Her Method of Murder was Poison and No Child was Safe, Janie Lou Gibbs

Her Method of Murder was Poison

Janie Lou Gibbs
Mug Shot

Janie Lou Gibbs murdered her husband, three children, and a grandson by poisoning them with arsenic so she could collect on the life insurance policies she had on each victim.

Good Home Cooking

Janie Lou Gibbs, from Cordele Georgia, was a devoted wife and mother who spent much of her free time giving to her church. In 1965, her husband, Marvin Gibbs died suddenly at home after enjoying one of Janie's good home cooked meals. Doctors concluded an undiagnosed liver disease caused his death.

An Act of Giving

The show of sympathy to Janie Lou and her three children from the church was overwhelming. So much so, that Ms. Gibbs decided to give part of Marvin's life insurance money to the church to show her appreciation for their stellar support.

Marvin, Jr.

With Marvin gone, Gibbs and her children pulled together but within a year tragedy struck again. Marvin, Jr. age 13 seemed to have inherited his father's liver disease and after collapsing with severe cramps, he too died. Again, the church community came to support Gibbs through the painful death of her young son. Janie, overwhelmed with appreciation gave a portion of Marvin, Jr.'s life insurance payment to the congregation.

A Family Plagued

How so much could go wrong with one family was hard to understand, but one could not help to admire Gibbs' inner strength especially when just a few months later, 16-year-old Lester Gibbs began complaining of dizziness, headaches and severe cramping. He died before ever getting to the hospital. Doctors decided the cause of death was hepatitis.

To Give Is To Receive

With disbelief but with the usual sympathy and support, the church helped Gibbs through her terrible loss. Gibbs, now broken hearted with all that she had to endure in two years, knew she could never have made it without the support of the church, and again, offered a portion of young Lester's life insurance payment to them to help show her undying gratitude.

Grandmother Janie

Her last and oldest son, Roger, was married and the birth of his son, Raymond seemed to lift Janie out of despair. However, within a month both Roger and his perfectly healthy newborn son were dead. This time the attending physician asked for an investigation into the deaths. When the tests came back showing that Roger and Raymond had been given arsenic poisoning, Gibbs was arrested.

Goodbye Janie

Janie Lou Gibbs was found guilty of poisoning her family May 9, 1976, and received a life sentence for each of the five murders she committed. In 1999, at age 66, she received a medical release from prison because she was suffering from the advanced stages of Parkinson's disease.


Murder Most Rare The Female Serial Killer by Michael D. Kelleher and C.L. Kelleher

Schechter, Harold. "The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers." Paperback, Revised, Updated edition, Gallery Books, July 4, 2006.

Deadly Women - Discovery Channel

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Montaldo, Charles. "Her Method of Murder was Poison and No Child was Safe, Janie Lou Gibbs." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/janie-lou-gibbs-972718. Montaldo, Charles. (2020, August 26). Her Method of Murder was Poison and No Child was Safe, Janie Lou Gibbs. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/janie-lou-gibbs-972718 Montaldo, Charles. "Her Method of Murder was Poison and No Child was Safe, Janie Lou Gibbs." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/janie-lou-gibbs-972718 (accessed July 2, 2022).