Arnfinn Nesset

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Arnfinn Nesset
Arnfinn Nesset

(1936-10-25) 25 October 1936 (age 82)
Conviction(s)22 counts of poisoning
1 count of attempted murder
Criminal penalty21 years in prison
Span of crimes

Arnfinn Nesset (born October 25, 1936) is a Norwegian former nurse, nursing home manager and convicted serial killer. His crimes include the murders of at least 22 people, as well as attempted murder, document forgery and embezzlement. He may have murdered up to 138 people. In 1983 he was convicted of poisoning 22 patients and sentenced to 21 years in prison. He served 12 years and 10 years supervision, and is thought to be living under an assumed name.

Early life[edit]

Born in Trøndelag, Norway in 1936 out of wedlock, Nesset was raised by his mother and remained with her throughout his upbringing and adulthood, living at her childhood home. His father was absent from his life and he never established contact with him. He was educated as a registered nurse and by 1977 he was hired as a head nurse at a larger nursing home in Orkdal municipality.[1]


During the summer and autumn of 1981, a series of suspicious deaths was uncovered at the nursing home in Orkdal, Sør-Trøndelag where Nesset was working as manager. When questioned by police, Arnfinn Nesset initially confessed to the murders of 27 patients who he claimed to have killed by injecting them with suxamethonium chloride, a muscle relaxing drug. He was charged with 25 counts of homicide, but later retracted his confession and denied all charges throughout the rest of his five-month-long trial.[1]

Nesset was convicted in March 1983 of poisoning 22 patients with suxamethonium chloride.[2] He was also convicted of one count of attempted murder and acquitted on two other counts.[3] Nesset may have killed as many as 138 of his patients.[4]

He was sentenced to 21 years in prison, the maximum term available under Norwegian law at the time, to be followed by ten years of preventative detention.[5] However he was released after serving 12 years of this sentence for good behaviour[6] and 10 years supervision, is now reported to be living in an undisclosed location under an assumed name.[1] The chief prosecutor at his trial, Olaf Jakhelln described Nesset as "an ambitious man, who wanted complete control over life and death [of his victims]."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Norgesglasset (March 2003). "Nesset-saken ryster Norge". Nessetsaka (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  2. ^ "Mass murder guilt ruled". Spokane Chronicle. 11 March 1983. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  3. ^ "22 elderly patients killed by nursing home manager". Glasgow Herald. 12 March 1983. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  4. ^ Herbert G Kinnell (2000-12-23). "Serial homicide by doctors: Shipman in perspective" (PDF). British Medical Journal. 321 (7276): 1594–1597. doi:10.1136/bmj.321.7276.1594. PMC 1119267. PMID 11124192.
  5. ^ "Slayer of 22 sentenced". Spokane Chronicle. 19 March 1983. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Historiens verste seriemordere" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 12 August 2011.