There are many cases of non-famous monstrous, cruel, cold-blooded murderers that need to come to light, but there are always the Fathers of Evil. The ones whose madness will be forever present and always make parents feel scared of the world their children are going to live in. Here is one of them.
Harold Frederick Shipman was born in Nottingham on January 14, 1946. Being the second child of Vera and Harold Shipman, he was brought up in a poor environment but his family was always there to provide him with love. As a child, Shipman was close to his mother who eventually died of lung cancer but inspired her son’s killing routine. Young Harold saw his sick mother’s pain fading away with the use of morphine, and this is how he would kill his victims later.
In 1970, Harold Shipman graduated as a doctor and started working at the Pontefract General Infirmary as a surgeon, but it was only five years later when he was caught forging pethidine prescriptions for himself. After paying a tiny fine of 600 British pounds, he started working again as a doctor for the Donneybrook Medical Center in Manchester and, in 1993, he opened his own surgery clinic becoming a reputable member of the British society. Despite the huge number of patients who chose him as their doctor, most of Shipman’s clients ended up dying, and it was not until 1998 when Dr. Linda Reynolds noticed the mortality rates that kept rising up. She called the authorities, but they did not discover a thing to incriminate him. Of course, the truth was that Harold Shipman was a serial killer.
However, some years later, another woman was determined to uncover Harold Shipman’s dark plan. She was Angela Woodruff whose mother, Kathleen, was found dead in her apartment in June 1998. Kathleen was one of the patients that “Dr. Death’s” was taking care of, and he was the one who signed her death certificate recording “old age” as the cause of her death. What made Kathleen Woodruff suspicious was a call from her lawyer telling her that her mother had left 360,000 pounds to Shipman, according to her will. Angela was shocked and notified the authorities who ordered the exhumation of Kathleen Woodruff’s body and, after a series of tests, the forensic surgeon identified traces of diamorphine, which is commonly used as an analgesic for cancer patients. Shipman got arrested on September 7, 1998, and police discovered the typewriter that he had used to write the fake will.
Harold Shipman’s plan was uncovered: He administered high doses of diamorphine to his victims and signed their death certificates only to prove his patients’ bad health. According to Brian Whittle and Jean Ritchie, journalists, the reason why Shipman had created this fake will was, either to retire leaving the United Kingdom behind, or to lead authorities to him because his life had gotten out of control.
Harold Shipman was tried for the murder of fifteen people: Kathleen Wagstaff, Norah Nuttall, Marie West, Maureen Ward, Irene Turner, Winifred Mellor, Lizzie Adams, Jean Lilley, Joan Melia, Ivy Lomas, Muriel Grimshaw, Marie Quinn, Bianka Pomfret, Pamela Hillier, and Kathleen Grundy. On January 31, 2000, he was sentenced to life.
Shipman kept denying the charges against him, despite the scientific evidence proving his guilt. His wife, Primrose, and his son, Christopher, never left his side and believed him until the day he died. The police inquiry estimated that Shipman was responsible for the murder of 250 patients who were drugged to death, while later investigations suggested that 459 of his patients in total had died. We will never for sure how many of them were his victims.
Four years after his conviction, on January 13, 2004, Harold Shipman hang himself inside his cell, one day before his 58th birthday. The media were divided in two with many newspapers celebrating the death of a cold-blooded serial killer, and other publications accusing the prison of not taking care of its prisoners.
In 2005, the authorities found the motive behind Shipman’s killings since they found 99 pieces of jewelry inside Shipman’s garage that belonged to the women that he had killed, 66 of which were given back to his wife. On July 30, 2005, a garden was created in honor of Shipman’s victims inside the Hyde Park, and “Dr. Death’s” case inspired television shows and the music industry. Yes, his madness will always be remembered.