Niels Högel

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Niels Högel
BornNiels Högel
(1976-12-30) 30 December 1976 (age 41)
Wilhelmshaven, Lower Saxony, Germany
Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment
Victims100 confirmed and admitted[1]
Span of crimes
State(s)Lower Saxony

Niels Högel (born 30 December 1976) is a German nurse and serial killer who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of six patients. Högel has confessed to killing 30 patients but in 2017 a police investigation concluded that he was responsible for at least 90 deaths.[2] In November 2017, German prosecutors said that the number of victims was at least 106,[3] with Högel admitting, in October 2018, to murdering 100 patients.[1]


Högel worked as a nurse at clinics in Oldenburg and Delmenhorst during the years of 1999–2002 and 2003–2005, respectively.

2005 arrest and conviction[edit]

Högel was first arrested in 2005 after he was caught injecting a patient with ajmaline.[4] He was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in 2008.[5]

2015 trial and confession[edit]

As a result of media coverage of Högel's 2008 trial, a woman whose mother died at a clinic where Högel worked became suspicious and told police that her mother could have fallen victim to him. This led to a new investigation, during which Högel admitted to administering 90 unauthorized injections, as a result of which 30 patients died and 60 others were successfully resuscitated. He expressed regret and denied killing any other patients. Högel was convicted of murder and attempted murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.[6]

Prosecutors said Högel acted out of boredom and the desire to show off his resuscitation skills.[7]

Subsequent investigation[edit]

Amidst mounting suspicion that Högel was a serial killer, police launched a major investigation in October 2014, after which 200 suspicious deaths were identified. More than 130 bodies in Germany, Poland and Turkey were exhumed.[6] Police announced on 28 August 2017 that they had concluded that Högel was responsible for the deaths of at least 90 patients, including 6 for which he had already been convicted. Högel admitted to an undisclosed number of deaths but in most cases was unable to remember specific details, although he did not deny the possibility that he was responsible.[8] In November 2017, the total number of victims attributed to Högel was revised up to 106, with some suspicious deaths still under investigation. In January 2018, German prosecutors charged Högel with the murder of 97 patients and announced their intention to file charges against other hospital staff who failed to act.[9]

On 28 August 2017, police said that Högel had used five different drugs including ajmaline, sotalol, lidocaine, amiodarone and calcium chloride. Overdoses can lead to life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia and a drop in blood pressure, causing a rapid decline in a patient who is already ill. [4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Niels Högel: German ex-nurse admits killing 100 patients". BBC News. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  2. ^ "German nurse may have murdered at least 90 patients". CNN. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  3. ^ "German nurse who killed 'for thrill' suspected of 100 murders". BNO News. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b Oltermann, Philip (28 August 2017). "German nurse suspected of murdering at least 90 patients". the Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  5. ^ "German nurse apologises for killing more than 30 patients in 'lethal game'". The Guardian. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  6. ^ a b "German nurse suspected of murdering at least 90 patients". The Guardian. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Nurse 'killed patients because he was bored'". The Local. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Police press release on investigation (German)". German police. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  9. ^ [1][dead link]