In 2015 Niels Högel, a 40-year-old nurse, received a life sentence for six murders after he admitted to killing 30 Patients at two German clinics. However, according to investigators, the nurse may have been responsible for the deaths of 84 patients, bringing the total to 90 deaths. If the court finds him guilty of these latest charges this will place Högel among the worst serial killers in German history since World War II.

Nurse lethally injected patients to impress his colleagues

As reported by The Local, following Högel’s conviction, a three-year probe has been made by authorities of all the patients under the German nurse's care, which reveals that he may have killed 84 more patients at hospitals in Delmenhorst and Oldenburg.

The nurse had been found to be injecting patients with a cardiovascular medication in an effort to induce circulatory collapse or heart failure. He then resuscitated patients to impress colleagues – however, he was not always successful and many patients are believed to have died.

As reported by Deutsche Welle, Högel was initially sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in 2008 on attempted murder charges after it was revealed he had tried to give one of his patients an overdose. However, in 2015 he received a life sentence after he was found guilty of murdering six patients, along with the attempted murder of two others after his resuscitation “trick” failed to work.

At the time, Högel admitted to killing 30 patients and injecting around 60 patients with the medication, but prosecutors allegedly kept charges low in order for their case to be easier to prove. Prosecutors estimated at that time that Högel may have been responsible for the deaths of 43 patients.

Investigations reveal nurse is responsible for far more deaths

Since 2015, investigators have exhumed 134 bodies and examined them for traces of the medication used by Högel which has led to the number of suspected murders increasing to 84. Högel says it could have been even more, as many of the patients’ remains had been cremated, making them impossible to test.

Oldenburg Police Chief Johann Kühme said in a media statement that the scale of the German nurse’s crimes leaves them “speechless,” especially as the increase in the number of victims makes the situation far worse. Kühme also went on to criticize local health authorities for not acting when it became clear the death rate at the intensive care unit at the hospital had almost doubled during Högel’s employment there. He added that if they had alerted authorities at the time, the nurse could have been stopped.

According to Kühme, new proceedings against the German nurse are to be scheduled for the end of 2017 or early 2018. However, as Högel is serving a life sentence, the jail time would not be changed as German law does not allow consecutive sentences.