German nurse killed at least 85 patients


Niels Hoegel

A former German nurse who liked to put patients into cardiac arrest because he enjoyed the feeling of resuscitating them has been convicted of 85 murders.

Niels Hoegel, 46, received a life sentence. "Your guilt is unimaginable," Judge Sebastian Bührmann told him. "The human mind struggles to take in the sheer scale of these crimes. I feel like an accountant of death. Sometimes the worst fantasy is not enough to describe the truth."

Hoegel worked at a hospital in the north-western city of Oldenburg between 1999 and 2002 and another hospital in nearby Delmenhorst from 2003 to 2005. The murders took place between 2000 and 2005. The victims ranged in age between 34 and 96.

A former colleague told the German newspaper Bild that Högel was nicknamed "Resuscitation Rambo" because he liked to showcase his skill in bringing people back from the brink of death.

The deaths make him post-war Germany's deadliest serial killer.

In 2015 Hoegel was convicted of two murders and two attempted murders and is already serving a life sentence. In the latest trial, which took place after the prosecution gathered more evidence, Hoegel was tried on 100 counts of murder. Eighty-five of these cases were proven. There could be many more but since many possible victims had been cremated, it was impossible to prove.

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge




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