Serial Killer Archives - Medical Bag

Serial Killer

Real Life Hannibal Lector

The Real-Life Hannibal Lecter Was a Scary Dude, Too

Thomas Harris is an American author best known for a series of suspense novels that showcased one of the most despicable fictional doctors ever. His second novel, Red Dragon, published in 1981, introduced his most infamous character, the cannibalistic killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The books sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, was published in 1988, and the story was made into a major motion picture starring Anthony Hopkins as the dreadful Dr. Lecter, catapulting the murderous evil character into superstardom.

Jack the Ripper

The Doctor Is Cleared: Jack the Ripper Reportedly Identified

Jack the Ripper is the most notorious of all serial killers. There have been more books written and more movies made about him than any other murderer in history. The case of the infamous criminal has fascinated people for more than a century, and most intriguing of all is the fact that no person was ever charged with the crimes. Suspects have run the gamut, from barbers, lawyers, and famous authors, to even doctors. However, Jack the Ripper may have finally been identified, according to a UK businessman who privately funded an investigation into the 19th century case, and it turns out the killer wasnt a doctor, but a 23-year-old Polish immigrant named Aaron Kosminski.

Stephan Letter

Nurse Dubbed the “Angel of Death” Said He Was Helping Patients by Killing Them

The hospitals staff soon began to notice a disappearance of narcotics. They compared the clinics duty record against the dates that the drugs had been removed and concluded that Letter had been stealing them. When doctors first suspected that something sinister was going on, the bodies of 42 patients were exhumed from their graves, all of whom had died during Letters shifts. A total of 80 deaths took place during the nurses shifts, but 38 were unable to be examined because they had been cremated. The investigation revealed that Letter was fatally injecting patients with a cocktail of tranquilizers and muscle relaxants. He was arrested in July 2004 and admitted that he killed 12 patients by lethal injection, but that he could not remember any more. Most of his victims were at least in their 70s, so their deaths were at first overlooked. Letter claimed that he was administering lethal injections to his patients because he felt sorry for them. He wanted to liberate their souls, said Letters lawyer, Wilhelm van Eckert. For him, his patients were trapped in their sick bodies. However, 2 women who were in their 40s were given the lethal injections, and at least 6 patients were in no danger of dying. A few had even died soon after being admitted to the hospital but before being fully examined.

Dr. Jayant Patel

This Surgeon Spent His Entire Career as a Defendant in Court

Almost as soon as Dr. Jayant Patel’s medical career began, colleagues questioned his surgical skills. Complaints of gross incompetence and negligence ignited inquiries from medical authorities, causing Dr. Patel’s license to be restricted in the state of Oregon in 2000. He then moved to New York, where after a short time, medical authorities pressured him to surrender his medical license in that state for reasons of professional incompetence in 2001.

Despicable Doctors in Film

Not-so-Nice Fictional Doctors

This column usually deals with real-life doctors who broke their oaths, committed despicable crimes, and almost always ended up in prison to pay for their transgressions. But in honor of author Mary Shellys birthday (August 30, 1797), whose most famous novel, Frankenstein, has been turned into many major motion pictures, wed like to take a quick look at some of the most dangerous doctors in the history of film.

Hypnosis in Medicine

Bringing Hypnosis out of the Mystical and into the Practical: Is It Real?

On February 9, 1978, 12-year-old Kimberly Leach realized that she had left her purse in one of her classes at Lake City Junior High School in Lake City, Florida and returned to the classroom to retrieve it after a school assembly. That was the last time she was seen, until her body was found 2 months later near the Suwannee River approximately 35 miles west of the school. The only witness to Kimberly’s abduction was Clarence Anderson, who said he saw a young girl in front of the school being led to a white van by a man he thought was her father. However, he was unable to provide a detailed description of either the man or the girl he observed. At the request of Assistant State Attorney Bob Dekle, Anderson subsequently underwent 2 hypnosis sessions, after which he was successfully able to describe in detail their clothing and identify the murderer as the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy.

Dr. Bodkin Adams

He Stood Trial for the Suspicious Deaths of 163 Former Patients

He was suspected of killing 163 of his patients between 1946 and 1956. Many died under suspicious circumstances. It was widely believed that his murder weapon was a cocktail of morphine and heroin, administered via lethal injections. What’s more, most of his dearly departed elderly patients included the doctor in their wills; he even assisted in rewriting the wills for some of them. In the process, Dr. John Bodkin Adams became one of Britain’s wealthiest general practitioners. Yet when he was tried in court, in a sensational trial in 1957, a jury found him not guilty of the one murder charge brought against him. The bottom line was that there was a mountain of suspicious circumstances, but not a single piece of compelling evidence. In addition, several witnesses who testified against the doctor, including a nurse, were discredited during his trial, making their testimonies for the prosecution not very reliable or believable. As for the money his dead patients willed to him, the doctor claimed that it consisted of fees he neglected to charge those patients while under his care.

Dr. Shiro Ishii

Pure Evil: Wartime Japanese Doctor Had No Regard for Human Suffering

Torture techniques conjured up in medieval times, especially the gruesome methods employed during the Crusades, took a giant leap forward thanks to Dr. Shiro Ishii’s diabolical imagination. The human suffering he was responsible for remains unimaginable and incomprehensible. He is infamous for being the director of a biological warfare research and testing program of the Imperial Japanese Army that existed from 1937 to 1945 during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II.

Dr. Peter Norman

Three Botched Plastic Surgeries Led to 3 Dead Patients

They just wanted to look a little trimmer in the tummy and lose a little weight, but 2 patients lost their lives instead during their liposuction procedures. Dr. Peter Normann was an internist, an emergency room doctor, and not a plastic surgeon, yet he performed liposuction surgeries on unsuspecting patients at his clinic in Anthem, Arizona. Dr. Normann never entered a residency in plastic surgery or anesthesiology; he did have about 6 days of training in liposuction and breast augmentation, but he certainly wasn’t qualified to perform such operations. What’s more, he had no training in fat augmentation, yet he performed a buttocks enhancement plastic surgery on at least 1 patient, who died as a result of gross medical incompetence that led to a critical surgical error. It gets worse.

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