Boredom can cause people to do some stupid things, but one nurse decided it was reason enough to start killing patients. Spoiler alert: it wasn't.
Niels Hoegel, 41, is accused of being the worst serial killer in German post-war history, as his body count total rises. In 2005, another nurse witnessed Hoegel trying to inject a patient with unnecessary medication and she called the police. That patient survived, and Hoegel was arrested. He was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for several cases of attempted murder.
A woman who had heard about Hoegel's case on television then stepped forward, saying she believed her mother had fallen victim to the nurse. Investigators then began looking deeper after Hoegel told fellow inmates, as well as a psychiatrist, that he had killed multiple people. In two earlier trials, Hoegel was found guilty of six murders and was sentenced to life in prison. Investigators kept looking, however, and toxicology reports ended up revealing it was worse than they could have imagined.
Hoegel has now been charged with 97 more murders, and will face trial once again. Investigators point out that it's impossible to know the actual number of victims, as patients who were cremated cannot be given toxicology tests.
So what drove Hoegel to kill all these people?
Hoegel has admitted that his motive for killing all these people was "boredom". He would inject the patients with lethal drugs, sending them into cardiac crisis, and then attempt to resuscitate them. Prosecutors believe Hoegel “in all cases at least accepted the death of the patients as a result of the effect of the drugs.” Hoegel also admitted to feeling euphoric when he would manage to resuscitate the patients. He wanted to "shine as a savior before his medical peers and superiors."
Hoegel is not the only person facing charges, either. Authorities have stated that if local health officials had alerted authorities sooner, Hoegel could have been stopped. They are pursuing criminal charges against former staff at the medical facilities where Hoegel committed the crimes.
As for sentencing, Germany does not have consecutive sentences, meaning even if Hoegel was found guilty of all 97 counts of murder, he would be eligible for parole after 15 years. That being said, additional convictions would affect Hoegel's chances of parole.