Germany’s killer nurse appeals life sentence for 85 murders

Former nurse Niels Högel, 42, was convicted last week for killing patients chosen at random by lethal injection.

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Germany's killer nurse appeals life sentence for 85 murders
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Former nurse Niels Högel, 42, was convicted last week for killing patients chosen at random by lethal injection.

The murder spree of patients aged between 34 to 96 took place between 2000 and 2005 before he was finally caught in the act.

Accused

Born December 30th, 1976, in the North Sea coastal town of Wilhelmshaven,Högel became a nurse, like his father, at the age of 19.

In 1999 he took a job at the main hospital in Oldenburg and transferred to a facility in neighbouring Delmenhorst in 2003.

Former colleagues described him as diligent and likeable but began to take notice of a troubling number of deaths in the intensive care unit on his watch.

Between 2000 and 2005, he administered medical overdoses to his victims, intentionally, so he could bring them back to life at the last moment.

He was rarely successful and in 2005 was caught in the act.Psychiatrists who have evaluated Högel, the father of an adolescent daughter, say he has a severe narcissistic disorder.

During the trial, he said he had trouble coping with the stress of the job amid chronic understaffing and that he self-medicated with painkillers.

Judgement

Last Thursday’s judgement brought the official number of victims to 91 as Högel had previously been convicted for six other murders.

Police suspect that Högel’s final death toll may be more than 200.

However, it may never be known exactly how many people he killed because many likely victims were cremated before autopsies could be performed, and because of gaps in Högel’s memory.

The court in Oldenburg had also dismissed a further 15 murder counts for lack of evidence.

Driven by a desire to show off his skills in bringing patients back from the brink of death, Högel repeatedly gambled with the lives of vulnerable victims.

The known victims were aged between 34 and 96, and apparently selected at random.

A second trial followed in 2014-2015 under pressure from alleged victims’ families and Högel was found guilty of murder and attempted murder of five other victims and given the maximum sentence of life.

Germany’s most prolific serial killer in the country’s post-war history has appealed his life sentence, a district court said Tuesday.

In delivering his verdict, judge Sebastian Bührmann said Högel’s crimes surpassed “human imagination”.

Summary
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Germany's killer nurse appeals life sentence for 85 murders
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Former nurse Niels Högel, 42, was convicted last week for killing patients chosen at random by lethal injection.
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The Policy Times