Thursday, September 23, 2021

History's Notorius killer:Harold Shipman: “Dr. Death” who killed 218 patients

 One of history’s deadliest serial killers was a married family man who managed to squeeze in 218 credited murders (and as many as 250) while working as a popular British physician.

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 Harold Shipman began his murderous spree in 1972, and it’s believed he killed at least 71 patients while working at his first practice, and double that number at a second practice he joined after butting heads with colleagues who found him arrogant, brusque and overconfident.

Finally, in 1998, both a local undertaker and another doctor noticed the unusually high number of cremation certificates Shipman had signed off on. They also noticed striking similarities in the recently-deceased patients themselves; the majority were elderly women who were found sitting up and fully clothed, not in bed as would usually be the case with the gravely ill. Despite these clues, this initial investigation was shoddily handled, allowing Shipman to kill three more times.

Shipman’s luck ran out later that year, when the daughter of his final victim, lawyer Kathleen Grundy, claimed he’d not only killed her mother, but had also tried to create a new, fake will, naming him as her sole beneficiary. Unlike his earlier victims, Grundy had not been cremated, and an autopsy revealed lethally high levels of diamorphine (the drug Shipman used for most of the killings). He was formally charged with 15 murders, and was convicted and sentenced to life without parole in 2000. Shipman died in 2004, after committing suicide in his cell. He never admitted to any of the killings. 

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