Murderpedia

 

 

Juan Ignacio Blanco  

 

  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

 

 
   

Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.

   

 

 

Janie Lou GIBBS

 
 
 
 

 
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Parricide - Poisoner - She did not give a motive
Number of victims: 5
Date of murder: 1966 - 1967
Date of arrest: December 24, 1967
Date of birth: December 25, 1932
Victim profile: Charles Clayton Gibbs, 39 (her husband) / Marvin Ronald Gibbs, 13 (her youngest son) / Melvin Watess Gibbs, 16 (her middle son) / Roger Ludean Gibbs, 19 (her eldest son) / Ronnie Edward Gibbs, 1 month (her infant grandson)
Method of murder: Poisoning (arsenic)
Location: Cordele, Crisp County, Georgia, USA
Status: Found to be insane in February 1968 and served time in a state mental hospital until 1976. She was then convicted of poisoning the five male members of her family and received five life sentences. Released in April 1999. Died on February 7, 2010
 
 
 
 
 
 

Janie Lou Gibbs (1965-1967) had a short serial killer career in Cordele, Georgia where she systematically poisoned her husband and 4 children with arsenic and later confessed. With each life insurance settlement, she donated the money to the Church.

 
 

Janie Lou Gibbs (December 25, 1932 February 7, 2010) was a serial killer from Cordele, Georgia, who killed her three sons, a grandson, and her husband, by poisoning them with rat poison in 1966 and 1967.

Murders

Gibbs' husband of 18 years, Charles Clayton Gibbs, 39, died January 21, 1966. Her youngest son, Marvin Ronald Gibbs, 13, died August 29, 1966, followed by her middle son, Melvin Watess Gibbs, 16, on January 23, 1967. She inherited $31,000 from their deaths and tithed 10 percent to her church.

The deaths had previously been attributed to liver disease, but she was eventually arrested Christmas Eve 1967 after her oldest son, Roger Ludean Gibbs, 19, died in the same fashion as his father and brothers. On October 28, 1967, Roger's month-old son Ronnie Edward Gibbs also died under suspicious circumstances.

Imprisonment

Despite the unusual coincidences of so many deaths in such a short period of time, she blocked insurance adjusters' requests for autopsies. Although insurance adjusters were suspicious, most of Gibbs' neighbors and friends from church could not believe that the 35-year-old mother and former farmer's wife who ran a day-care center could be a serial killer.

However, Gibbs' daughter-in-law demanded an autopsy of her husband Roger. The autopsy found fatal levels of arsenic in the young man's body. The court ordered the rest of her family exhumed and each was found to have been murdered.

She admitted methodically feeding rat poison to her family one victim at a time, but did not give a motive. In February 1968 she was found to be insane and served time in a state mental hospital until 1976. She was then convicted of poisoning the five male members of her immediate family and received five life sentences.

Gibbs, who in later years suffered from Parkinson's disease, was released April 1999 on a medical reprieve into the custody of her brother and sister-in-law after being denied parole more than 17 times. She remained on parole and was required to check in once per year due to her deteriorating condition. She used a wheelchair and lived in a nursing home in Douglasville, Georgia until her death on February 7, 2010. She was clinically insane.

Wikipedia.org

 
 

Gibbs, Janie Lou

Married at the tender age of fifteen, Janie Gibbs was a grandmother at thirty-four. Soft-spoken and bespectacled, she was renowned for her religious fervor in Cordele, Georgia, where she taught Sunday school, served on numerous Church committees, and worked incessantly to be a "witness for the Lord." 

When not engaged in church work, Janie's special joy was cooking for her family. Unfortunately, some of Janie's dishes did not set well with her husband Charles, or with their younger sons. Within a two-year period, farmer Gibbs and two of his boys died in identical circumstances, writhing in gruesome convulsions. 

Their passing enriched Janie Gibbs to the tune of $31,000, from life insurance policies, and she dutifully tithed ten percent of the income to her church. Insurance adjustors were openly suspicious, but Janie Lou rejected any suggestion of an autopsy, refusing to have her loved ones "all cut open." Finally, when sudden death dispatched her eldest son and infant grandson, Janie's daughter-in-law fought back, exercising her right as next of kin to authorize autopsies. 

Arsenic was found in both bodies -- and in the first three victims, finally exhumed under court orders. Arrested on Christmas Eve 1967, Janie Gibbs was charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans

 
 

Serial Female Killer Janie Lou Gibbs

By Charles Montaldo

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 never could 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.

Crime.about.com

 
 

Janie Lou Gibbs

Often when someone wants to abuse or harm children they will take up a position that gives them easy access to children and Janie Lou Gibbs was no different. Janie lived in the small town of Cordele in Georgia where she was well liked and respected. She ran a child day care centre looking after children while their mothers worked.

The first death was that of 13 year old Marvin who was Janie's own son. He had been rushed to hospital very ill but although he was given emergency treatment they were unable to save him and he died from what was later diagnosed as kidney disease on the 29 August 1966. Just five months later Janie's other son Melvin who was 16 also became very ill. He died in hospital but this time the death was put down to hepatitis.

Having two of her sons die did not mean Janie was going to be lonely because her eldest son, Roger, who was married still lived at home. In August 1967 they had a baby and Janie became a grandmother. The baby was called Ronnie Edward and was a very healthy baby. Not long after his birth he took a turn for the worst and became very ill. Doctors were unable to find a cause for the illness and before the child was six weeks old he had passed away.

An autopsy was performed but no cause could be found. Just two weeks later the childs father became ill. He was complaining of stomach cramps and nausea. Within two days he too was dead. This time the doctors were very unhappy with the results of the autopsy which indicated that death had been caused by severe damage to the liver and kidneys. Further tests were ordered and tissue samples were sent to the Georgia State Crime Laboratory for further analysis.

It took two months and dozens of tests before the results were complete. This time it showed evidence of a large dose of arsenic in the body. Now that they had clear evidence that the death had not been caused by natural causes an exhumation order was obtained for the earlier victims of the Gibbs family to be exhumed and re-examined. The results of these examinations were never released but unofficially it was revealed that all the other deaths had been caused by Arsenic.

Janie Gibbs was arrested and as it was obvious that she was mentally ill she was put in the care of a psychiatrist. During his interviews with her she confessed to all the murders. He indicated that Janie was suffering from schizophrenia and although she was capable of telling right from wrong her view of the world was that it was an evil place where the one's she loved should not be forced to live. It was decided that she was not fit to plead and she was committed to a state mental institution.

Janie was reassessed in 1976 and was declared sane enough to stand trial. She was quickly found guilty of murder and sentenced to five consecutive life sentences effectively meaning that she would never be released. 

 
 

SEX: F RACE: W TYPE: T MOTIVE: CE

MO: "Black widow" poisoner of husband, children, and grandchild, killed for life insurance.

DISPOSITION: Committed to asylum, 1968; deemed competent for trial in 1974; five consecutive life terms, 1976.

 
 


Mrs. Janie Lou Gibbs, 35, of Cordele, Ga., holds photographs of her sons, all of whom died in the past two years. From left, they are Marvin, 13, Roger, 19 (shown with his wife shortly after their marriage 16 months ago) and Melvin, 16.

 

Janie Lou Gibbs

 

 

 
 
 
 
home last updates contact