Boredom Led to Over 100 Murders

In Germany between 2000 and 2005, Niels Hoegel, a 42-year-old nurse, managed to kill 100 patients between the ages of 34 and 96 at two hospitals in Northern Germany. Hoegel was accused of giving his victims various non-prescribed drugs in an attempt to show off his resuscitation skills to colleagues and fight off boredom. Hoegel said he felt euphoric when he managed to bring a patient back to life, and was devastated when he failed. Police suspect the true death toll may be as high as 200, but can’t be certain as many patients were cremated before autopsies could be performed. One of the biggest questions in the case is how Hoegel was able to murder so many people apparently under the watch of hospital staff. Former colleagues at the Delmenhorst clinic where he worked admitted to having had their suspicions about Hoegel, but all the staff from the other hospital in Oldenburg who testified said they were oblivious to the rising death toll. Hoegel was sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole. During sentencing, Judge Sebastian Buehrmann criticized what he called staff's "collective amnesia," adding that Hoegel's killing spree was "incomprehensible.”