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Judge gives German nurse life sentence for killing 85 patients

By Clyde Hughes
Judge gives German nurse life sentence for killing 85 patients
Niels Hogel attends a court hearing Thursday in Oldenburg, Germany. Photo by Focke Strangmann/EPA-EFE

June 6 (UPI) -- A German judge on Thursday sentenced former nurse Niels Hogel to a second life sentence in connection with the deaths of 85 patients in his care.

A judge sentenced Hogel in 2015 to his first life sentence for two deaths and attempted homicides at a hospital in northern Germany. Authorities said, however, he was involved in 100 patient deaths from 1999 to 2005.

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"Your guilt is unimaginable," Judge Sebastian Buhrmann told Hogel Thursday. "The human mind struggles to take in the sheer scale of these crimes. I feel like an accountant of death. Sometimes the worst fantasy is not enough to describe the truth."

"I would like to sincerely apologize to every single individual for all that I have subjected them to over the years," Hogel said in court Thursday.

Authorities believe Hogel's death toll could be more than 200, but a total count can't be confirmed because many suspected victims were cremated without autopsies. Officials say he is Germany's deadliest peacetime serial killer.

Karl Beine, head physician at St. Marien-Hospital Hamm told Deutsche Welle he thinks Hogel lost empathy for his patients and tried to create medical emergencies to show off his resuscitation skills. One co-worker nicknamed him "resuscitation Rambo."

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"[Hogel] is an extremely narcissistic person who depended on external recognition to boost this weak ego," he said.

Hogel confessed four years ago to giving 90 unauthorized injections to patients -- 30 of whom died because he wasn't able to resuscitate them.

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