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More patient deaths attributed to killer German nurse

A male nurse jailed for life two years ago for killing two patients with lethal drug overdoses murdered at least 90 patients in total, police said, calling it post-war Germany's worst killing spree. News24 reports that Niels Hoegel, 40, was jailed in February 2015 for two murders and several attempted murders of intensive-care patients at the Delmenhorst hospital near the northern city of Bremen.

Police say that investigators are now exhuming and analysing more bodies since they found evidence of scores of additional murders. The death toll "is unique in the history of the German Republic", said chief police investigator Arne Schmidt, adding that Hoegel killed randomly and preyed especially on those in critical condition.

The report says Hoegel has admitted to injecting patients with a drug that can cause heart failure or circulatory collapse so he could then try to revive them and, when successful, shine as a saviour before his medical peers. He said he felt euphoric when he managed to bring a patient back to life, and devastated when he failed.

After the revelations of the nurse's murderous obsession, police and prosecutors launched a special forensic commission dubbed "Kardio" (cardio) to look into other patient deaths. Presenting their findings, police said that more than 130 bodies had been exhumed and tested for traces of the deadly drug. The cause of death in many more could not be determined because the remains were cremated, said Oldenburg police chief Johann Kuehme.

The report says Hoegel had admitted to 30 cases in which he named patients he killed, said prosecutor Daniela Schiereck-Bohlemann. The grisly case dates back to 2005, when a colleague witnessed the nurse injecting a patient at the Delmenhorst hospital. The patient survived and the health care worker was arrested and, in 2008, sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail for attempted murder.

Amid the media publicity, a woman then contacted police, voicing suspicion that her deceased mother had also fallen victim to the killer nurse. The authorities exhumed several patients' bodies and detected traces of the drug in five of them, declaring it either the definitive or possible contributing cause.

[link url="http://www.news24.com/World/News/killer-nurse-murdered-at-least-90-patients-20170828"]News24 report[/link]

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