Ex-Nurse Admits to Murdering 100 Patients

Andrew Roberts 31 Oct 2018

The largest killing spree in Germany since World War II has finally found closure. 41-year-old Niels Hoegel confessed to killing 100 patients during his time as a nurse from 2000-2005. The former northern Germany nurse admitted he used lethal drugs to kill the patients and then tried to resuscitate them according to ABC News:

When asked by the presiding judge Sebastian Buehrmann if the allegations made against him were largely true, Hoegel replied "yes," NDR reported.

Hoegel is believed to be responsible for the death of more than 130 patients, but the cremation of more possible victims makes determining the exact number of victims nearly impossible

Captured

Hoegel was first caught in 2005 after a coworker caught him administering lethal drugs to a patient, leading to a seven-year prison sentence in 2008.

Two more murder charges in 2015 earned Hoegel a life sentence.

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Closure For The Victim's Families

His current trial is expected to end next year according to ABC News, but his confession brought some closure to the families of victims that were on hand according to BBC News:

Christian Marbach, a spokesperson for relatives, said it was a scandal the ex-nurse had been allowed to kill with impunity for years without officials intervening.

"We fought for four years for this trial and expect Högel is sentenced for another 100 murders," said Mr. Marbach, whose grandfather was killed by Högel.

"I hope he will be found guilty on each count so that the loved ones can finally find some closure," said Petra Klein, who runs a victims' support group.

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The Mind Of A Killer

While Hoegel initially said he was "honestly sorry" for the slayings and actions when he was first captured 2015, adding that he hoped the families would find peace.

However, his claim that the killings were spontaneous were later questioned after he admitted to killing up to 30 people to a psychiatrist during his trial. This led to investigators exhuming the remains of 130 former patients to search for traces of the drugs used by Hoegel.

His confession helps to define his mindset and just how cold a killer can be.

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Angel Of Mercy

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jack_Kevorkian.JPG

The world of healthcare and medicine can be tricky when it comes to the care of patients and the ethics of death. The debate over a patient's "right to die" has long been a topic we've seen in the headlines, with names like Dr. Jack Kevorkian claiming that terminal patients have the right to seek "voluntary euthanasia" -- an act he claimed to help 130 patients with during his career and served time in prison after being convicted in 1999 and sentenced to 10-25 years. He served only eight years before being released.

However, there is a lot of difference between what Kevorkian fought for in his life -- he passed away in 2011 -- and other "angel of mercy" killers over the years. Mainly the idea that the patient has made the choice to die.

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Similar Crimes And Criminals

Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dr._Henry_Howard_Holmes_(Herman_Webster_Mudgett).jpg

There have been multiple "angel of mercy" killers over the years, each with similar methods and body counts as Hoegel. It is a crime that is especially heinous given the trust most give to their providers, leading to plenty of shocks when they've been discovered.

One of the most famous, H.H. Holmes, is considered the first "serial killer" in American history. He used his background as a doctor to execute insurance scams and cons, leading to a number of murders in Chicago courtesy of his "Murder Castle" hotel that he had built specifically to kill his victims. His status as an "angel of mercy" is questionable, but he should be mentioned.

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Harold Shipman

Unsplash | Marcelo Leal

Likely the most famous in recent years, Shipman was a family doctor that was convicted of killing at least fifteen patients and sentenced to life in prison. Shipman was noted a prolific killer and alleged to have murdered some 250 patients, mostly elderly, by using "lethal doses of diamorphine," signing the death certificates, and changing their medical records to make it appear that they died of poor health.

The doctor was suspected due to the high number of his patients who passed away under his care.

He committed suicide in prison in 2004.

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Michael Swango

Joseph Michael Swango only admitted to four murders during his time as a physician, but he is alleged to have poisoned close to 60 patients and co-workers from a span of 1981-1997. His chosen method was to poison coworkers and others with arsenic in their food or overdosing patients on whatever drugs they were prescribed.

Swango was convicted in 2000 and eventually pled guilty to avoid the death penalty and extradition to Zimbabwe. He was then sentenced to three consecutive life sentences and is currently sitting in prison in Colorado.

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Beverley Allitt

Unsplash | Ani Kolleshi

Allitt was a British nurse who was convicted of murdering four children and the attempted murder of three more. From February to April 1991, Allitt used her role as a nurse to administer fatal doses of insulin and other attacks on the children at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital.

She was found to be a danger to society and sentenced to three life terms. Munchausen by proxy has garnered some blame for her acts, but her true motives have never been explained.

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