Hundreds of Bodies, One Nurse: German Serial Killer Leaves as Many Questions as Victims

No pleas are entered within the German court docket, however two days into his newest trial Mr. Högel informed the court docket that he felt “disgrace” when studying over the medical data of the sufferers, ages 34 to 96.

“Each single case, even simply studying them,” he stated, “I’m endlessly sorry.”

The apology solely raised extra questions on whether or not the phrases might be believed.

“I personally am satisfied that the defendant continues to stay out his narcissism at the moment,” testified Arne Schmidt, who’s now the police chief in Cuxhaven and led a particular investigation from 2014 to 2017 into the killings for the Oldenburg police.

Solely when introduced with sufficient proof would Mr. Högel confess, Mr. Schmidt stated, including that the nurse had reveled in enjoying God.

Mr. Högel grew up in Wilhelmshaven, in northern Germany, with each mother and father and an older sister. His father was a nurse, and he determined early in life to observe in his footsteps.

In some unspecified time in the future, his colleagues observed that sufferers instantly wanted to be resuscitated when Mr. Högel was on responsibility. Folks die within the intensive-care wards, former nurses informed the court docket, however not so many, so swiftly.

“To start with, you simply suppose it’s destiny,” a former Delmenhorst colleague, recognized solely as Susanna Okay., testified. “However in some unspecified time in the future you develop distrustful.”

She stated Mr. Högel’s colleagues in Oldenburg had talked about him, however didn’t go to their superiors or lodge a grievance out of worry of being reprimanded or as a result of they didn’t see it as their enterprise in a rustic the place residents carefully guard their privateness.

When one other nurse in Delmenhorst informed her superior she was suspicious of Mr. Högel, no motion was taken and he or she by no means adopted up.

Dr. Beine stated he hoped the trial would increase consciousness of the failure to name out suspicions and break via the hierarchical buildings that govern hospitals and different massive bureaucracies in Germany.

He cited a Prussian slogan adopted all through the nation’s bureaucracies, “Reporting Units You Free” — eerily just like the Nazi slogan “Work Units You Free” — meaning it is sufficient to report a suspected unsuitable with out taking additional motion to make sure that it stops.

“As a well being care employee, you must know that your duty is on your sufferers, not the hospital’s picture,” he stated.

It was not till June 2005 that Renate T., a fellow nurse in Delmenhorst, took additional motion after discovering Mr. Högel standing over a lung most cancers affected person, Dieter Maass. His life help system had been switched off, and within the trash lay 4 empty vials of remedy not prescribed for him. She shortly took a blood pattern and despatched it for assessments.

The subsequent day, the affected person was useless.

When the take a look at outcomes confirmed a dangerously excessive dose of coronary heart remedy, the physician and nurse in cost met to debate the state of affairs. However they let Mr. Högel end his shift.

In these hours, Renate Röper, 67, grew to become his ultimate sufferer.

“The course of occasions that passed off on June 24 are symbolic of the failure of these liable for their utterly faulty evaluation of precise information and the tragic outcomes that ensued for the sufferers,” Mr. Schmidt stated, asserting the outcomes of his investigation in 2017.

That investigation took place solely after years of strain by relations, and led to the present trial.

Two former prosecutors from Oldenburg had been investigated for failing to sufficiently examine Mr. Högel in 2005, however neither confronted fees. One is now a choose in Oldenburg.

Decide Bührmann opened the present trial with a second of silence to honor the victims. At instances, the proceedings have appeared extra like a fact fee than a prison trial.

“The aim of this trial is to offer solutions for the relations whose family members died, to assist them to know how and why,” Decide Bührmann informed a witness.

However Mariya Tüter, 47, expects extra. Three years in the past, the police informed her they suspected that her husband, Adnan, may need been murdered by Mr. Högel. Since then, she has struggled with despair and, at instances, even to drive to the grocery store.

“Till this occurred, I noticed medical doctors as individuals who did the precise factor; they had been there to be trusted,” she stated. “However on this case, they swept every part below the carpet. I lastly need justice to be served.”

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