Niels Hoegel: German nurse could have killed more than 86 patients with drug overdoses, police fear – Australia News

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August 29, 2017 06:37:13

A nurse convicted of murdering two patients in Germany with overdoses of heart medication is now believed to have killed at least 86 people — and the true scale of the killings could be even larger, investigators have said.

Key points:

  • Former nurse Niels Hoegel was convicted of killing two patients in 2015
  • Authorities say they have evidence of a further 84 killings
  • Oldenburg police chief has blamed the health authorities for “hesitating” to alert police

Many of the deaths could have been prevented if health authorities had acted more quickly on their suspicions, said Johann Kuehme, police chief in the north-western city of Oldenburg.

Niels Hoegel, now 40, was convicted in 2015 of two murders and two attempted murders at a hospital in the town of Delmenhorst.

He was sentenced to life in prison. But prosecutors have long said they believe he killed many more people, last year putting the figure at 43 at least.

The crimes came to light after Hoegel was convicted of attempted murder in another case and authorities subsequently investigated hundreds of deaths, exhuming bodies of former patients in Delmenhorst and nearby Oldenburg.

Mr Kuehme said authorities have now unearthed evidence of 84 killings in addition to the ones for which Hoegel was convicted.

The number of actual killings is likely higher because some possible victims were cremated, making it impossible to…

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