German nurse who killed ‘for thrill’ suspected of 90 murders

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German nurse Niels Högel, who confessed to killing dozens of patients out of boredom and for thrill, is believed to be responsible for the deaths of at least 90 people, police announced Monday after a lengthy investigation.

Högel (also spelled Hoegel), who is now 40, worked at clinics in northwest Germany between 1999 and 2005, when a colleague caught him injecting a patient with medicine. The patient survived and, in 2008, Högel was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for attempted murder.

A woman whose mother had suddenly died while being treated at a clinic became suspicious after hearing media coverage about the case and alerted police. After an investigation, Högel was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2015 and has so far been convicted of killing six patients.

During the trial in 2015, a psychiatric expert told the court that Högel had confessed to injecting 90 patients with heart medication, including 60 people who he managed to revive and 30 people who died. He admitted to acting out of boredom and would try to save his victims to show off his resuscitation skills.

Police in the German state of Lower Saxony announced on Monday that a three-year-long investigation had concluded that Högel was responsible for at least 90 deaths at clinics in Delmenhorst and Oldenburg between 1999 and 2005, including six deaths for which he has already been convicted.

Högel acknowledged in police interviews that he was responsible for some of the deaths but in most cases he was unable to remember specific details. Högel did not exclude the possibility that he was responsible for the deaths which have been attributed to him, police said.

Ninety deaths would make Högel the country’s worst serial killer in modern history and one of the worst serial killers in the world. The investigators added that the number of victims could still rise because toxicological reports for 41 people have not yet been completed.

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