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German nurse gets life sentence for killing at least 85 patients

He liked trying to resuscitate patients, but failed to do so dozens of times

David Hecker/Getty Images

A nurse in Germany has been handed a life sentence for the murder of 85 people. German police think that he may have killed up to 200.

Wait...what happened?

Niels Hoegel is a 42-year-old former nurse. Between 2000 and 2005, while working at two hospitals in the northern German cities of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst he repeatedly induced cardiac arrest in patients so that he could resuscitate them. In addition to the possibly 200 people he killed, he put an unknown number of patients at serious risk by bringing them close to death and then (thankfully for the people in those cases) reviving them.

Hoegel's death toll is so high that he's considered to be the deadliest serial killer in Germany since World War II.

"Your guilt is incomprehensible," Judge Sebastian Buerhmann told Hoegel when the verdict was delivered. Buerhmann said that he "felt like an accountant of death."

The judge also criticized other staff from the hospitals for their "collective amnesia," after they said that they had suspicions but did not notice the increase in the number of deaths at their facilities.

This is Hoegel's second life sentence. He was already hit with one for being convicted in 2015 of two murders and two attempted murders. When he was on trial for the first time, Hoegel had admitted that he liked the feeling of resuscitating patients.

"Now I sit here fully convinced that I want to give every relative an answer," Hoegel said as he was handed his new conviction. "I am really sorry."

He added that he wanted to "sincerely apologize for everything I did to you over the course of years" according to the Agence France-Presse.

Does this story sound familiar?

Just a few weeks ago, a French doctor was accused of injecting 24 patients with potassium chloride or local anesthetics in order to induce cardiac arrest, so that he could seem like a hero when he revived them. These patients were as young as 4 and as old as 80. He could also face life in prison if convicted.

One last thing…
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