A former German nurse was given a life sentence Thursday for murdering 85 patients in his care.
The 42-year-old murdered patients selected at random with lethal injections between 2000 and 2005, when he was caught in the act. He intentionally brought about cardiac crises in patients. He is the worst serial killer in modern German history. Niels Hoegel has already spent a decade in prison following a previous life sentence he received for six other murders. Police suspect that Hoegel's final death toll may be more than 200. Many likely victims were cremated before autopsies could be performed.
The Judge Sebastian Buehrmann of the regional court in the northern city of Oldenburg said the number of deaths at Hoegel's hands "surpasses human imagination". On Wednesday, Hoegel asked his victims' families for forgiveness for his "horrible acts". Hoegel worked at a hospital in the northwestern city of Oldenburg between 1999 and 2002 and another hospital in nearby Delmenhorst from 2003 to 2005, and the killings took place between 2000 and 2005. Hoegel testified that he had a “protected” childhood, free of violence. He said his grandmother and his father, who were both nurses, had been his role models for going into the profession.