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German nurse may have killed more than 100 patients, prosecutors say

German nurse may have killed more than 100 patients, prosecutors say”

A nurse who's already serving a life sentence for two murders is now accused of killing at least 100 patients at two German hospitals he worked at.

After announcing scores more killings in August, on Thursday prosecutors in the northern city of Oldenburg said toxicologies had identified a further 16 deaths that the nurse may have caused, though they cautioned that they had not necessarily stopped counting yet. Following the nurse's admission, an investigation was launched into some 130 suspected deadly cases.

The prosecution is expecting to press additional charges against Niels Hoegel in early 2018.

During his trial, Hoegel had said he intentionally brought about cardiac crises in some 90 patients in Delmenhorst because he enjoyed the feeling of being able to resuscitate them. Additional convictions could affect Hoegel's possibility of parole, but there are no consecutive sentences in Germany.

He was convicted of two murders, two attempted murders and harming patients - crimes he said he was "honestly sorry" about, but that were "relatively spontaneous" decisions.

Now investigators believe he may have killed another 62 patients at one clinic and 38 patients at another, between 1999 and 2005.

But he received a good reference and went on to work at the Hoegl clinic, where death rates rose again.

Investigators poured over the remains of former patients for medication that could have shut down their cardiovascular systems, and records in the hospitals where he worked.

The death toll "is unique in the history of the German republic", the chief police investigator in the case, Arne Schmidt, said in August, adding that Hoegel killed "without a discernible pattern" and preyed especially on those in critical condition.

The authorities exhumed several patients' bodies and detected traces of the drug in five of them, declaring it either the definitive or possible contributing cause.

Authorities are already pursuing criminal cases against former staff at the two medical facilities.



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