The Unexpected Killers in Healthcare

The Angel of Death is a strong religious concept, which has been cited in all of the major religions, as figures who comfort those who are dying and escort their souls to the Afterlife.[1] The Jewish and Muslim faiths tell the story of Azrael, while Christians have the archangel Michael.[2] Much more commonly referenced and much more sinister, especially in the United States, is the Angel of Death as a name for serial killers in the medical or caregiving professions, who kill a person in their care, often covering it as some sort of medical mishap.[3] Our page will explore the Angel of Death from ethical, cultural, and scientific perspectives, and how those perspectives together connect to a western notion of death and dying.

Ethics can be an incredibly complicated topic, as many people believe that they live by a certain “code” which directs their behaviors.[4] However, when it comes down to it, most people act within the same set of principles and have similar beliefs of right and wrong. These principles generally surround a message of doing no harm. That’s why it’s both shocking and fascinating when people have either the courage or disregard to exit these boundaries.

Something that is considered often, whether it should be or not, are the motives of serial killers. It turns out, as with most motives and intentions, they’re a product of culture and environment on the person’s biology.[5] In short, genes load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger. However, as with anything, there are large exceptions. In particular, Healthcare serial killers (HSKs), or “medical murderers,”have much more diverse motives for killing than the “common” serial killer that America is used to.[6]

Though there are various different motives, there is evidence that HSKs are motivated to become healthcare professionals because of power, control, attention, and personal gain. This contrasts to what normal health care professionals generally cite- which is helping people.[7] Interviews with several convicted Angels of Death indicate that many of the killers claim to be committing the acts of murder for the sake of mercy for the patient. However, evidence suggests that while the first kill may be out of pity or mercy, the healthcare professional realizes s/he enjoy the act, and continue to do it under the guise of mercy.[8] Healthcare serial killers generally follow suit when it comes to these characteristics, however they do differ when it comes to why they do what they do. HSK’s motives can include removing demanding patients, financial benefits, as well as complex ideologies where they see themselves as the savior of these patients.[9] HSKs are also generally on the upper side of the age bracket, with an average age of 35.8 based on a study that looked over 16 HSKs across 8 countries.[10] HSKs also generally did not go after one gender versus the other, they showed no preference and seemed to work on an opportunity basis.

Overall, there is no singular consensus as to what causes these people to do what they do, but there are a variety of factors that may help us understand what drives a person to kill another. In the United States, a serial killer can only be labeled as such if they have killed at least two people in separate incidents.[11] The prototypical serial killer is a white male, aged from 20 to 40, a lone wolf, very intelligent, appears to be pleasant, and usually has no prior criminal record.[12] These traits are extremely general and are found in serial killers throughout history; however, there are exceptions. The victims of serial killers also share common characteristics, as they are most likely to be female, white, young adults.[13] This may be because they are the most vulnerable group and are “easy prey” for the killers.

One of the most famous HSKs is British physician, Harold Shipman, who is believed to have killed at least 215 of his patients.[14] He injected his patients with opiates and was found to have altered records and falsified death certificates. It will never be known why he murdered his patients. Some believe it was for the money, as he was caught forging the will of Kathleen Grundy, his last victim. Others think he wanted to ease the suffering of his patient, since he witnessed his mother suffering from cancer.[15] Shipman is one of the most prolific HSKs of all time; however, the death of his mother early on in his life and his fascination with drugs may have been a large factor. It is also theorized that Shipman may have had a complex of some sort, where killing a patient released feelings associated with pleasure in the chronically depressed doctor.[16] He is a very peculiar example of a serial killer because there was no real motives as to why he killed so many people, which again raises the question of why these killers do what they do.

Another famous HSK was Charles Cullen. Cullen was an American registered nurse who admitted to killing 40 patients.[17] He believed he was helping people, alleviating their pain and ending their suffering. While some were terminally ill, there were many other victims who were soon to be discharged. He killed patients by poisoning IV bags and bags of saline or injecting them with Digoxin, a drug which is able to cause death in large amounts. Charles Graeber, a former medical student researching Cullen’s murders, believes Cullen killed patients in an attempt to gain control when his personal life was chaotic.[18]

There are also some international HSKs. Dr. Louay Omar Mohammed al-Taei of Iraq was found to have murdered at least 19 soldiers of the insurgency by injecting a lethal combination of drugs into his victims. He expressed his hatred for Americans, killing both severely and slightly injured soldiers fighting on the side for the Americans.[19] Among many others, Rudi Paul Zimmerman was a German nurse convicted of 3 murders, Lucia de Berk was a nurse from Holland convicted of 7 murders, Roger Andermatt was a Swiss nurse charged with 22 murders, and Efren Saldivar was an American respiratory therapist who was suspected of murdering 165 patients.[20] Additionally, Aida Noureddin Mohammed Abu Zeid was an Egyptian nurse who attempted to murder 29 patients, Edson Isidora Guimaraes was a Brazilian hospital nurse aid suspected of murdering 127 people, and Daisuke Mori was a practical nurse from Japan who was suspected of killing 20 patients.[21]

Primarily in the US, HSKs can also be portrayed in the media. Stephen King’s novel, Misery, portrays former nurse Annie Wilkes who saves the protagonist and writer, Paul Sheldon. After a car accident, Annie finds Paul and keeps him in her house, treating his wounds with a stockpile of food and a stash of codeine-based painkillers. She is a big fan of Paul’s Misery series and turns violent when she discovers the final book kills the series’ main protagonist. Paul also discovers newspaper clippings, which suggest she murdered 30 patients and infants.[22] Additionally, The 5th Horseman, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, is another novel depicting murders in a hospital in San Francisco. The victims’ diagnoses are not terminal, but they are murdered by a nurse at the hospital, and are found with 2 buttons on their eyes.[23] Finally, In Season 1 Episode 5, “Lesser Evils,” of American TV show Elementary, Sherlock discovers a series of murders in a hospital morgue. He discovers a former doctor, working as a janitor in the hospital, has been murdering terminally ill patients in pain, making their deaths seem natural.[24] Beside international, real HSKs, the public is also exposed to them in novels, movies, and TV shows.

This raises a discussion on ethics that seems counterintuitive to the Hippocratic Oath that physicians take and the general motive of most health care professionals to not only “do no harm,” but to help people. This is part of the reason why it’s so shocking when an HSK is found: people trust physicians as authority figures to save them. Are these serial killers actually doing the right thing by mercy killing patients? Maybe some would argue so, but the fact of the matter is, for as much science and medicine as we know, a lot of people’s fates are up to luck. So who are HSKs to decide when someone lives or dies?

In conclusion, the reasons behind serial killers are still a mystery and HSKs are no different. They are each motivated by different things, and they are able to carry out their crimes with ease due to their positions. They have all the tools they readily need at their disposal, with a plethora of targets to choose from. Generally, once HSKs feel the sensation of taking a life, they get hooked and repeat the action until they are eventually caught. There are many examples of HSKs who killed for no reason at all, like Harold Shipman. There are examples of HSKs who thought that by ending their patients’ lives they were alleviating their pain and essentially doing the right thing, such as Charles Cullen. There are many similar characteristics between serial killers in general, and HSKs, however we still do not understand the exact reasons as to why these individuals carry out these senseless murders over and over again throughout history.

Rosa Hannah

Levi Joy Chua

Mamoon Khan

[1] Hopler, Whitney. “The Angel of Death: A Religious Perspective.” ThoughtCo. December 24, 2018. Accessed April 04, 2019.

[2]  Hopler, Whitney. “The Angel of Death: A Religious Perspective.

[3] “Angel of Mercy (criminology).” Wikipedia. March 21, 2019. Accessed April 04, 2019.

[4] Wood, Greg. “Code of Ethics: What Are They Really and What Should They Be?” International Journal of Value-Based Management16, no. 2 (2003): 181-95. doi:10.1023/a:1024089509424.

[5] Soothill, Keith. “The Serial Killer Industry.” The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry4, no. 2 (1993): 341-54. doi:10.1080/09585189308407983.

[6] Yardley, Elizabeth, and David Wilson. “In Search of the ‘Angels of Death’: Conceptualising the Contemporary Nurse Healthcare Serial Killer.” Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling13, no. 1 (2014): 39-55. doi:10.1002/jip.1434.

[7] Ramsland, Katherine M. Inside the Minds of Healthcare Serial Killers: Why They Kill. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2007.

[8] Ramsland, Katherine M. Inside the Minds of Healthcare Serial Killers: Why They Kill.

[9] Yardley, Elizabeth, and David Wilson. “In Search of the ‘Angels of Death’: Conceptualising the Contemporary Nurse Healthcare Serial Killer.”

[10] Yardley, Elizabeth, and David Wilson. “In Search of the ‘Angels of Death’: Conceptualising the Contemporary Nurse Healthcare Serial Killer.”

[11] Yardley, Elizabeth, and David Wilson. “In Search of the ‘Angels of Death’: Conceptualising the Contemporary Nurse Healthcare Serial Killer.”

[12]Miller, Laurence. “Serial Killers: 1. Subtypes, Patterns, and Motives.” Aggression and Violent Behavior, no. 1 (2014): 1-11. doi:10.1016/j.avb.2013.11.002.

[13] Miller, Laurence. “Serial Killers: 1. Subtypes, Patterns, and Motives.” Aggression and Violent Behavior.

[14] “Harold Shipman.” The BMJ. January 22, 2004. Accessed April 04, 2019.

[15] “Harold Shipman.” The BMJ.

[16] “Harold Shipman.” The BMJ.

[17] “60 Minutes; New York.” ProQuest. April 25, 2015. Accessed April 4, 2019.

[18] “60 Minutes; New York.” ProQuest.

[19] Kirkuik, Michael Howard. “Iraq’s Hospital Murders:’ I Made a Mixture of Drugs and Injected Them. They Were Dead in Three Hours’: Doctor Provided First Aid for Insurgents – and Went on to Kill Police and Soldiers Brought in for Treatment.” ProQuest. April 17, 2006. Accessed April 04, 2019

[20] Yorker, Beatrice Crofts, et al, “Serial Murder by Healthcare Professionals,” Journal of Forensic Sciences 51 no. 6 (November 2006): 1362-1371,

[21] Yorker, Beatrice Crofts, et al, “Serial Murder by Healthcare Professionals.”

[22] “Misery Summary and Study Guide,” Super Summary, accessed April 5, 2019, http://www.supersummary.com/misery/summary/.

[23] The 5th Horseman: A Novel Summary & Study Guide Description,” BookRags, accessed April 5, 2019.

[24] Elementary Wiki, “Lesser Evils,” Fandom, accessed April 5, 2019.

23 Comments

  1. Introduction does a very good job in intriguing audience to continue reading. The analogies and allusions scattered throughout help keep the reader interested. The post seems to only discuss the ethical aspect of health care serial killers, there is no mention of the cultural and scientific perspectives. A possible question is “What cultural factors are seen to perpetuate these types of killings?”

  2. o I never realized Health Care Killers were a proper thing, it’s kind of terrifying. I do have to make a slight correction though, in the beginning it said Muslim’s name for the “Angel of Death” is Azrael but it officially is not. In the Quran they do not refer to the “Angel of Death” as any specified name. Only referred to it as the angel of death. Some Muslims call it Azrael because Jewish people do. With HSK most infamous physician Harold Shipman, it just goes to show that healthcare needs to be more monitored. Health care employees have way too much power in their hands and it is taken advantage of way more than it should be.

  3. Caroline Vincent

    April 20, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Your post raises a concern of healthcare professional’s power in the medical field. I feel that this is a valid concern, and their power should be checked and regulated. This also applies to their influence on opinions of grief which is discussed in my post. Doctors having too much influence over patients’ decisions and opinions threaten the autonomy of patients.

  4. To begin, I enjoyed your pictures throughout your blog post. I felt that the very first picture immediately caught the reader’s attention. I appreciated the images of Shipman and Cullen because it showed that the HSKs do not look any different than what we would deem as normal people. In addition to this, acknowledging that the angel of death from a religious perspective and a medical context was crucial for the audience to understand the difference between the two.

    Initially, this blog post was interesting to me. My blog post discussed how doctors act as patients when they are at the end of their lives. In my research, I found that a lot of doctors tend to have advance directives and living wills because they see the extended suffering from their patients. This relates to your post because I think that it is interesting that the HSKs continue killing because it gives them a sense of power, although they say it is because they are trying to end patient suffering. The doctors I researched genuinely hated seeing their patients suffer, but they did not commit homicide, and I think this is the biggest divide between HSK and normal doctors.

    Another component of your blog post that I noticed was your compare and contrast between typical serial killers and HSKs. I appreciated that you used the analogy of “genes load the gun, and the environment pulls the trigger.” How the blog post was worded, it seemed that typical serial killers had the tendency to have a “killing gene,” whereas HSKs killed because they wanted personal gain and power while lacking the gene. Could this desire that HSKs have be because of an underlying genetic disposition? I think this would have been good to include if there was research on it.

    While I was reading the blogpost, it was difficult to distinguish a specific scientific perspective. In addition to this, a lot of the blogpost seemed to compare and contrast serial killers and HSKs. I would have liked to know more about why the HSKs have these motives of authority and personal gain. I would have liked to have read more about the science on their typical methods by which they kill the victims and if the perpetrators had the similar genes that typical serial killers have.

    Overall, this was an interesting read. I enjoyed reading about the motives or lack of for killing patients. I thought the cultural and ethical perspectives were adequately addressed. However, I feel that the scientific perspective needed to stand out more.

  5. Fascinating post! There is a podcast series called “Dr. Death” which talks about Christopher Duntsch, a Texas surgeon, and his nearly 31 cases of gross malpractice. His case was similar to that of Harold Shipman in that there was no clear motive for causing harm to people. People may have the misconception that people in a medical profession probably have some motive for killing. However, similar to serial killers, this is not always the case. The post skimmed over the cultural aspect of HSK and serial killers. Do specific cultural elements influence HSKs or are they not related?

  6. Due to cultural attitudes towards self-preservation and personal relationships taking another individual’s life is seen as completely heinous. More importantly, the idea of a healthcare professional, someone whose job is to preserve life, murdering a patient is seen as even more horrific. It is theorized that these “Angles of death” commit these acts so they can gain power, control, attention, or personal gain. Most serial killers have specific motives but often for “angles of death” the motive can be unknown. Motives can include removing demanding patients, receiving financial benefits, or easing suffering. Harold Shipman, pronounced healthcare killed, killed roughly 215 of his patients. His motives were unclear but it could be to ease his patient’s suffering or receive financial benefits from foraging patient wills.
    Putting aside extreme moral and ethical wrongdoings from these “angles of death”, some common ground can be found. Many terminal illnesses cause patients to live in constant pain until their deaths. In the case of HIV/AIDS, there are successful treatments but often in the late stages of AIDS individuals will continue to get sick until eventually one of the illnesses will kill them. The quality of life in the late stages of AIDS is not very high. Patients might want to exercise their autonomy and choose to partake in physician-assisted suicide. Unfortunately, do to modern stigmas, many states have not illegalized euthanasia and those who have are strictly regulated. In these rare cases, it might be seen as more humane for a physician to assist in their death. An important distinction is that these patients are suffering and they exert their own autonomy to choose to die. Not all patients who are terminally ill and suffering want to end their lives. In the case of “angles of death”, they observe that a patient is dying but they do not ask that patient if they want to die. This violates a patient’s autonomy to choose what they want to do and I do not agree with those actions.

  7. I think that this research post discusses a VERY interesting topic, and a very interesting and engaging read. The first thing that came to my mind has to do with something that we discussed in class: modern U.S. culture is obsessed with death – and serial killers too. There are so many fictional shows and documentaries on TV and Netflix about serial killers, but I find it interesting that healthcare serial killers aren’t as widely discussed. I also found the common motive of power interesting as well. Do healthcare providers have too much power in some cases, and where is the line drawn? Healthcare providers have to have some amount of power in order to effectively do their jobs, but how much power is too much? Much of this depends on the person as well, but I still think that these are interesting questions to raise.

  8. This article was so interesting to me. Our culture has a strange fascination with serial killer and judging from your title, I knew exactly what was gonna be in this article so good job on having a title that draws people’s attention. Most of the information given I did not know, especially the there is an actual term (HSK) for that group of serial killers. I also didn’t know much about any of them besides Cullen. I do think you guys spent more time on the serial killers than the actual Angel of Death take, but overall it was still a very good article.

  9. I find this topic to be extremely interesting, especially as you take the position of investigating the Angel of Death in reference to symbolic representation among various religions. I find the comparison between socialed serial killers and healthcare serial killers to be interesting as both lack specific motives in committing the crimes. However, I do wonder if HSK’s believe that they are truly not committing a crime at the helm of killing a patient because it is their belief they are helping them. How does one differentiate between the guidelines in determining if physician assisted suicide falls under HSK or is a differentiated form of violating the Hippocratic Oath, as you mentioned? I thought it was interesting you pointed out that doctors more often than not go into the field of medicine to help people, which I believe is the way it should be, but I do tend to think that more times than we would like to consider people go into medicine as a tool for accessing wealth and power. Another question that I have based on your topic is how could the healthcare industry better regulate the people pursuing this career? In particular, how could the presence of HSK’s be limited in society, and do they tend to have a greater presence in nations that have less advanced healthcare systems?

  10. Like the rest of the U.S., I feed into shows like CSI, SVU, or any other crime show that often features serial killers. I definitely believe the U.S. culture is to be obsessed with them. Why else would it be in media so much? However, I thought this topic was intriguing because I’ve never thought about or researched serial killers in healthcare, or “angels of death.” I have always seen doctors in the good light. But now that I am actually thinking about it, some hospital- setting shows do portray HSKs every now and then. I can’t wrap my head around why physicians would intentionally kill their patients though. Their Hippocratic oath states to do no harm, yet they are harming their patients. But I suppose some may justify the murder by saying they are choosing to end their patients’ lives to stop their suffering which in a twisted way could be considered less harm.Nevertheless, there is harm done. This post relates to the Doctors As End-of-Life Patients post due to the fact that maybe some of the HSKs justify their murders by stating that they know how badly their patients are suffering in the same way that doctors as patients may use specific treatments because they also know how badly their patients have suffered through them. One question I have is, are HSKs more prominent in poorly functioning health care systems? I’d imagine they might be harder to detect.

  11. This post sparked my interest first in the title: “The Unexpected Killers in Health Care.” My initial thought it that I expected the post to be about a common illness or disease that is associated with health care facilities, such as Diptheria- a bacteria infection common among nursing homes. However, this article was far from what I anticipated.

    The thought of healthcare serial killers is something that sounds extremely ironic. I agree with what the post discussed in the publics’ relationship with doctors and health care employees as by taking the Hippocratic oath, and even choosing this profession, as a patient you trust doctors to always help their patient rather than use their status to abuse them.

    Abusing authoritative power for self gratification is not only seen in this scenario, but also in other health care malpractices. Recently, a well none oral surgeon from my hometown was found guilty of sexually assaulting his young patients while they were under anesthesia. The fact that this, what seems to be, extremely uncommon source of abuse is more common than I expected is not only concerning, but it also indicates that trusting health care professionals based on their education and status is not always the best thing to do.

  12. Nicole Salazar

    April 24, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    This post raises interesting points on the characteristics of many HSK, who believe they are benefiting their patients by mercy killing them. This brings into ethical question the role of doctors in the aid-in-dying process and doctors who give lethal injection in prisons on death row. This blurs the line between what is mercy killing and what is murder, or is there even a distinction? I would also like to mention the disease munchausen syndrome by proxy which is a mental illness problem that’s defined by a caregiver makes up or causes a illness or injury in the person whom they are giving care to. This illness was popularized in the case of Gypsy Blancharde who murdered her mother who suffered from MSBP and subjected her daughter to hundreds of unnecessary doctor visits, medications, and surgeries. Although these individuals are not directly killing their patients they are subjecting them to illnesses and injuries that can become real and have lasting and sometimes lethal effects.

  13. First off, the title is what intrigued me to read your post! I never knew there was a thing called “Healthcare Serial Killers.” The different example of people who were known for this was very interesting. I would have liked to see more cultural and scientific data to support your research because it could’ve made an even stronger claim. Overall, I was not aware of how many people participated in this sort of malpractice and it explains why people may have a hard time trusting their health care provider.

  14. This post did a great job explaining the ethical and cultural sides of HSKs. I didn’t even know this was really a thing. The only doctor I had heard of who “killed” was Kevorkian, but he was just a supporter of euthanasia and was not hiding these deaths. The culture in America is to trust all doctors because of their do no harm principle, however this should probably be changed. There needs to be more regulation in hospitals as a result of this. While these murders make up a small minority of the total, they should still not be able to get this far. As for Shipman, how did they not notice this until 200 people had died? Especially when some were to be discharged in the near future? Did they not perform autopsies or does this poison not show up in them? It seems like it should be easier to catch these doctors. In addition, I didn’t get a specific scientific perspective from this article. Mental health was briefly mentioned but not in a scientific way. I would appreciate more description of the mental illnesses associated with serial killing.

  15. I found your topic interesting because of the paradox surrounding it. A doctor should be someone you can trust and confined in, but Health Serial Killers really stray from the commonality. I think you gave great examples of the motives behind murders committed by healthcare officials. One of the examples talked about a physician giving his ill patients extra doses of medicine to end their suffering. This story reminded me of a discussion held in class where we discussed doctors helping patients with suicide although the practice was illegal. In this case, this physician thought he was ultimately helping his patients by ending their suffering. On the other hand, you mentioned how some doctors kill their patients because of personal hatred towards them. The complexity of this phenomenon is very interesting!

  16. I found your post fascinating, the phenomenon of human sacrifice is very complex. When I think of human sacrifice I always associate it with religious rituals, but it was surprising to read this practice also served as a power mechanism in the Shang Dynasty. The practice of human sacrifice was used to instill fear into citizens. Additionally, your post touches on how status impacts the value of one’s life in Shang culture. The story about the origin of human sacrifice in Shang culture was interesting. I think this concept ties into the post “How the Age of the Deceased Affects the Grieving Process” relating to the ideology of how our identity truly alter how we are viewed in life and death.

  17. I enjoyed reading this article and definitely learned something new, since I’ve never really thought about doctors/nurses killing patients in a medical setting. It’s pretty ironic. The article mentioned the power dynamic involved with these medical serial killers. I’m interested in knowing more about that — what’s the psychology behind a power trip like this? Could that be an underlying motive even in the more altruistic killings, that act to alleviate a patient’s suffering? Would these killers act in such a way if they weren’t in positions to do so (having the power to administer life-ending drugs)? There are also some interesting parallels between this article and “Doctors as End-of-Life Patients” involving the Hippocratic Oath — where does this oath stand in situations like these?

  18. This post was extremely interesting, as I had not heard of the concept of The Angel of Death prior to reading this post. It turns out that some medical professionals pursue their careers specifically so that they can kill their patients. Most healthcare professionals choose their career path because they want to help people, while these so-called “Angels of Death” pursue their career in medicine because of “power, control, attention, and personal gain.” This post is very different from the post “The Effects of Physician Assisted Death on Physicians” although both posts death will physicians and death. “The Effects of Physician Assisted Death on Physicians” focuses on purposeful death that is prompted by the patient, while this post reverses the roles and focuses on purposeful death that is prompted by the physicians. One interesting point made from this post is that one of the nurses who admitted to killing 40 of his patients was thought to have committed the murders in order to gain a sense of control that he lacked in his personal life. One question I have about this post is how are these healthcare serial killers caught? What constitutes their actions as murder? Can the actions of healthcare serial killers be justified in any cases (for example, if the patient was suffering)?

  19. It’s scary to think about how much we rely on medical professionals in our most helpless and unguarded moments. They have a level of responsibility to their patients and a level of trust which is seen in a few other relationships between individuals. However, as noted in this post, that is not always the case. I was curious to see if there are common traits or signs to look out for when it comes to “finding” a healthcare serial killer. After doing some digging, Dr. Yardly and Dr. Wilson published an article in the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling and stated that “attention seeking, strange behavior when a patient dies, frequent changes in hospital working locations and a disciplinary record” are all seen as common factors seen in healthcare serial killers. In addition, it was also said that “86% of those who became serial killers within healthcare were nurses, both male and female”. This makes sense since they are the ones who spend the most time and care with the patients. However, this leads to my next question, how do healthcare serial killers pick their victims? Does age or gender have a difference on that decision?

  20. At first, when I read your post, I thought you were referring to Josef Mengele, who was also dubbed the “Angel of Death” due to his horrific experiments during World War II. It’s very twisted that care for the patient is bent into sadism. I would have liked to see more analysis on the mental health aspect of these HSKs. In addition, I would like to ask why the authors believe young, white females are the most vulnerable to being killed by HSK. Is it because their deaths are investigated and reported more?
    Would increased access to mental health services lessen incidences of these murders?

  21. I really liked the opening image and the hook using the phrase “Angel of Death.” It set a dark and mysterious tone right away. It was interesting to see the range of the numbered of kills for each doctor and the differences in the proclaimed motives. Some of them seem to go directly against the hippocratic oath by wanting to kill because of hate, while others have more murkier motives because it could be out of their own morals of wanting to prevent further suffering. This reminded me of the “Doctors as End-of-life” article since doctors fear acting on and suggesting the choice to not do the treatment or whatnot. I think it’s interesting that all the serial killers were shoved into one paragraph, as if all their motives and number of kills were equal. It’s also interesting to see the demographic of the killers and victims. I wonder what death the HSK would like to choose.

  22. Harrison Davis

    April 25, 2019 at 6:29 am

    This post is really eye-opening. I think it has a lot in common with police brutality in a way. In both careers, people are supposed to be honorable, respectful, and follow a strict moral code. In both professions, you see people enter for the complete opposite reasons. It is sickening that innocent people die because of the greed and joy that people in power have. People go to the hospital to be treated, not to die. It was honestly kind of hard to read this one. Kudos to the writers here.

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