Between the years of 1991 and 1993, Beverly Allitt, whilst working as a State Enrolled Nurse at Grantham and Kesteven hospital in Lincolnshire, committed a series of murders, all of her victims infants and children between the age of 17-weeks-old and 11-years-old. Allitt, dubbed the Angel of Death, most frequently injected her victims with potassium chloride, causing cardiac arrest, or insulin, to cause lethal hypoglycaemia. When 15-month-old Claire Peck died, staff became suspicious of the number of cardiac arrest deaths on the children’s ward, and so the police were called in.
The investigation ensued, and it was soon discovered that Allitt, who had free access to the necessary drugs, had been the only nurse on duty at the time of each child’s attack. Though the true number of her victims may not be clear, it is known that Allitt murdered 4 children, attempted to murder 3 children, and caused grievous bodily harm with intent to a further 6 children.
It is believed that Beverly Allitt suffers from a condition known as Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy. This is a syndrome in which the patient deliberately causes illness or injury to another person, usually a child, typically in order to gain attention themselves. In 1993, Allitt was given 13 life sentences to be served at Rampton Secure Hospital in Nottinghamshire.
Ramsland, K. M. 2007. Inside the Minds of Healthcare Serial Killers: Why They Kill. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers.