The Serial Killer Compendium, p.21R. J. Parker
Arrest for Fraud
Faced with stiff evidence of his deceitful activities and the possibility of an extended inquest into his time in Zimbabwe, Swango pleaded guilty to defrauding the government in March of 1998 and in July was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. The sentencing judge ordered that Swango not be permitted to prepare or deliver food, or have any association with the preparation or distribution of drugs. He was charged with no counts of murder at this point, however. Not yet anyway. The FBI wanted to get their ducks in a row before charging him for his killings and needed hard evidence.
While Swango was serving his time, the fed’s accumulated a substantial dossier of Swango's crimes. As part of that investigation, prosecutors obtained a warrant to exhume the bodies of three of his former patients and found poisonous chemicals in them. They also found indications that he had paralyzed Barron Harris, another patient, with an injection; Harris later lapsed into a coma and died. Furthermore, prosecutors found evidence that Swango had lied about the death of Cynthia Ann McGee, a patient to whom he had been attending while employed as an intern at OSU. Swango claimed she had suffered a heart blockage, but he had in fact killed her by injecting her with potassium that congested her heart. On July 11th, 2000, less than a week before he was scheduled to be released from prison on the fraud charge, Federal prosecutors on Long Island, New York, filed a criminal injustice charging Swango with three counts of murder, one count of assault, and one count each of false statements, mail deception, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. At the same time, Zimbabwean authorities charged him with poisoning seven patients, five of whom had died.
Murder Charges, Sentence
Swango was officially indicted on July 17th, 2000, and insisted that he was not guilty. On September 6th, however, he capitulated and pled guilty of murder and fraud charges. Had he not done so, he faced the possibility of the death penalty and extradition to Zimbabwe. At his sentencing trial, prosecutors read shocking passages from Swango's notebook, describing the elation he felt during his crimes. Judge Mishler sentenced him to three consecutive life terms. He is currently incarcerated at The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado. The FBI believes he may be responsible for as many as sixty deaths, which would make him one of the most inexhaustible serial killers in American history.
Dr. Marcel Petiot
Born: January 17th, 1897
Place: Auxerre, France
Killing Span: 1926 – 1944
Number of Killings: 60 plus
Captured: February, 1944.
Marcel André Henri Félix Petiot is a former doctor and French Serial Killer. In 1944, he was convicted of numerous murders after the remains of twenty-six people were unearthed in his home in Paris. He is suspected, however, of killing about sixty people during his life, although the actual number remains unknown.
At seventeen, a psychiatrist diagnosed Petiot as mentally ill. As a boy, he was expelled from school many times. He did, however, finish his education in a special conservatory in Paris in July of 1915.
During World War I, Petiot volunteered for the French army and entered service in January of 1916. In the Second Battle of the Aisne, he was injured, gassed, and exhibited further symptoms of mental collapse. He was sent to various rest homes where he was arrested for stealing army blankets and eventually thrown into jail in Orléans, France. In a Psychiatric Hospital at Fleury-les-Aubrais, he was again diagnosed with assorted mental ailments, but was returned to the front in June of 1918, just before the war ended. He was transferred again only three weeks later after he shot himself in the foot, but attached to a new regiment in September. A new opinion of his mental condition was enough to get him discharged with a disability pension.
After the war ended, Petiot entered the accelerated education program proposed for war veterans. He completed medical school in eight months and became an intern at the Mental Hospital in Évreux. He received his Medical degree in December of 1921 and relocated to Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, where he received payment for his services from both his patients and government medical assistance funds. At this point, he was constantly abusing addictive narcotics, and acquired a reputation for questionable medical practices such as supplying narcotics, and performing illegal abortions.
Petiot's first victim is thought to have been Louise Delaveau, the daughter of an elderly patient, with whom he’d had an affair in 1926. Delaveau disappeared in May and neighbors later recalled that they had seen Petiot load a trunk into his car. Police investigated, but ultimately dismissed Delaveau as a runaway. That same year, Petiot ran for Mayor of the town, and hired an assistant to disrupt a political debate with his opponent. He won the election, and embezzled town funds while in office. In 1927, he married Georgette Lablais and together they had a son named Gerhardt.
The Prefect of Yonne Département received many complaints about Petiot's thefts and shady financial deals. Petiot was eventually suspended as Mayor in August of 1931 and subsequently resigned. He still had many supporters, however, and the village council resigned in commiseration. Five weeks later, on October 18th, he was elected as a councilor of Yonne Département. In 1932, he was accused of stealing electric power from the village and he lost his council seat.
Meanwhile, Petiot had already moved back to Paris. There, he attracted patients with made-up credentials, and built an impressive status for his practice. There were rumors, however, of unlawful abortions and unnecessary prescriptions for addictive remedies. In 1936, he was appointed médecin d'état-civil, with authority to write death certificates. That same year, he was briefly institutionalized for kleptomania, but released the following year.
When Germany defeated France in 1940, French citizens were drafted for forced labor in Germany. Petiot presented fake medical disability certificates to people who were drafted. He also treated the diseases of workers that had returned. In July of 1942, he was convicted of overprescribing narcotics, even though two addicts who would have testified against him had disappeared. He was fined 2400 French Francs for his crimes.
Petiot later claimed that throughout the period of German occupation he was engaged in confrontational activities. Allegedly, he developed covert weapons that killed Germans without leaving forensic evidence, planted booby traps all over Paris, had high-level meetings with Allied commanders, and worked with a fictional group of Spanish anti-fascists. However, there was no evidence to sustain any of these tall tales.
In 1980, however, he was cited by former United States Spymaster, Colonel John F. Grombach as a World War II resource. Grombach had been the founder and head of a small sovereign espionage agency, later known as The Pond, which operated from 1942 to 1955. Grombach declared that Petiot had reported the Katyn Forest massacre, German missile development at Peenemünde, and the names of Abwehr agents sent to the U.S. These claims were not maintained by any records of other intelligence services.
Fraudulent Escape, Murder
Petiot's most productive activity during the Occupation was his false escape method. Under the codename of Dr. Eugène, Petiot pretended to have a means of getting people wanted by the Germans, or the Vichy government, to safety outside France. He claimed that he could arrange a passageway to Argentina or elsewhere in South America through Portugal, for a price of 25,000 Francs per person. He had three accomplices to help with his scheme, Raoul Fourrier, Edmond Pintard, and René-Gustave Nézondet. They directed victims to Dr. Eugène, including Jews, Resistance fighters, and common criminals. Once the escapees were in his power, Petiot told them that Argentine officials required all entrants to the country to be vaccinated against diseases, and used this justification to inject them with cyanide. He then took all their valuables and disposed of their bodies.
At first, Petiot dumped the bodies in the Seine, but he later destroyed them by submerging them in quicklime or by incinerating them. In 1941, Petiot bought a house at 21 Rue le Sueur. What Petiot failed to do, however, was
The Gestapo released the three men in January of 1944. Two months later, Petiot's neighbors complained to police of a foul stink in the area, and about large amounts of smoke billowing from a chimney of a house in the neighborhood. Fearing a chimney fire, the police summoned firefighters who entered the house and discovered a roaring fire in a coal stove in the basement. In the fire, and scattered in the basement, were human remains. Petiot, however, was not there.
Over the next seven months, Petiot hid with friends, claiming the Gestapo wanted him for killing Germans and informers. He ultimately moved in with a patient, Georges Redouté, let his beard grow, and adopted various aliases.
During the deliverance of Paris in 1944, Petiot adopted the name "Henri Valeri" and connected with the French Forces of the Interior (FFI) in the uprising. He became a Captain in charge of counter-espionage and prisoner interrogations. When the newspaper, Resistance, published an article about Petiot, his defense attorney from the 1942 narcotics case received a letter in which his renegade client claimed the published allegations were lies. This gave police a hint that Petiot was still in Paris. The search began once more with "Henri Valeri" among those who were drafted to find him. Finally, on October 31st, 1944, Petiot was recognized at a Paris Métro station, and arrested. Among his possessions were a pistol, 31,700 Francs, and fifty sets of identity documents.
Petiot was imprisoned in La Santé Prison. He claimed that he was not guilty and that he had only killed enemies of France. He said that he had discovered the pile of bodies in February of 1944, but had assumed that they were associates killed by members of his Resistance network. The police, however, found that Petiot had no friends in any of the key Resistance groups. Some of the Resistance groups he spoke of had never existed, and there was no verification for any of his claimed exploits. Prosecutors finally charged him with at least twenty-seven murders for profit. Their approximation of his ill-gotten gains was in excess of two hundred million Francs.
On March 19th, 1946, Petiot went on trial facing one hundred and thirty-five criminal charges. René Floriot acted for the defense against a panel consisting of state prosecutors and twelve civil lawyers hired by relatives of Petiot's victims. Petiot ridiculed the prosecuting lawyers, claiming that the assorted victims had all been collaborators or double agents, or that the vanished were living in South America under new names. He did finally admit to killing nineteen of the twenty-seven victims found in his house, claiming that they were Germans and collaborators, part of a total of sixty-three – what he called ‘enemy kills.’ His lawyer attempted to depict Petiot as a Resistance champion, but the judges and jurors were unimpressed. Petiot was convicted of twenty-six counts of murder and sentenced to death.
Petiot was beheaded on May 25th, 1946, after waiting a few days due to a problem in the release device of the guillotine.
Dr. Harold Frederick Shipman
Born: January 14th, 1946
Place: Nottingham, England
Killing Span: 1975–1998
Number of Killings: 218
Captured: September, 1998
Harold Frederick Shipman is a former doctor and a British Serial Killer. He is responsible for the deaths of 218 innocent patients.
Born in Nottingham, England, Shipman was the second of four children born to Harold and Vera Shipman. His working class parents were dedicated Methodists and Harold was very close to his mother who died of cancer when he was just seventeen. In the later stages of her disease, she had morphine administered at home by a doctor on June 21st, 1963.
Shipman was a bright student in school and he received a scholarship to attend Leeds School of Medicine, from which he graduated in 1970. After university, he started work at Pontefract General Infirmary in Pontefract, West Riding of Yorkshire, and in 1974, took his first position as a General Practitioner at the Abraham Ormerod Medical Centre in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. In 1975, he was caught forging prescriptions of Pethidine for his own personal use. He was fined £600, and temporarily attended a drug rehabilitation clinic in York. After a short stint as Medical Officer for Hatfield College, Durham, while doing temporary work for the National Coal Board, he became a General Practitioner at the Donneybrook Medical Centre in Hyde, Greater Manchester, in 1977. Shipman continued working as a GP in Hyde throughout the 1980s and founded his own surgery practice on Market Street in 1993, becoming a beloved member of the community.
In March, 1998, Dr. Linda Reynolds of Brooke Surgery, in Hyde, encouraged by Deborah Massey from Frank Massey and Son's Funeral Parlor, expressed concerns to John Pollard, the Coroner for the South Manchester District, about the high death rate among Shipman's patients. In particular, she was troubled by the huge number of cremation forms for elderly women that he needed countersigned. The issue was brought to the attention of the police. The police, however, proved incapable of finding sufficient evidence to bring charges. The Shipman Inquiry afterward would blame the police for assigning inexperienced officers to the case. However, between April 17th, 1998, when the police discarded the investigation, and Shipman's ultimate arrest, he killed an additional three more people. His last victim was Kathleen Grundy, a former Mayor of Hyde, who was found dead at her home on June 24th, 1998. Shipman was the last person to see her alive, and later signed her death certificate, recording ‘old age’ as cause of death.
Kathleen Grundy's daughter, Angela Woodruff, a lawyer, became concerned when Solicitor Brian Burgess informed her that a will had been produced, apparently by her mother, but that there were doubts about its authenticity. The will expelled Woodruff and her children, but left £386,000 to Dr. Shipman. Burgess told Woodruff to report it and went to the police, who then commenced an investigation. Grundy's body was exhumed, and when examined, found to contain traces of Diamorphine, also known as heroin, which is often used for controlling pain in terminal cancer patients. Shipman was arrested on September 7th, 1998, and was found to own a typewriter of the variety used to make the forged will.
The police then investigated other deaths Shipman had certified, and produced a list of fifteen sampling cases to investigate. They discovered a deadly pattern. Shipman would administer lethal overdoses of Diamorphine, sign patients' death certificates, and then forge medical records indicating that the patients had been in poor health.
On October 5th, 1999, Shipman's trial began. He was charged with the murders of Marie West, Ivy Lomas, Irene Turner, Lizzie Adams, Muriel Grimshaw, Jean Lilley, Marie Quinn, Bianka Pomfret, Kathleen Wagstaff, Norah Nuttall, Pamela Hillier, Maureen Ward, Joan Melia Winifred Mellor, and Kathleen Grundy, all of whom had died between 1995 and 1998. After six days of deliberation, the jury found Shipman guilty of killing all fifteen of his patients by lethal injections of Diamorphine, and of forging the will of Kathleen Grundy. The trial judge sentenced him to fifteen successive life sentences and recommended that he never be released. Shipman also received four years for forging the will.
Shipman consistently denied his guilt, disputing the scientific facts against him. His defense tried and failed to have the count of murder of Mrs. Grundy, where a clear intention was alleged, tried separately from the others, where no noticeable motive was apparent. His wife, Primrose, denied his crimes as well. Although countle
Shipman is the only doctor in British history to be found guilty of killing his patients.
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