A former German male nurse serving a life sentence for killing to hospital patients by injecting them with lethal drugs is suspected of killing at least 84 patients in total.
The man, now aged 40, was convicted in the northern city of Oldenburg of two charges of attempted murder and two counts of murder in 2015.
The investigation that led to the convictions also caused prosecutors to believe the nurse had killed many more patients. Authorities subsequently investigated hundreds of deaths and exhumed former patients in Delmenhorst and Oldenburg. "It is simply not possible to say how many people were killed".
Kuehme said the number of victims could be even higher as some of the deceased had been cremated.
"Eighty-four killings. leave us speechless", Kuehme said.
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'And as if all that were not enough, we must realise that the real dimension of the killings by Niels is likely many times worse'.
As the German Police reported, Hoegel used to inject drugs in patients which can cause heart failure or circulatory collapse, so he could try to revive them, and if successful, he would shine as saviour.
"If the people responsible at the time, particularly at the Oldenburg clinic but also later in Delmenhorst, hadn't hesitated to alert authorities ...for example police, prosecutors" then Hegel would have been discovered earlier, Kuehme said during the press conference.
Authorities are already pursuing criminal cases against former staff at the two facilities.
As previously reported, in the German city of Reutlingen unknown man killed a woman and wounded two other people with a machete. Though the patient survived, Hoegel was arrested in June 2008 and sentenced to seven and a half years in jail for several cases of attempted murder.