Economy

German Nurse Serving Life For Murder Charged With 97 Additional Murders

German Nurse Serving Life For Murder Charged With 97 Additional Murders

Niels Hoegel is already serving a life sentence for killing two intensive care patients at a hospital in the north of Germany.

His trial heard how he gave patients overdoses of heart medication and other drugs because he enjoyed the feeling of being able to resuscitate them.

On Monday, German serial killer Niels Högel was charged with 97 counts of murder for allegedly killing upwards of 100 patients by injecting them with drugs and trying to revive them.

He was awarded life sentence in February 2015.

Authorities' reluctance to act apparently endured until the end of Hoegel's slayings, investigators said: In 2005, a colleague noticed him administering ajmaline into a patient, who died the next day. "If the people responsible at the time, particularly at the Oldenburg clinic but also later in Delmenhorst, hadn't hesitated to alert authorities - for example, police prosecutors - Högel could have been apprehended sooner", Oldenburg Police Chief Johann Kühme said.

Of the new cases, 62 involve patients who died in Delmenhorst and 35 patients in Oldenburg.

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Niels first aroused suspicions when death and resuscitation rates rose during his shifts at the Oldenburg clinic, where he worked from 1999 to 2002.

In three additional cases investigators deemed suspicious, tests didn't produce enough evidence to add them to the charge sheet. Additional convictions could affect Hoegel's possibility of parole, but there are no consecutive sentences in Germany.

"From the prosecutorial point of view, the accused Niels H accepted, at least tacitly, in all cases the death of the patients due to the effects of the drugs", the prosecutors said in a statement.

Police said the final number of murders may never be known as some possible victims were cremated.

Speaking a year ago, Oldenburg police chief Johann Kuehme said that he believes numerous killings could have been prevented had people been willing to speak out.

Police said that earlier intervention from health officials could have stopped the male nurse.


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