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Donald Harvey
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    (April 15, 1952-March 30, 2017)
    Born in Butler County, Ohio
    Orderly in Cincinnati-area hospitals
    Convicted of committing 36 murders in Kentucky and Ohio between 1970 and 1987
    Later claimed to have killed 87 people
    Received 28 life sentences in a plea bargain
    Nicknamed ‘the Angel of Death’
    He initially claimed his murders were ‘mercy killings’ performed on terminally ill patients, but later admitted to killing several after arguing with them or disliking them for other reasons.
    In addition to killing patients, he murdered one of his neighbors and his lover’s father.
    Hs methods of killing included poisoning with cyanide, arsenic, morphine and insulin; suffocation with pillows, towels or plastic bags; turning off life-support machines; and inserting a wire coat hanger into a catheter, causing an abdominal puncture and death by peritonitis.
    He studied medical journals to learn how to minimize his chances of being detected.
    When he suspected his lover of infidelity, he poisoned his food with arsenic to make him too sick to leave their apartment.
    He was arrested for burglary while drunk and disorderly (March 31, 1971) and began babbling to police about the murders he had already committed, but they were unable to find enough evidence to file charges.
    While in a VA hospital for depression, he botched a suicide attempt (1972), which would have spared a whole lot of people a whole lot of trouble if he had succeeded.
    He said, ‘I controlled other people’s lives, whether they lived or died…. I appointed myself judge, prosecutor and jury. So I played God.’
    When he was arrested for illegally possession of a firearm on hospital grounds (1985), the hospital he was working for let him resign without noting the incident in his employment record and without opening an investigation into whether he had committed any other crimes.
    Thanks to his clean record, he was able to get work at another hospital and resume his killing spree seven months later
    When he was arrested for killing patient John Powell (April, 1987), there was no suspicion that he was a serial killer.
    He admitted to multiple killings to his public defender, who breached attorney-client confidentiality to tell a reporter assigned to the story to ‘keep digging.’
    An unidentified inmate appointed himself judge, prosecutor and jury, and bludgeoned Harvey to death at the Toledo Correctional Institute.

Credit: C. Fishel

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