Last week in the UK a nurse called Victorino Chua was found guilty of killing two patients and attempting to kill nineteen others by poisoning them in a case that shocked the country. It seemed the ultimate betrayal – how could someone whose job it was to protect the sick and injured possibly do this?
According to criminologists at Birmingham City University, there are common threads that tie these so called “Angles of death” together:
– Higher instances of death on his/her shift
– Makes colleagues anxious
– History of mental instability or depression
– In possession of drugs at home or in a locker in the hospital
– Appears to have a personality disorder
Chua described himself as having “the devil in me,” but there are other aspects that he shares with other convicted killers, such as frequently moving from one hospital the next and a desperate need for attention.
The findings were made by Professor David Wilson and Dr Elizabeth Yardley after they analysed sixteen cases between 1977 and 2009 using from both Europe and the United States. All the cases were of in-hosptial nurses.
And while only some matched two of the nineteen “red flags” – American nurse Charles Cullen who murdered twenty nine patients in 2003, matched eleven.
Victorino Chua has been jailed for a minimum of 35 years.