'Angel of Death'
An Italian nurse nicknamed “The Angel of Death” is in jail in Italy under investigation for the murder of up to 96 patients in the course of a single year in the hospital ward where she worked – that’s one death every three days between April 2013 and April 2014. If found guilty of killing all those patients, she will be classed one of the most prolific serial killers in history.
The dubious record is currently held by the Colombian Luis Garavito, whose victims, it was proven, were 138 children, murdered over a five-year period during the 1990s. The record for the greatest number of murders committed by a nurse is held by an American, Charles Cullen, who was given six life sentences in 2006 for the murder of 40 patients (though he was suspected of causing up to 400 deaths) in New Jersey and Pennsylvania over a 16-year period.What makes this case especially chilling is the supposed motive: whereas some doctors or nurses who kill their patients do so for reasons of mercy – as Cullen did, or at least claimed to have done – Daniela Poggiali is believed to have killed her patients simply because they irritated her.
Poggiali, 42, is a passionate supporter of the Juventus football team and the music of Elton John, keen on exotic travel and gym workouts. She qualified as a nurse 17 years ago and for the last 12 has worked in the 30-bed general medicine ward at the Umberto I hospital in the small city of Lugo, between Bologna and Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. She has cropped blonde hair and a number of striking tattoos. She has no children, but is dating Luigi Conficconi, a car mechanic, who is also a semi-professional soccer referee.
Hospital bosses only became suspicious of Poggiali in March 2014, after the unexplained deaths of five patients, who died in the space of a week during night shifts when she was working more or less alone on her ward. They did not call the police but moved her to day shifts in order, as they would later put it, to keep a closer eye on her. Three days later, on the morning of 8 April, another patient died: Rosa Calderoni. ANGEL OF DEATH