Do not trust this nurse. Source
9 Deadliest Nurses on Earth
By x First Aid Kits.
By x First Aid Kits.
Since Florence Nightingale founded the modern practice of nursing during the Crimean war, nurses have become an indispensable part of the healing process. If illness is a war, then nurses are the soldiers fighting infection on the front line. A nurse has unhindered access to a patient and can make the difference between their recovery or demise.
Hopefully, that is cranberry juice. Source
In a hospital, death is a common occurrence, so a nurse with sinister intentions can remain above suspicion while enacting their deadly desires.
Here, we present the nine worst examples of nurses who, instead of healing, abused their powers and instead harmed.
9. Colin Norris
Norris en route to his trial. Source
Colin Norris, a nurse from Glasgow, Scotland, was convicted of murdering four elderly patients in 2002. Norris had been employed as a nurse at the Leeds General Infirmary and St James’s hospital. Staff at the hospital became suspicious of Norris when he began to accurately predict the deaths of patients.
Norris during questioning. Source
It is believed that Norris injected patients with an overdose of insulin to induce hypoglycemia and poison them. Norris claimed that he was simply ‘unlucky’ and that the deaths had been coincidental.
On 3 March 2008, he was convicted by a majority verdict and sentenced to thirty years in prison.
8. Anna Marie Hahn
Hahn before she was caught. Source
Born in Germany in 1906, Anne Marie Hahn was sent to America by her family after an alleged affair with a Viennese doctor. Hahn is famous for being, in 1938, the first woman put to death by electric chair in the state of Ohio, USA. She was executed after being found guilty of murdering five elderly people, all of whom she had befriended so as to be named in their wills.
Arsenic: Hahn’s weapon of choice. Source
Allegedly, Hahn would befriend her victims and then offer her services as a nurse; once employed, she would care for them until she could get money out of them, then poison them with arsenic. She was only caught out when her fifth victim, Georg Obendoerfer, became sick and died while travelling with Mrs. Hahn and her son on a train, and the subsequent autopsy showed that he had died from arsenic poisoning.
7. Gwendolyn Graham
Wood and Graham’s mug-shots. Source
In 1987, Gwendolyn Graham, with the help of her partner Cathy Wood, killed five elderly women who were patients in the Alpine Manor nursing home in the state of Michigan, USA. The pair targeted women in the nursing home who were incapacitated or who suffered from Alzheimer’s and suffocated them to death as part of a sexual game.
Graham on the way to her trial. Source
Wood would stand as the lookout for Graham as she committed the atrocities; however, the pair ended the relationship when Graham tried to get Wood to reverse their roles and commit a murder herself. It was two years later in 1989 that Wood confessed the pair’s crimes to her ex-husband, who then told the police.
Graham was later convicted on five counts of murder and is currently serving five consecutive life sentences. Wood was sentenced to twenty years in prison and is expected to be released in 2021.
6. Christine Malèvre
Malèvre in court. Source
Between 1997 and 1998, Christine Malèvre ended the lives of over thirty elderly patients at the François Quesnay hospital, in Mantes-la-Jolie, near Paris. At first, Malèvre claimed that she was euthanizing patients at their behest, and for a time she was heralded by pro-euthanasia groups as an “Angel of Mercy”.
The hospital where Malèvre committed her crimes. Source
After a psychological evaluation, it was found that Malèvre had a morbid fascination with death, and this led to the French courts deciding to try her for murder. Upon discovering that she was going to be taken to court, Malèvre attempted to end her own life. After her failed suicide attempt, she confessed to the murder of six of her elderly patients.
In 2003, she was given a ten-year jail sentence, which has since been lengthened to twelve.
5. Amy Archer-Gilligan
Archer-Gilligan when she was caught. Source
Sister Amy Duggan Archer-Gilligan was the proprietor of the Archer Home, a care facility for the elderly in Windsor, Connecticut, USA. While running the home, she definitely murdered at least five people by poisoning; however, during the time she was there, forty-eight elderly people died under suspicious circumstances between 1907 and 1917.
Archer-Gilligan’s nefarious plan was to get her patients to give her large sums of money in trust, then to kill them so that she could keep the ill-gotten gains.
The nursing home where Archer-Gilligan murdered her victims. Source
Her scheme was discovered when a sister of one of the victims, Nellie Pierce, discovered that Archer-Gilligan had been pressing her brother for money just before he died. Ms. Pierce reported her suspicions to a local paper which generated enough publicity to force the police to investigate.
Archer-Gilligan was given a life-sentence in 1919. She died in the Connecticut Hospital for the Insane in Middletown on 23 April 1962.
4. The “Lainz Angels of Death”
The Death Pavillion gang. Source
From 1983 to 1989, Waltraud Wagner, Maria Gruber, Irene Leidolf and Stephanija Meyer, conspired against the patients in their care at the Lainz General Hospital in Vienna. Over a six year period, these Austrian nurses killed at least forty-two patients; however, it is suspected that they may have murdered over two hundred altogether.
Wagner was the leader of the group that called themselves “The Death Pavillion”.
Lainz General Hospital. Source
They perfected a suspicion-free murder technique for elderly patients in their care that involved holding a victim’s nose closed and pouring water down their airway until they drowned. As many elderly people died with fluid in their lungs they were above suspicion.
It was their carelessness that led to their capture as, over drinks while discussing their latest murder, their raucous laughter attracted the attention of a nearby doctor, who reported them to the police. Wagner and Leidolf received life sentences for their parts in the murders, whereas Gruber and Meyer received only fifteen years each.
3. The “Angel Makers of Nagyrev”
The “Angel Makers” on trial. Source
Led by Júlia Fazekas and her accomplice Susi Oláh, "The Angel Makers of Nagyrév" were a group of women living in the village of Nagyrév, Hungary, who, between 1914 and 1929, poisoned to death approximately three hundred people.
Fazekas was the village mid-wife and supplied the women in the village with arsenic and encouraged them to use it to dispose of anyone they wished. The victims were mainly the wives’ husbands who they wished to get rid of so that they could continue extra-marital affairs.
The village of Nagyrév, today. Source
There are conflicting accounts regarding how this despicable scheme was discovered. One account suggests that a failed poisoning and accusation by the intended victims led to the discovery of the plot; another account suggests that a medical student in a neighbouring village found high levels of arsenic in a body that had been washed downstream.
The discovery of their crimes led to two of the women being executed, while another eighteen received life sentences.
2. Genene Jones
Jones being taken to prison. Source
Genene Jones was a paediatric nurse in Texan hospitals in Bexan County and Kerrville between 1971 and 1984. During that time, it is estimated that she murdered between eleven and forty-six infants.
Jones’ murder method was to inject patients with digoxin, heparin and succinylcholine, which would induce heart paralysis. Jones committed these atrocities because she craved the praise and attention she received when attempting to revive the children.
Jones on the way to her trial. Source
Jones was discovered by her employer when he found puncture marks in bottles of dangerous drugs that only he and Jones had access to.
In 1985, Jones was sentenced to ninety-nine years in prison; however, due to a law in affect at the time of sentencing, which was in place to reduce levels of over-crowding in prison, Jones will receive automatic parole in 2017.
1. Charles Cullen
Cullen in prison. Source
Charles Edmund Cullen is a former nurse who is suspected of being the most prolific serial killer in American history. Convicted of only thirteen murders, it is believed that over the sixteen years he was employed in numerous hospitals around New Jersey he could have killed over four hundred people. His main method of murder was to administer lethal doses of insulin or digoxin to cause organ failure in his victims.
Cullen at his trial. Source
Cullen was eventually caught after computerized records at the Somerset Memorial Hospital showed that he had been administering unprescribed medicines to patients and, after numerous suspicious deaths, was fired and reported to police. Upon arrest, Cullen was charged with one murder and one attempted murder; however, during questioning he admitted to another forty murders and hinted at more.
Cullen is currently serving a life sentence of over one hundred years, without the possibility of parole, at the New Jersey State Prison.
These horrifying cases helped to emphasize the need for greater scrutiny in the hiring of medical staff and stricter security with the administration of dangerous substances.
Hospital security is getting securer. Source
The lives taken by these treacherous terrors can never be replaced, but their murders helped highlight the holes in the hospital system and have led to the development of superior protocols to ensure patient safety.
[Source: x First Aid Kits. Edited.]