Harold Shipman: biography, photos and interesting facts

Harold Shipman is a family therapist from the UK who intentionally sent 215 his patients to the world, and this is only according to official data - that is how many murders were proved during a police investigation.

Harold Shipman

How did it all begin?

On January 14, 1946, Harold Frederick Shipman was born in the family of simple workers and very devout parishioners of the Methodist Church. The boy grew up as a true pride of his parents: an outstanding mind and sociable character helped him a lot in school, allowing him to achieve good academic performance.

Deciding which profession to devote himself to in the future was suggested by the death of Harold's mother, who passed away from oncology when he was only 17 years old. It was then that he firmly decided to devote himself to medicine, to become a doctor, so that the tragedies similar to those that occurred in his family were as small as possible.

Moreover, as psychiatrists believed later, then there was a “warp in the brain” of Shipman.The picture of the slow extinction of a person to whom he was very attached, his own helplessness in the current situation - all this gave rise to a desire in him to fight with such a state.

The beginning of a medical career and the first problems with the law

Following the plan, in 1965, Harold Shipman entered the University of Leeds, the medical faculty. Just as in school, studying did not cause any special problems. Free time was enough not only for the knowledge of the profession, but also for personal life. The friendship with the daughter of the landlord, where the future doctor Harold Shipman rented a room, turned into a more serious relationship: the girl became pregnant. In November 1966, the affair ended with a wedding. In total, during the course of their marriage, four children were born.

In 1970, Shipman, having successfully graduated from the university, began his medical practice in Todmorden, becoming a local doctor at a local clinic. His wife Primrose, there, in the reception, worked as a nurse.

Dr. Harold Shipman

Soon the career of Harold Shipman was under threat: the doctor was caught stealing drugs to which he was addicted in the course of his work. Prescribing to patients the prescriptions for diamorphine (medical heroin), which they did not need, he took the drugs for himself.

A trial was held, which was quite loyal to the accused, only having fined a drug addict for 600 pounds. However, at that time the stealing of drugs by medical workers was not uncommon, apparently because the court delivered such a loyal verdict. In addition, Shipman was deprived of medical title.

Return to medicine

After solving the problems with the law, Shipman still had a chance to return to medicine, but for this he had to recover from drug addiction. What he did after passing a course in a rehabilitation center.

Harold Shipman movie

In 1979, the treatment was successfully completed, and he and his family moved to Hyde, a town near Manchester. There Harold Shipman was able to get a job in the hospital. By the way, colleagues treated the new doctor with understanding, and his frankness, he did not hide the past, only added points to him. In addition, Shipman's innate sociability played a role in relations with other people. Looking ahead, it must be said that even after the trial, some of the doctor’s acquaintances with whom he was on good terms continued to maintain contact with him.

Beginning of private practice

After working for some time in the hospital and having a good reputation,Harold Shipman managed to create a rather impressive client base (about three thousand patients), after which he retired from work, deciding to provide medical services in private, opening his clinic. People were happy to go for treatment to the “good”, who favored him, who inspired great confidence in the doctor.

First victim

What clicked in the head of a quite successful doctor in 1984 is not clear. The investigation considered that it was then that Shipman committed the first murder, injecting an elderly patient suffering from aching joints, a lethal dose of diamorphine under the guise of an ordinary anesthetic. The pain under the influence of the drug receded, the old woman died with a grateful smile, and the killer doctor watched with pleasure the result of "treatment."

Harold Shipman doctor-death

After it was all over, Shipman calmly collected his things and left, taking only a cheap souvenir from the table. And the next day he returned and personally recorded death from natural conditions.

Who could suspect the crime of a reputable doctor? But he decided to play it safe, insisting on cremation of the murdered. The need for such a procedure according to British law must be confirmed by two doctors, one was Shipman himself, the second approached this issue formally,having signed the necessary document without examination, having completely trusted the opinion of the colleague. Among relatives, this recommendation also did not cause suspicion.

It is not known what exactly was going on in the head of the killer doctor, what did he inject for? What was experiencing watching a woman die? There are no answers to these questions. Only after her death did Shipman not stop ...

Harold Shipman: Dr. Death

The method of murder that Doctor Death chose, as Shipman was later called in the UK, was affectionate, if, of course, you can put it that way when talking about a lethal dose of a strong drug injection. He, after making the injection of diamorphine to his next victim, watched her die with gratitude in her eyes, thinking that the doctor had only used a good painkiller. Then he acted according to a proven scheme: he stated a natural demise and strongly recommended cremation to his relatives.

Among his victims, as a rule, were elderly women whose sudden death would not arouse any particular suspicion.

The fact that the real purpose of the murders was profit was not to be said, because after the committed crime he took only some small souvenir,sometimes, however, he grabbed money, but these were too small amounts to serve as a motive for the crime. Already it said that Harold Shipman - a maniac, not a thief, a murderer.

A runaway greed or a way to attract attention?

The sword of justice loomed over Shipman after his 82-year-old patient Kathleen Grandy died, it happened in June 1998. Two days after her death, her daughter Angela Woodruff received a will of her mother, certified by an unknown law firm. She found it strange, because, firstly, she herself was a lawyer, and secondly, the real testament to her mother was kept in a safe, at her workplace. But the new one, not only that was made illiterate, but also typed, although Angela's mother had a habit of writing everything by hand. In addition, Kathleen's signature was clearly forged.

According to this testament, all property was transferred to her doctor - Dr. Shipman. Two witnesses who signed the document, as it turned out, were not aware of what they had signed. In this regard, Angela realized that with the sudden death of her mother, not everything was clear, and went to the police.

During the investigation, Grandi’s body was exhumed and sent for examination to establish the real cause of death.

The first examination did not bring clarity, but showed that the old woman was completely healthy and could not die of her own death. The second, which consisted of a test for poison, revealed the presence of diamorphine in the victim’s tissues, which does not deteriorate even with time.

Harold Shipman - Serial Killer

And here the question arises: why did a person of an extraordinary mind, with many years of medical practice, commit so many stupid things? He rudely forged a will, having already drawn the attention of the police, and besides, he did not insist, as before, on cremation, knowing that the drug introduced into the body of the victim would be detected? Maybe it was intentional and he really wanted to be caught?

The arrest of a maniac and the charges

On September 7, 1998, Shipman was detained, and the very next day he was charged with murder. But everything was just beginning, because over the past twenty years, Shipman has written out hundreds of death certificates, and often to elderly, unexpectedly deceased patients. The inspector, leading the investigation, ordered to continue the exhumation of former clients of the doctor.

Harold Shipman - Doctor Maniac

On February 22, 1999, the doctor was charged with six more murders. Soon there were already fifteen names on the list of alleged victims, and only women.In this case, all the death certificates were signed personally by Shipman, but he insisted on his innocence. Even in spite of the fact that the reasons for death that were mentioned in the document, which were either a heart attack or a stroke, did not correspond to reality, which was unequivocally proved by the examination. All the victims actually died from hard drug poisoning.

Who is right?

Prosecutors insisted that Harold Shipman is a serial killer who sent his patients to the world, sticking a large dose of drugs into them. The defense claimed that all the dead were dependent on these drugs and took diamorphine on their own. Among them, according to Shipman himself, was Kathleen Grande.

To prove the falsehood of the statement of the doctor and his lawyers, Kathleen's hair was sent for examination - if the old woman really was a drug addict, then the traces of the drugs would necessarily appear during the test.

As expected, the examination did not find anything - Dr. Shipman’s testimony was refuted. But he still did not admit his guilt. In this case, nothing intelligible to counter the accusations could not.And Doctor Death “caught” himself on drugs, or rather, on their acquisition.

Where did Shipman get drugs from?

The investigation, by making a request to a pharmacy located next to the Shipman Clinic, received a list of twelve people in whose name he gave out prescriptions for the purchase of diamorphine. Some of them were alive, and, as it turned out, they did not suffer from fatal diseases, moreover, they did not even know that they were on this list. Nevertheless, each of them allegedly acquired 30 mg of diamorphine, a dose that could kill six people.

Harold Shipman - maniac

Why Dr. Shipman prescribed narcotic drugs to healthy people, he could not explain. Other drug buyers from the list, as it turned out, suddenly died a few days before the actual prescription of the drug.

In the end, Shipman was charged that he deliberately stocked diamorphine, planning to kill. Soon a cache of drugs was found

The verdict doctor-maniac, but not the end of the story

On January 31, 2000, the court found Harold Shipman guilty of forging documents and killing fifteen people. For all sixteen points, the jury was unanimous - guilty.Dr. Death was sentenced to life imprisonment, without the right to early release.

Harold Shipman - life sentence

But the story of the serial maniac does not end there. The UK government has launched a public inquiry to find out how many deaths there really are on the doctor’s conscience. The truth turned out to be terrible: from 1977 to 1991, Shipman killed 71 patients, six years before his arrest, managing the clinic in Heide, he killed another 143 people. Total 215 known victims: 171 women and 44 men.

The impressive death toll at the hands of the doctor makes him one of the most dangerous serial killers about whom they write books or make movies. However, Harold Shipman of the film, telling about the crimes committed, like other maniacs, on account of which there were fewer deaths, was not honored. Apparently, the lack of blood in the plots does not attract filmmakers ...

Harold Shipman's Last Killing

After spending four years in Wakfield Prison, on January 13, 2004, Dr. Shipman hanged himself in his cell. In a suicide note, he recalled that by dying before reaching the age of 60, he thereby, under UK law, provides his wife and children with the right to receive his previously earned pension.

Thus, Dr. Harold Shipman even killed himself as prudently and coolly as his victims.

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