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Swiss nurse admits killing 24

LUCERNE, Switzerland, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Swiss authorities have concluded a male nurse has killed 24 elderly residents of a senior center in Lucerne, the BBC reported Wednesday.

Dubbed the Angel of Death by Swiss media, the man has admitted the killings, but said they were done out of sympathy or pity, officials said.

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Investigators say he killed his alleged victims, ages 66 to 95, with overdoses of drugs or by smothering them with plastic bags and towels.

The nurse, identified by the Swiss media as Roger Andermatt, 34, a Swiss citizen who moved to Germany after his parents' divorce, but returned to Switzerland in 1990 and trained as a nurse assistant.

He will go on trial at the end of the year or early in 2005.

The nurse was arrested in June 2001 following a suspicious death in a nursing home in Lucerne. He confessed to nine deaths in that home alone before admitting responsibility for a further 18 killings between 1995 and 2001.

Three of the deaths have been formally classified as assisted suicides as the authorities said they could not establish whether his actions were the cause of death in those cases.

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The victims, from five care homes in the region, were all elderly with Alzheimer's disease or in need of high levels of care.

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