A nurse nicknamed the “Death nurse of Delmenhorst” was on Thursday jailed for life by a German court after he admitted to secretly killing not less than 30 hospital patients by injecting them with lethal doses of a heart drug.
The 38-year-old nurse, identified only as “Niels H”, was convicted of murder on two counts, and attempted murder which was described as the country’s worst serial murder case since the Second World War.
Earlier, his fellow prison inmates testified that he had boasted to them that he had “stopped counting” after the deaths of his first 50 victims and had told them: “I am the greatest serial killer in post-war history.” His colleagues were said to have caught him secretly injecting a patient (EPA).
The so-called “death nurse” said he crept up on patients at quiet moments in the intensive care unit and secretly injected them with a heart drug called Ajmalin, a medication which can cause palpitations, dramatic blood pressure loss and death.
He told the court that between 2003 and 2005 he had injected 90 patients with the drug.He claimed that he had not aimed to kill his patients, but instead wanted to impress his colleagues by resuscitating them at the last moment and giving the impression that he had “snatched them” from the jaws of death. He said he felt “euphoric” after successfully “rescuing” his victims. However, on many occasions Niels H lost his gamble with the patients’ lives. He admitted that one in three of his resuscitation attempts failed.
Niels H was arrested and convicted of attempted murder for which he was jailed for seven and half years in 2008. His 2008 conviction raised the suspicions of relatives of recently deceased Delmenhorst clinic patients.
An inquiry was launched and investigators ordered the exhumation of eight bodies. They found traces of Ajmalin in five of the corpses which resulted in his being charged in yesterday’s Oldenburg case.