Monday, August 29, 2016

Irene Becker, Serial Killer Nurse – Germany, 2006


Nurse Irene Becker – who tended to seriously ill patients in the cardiology ward of Charité hospital in Berlin, Europe’s biggest university hospital – liked to play God. Many of her patients had, even with the best of care, not long to live. But with the kind of care Becker offered to her chosen targets their days were ended abruptly, according to Becker’s whim.

The nurse’s boss and coworkers, even though they knew she abused patients and that suspicious deaths occurred when she was around, let her get away with it. But with the worst of care, the sort provided by Nurse Becker, their days were cut short abruptly. Following the investigation of 15 deaths of patients associated with Becker, Hospital Director Gert Baumann “came in for manifold criticism throughout the trial for failing to raise the alarm earlier.”

At the murder trial Presiding Judge Gert Faust harshly criticized the hospital governors and nurses for failing to report abuse and irregularities surrounding Becker’s patients. Her method was to inject her victims with an overdose of antihypertensive or sedative drugs that she would administer even while physicians were busy with efforts to revive the patient.

Becker was tried in April 2007 for the murder of six people and the attempted murder of two others between June 2005 and October 2006. Her motive was unclear. Becker eventually confessed that she killed four patients and asserted she did so out of sympathy, only wanting to relieve pain. “I acted in the interests of my patients,” she testified early in the trial. “I acted according to their wishes.”

The court found this explanation implausible and rejected the notion that patients requested to be euthanized by her. “State prosecutor Thorsten Neudeck alleged the nurse had given one male patient a lethal injection in 2005 simply because she was angry that he would not calm down.” In another case, the husband was in the room when Becker gave his wife the deadly injection. He testified that if he had known what was in store for his wife he would have slapped the nurse’s hand away.”

Becker, 54,  was convicted of five murders on June 29, 2007 and sentenced to life in prison.

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Charité (hospital), Berlin.
Brigitte Raddatz - prosecutor.
Pater Faust, Chairman of Superior Court 22 (Vorsitzende der 22. Großen Strafkammer).

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Jun. 2005 - Oct. 2006 – murders, in the cardiology ward of Berlin’s Charité hospital.
Oct. 4, 2006 – “The clinic had turned the criminal police on 4 October 2006 after suspicions. Since then, the woman is in custody.”
Apr. 2007 – When she went on trial in April, she admitted to four killings, and her lawyer argued that they were the lesser crime of manslaughter.
Jun. 29, 2007 – 54 year-old Irene Becker sentenced; been jailed for life for murdering five patients.

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[“Urteil im Charité-Prozess: Lebenslange Haft für Todes-Schwester,” Stern (Germany), Jun. 29, 2007]
[“German Nurse Sentenced to Life for Killing Patients,” DW (English) (Germany), Jun. 29, 2006]
[The Associated Press, “German Nurse Convicted of Murders,” The Washington Post (D.D.),  Jun. 29, 2007]

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For more cases, see Sicko Nurses

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