When Doctors Kill: Who, Why, and How

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Mental illness doesn't always show itself superficially

For example, a patient receiving a PEG tube is almost certainly in poor condition to begin with. The only way to prevent completely complications in this population is to not do the procedure at all. Note also that if there is any complication whatever during this procedure, it is going to be lumped into the adverse events and count as part of the statistics about how dangerous a place the hospital is, rather than as a marker of how sick and fragile many of the patients are.

In sum, the very definition of "adverse events" totally obscures and even obliterates the boundary between events that could not be prevented and did not result from any error and events in which a medical error directly caused patient harm. The format and definitions are almost identical to the previous report including the definitions and letter severity scale up to "I" , but with some interesting twists. Two years later Holmes used the income from her store, the proceeds of her life insurance policy, and the sale of her skeleton to a medical school to build himself a true castle rather than just a mansion.

Holmes had repeatedly changed builders during the initial construction of the Castle to ensure that only he fully understood the design of the dungeon he had created. When this Horror Castle was completed, Holmes started his killings in earnest. Over a period of 3 years, Holmes selected his victims from among his employees, lovers, and at least 50 paying hotel guests. Most were women but he killed a few men and children as well. Some were locked in soundproof bedrooms fitted with gas lines that permitted him to asphyxiate them at any time.

Others were locked in a huge bank vault near his office; he sat and listened as they screamed, panicked and eventually suffocated. He dissected some of the bodies, performed chemical experiments on a few, and saved pieces of several corpses in his vaults he did not have the benefit of a freezer like Jeffrey Dahmer.

He disposed of most of the evidence in his lime pits or his basement crematory. Ironically, Wade Warner, the very designer of the furnace, was reduced to ashes within it. Holmes also had a thriving clinical practice. He picked one of the most remote rooms in the Castle to perform hundreds of illegal abortions. Many of his patients died because of his procedures and their corpses were also processed and the skeletons sold.

Following the Chicago World Fair of , with creditors closing in, Holmes left Chicago and apparently murdered people as he traveled around the United States and Canada. He tried to marry Minnie Williams, a wealthy Texas heiress, but her sister objected and Holmes ended up killing both of them. Holmes was arrested when the police discovered this scam. The local authorities called the Chicago Police who then spent a month in the Murder Castle documenting the efficient methods Holmes had devised for killing his victims and disposing of the corpses.

The verified number of confirmed kills is Police investigators stated that some of the bodies in the basement were so badly dismembered and decomposed that it was difficult to tell how many people made up his putrescent stew. He was put on trial for homicide and eventually confessed to 27 murders in Chicago, Indianapolis and Toronto as well as six attempted murders. Initially he proclaimed his innocence, later he pretended he was possessed by Satan perhaps accurately so. On May 7, , Dr. Holmes was hanged in Philadelphia. Newspapers reported that the evening prior to his execution, Holmes retired at his usual hour, fell asleep easily and awoke refreshed.

He ordered and consumed a large breakfast an hour before he was hanged. Until the moment of his death on the scaffold, Holmes remained calm and amiable, showing no signs of fear, anxiety or depression. One of his last requests was to be buried in cement so that no one could ever dig him back up. Who would? Although she was technically an osteopathic nurse with little medical experience, Hazzard called herself a doctor because she had been granted a license to practice medicine due to a loophole in Washington state law.

Hazzard is my mother-in-law. Fasting, she maintained, could cure any disease. Although Hazzard rightly recognized the importance of preventive medicine, a healthy diet, and the fact that people who are depressed or ill have a poor appetite, she drew the unreasonable conclusion that sick people needed minimal food and that a starvation diet could eradicate disease. In addition to fasting, her regimen included daily painful enemas that went on for hours and involved up to 12 quarts of water.

The treatment plan was very structured. Patients were put up in Seattle hotels or in cabins on Dr. She appears to have killed her first patient in around the time her divorce from her first husband became final. A coroner determined death was caused by starvation and he tried to have her prosecuted for medical malpractice but failed; it is difficult to sue someone for medical neglect or malpractice if they are not really a doctor.

In , the couple moved to Olalla, a small town close to Seattle. Many locals were enticed by her medical theories and became her patients. Other victims soon followed — one more in , two in and one in Authorities tried to step in when Lewis Ellsworth Rader, a former legislator and publisher of a magazine called Sound Views began wasting away. She moved him to a secret location where the 5-foot inch tall man died weighing less than a hundred pounds. The authorities could not intervene since Hazzard was now licensed to practice medicine and her patients were not just willing but often enthusiastic participants in their deadly therapy.

Hazzard had many loyal followers and a commanding personality that deterred some of her patients from leaving once they started her program. This son of a British lord had died as a result of a gunshot wound to his head in what appeared to be a tragic suicide.

It would seem that fasting cannot cure a bullet to the brain. Pressure mounted on the Kitsap County authorities to prosecute Hazzard for her homicidal treatment of her patients. Dorothea had strong motivation to put the starvationist out of business. Little did they know that Dr. After religiously following the treatment plan for 2 months, they had lost so much weight that they were too weak to escape.

When she was found, Dorothea was delirious and reduced to skin and bones. Hazzard Depicted as Fiend. Hazzard retorted that she was being persecuted because she was a successful woman and that traditional doctors, jealous of her success, conspired to oppose her natural cure. In spite of supportive testimony from her staff and some of her loyal patients, the jury convicted her of manslaughter for the killing by starvation of Claire Williamson.

Not one to sit around idly, Hazzard killed two or three more patients while awaiting sentencing. She eventually served 2 years in the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla prior to being pardoned by the Governor after agreeing to leave the United States and move to New Zealand. Hazzard continued to treat patients by starvation adding 12 or more victims to her death toll. The sanitarium burned down in and Dr. Hazzard died 3 years later.

Today, her books are still available in natural healing bookstores and some can be downloaded from the Internet. Some websites praise her as a medical visionary. Sam Holmes Sheppard, an osteopathic physician in Bay Village, Ohio, was convicted of the murder of his pregnant wife, Marilyn, in a famous and controversial trial.

Sheppard served almost a decade in the Ohio Penitentiary before his conviction was overturned and declared a miscarriage of justice. In , he was acquitted in a new trial. The saga of Sam Sheppard was so sensational that it was the subject of a number of books, several TV reality shows and a very successful movie. The identity of the real killer is still a matter of debate — but it was likely not Sheppard.

This true-life horror story started on the eve of July 4, Sam Sheppard, a successful and reputable neurosurgeon and trauma physician, and his beloved wife and childhood sweetheart, Marilyn, were having their neighbors over for dinner. Thereafter the Sheppards watched a late movie, Strange Holidays, with their guests. Later, Sam fell asleep on a sofa while Marilyn went upstairs to sleep in their bedroom.

When he regained his senses his wife was on the bed, face up, covered with blood with her legs apart. He checked her pulse and felt none. He ran to the next room and saw that Chip, their 7 year-old son, was still soundly asleep. He heard some noise and ran downstairs and out the door to the Lake Erie beach below his home. When he woke up, he was shirtless and partly in the water. The neighbors arrived promptly and called the police.

This is very impressive since modern forensic pathologists in a well-lit autopsy suite can rarely be that precise even after examining the body for many hours. Neither a forensic pathologist nor a criminologist, Coroner Gerber was a general practitioner with a law degree but he fancied himself a forensic expert.

Prior to his press conference, Gerber and the local chief of police had questioned Sheppard who was being treated by his brother, also a doctor, for bruises, chipped teeth, lacerations of his mouth, and neck injuries. The police investigation of the scene revealed marked splattering of blood in the bedroom and some disarray in the house. Sheppard later claimed that it was possible that some morphine was missing from the bag.

The local police felt that the case was well over their heads and asked the Cleveland police for help in the investigation. Two detectives from the Cleveland police force interrogated Dr. However, he was unable to explain how an intruder could enter his home undetected without evidence of a break-in. And why the t-shirt he was wearing when his guests had left had disappeared.

And how his bloodied watch ended up in a green bag on the beach. Clearly, his defense team faced a mountain of circumstantial evidence. The Cleveland police recommended to the Bay Village police that they arrest Sheppard but the mayor and police chief hesitated for 25 days. Finally, under increasing pressure fanned by fiery press editorials and intense publicity, the Coroner scheduled an inquest and Sheppard was indicted for the murder of his wife.

Although the first two errors were rather trivial, the last was inexcusable. Gerber was the star witness for the prosecution. He described in detail his examination of the scene, his questioning of Sheppard and what he called a lack of cooperation by the Sheppard family. His most damning observation was his description of the bloody pillowcase from the murder bed which showed, in his expert opinion, the mark of a surgical instrument.

The prosecution presented the case as a simple domestic homicide carried out by an unfaithful husband who clumsily tried to disguise the murder as a robbery and faked his own injuries. Most of the courtroom was occupied by the media which was seated even inside the bar separating the parties from the public. The witnesses and the defendant had to fight their way outside the courtroom through a throng of pushing and shouting journalists. The judge made no significant attempt to isolate the jury from the prejudiced publicity nor did he sequester the jury prior to their deliberation.

The pictures and names of the jurors had been disclosed in the newspapers before the trial and the jurors were permitted to communicate by telephone, freely and unchecked, with anyone they chose. The circus atmosphere of the Sheppard trial made the Anna Nicole Smith media frenzy in Fort Lauderdale look like the coverage of the grand opening of a new K-Mart. He also told of seeing a floating cigarette in an upstairs toilet which apparently was never recovered or preserved. This was potentially important evidence as Sheppard was not a smoker.

The defense called 18 character witnesses for Sheppard and two witnesses who said that they had seen a bushy-haired man near the Sheppard home on the day of the crime. The jury was not convinced. On December 21, , after a hundred hours of deliberation, Sheppard was found guilty of second-degree murder and he was immediately sentenced to life in prison. The conviction was a combined result of the imperfect status of the available forensic analytic tools particularly DNA ; failure to disclose exculpatory evidence; mistakes and unprofessional conduct by police investigators, the local Coroner, and the forensic pathologist that performed the autopsy; and bias of the sitting judge.

Soon after his conviction, Sheppard twice received devastating family news. On January 7, , his mother shot herself; 11 days later, his father died of cancer. In both cases, he was permitted to attend the funerals but was required to wear handcuffs. Months later, F. Sheppard served 10 years of his sentence while several appeals were rejected. Finally, his petition for a writ of habeas corpus a legal action through which a person can seek relief from unlawful detention was granted by Judge Carl Weinman, the Chief Judge of the United States District Court of Ohio on July 15, He ordered the state of Ohio either to free Sheppard or to grant him a new trial.

Judge Weinman The Fugitive 39 supported his conclusions with extensive quotations from newspaper articles and cited in detail the following discussion between Dorothy Kilgalen, a well-known journalist, and Judge Blythin who presided over the trial: She stated that on, what was to the best of her recollection, the first day of trial, someone told her that Judge Blythin would like to see her in Chambers.

I watch you on television very frequently and enjoy the program. It has a very attractive victim, who was pregnant, and the accused is a very important member of the community, a respectable, very attractive man. There is no question about it. There was no way Sheppard could have had a fair trial since the jury had been prejudiced by the media and the judge presiding over the trial had convicted him prior to the opening arguments.

On June 6, the U. Sam Sheppard on trial again on November 1, He further contended that Marilyn had broken two teeth when she bit the assailant and that Sheppard did not have any bite marks. He also documented that some of the blood on the stairs could not have been from Marilyn but had to be from the fleeing assailant a claim later verified by DNA fingerprinting. Following new federal guidelines, the jury was sequestered for the duration of the trial, their phone calls were monitored, and their newspapers were censored. No television cameras were allowed in the courtroom and seating for news reporters was markedly restricted.

A 2 year attempt to return to medical practice failed after he was sued by two patients for malpractice. He died on April 6, of liver failure due to chronic alcoholism 4 years after his release from prison. Sam Sheppard never was a free man after all. Years later, aided by a Supreme Court ruling that required prosecutors to disclose exculpatory evidence, police records that were suppressed in the and trials were made available to Sam R.

It was recovered from a trail of blood leading from the bedroom to the main floor and down the basement steps. Another former employee, Ed Wilbert, told of the hostile feelings Eberling had for Marilyn because she had caught him stealing and threatened to spread the word. He said that when Dr. Sheppard came to her aid, he knocked him out twice. He may have been telling the truth — or he may have been trying to increase his stature in the prison hierarchy. Although there are still many unanswered questions, given the recently released exculpatory evidence and the newly available DNA analysis, it would be a stretch to conclude that Dr.

Sheppard sued the state of Ohio for wrongful imprisonment. He not only wanted his father to be considered not guilty, he sought a proclamation of innocence. To his dismay, the jury denied his claim. Poison 41 Dr. Poison Between and , Dr. Over that time span, he likely killed between 30 and 60 patients both in the United States and Africa by poisoning them with arsenic. While working as an intern he murdered Cynthia McGee by injecting her with a lethal dose of potassium in January One month later, Swango assaulted another patient by injecting her with poison but she survived the attack.

After suspecting him of the latter crime, the hospital removed him from the residency program and the Ohio authorities began a covert murder investigation. No charges were filed and Swango left the state, leaving his past behind him. In , Dr. Swango started working at the Adams County, Illinois, Ambulance Service as an emergency medical technician.

While there he poisoned several of his co-workers with arsenic. He was arrested for aggravated battery and subsequently sentenced to 5 years in prison. In , after he falsified facts about his prior criminal conviction, he was hired by the University of South Dakota and assigned to work as a resident at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Sioux Falls. However he was promptly discharged from the program after hospital administrators became aware of his criminal record. During the application process, he explained that his criminal conviction in Illinois stemmed from a barroom brawl.

Once on the job, Swango murdered three patients by injecting them with toxic substances. Swango also injected poison into another hospital patient who fortunately survived the incident. In October , Dr. Swango was discharged from his position and applied for a job as a physician at the Zimbabwe Association of Church Hospitals before charges were filed. He flew to Africa and started working at Mnene Hospital in Zimbabwe. There he continued his murderous ways by administering injections of a variety of poisons into two of his patients who luckily survived the attacks. Swango was suspended from practice at Mnene Hospital in July but could not be prosecuted in the United States for his crimes for technical reasons.

In , after once again lying about his past. Upon arrival to the United States he was arrested and indicted on six counts of making false statements to the government and violating controlled substance statutes. While still incarcerated, Swango was indicted for the murder of three of his victims as well as attempted murder. Once in their trust and employ, he utilized his skills to search for victims and take their lives.

Michael Swango should be considered the poster boy for criminal background checks. He has nerve and he has knowledge. In most of Western society, a police investigation culminates in an arrest followed by a trial by jury. In dictatorial countries, the situation is quite different. First of all, medical murders may be more difficult to commit because of the tight social controls and governmental intervention in the practice of medicine.

Alternatively, the murderer may be summarily executed and placed on public display as a deterrent to future crimes. No locale is free of physician killers except perhaps the Arctics and very sparsely populated areas with too few physicians and too few potential victims. East Versus West In previous chapters we described some of the criminal deeds of the famous or in famous doctor serial killers, most of them from United States and England.

Between and , there were about 1. Through the s the figure grew to five a year and by it had tripled.

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Europe was second with 17 new serial murders per year. Serial killers can be found all over the world although at a lower frequency.

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It may be argued that in developing countries the lower reported rates of serial J. Though this is likely true, it also seems likely that the disproportionately high rate of serial killers in developed countries may be related to the celebrity status they are afforded by the media.

If you kill one person, you may make the local news. If you kill five, you will probably end up on national television for a week maybe longer if nothing else is going on in the world. If you are a physician-murderer, you will probably get a juicy book contract and have your life immortalized in a made-for-TV movie. Eastern Europe has had a number of murderous physicians, men of mysterious motives rather than compassionate healers. Maxim Petrov, a Russian physician and a serial killer, is a case in point.

Petrov, born in , worked as an emergency room physician in St. Petersburg, Russia.

When Doctors Kill: Who, Why, and How : The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology

His modus operandi was to visit elderly patients at their homes, unannounced or on short notice, when he was off duty and when all relatives were likely to be at work. He would usually measure their blood pressure and tell the patients that they needed an injection. In all, he anesthetized and robbed about 50 elderly women pensioners.

The first few victims did not die — they awoke several hours after his visit to find themselves several rubles poorer. The young man presented himself as a doctor from the local clinic. The doctor took my blood pressure, which appeared to be high, and offered an injection. I cried for help on the balcony.

The fire service came but the flat was badly burned. Another survivor, Valentina Pleshikova, told the local media that she was only saved because her husband returned home early from work. She claimed she also was injected with a substance by Dr. Petrov and fell asleep. When she was awakened, she discovered the gas oven had been turned on and all the windows shut. The trend toward stealing caffeinated beverages is rather curious.

Perhaps the perpetrator was tired after a long shift in the ER. Alternatively, there were no Starbucks stores in St. Petersburg at the time. On February 2, during his thirtieth robbery, Dr. Petrov graduated to murder after being surprised by the daughter of an anesthetized patient who returned home unexpectedly and interrupted his robbery. He stabbed her with a screwdriver and then strangled the patient with a stocking.

After this incident, he began to inject his victims with lethal mixtures of a variety of different drugs including propanolol a high blood pressure medication. This drug is not detected on routine toxicology screens; specialized test are required to find it in the blood and you have to be looking for it.

He then set fire to their homes to destroy any evidence. East Versus West 45 The police investigation resulted in the discovery of a common denominator in these crimes. All of the victims were elderly patients with lung disease who had received chest x-rays at a local health clinic. They finally arrested Petrov when he visited one of those patients on January17, Initially, Petrov confessed to the murders but a few months later he recanted his confession and fiercely denied the accusations.

He claimed that he had been coerced into falsely admitting the charges by the intense psychological pressure he had endured while in custody. Petrov loved his fame or infamy and dubbed him Dr. Killer or Dr. In , he was convicted of 12 murders and sentenced to life in prison. Jean Claude Romand, a Frenchman who impersonated a doctor, killed his entire family in out of fear that his elaborate charade would be revealed. Located in the heart of the Jura vineyards, it is a picturesque and historic city with a population of about 18, Romand was an only child, calm with no apparent problems, and a very good student.

In many ways, he was a model child — except that he was an introvert who only confided in his dog. He did well in high school and earned his baccalaureate degree. He told his parents that he had to stop taking the classes for health reasons. Afterwards he enrolled as a medical student and passed the exams at the end of the first year but did not take the exams required to finish the second year. Having failed to finish medical school Romand brazenly pretended that he had graduated as a doctor, and succeeded in fooling everyone he knew for years.

His family and friends genuinely believed that he was a successful medical professional and researcher in the World Health Organization. In search of sympathy and as an additional cover, Romand also pretended that he suffered from lymphoma a type of cancer and complained periodically of severe pain. To make his lies more credible, Romand spent his time visiting the local World Health Organization offices as a visitor and gathering all the free information documents he could find to prove that that he worked there.

Upon return from these fictitious trips, Romand showered his wife with expensive gifts.

Living Medicine

He succeeded in bilking them out of more than 2. His luck seemed to have run out, however, when his father-in-law asked for a partial return of his invested funds. It could never be proven whether Romand played a role in this death. By January Romand greatly feared that his family was about to discover the truth of his deception from a debt collector. That evening he went to have dinner with his parents. After the meal, Romand told his father that there was an apparent leak in an upper room and when the father bent down to check the pipes, Romand shot him with a.

He then called his mother upstairs and shot her too. When she screamed and struggled, he released her and drove her home, apologizing for trying to harm her. He then returned to his home and set it on fire after taking an overdose of barbiturates, likely intending to incinerate himself with his family. A subdued and contrite defendant, the yearold Romand asked for forgiveness for his crimes both from the victims and the paltry remainder of his living family. He also apologized for living a lie. Germany contributed Dr.

Gard Wenzinger to our Wall of Ignominy. In June this year-old German doctor was arrested in Brazil for torturing and killing 13 women in Germany and four others in Brazil. Wenzinger unsuccessfully attempted to kill himself after learning that German police had found a videotape showing him cutting a woman into small pieces. Considering the size of Germany, it is surprising that more murderers have not made it on to these pages so far.

They will make up for it later. Witch Doctors In some regions of the African continent witch doctors are treated as both healers and spiritual guides. Though not doctors in the traditional sense, these revered figures still have the power over life and death in some cultures. It is likely that their Witch Doctors 47 powers of healing are due to a combination of placebo effect and actual medicinal properties of certain herbal remedies.

As in any other part of the world, this power to heal is invariable associated with the power to kill. Tokoloshe is usually invisible but can materialize at any time, mostly to witch doctors and especially to children with whom he likes to play but occasionally hurts. He is alternatively described as a small teddy bear-like beast with very sharp teeth or a small furry dwarf. When he manifests himself as a human, he enjoys milk and sexual intercourse with women.

This little rascal is said to have a penis so long that it has to be slung over its shoulder! Both men and women are afraid that he may hide under their bed and rape them at night sounds like a legitimate fear given the anatomy described above so they place their beds on stacks of bricks to thwart his attacks. While the South African government tries to respect traditional beliefs under the aegis of cultural diversity it is somewhat stumped when faced with homicides in which the murderers sincerely claim that they were compelled by Tokoloshe to commit the crime. In sporadic cases the South African Courts have recognized the beliefs of the accused and sentenced them to only a few years of prison, instead of a life sentence or execution.

The courts were much sterner in a case where a serial killer posed as a healer. He was a young witch doctor who was not doing very well at his trade so he went to another witch doctor for advice. Msomi killed her and collected some of her blood in a bottle as instructed. Msomi was captured and put in jail but soon afterward, thanks to Tokoloshe it was believed, he escaped and his bloody hunt went unabated sowing terror in Zulu villages.

He readily admitted his crimes and even helped the police to find the skull of one of his victims. The first night in jail, he slept soundly stirring only to make room on his bed of rags for some unseen being. However, two leading psychologists testified that Msomi was very intelligent and derived sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on others a classic sexual sadist.

In January , Msomi was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to death by hanging in 48 5 International Men of Mystery: Other Medical Murderers Pretoria. Nine local Zulu chieftains, who were afraid that Tokoloshe might save Msomi, asked and were granted permission to stand by and watch when Msomi was hanged.

Tokoloshe did not save him. Witchcraft murders continue to happen on the African continent. He force-fed the infant wax mixed with herbs prior to beating it to death. In , the President of Tanzania publicly condemned the alarming increase in the number of murdered African albinos. It turns out that witch doctors believe their organs have magical powers.

Sounds like bad medicine. Chapter 6 To Catch a Killer: Investigating Serial Murders The darkest souls are not those which choose to live within the hell of the abyss, but those who choose to break free from the abyss and move silently among us. There is a big difference on several levels between serial killers and individuals who kill a lot of people. Murderers of multiple people are classified in three major groups: 1. Spree killers or rampage killers are individuals who kill multiple victims over a short period of time hours or days in an outburst of rage, either at random or targeting specific groups or individuals.

Most spree killers are apprehended or killed by the police within a short time and others commit suicide. He did this shortly after murdering his wife and mother.

‘Alarming’ burnout is making doctors want to kill themselves

He was eventually shot and killed by Austin police. An autopsy revealed a malignant brain tumor which might have precipitated the murderous rampage.

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Twelve students and a teacher lost their lives in a nationally publicized bloodbath. As is often the case, Harris and Klebold committed suicide after committing their crimes in what was likely a suicide pact. The Columbine event was unusual in that most killing sprees involve a single murderer. The more recent mass killing of 32 people at Virginia Tech University in also ended in the suicide of the assailant, Seung-Hui Cho.

Their crimes may be horrible but they are done in privacy rendering detection difficult. Serial killers may hone their sadistic fantasies for decades and their crimes may span continents. Most of the high-profile physician killers fall into this category. Mass murderers kill large numbers of people typically at the same time or over a relatively short period of time. Mass murders may be committed by individuals acting on their own or on the behalf of a government faction, sect, or other group. Many mass murders are associated with the genocide of people of a different race, philosophy, religion or ethnic origin.

The terrorists of September 11, , would be included in this category.

Who, Why, and How

Unfortunately, a number of physicians have assisted, either willingly or under duress, in mass murders. The role physicians played in Nazi concentration camps is a case in point. The most dangerous serial murderers are obviously the ones who never get caught and are still out there today. Their patterns are so subtle that it may be virtually impossible to link a diverse group of victims over a large geographic area to a single assailant. Clinicide can also be detected by the substantiation of injurious, unnecessary, and potentially lethal medical procedures or treatment.

Crafty medical serial murderers are likely those who use poisons or medications with lethal consequences on patients who are expected to die and whose deaths will not arouse suspicion. These killers likely will never come to trial. Early identification of physician murderers, particularly serial killers, is difficult since many of them have the ability to completely conceal their true persona.

This explains the adulation of some patients for some murderous doctors and their refusal to believe the charges against them despite insurmountable evidence to the contrary. Of course, most physicians exhibit this behavior on occasion consider the heart surgeon who is told that his OR is not ready for him and the vast majority of these are not serial killers to the best of our knowledge.

It is absolutely imperative to identify physicians who have gone bad. Once they have killed a single patient, the genie is out of the bottle and they may murder again and again. In recent decades, criminologists have become very interested in serial killers and their social and psychological characteristics. Disorganized killers usually have a low or borderline IQ of 80—95, are socially inadequate admittedly, this does not exclude some physicians , live alone, had no strong father figure, may have been subjected to familial emotional abuse, live or work near the crime scene, have minimal interest in the media, often drop-out from school, exhibit poor hygiene and housekeeping skills, keep a secret place at home, tend to be nocturnal, drive low-quality cars or trucks, and have no interest in police work.

Disorganized serial killers attack in a blitz-like pattern, usually kill at one site, leave the body fairly intact at the scene, and leave a messy crime scene that usually contains significant evidence. Ed Gein was a disorganized serial killer who skinned his victims and made articles of clothing and furniture from them. In regards to the methodology of crime, organized serial killers usually attack using seduction followed by restraint.

They routinely kill at one site and dispose of bodies at another. Occasionally they will dismember the body and they generally leave a controlled crime scene that contains little physical evidence. As to post-crime behavior, organized murderers need to return to the crime scene to see what the police have done, usually contact the police to play games, and respond best to direct interviews.

Although many physicians perpetrating serial murders display general traits common amongst organized serial killers, others showed mixed-type features. These killers may have done poorly in school at times, had trouble holding down jobs, come from markedly unstable families, may have been neglected or abandoned by their fathers and raised by domineering mothers, or have been abused psychologically, physically or sexually. These killers may harbor deep feelings of 52 6 To Catch a Killer: Investigating Serial Murders hatred towards their parents and often have a history of psychiatric problems requiring treatment or hospitalization, an interest in sadomasochistic pornography, fascination with fire, and a propensity to enjoy hurting or killing small animals.

These latter characteristics are shared by some of the more widely known, non-physician serial killers. These disturbed individuals commonly evolve into sexual sadists and commit the most horrific of crimes. The Act Focused murderer includes two subcategories: 1. The Visionary often hallucinates and hears voices or sees visions that order them to kill classic psychotic features. The voices, usually coming from God or the devil, legitimize the violence and 2.

The Missionary who has been placed on earth to eradicate a group of people prostitutes, gays, minorities, etc. The comfort-oriented hedonist that takes pleasure from killing, but also gets some profit or personal gain from it. This variety of killer is more common among females 2. The lust-oriented hedonist who associates sexual pleasure with murder. This item is printed on demand. Seller Inventory Language: English. Brand new Book. Nevertheless, although they often don't want to admit it, doctors are people too.

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View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title It would come as no surprise that many readers may be shocked and intrigued by the title of our book. From the Back Cover : Some readers may be shocked by the title of this book, and some may wonder if it is necessary to raise the uncomfortable issue of killing by doctors.

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