor Quinn, acquitted of the murder of her husband, .John Quinn this evening personally thanked each of the jurors who had given her life and liberty.
“I want to thank as much on behalf of my daughter who is dying, as on my own behalf,” she said several tunes, and tears coursed down her cheeks. “Your judgment has enabled me to go and see her, and it will help her to die happily.”
The daughter, Mrs. Catherine Huber, who is dying in Omaha Neb., was not mentioned while the woman was facing the charge of murder. At times during the trial when Mrs. Quinn bent her head and sobbed, persons m the court room thought it was because the state was piling up irrefutable circumstantial evidence that would meat her death or imprisonment for life.
Today’s verdict proves that the widow’s confidence was not unfounded when she said repeatedly “they will not find me guilty.”
Mrs. Quinn tonight left for Ann Arbor, Mich., to visit Mrs. James Dowling, her sister, who has been with. her during the trial. She will leave there in a few days to visit the daughter in Omaha, who is rapidly losing the struggle against tuberculosis. Elmer Kirby, one of Mrs. Quinn’s attorneys, and the lawyer who defended her when she was accused of the murder of her second husband, Warren Thorpe, accompanied the sisters. Through Attorney Kirby, Mrs. Quinn tonight gave out the following, statement:
“The verdict proved that Mr. Quinn was killed as I said – by a robber. I would never have been charged with the crime had it not been that I was once before unjustly suspected. The first charge grew out of the enmity of the relative of Warren Thorpe. He committed suicide, as was proved at the trial. The second indictment was against me only because of this former unjust suspicion.”
“During his argument the prosecuting attorney spoke of the beauty of circumstantial evidence. I think it is the most diabolical thing in human invention, any innocent victims have been sent to the gallows with the brand of human hatred upon their memories, because of lying circumstances. If I were a state’s attorney, I would never convict any one on such evidence.”
The jury was out three hours today. During that time there was not a moment’s doubt in Mrs. Quinn’s mind but that she would be acquitted. She remarked when the jury was instructed, “they will not be out long. They will acquit me.”
The arrest of Mrs. Quinn after the death of her third husband was made by the police, who thought they had a strong circumstantial case against her. Her first husband, John McDonald died at London, Ont. in 1901, under mysterious circumstances. Her second spouse, Warren Thorpe, was found dead in bed on the morning of June 13, 1903, a bullet wound indicating murder. At that time Mrs. Quinn was charged with the murder, but was acquitted. John Quinn, the third husband, was shot to death as he lay in bed on the night of November 4, 1911. There were powder burns on his night shirt. The revolver from which the shot was fired was found later in the Quinn bathroom, which appeared in a towel which was identified as one Mrs. Quinn had been seen to carry into the bathroom. The revolver was identified as one belonging to a roomer in the house who had mislaid the weapon from his bureau drawer about a week before the tragedy.
[“Jurors - Return Verdict Of Not Guilty In Quinn Case - Acquitted Defendant Faint When She Learns Of Her Vindication - Has Lost Three Husbands In Mysterious Manner. - Declares She Will Now Go To Omaha, Nebraska To See Dying Daughter.” Syndicated (UP), The Lima News (Oh.), Jun. 2, 1912, p. 1]
For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.