Category: Serial Killing
Location: United Kingdom
Date: Believed to have begun in 1975 until his arrest in September of 1998
Crime: The most prolific known serial killer in history with 218 murders credited at his hand, however, authorities believe the number may be more than 250. Most of his victims were elderly females, with the majority of the deaths believed to be by lethal injections of medicines, such as diamorphine. While serving life imprisonment, Shipman hanged himself in his cell.
Biography: Shipman was born in Nottingham to a working class family. He graduated from medical school in 1970 and began working at a hospital in Yorkshire. Early in his career, he became addicted to pain killers and was fined. After completing a rehab program, he landed a job at a Medical Center in Hyde, Cheshire. Throughout the 1980's, Shipman practiced medicine without incident and became a respected member of the community. The earliest sign that something wasn't quite right came about in March 1998. A local funeral parlour expressed concern to the local coroner regarding the unusually high death rate among Shipman's patients. It was further said that he appeared to have an extremely high number of cremation requests.
This matter was brought forward to the police who through negligence or inexperience, were unable to find sufficient evidence to press charges. Two months later, another mysterious death pointed once again to Shipman. This time, the police investigation found enough evidence to arrest Shipman. After his arrest, the investigation continued to uncover more and more deaths which could be attributed to the doctor. He was convicted and imprisoned in the deaths of fifteen patients, via lethal injection. He is the only doctor in British legal history to have been convicted of killing his patients, and while he never admitted to the killings, his case ended when he hanged himself in his jail cell in January 2004.