Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Nurse Serial Killer: Former nurse admits to killing 100 patients

Niels Hoegel covers his face with a folder as he arrives at the temporary Oldenburg district court at the Weser Ems halls in Oldenburg Germany Nurse on trial for allegedly killing 100 patients at two German hospitals
Anna Jefferson | 01 November, 2018, 22:16

Hoegel hid his face behind a blue plastic folder as he was ushered into the courtroom in the northern city of Oldenburg by police and his attorney.

Hoegel, 41, was sentenced to life behind bars in 2015 for murdering two patients by giving them an overdose. In January, prosecutors brought new charges against him for killing another 97 people.

The death toll may be even higher than now assumed, because some victims - ages between 34 and 96 - were cremated.

He was sentenced in 2008 to seven years in prison for attempted murder.

During Hoegel's second trial, a court-appointed psychologist said that Hoegel had told her he had injected 90 patients with heart medication during his stint at Delmenhorst Hospital.

He later told investigators he also killed patients in Oldenburg.

So far, police have exhumed 130 bodies of patients who died under his care, and investigators say it may be impossible to ascertain the true death toll, as the bodies of some potential victims were cremated.

Judge Buehrmann opened the proceedings by asking everyone present to stand for a minute of silence for the deceased patients.

"All of their relatives deserve that their memory be honoured", independently of whether or not Hoegel had anything to do with their deaths, Judge Buehrmann said.

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"We will do our utmost to learn the truth", he said.

Additional convictions could make it harder for Hoegel to get parole.

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

In Germany was held the first hearing against former employee in the murder of 100 patients.

One of the more than 100 co-plaintiffs in the trial, Christian Marbach, said it was a scandal that Hoegel had been allowed to kill with impunity for so long without hospital authorities or law enforcement intervening. Investigators are building a case against former staff at both facilities where Hoegel said he killed his patients.

His admission will not end the trial, at which families of the victims hope to uncover more information about the crimes.

Hoegel said his superior never explicitly said why they wanted him gone but that the request to leave made him feel as though he "had been caught".

Hoegel is accused of giving his victims various non-prescribed drugs, in an attempt to show off his resuscitation skills to colleagues and fight off boredom.

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