29 Agosto 2017 10:00
A mass murder by a trusted medical professional has shocked Germany
A German nurse is suspected of killing at least 90 people, with fears the number could rise up to and beyond 180, in a grisly case that has shaken German officials to their core.After a three-year investigation, 40-year-old Niels Högel is accused of injecting dozens, if not hundreds, of patients with cardiovascular medication to then try and resuscitate them in order to demonstrate his medical skills, The Guardian reported. The disgraced nurse was convicted and jailed for life in February 2015 for two murders and several attempted murders of intensive care patients at Delmenhorst hospital, northern Germany, but has now been found to have caused much more pervasive harm and death. This killing spree, which has been described by investigators as the worst mass murder since World War Two, has been under investigation by the police for the past three years, with examination into the harrowing case involving the exhumation of 130 bodies to test for lethal traces of heart medicine. Högel committed his first murder in February 2000, when he worked in a clinic in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, and carried out at least another 35 killings before moving to a hospital in Delmenhorst in 2002. ‘The death toll is unique in the history of the German republic,’ the chief police investigator, Arne Schmidt, said, before adding that he was ‘speechless’ about the investigation’s findings. ‘Evidence for at least 90 murders, and at least as many [suspected] cases again that can no longer be proven,’ was found during the gritty analysis, and since many of Högel’s patients have been cremated, the death toll could be much higher. Police officials are also calling out hospital staff who worked with Högel for not identifying the crimes sooner and preventing more deaths. Six employees of the Delmenhorst clinic have been charged with manslaughter through failure to render assistance. On June 22 2005, a colleague of the murderer at the Delmenhorst hospital witnessed him injecting ajmaline into a patient, who passed away just days later. Management did not call the police or confront Högel until two days later, within which time he killed another patient on June 24. Högel is likely to appear in court again to face charges for the recent allegations, but his time in prison will go unaffected as Germany does not issue consecutive sentences.