Donald Harvey

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Donald Harvey
Donald Harvey.jpg
Mug shot of Donald Harvey
Born (1952-04-15)April 15, 1952
Butler County, Ohio, U.S.
Died March 30, 2017(2017-03-30) (aged 64)
Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
Criminal penalty 28 consecutive life sentences plus $270,000 in fines
Victims 37–57;
87 claimed
Span of killings
Country United States
State(s) Kentucky, Ohio
Date apprehended
Imprisoned at Toledo Correctional Institution, 1987

Donald Harvey (April 15, 1952 – March 30, 2017) was an American serial killer and orderly who claimed to have murdered 87 people, though official estimates are between 37 and 57 victims. Harvey said he started out killing to "ease the pain" of patients.[1] As time progressed, he began to enjoy it more and more and became a self-described "angel of death". Harvey was serving 28 life sentences at the Toledo Correctional Institution in Toledo, Ohio, having pleaded guilty to murder charges to avoid the death penalty.


Donald Harvey worked in and around the medical profession from the age of 18. He began his career as an orderly at the Marymount Hospital in London, Kentucky. He later confessed that during the ten-month period he worked at the hospital, he killed at least a dozen patients. Harvey was insistent that he killed purely out of a sense of empathy for the sufferings of those who were terminally ill. He also admitted that many of the killings he committed were due to anger at the victim.[2] Harvey kept his crimes from coming to light for over 17 years. The true extent of his crimes may never be known since so many were undetected for so long. Harvey used many methods to kill his victims, such as arsenic; cyanide; insulin; suffocation; miscellaneous poisons; morphine; turning off ventilators; administration of fluid tainted with hepatitis B and/or HIV (which resulted in a hepatitis infection, but no HIV infection, and illness rather than death); insertion of a coat hanger into a catheter, causing an abdominal puncture and subsequent peritonitis. Cyanide and arsenic were his most used methods, with Harvey administering them via food, injection, or IV. The majority of Harvey's crimes took place at the Marymount Hospital (now St. Joseph's – London) in London, Kentucky, the Cincinnati V.A. Medical Hospital, and Cincinnati's Drake Memorial Hospital.

Harvey did not limit his victims to helpless hospital patients. When he suspected his lover and roommate Carl Hoeweler of infidelity, he poisoned Hoeweler's food with arsenic so he would be too ill to leave their apartment. He poisoned two of his neighbors—sickening one, Diane Alexander, by putting hepatitis serum in her drink and killing the other, Helen Metzger, by putting arsenic in her pie. He also killed Hoeweler's father Henry with arsenic.[3]

Harvey was incarcerated in Toledo Correctional Institution, where he had been admitted on October 26, 1987. His first parole hearing was scheduled for April 2043.[4] On March 28, 2017, authorities reported that Harvey had been found in his cell severely beaten. He died on March 30, 2017.[5][6]


  1. ^ Holmes, Ronald, & Holmes, Stephen. (2009). Serial Murder 3rd ed. Sage Publications, Inc.
  2. ^ Interview on Mindhunter, MSNBC, November 30, 2008.
  3. ^ Psychology, Department Of; Elizabeth Sellers; Pannill Hedgecock; Melissa Georges. "Donald Harvey "Angel of Death"; page 4" (PDF). Radford University. p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Offender Search Detail – Donald Harvey Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Donald Harvey, "Angel of Death" serial killer, dead at 64". CBS News. 2017-03-30. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  6. ^ "'Angel of Death' serial killer Donald Harvey dies after prison attack". Fox News. March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017. 

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