Angel of Death

Ever since she was a little girl, Vickie Dawn Jackson wanted to be Florence Nightingale. As a nurse at her tiny hometown hospital in Nocona, she cared for her patients and won praise from her supervisors—until the day she snapped and started killing her friends and neighbors.
Vickie Dawn Jackson at the Montague County jail, photographed on October 20, 2006.
Photograph by Misty Keasler

Just about everybody in the two-stoplight town of Nocona knew Vickie Dawn Jackson, the sweet, soft-spoken nurse who worked nights at Nocona General Hospital. Vickie had been a nurse or a nurse’s aide since she was a junior in high school. Over the years, she had bathed Nocona’s residents, fed them, inserted their catheters, given them their medications, ban­daged their wounds, and sat by their beds, holding their hands when they were aching from pain.

She owned 25 nurse’s uniforms, all of which she kept pressed on hangers in her bedroom closet at her house on the poor side of town. When she went to the local Dairy Queen, an hour or so before her shift began, she would almost always be dressed in one of her uniforms. Her hair, which she dyed herself at

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