|Harold Frederick Shipman
|Doctor Death / Angel of Death
|14 Jan 1946 – Nottingham, England
|Medical Doctor (G.P.)
|13 Jan 2004, HMP Wakefield, England
|1979 – 1988
|Injected patients with diamorphine
|7 Sep 1998
|Life Imprisonment: Hanged himself in his cell
Shipman was a family doctor (GP, general practitioner) who graduated from Leeds School of Medicine in 1970.
Suspicions arose in 1998 due to the large amount of cremation forms Shipman needed countersigning by other doctors. Police found insufficient evidence for any charges.
The daughter of one of his victims further reported him to police when her mother died and the will was found changed in favour of £386,000 left to Shipman. Police discovered he had forged the will and found diamorphine in the victim’s exhumed body. They went on to find a pattern of diamorphine overdoses in 15 specimen patients. Shipman had signed the death certificates and then falsified medical records to make it appear that the victims were more seriously ill than they were.
Shipman’s trial began in October 1999. It lasted until January the following year. The jury took 6 days to return a guilty verdict in all 15 charges of murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
There were several investigations into Shipman’s previous history. The Shipman Inquiry found that he had probably killed 215 patients between 1975 and 1998. A further investigation concluded he may have murdered up to 7 people including a four-year-old in his early career after qualifying as a doctor.
Out of the 459 people who died under Shipman’s care, the final inquiry concluded that he had killed 250 people.
Shipman denied all the charges and protested his innocence until his death. He hanged himself from the window bars in his cell with bedsheets the day before his 58th birthday on the 13th January 2004.