Today the so-called Angel of Death, Donald Harvey, died of a stabbing in his prison cell at Toledo, Ohio. Harvey was an American serial killer who didn’t confine his murders to hospital patients, having also killed his lover’s father Henry Hoeweler with arsenic and dosing his roommate Carl Hoeweler with enough arsenic to make him too ill to leave their apartment.

Teen killer

Beginning when he was an18-year-old teenager Harvey killed a lot of people, most in hospitals where he was working in menial jobs. It took 17 years to discover his crimes because, unlike many serial killers, he didn’t limit himself to one class of people or one method of killing.

Harvey used poisons, suffocation, interfering with medical equipment, dosing with HIV, and even inserting a wire into a catheter causing internal bleeding.

In a more private setting, Donald Harvey also poisoned several neighbors with hepatitis serum and arsenic - killing one. The prosecutor used those poisonings as evidence that he was far from the mercy killer he claimed.

As a nurses' aid in several Kentucky and Ohio hospitals as well as a Veteran's Hospital, Harvey is thought to have killed more than 45 chronically ill patients.

Beaten and stabbed

Harvey was discovered beaten and stabbed in his cell yesterday and was reported dead by prison authorities today after being on life support for a few hours.

Harvey had confessed to the 36 murders he was eventually charged with because he said he liked to have control over life and death and by confessing he avoided the death penalty.

How he was caught

Harvey went to his old standby arsenic poisoning once too often because in 1987 a forensic pathologist in Cincinnati, Ohio examined one body during at autopsy and thought he smelled trace odor of arsenic coming from the body cavity so he performed further tests.

At age 35 Harvey had recently confessed to 24 murders a claim which was being investigated because his story was so fantastic that police and prosecutors thought he might be delusional and only making up the story of how many people he had killed just at Drake Memorial Hospital.

Going over hospital records they found ten questionable deaths of patients who had contact with Donald Harvey during his regular duties at the hospital and which could have been killed by arsenic poisoning. Police had earlier found large quantities of arsenic in Harvey's apartment.