A German nurse has been accused of killing 106 people. Niels Hoegel used lethal drugs on patients out of “boredom” and is responsible for their deaths.

He was jailed for life in February 2015 for two murders and several attempted murders of intensive care patients at the Delmenhorst hospital in northern Germany.  Now, police have found evidence of more murders after they analysed patient files. The number could increase, said the police.

“The death toll is unique in the history of the German republic,” said the chief police investigator, Arne Schmidt. Hoegel had killed randomly and had especially preyed on those in a critical condition

Hoegel would inject patients’ veins with a cardiovascular drug to orchestrate induced medical emergencies. Then the nurse would use five different drugs which led to overdoses and a rapid decline in the ill patient.

Hoegel was caught when a colleague witnessed him injecting ajmaline into a patient. The management didn’t call the police and only raised the issue two days later, by which time Hoegel had already killed another patient.

Hospital staff charged

Six employees of the clinic Hoegel worked at have been charged with manslaughter for failure to render assistance.

“The murders could have been prevented,” said Oldenburg’s head of police, Johann Kühme. He added that those in charge could have acted faster to stop further loss of life.

The motivation

A psychiatrist who examined Hoegel said he was aware that he had caused his patients and his family huge damage, suffering and anxiety. He wanted the world to know that he is not ‘basking in the limelight’ and is ‘deeply ashamed’.

He testified that at times, he acted out of “boredom”. The nurse said he felt euphoric when he managed to bring a patient back to life, but was devastated when he failed.

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