One Man, Dozens Dead

German nurse suspected of multiple murders

Rosetta Sampson, Staff Reporter

A German police investigation turns up astonishing results. A former nurse, Niels Hogel, 40, increased his kill list to 90 patients. The patients were injected with a cardiovascular medication that would require Hogel to step in and resuscitate the dying victims in the intensive care unit.

Hogel was jailed for life in 2015, for two murders and several attempted murders of intensive care patients in Delmenhorst Hospital in northern Germany. Now, police have uncovered new evidence that Hogel murdered another 88 Intensive Care Unit patients. “Hogel preyed on those in critical condition,” said chief investigator Arne Schmidt.

Police believe Hogel carried out his first murder in February 2005, where he killed at least 35 patients. Then, he moved to Delmenhorst  to continue his grotesque work. Hogel used five different drugs, including ajmaline, sotalol, lidocaine, amiodarone and calcium chloride, a dangerous mixture that would cause the patient to die.

A former colleague witnessed Hogel injecting a patient with ajmaline on June 22, 2005. Management did not call the police or raise the issue until June 24, 2005, when Hogel killed his final patient. Hogel was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for attempted murder in 2008. The case was brought back to court in January 2015, when Hogel confessed to administering 90 unauthorized injections. Of those 90, 30 had been fatal because Hogel was not able to resuscitate the victims.

This case had been the “most extreme and bleakest of a number of similar instances that have shaken Germany’s healthcare system in recent decades and has caused hospitals to call for tighter drug use,” said Otto Dapunt, a former head of heart surgery at the Oldenburg clinic. Although Hogel has already been sentenced to life, recent police findings mean it is likely he will face court again, with charges expected to be filed by spring of next year.