5 Nurses Who Killed
It seems that almost every year the headlines include yet another story detailing episodes in which nurses are charged with murdering those entrusted to their care. Here are five of the more well-known cases in which nurses were convicted of murder. With a single exception, all the nurses named below are still alive.
cc licensed flickr photo shared by Tim Pearce, Los Gatos
Anna Marie Hahn
Anna Marie Hahn, a native of Germany, arrived in the America from Germany in 1929 and settled in the vicinity of Cincinnati, Ohio. She subsequently became the personal nurse to several elderly gentlemen and, apparently, made such an impression on each of her patients that they soon showered her with “gifts” and several even included her in their wills. Such generosity was indeed fortuitous, at least for Hahn, since her patients seemed to die within months of her employment.
An investigation by the Cincinnati Police Department and the State of Ohio, which included the exhumation of several of her former clients, found evidence that Hahn had used arsenic and other poisons to hasten the course of nature. She was convicted of three counts of murder and later became the first woman to die in Ohio’s electric chair.
At one time or another between 1977 and 1983 Genene Jones had worked at several hospitals and pediatric clinics in the San Antonio, TX, area. While she was employed at the Bexar County Hospital, it was observed that an unusually high number of children under her care had died suddenly. After being confronted by hospital administrators as to why this might have been the case, she resigned and the number of unexpected death dramatically decreased. Her employer allegedly later destroyed all evidence of its investigation. Jones later became the target of a state criminal investigation into an increase in sudden deaths that would seem to start shortly after her employment yet cease after she left her position.
In 1985, Jones was sentenced to 99 years in prison for murdering a16 month-old girl who had been a patient at a Kerrville (TX) clinic. That same year, she was sentenced to a concurrent term of 60 years for the attempted murder of another former patient, Rolando Jones. As of this writing, she will be paroled automatically in 2017. She will be 67 years old when she is released.
Orville Lynn Majors
Majors came under suspicion after the number of deaths at the Vermillion County (IN) Hospital, where Majors worked, jumped from an average of 26 patients annually to more than 100 per year, resulting in one out of every three patients admitted to the hospital dying unexpectedly.
Although authorities suspect that Majors may have had a hand in as many as 130 deaths, he was convicted of only six counts of murder in 1999. He was sentenced to a total of 360 years in an Indiana prison.
Beverley Gail Allitt
The problem of nurses who kill their patients isn’t unique to the United States, as is shown by the example of Beverly Allitt.
English nurse Beverley Gail Allitt was convicted of the murders four kids, attempted murder of three other kids, in addition to causing serious bodily harm to six kids. She commited all of these crimes in the span of 59 days while she worked in the pediatric ward at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital, Lincolnshire, UK.
In 1993, Allitt was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to 13 concurrent life terms. She will be eligible to apply for parole in 2022, when she is 54 years old.
Charles Edmund Cullen
Cullen, by his own estimate, believes that he murdered some 40 patients during the 16 years he worked at hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. According to law enforcement investigations and psychiatric evaluations, the actual number of Cullen’s victims may be closer to 400. This would make him the most active serial murderer in United States history.
Cullen was sentenced to 11 consecutive life terms in 2007. He will be not eligible for parole for another 390 years.
Caleb White is an ER nurse and guest author at Accelerated-BSN.net, a site with guides and information about accelerated nursing programs.