The Story of a Serial Killer

Der Spiegel

Big portrait piece about Niels Högel - the German nurse and serial killer who killed at least 106 people in hospitals is facing a new trial for Der SPIEGEL.

Although all his hospital colleagues recognized the high number of die cases during his shifts and talked about him as the "angel of death" nobody took action.

As always he would inject patients’ veins with a cardiovascular drug in order to orchestrate medical emergencies to show off his resuscitation skills.

In one of the clinics Högel was working the number of resuscitations increased so much the management started to count tally marks. Högel was leading 6 to 9 times more than everyone else. Those in charge could have acted faster to stop further loss of life. Instead, the nurse was given a spotless report that allowed him to continue his killing spree at another institution.

On 22 June 2005, a colleague at Delmenhorst hospital witnessed Niels Högel injecting ajmaline into a patient, who died a day later. Beside he was caught in the act, also syringes with a cardiovascular drug and gloves were found in the patient's bin.

After he was witnessed the management came together in the gowning area in front of an operating room to a fatal discussion: However, the management decided not to call the police immediately - allowing the nurse to kill another patient, his last, at 7pm on 24.

The trial with over 100 cases will be too large for the court room gathering together all relatives and prosecuters. So the court has to move into an arena complex located in Oldenburg which usually hosts music concerts and sports events.

This image was supposed to be the cover of the magazine. Unfortunately the story didn't run as the cover story .

More of the work in process behind the illustrations can be seen on my Behance.