Nurse on trial for allegedly killing 100 patients at two German hospitals

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A former nurse in Germany who is standing trial has admitted that he intentionally killed no less than a 100 patients in what is termed the biggest serial killing case in the country since post-war history.

When asked by the judge in court if the charges against him were true, Hoegel confessed to "more or less" all of them.

"What I have admitted took place", the 41-year-old told the courtroom crowded with dozens of grieving relatives. On the first day of his trial for the murders, he told that it was all in an attempt to impress colleagues by resuscitating the patients.

This story originally appeared in The Sun.

The judge said the main aim of the trial was to establish the full scope of the murder spree that was allowed to go unchecked for years at two German hospitals.

After a minute of silence for the victims, Hoegel listened impassively, his head lowered, as public prosecutor Daniela Schiereck-Bohlmann read out the name of each patient and the charges against the defendant.

Hoegel is said to have killed 36 patients in Oldenburg and 64 in Delmenhorst between 1999 and 2005. Prisoners serving life sentences are usually considered for parole after 15 years.

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The hospital in Oldenburg dismissed Hoegel in late 2002 due to mounting suspicions about the deaths of patients on his watch.

In Britain, Dr Harold Shipman was believed to have killed as many as 250 people, majority elderly and middle-aged women who were his patients.

Each time, the nurse followed a similar procedure; he would inject his patient with a medication triggering a cardiac arrest, which would follow an attempted resuscitation.

The death toll may be even higher than now assumed, because some victims - ages between 34 and 96 - were cremated. German criminals sentenced to life in prison usually only spend 15 years behind bars.

Officials said the total number of victims might never be known because some of bodies were cremated.

However, a police investigation concluded that he could have been stopped earlier if the two hospitals had not "failed to report the disturbing increase in fatalities when Högel was working", says Deutsche Welle.

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