Medicine

German nurse serial killer on trial over 100 deaths

German nurse serial killer on trial over 100 deaths

A 41-year-old nurse, Niels Hoegel, has admitted to have intentionally administered medical overdoses, killing 100 patients at two hospitals in Germany.

The 41-year-old Hoegel (Högel) confessed to the crimes on the first day of his trial, which took place on October 30 in Germany's northwestern city of Oldenburg.

Former German nurse, Niels Hoegel, has admitted to murdering some 100 patients under his care.

Three years later he received a seven year sentence for attempted murder and in 2015 a second trial found him guilty of two murders and two attempted murders.

Prosecutors said Hoegel should have been aware that the drugs he gave to patients at hospitals in Delmenhorst and Oldenburg could cause life-threatening cardiac problems. Known as Dr Death, Shipman was sentenced to 15 life terms in 2000; he died in prison in 2004, after apparently committing suicide.

The Oldenburg state court is conducting the trial at a courtroom set up in a conference centre, a venue chosen to accommodate a large number of co-defendants as well as public interest in the proceedings.

He promised Hoegel a fair trial. "We will make every effort to seek the truth".

Hoegel told the court that he had a "protected" childhood, free of violence.

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In general, people serving life sentences are considered for parole after 15 years.

Hoegel said he would get a euphoric feeling by saving patients, but felt devastated when he failed.

Hoegel said he had kept quiet "out of shame" and because it had taken him a long time to realise the full scope of what he had done.

Hoegel said during his time as a nurse, he would give patients non-prescribed drugs to show off resuscitation skills, or because he was bored.

Oldenburg police chief Johann Kuehme a year ago said other medical workers at Oldenburg were aware of an elevated number of resuscitations, and initial indications of possible wrongdoing by the nurse in Delmenhorst emerged as early as April 2003.

"It is like a house with dark rooms - we want to bring light into the darkness", he said.

Investigators believe the killer could have murdered even more people, but potential victims have been cremated.


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