Serial killer Donald Harvey stands before a judge during sentencing in Cincinnati in 1987.
Serial killer Donald Harvey stands before a judge during sentencing in Cincinnati in 1987. Al Berhman

Serial killer dies after beating in prison

A US serial killer known as the "Angel of Death” has died two days after being found beaten in his Toledo prison cell.

Donald Harvey, 64, who was serving 28 life sentences, pleaded guilty in 1987 to killing 37 people, most of them at hospitals in Cincinnati and London where he worked as a nurse's aide.

He later admitted to killing 18 others at a veterans' medical centre in Cincinnati and by the time he was found guilty in August 1987, Harvey claimed to have killed 87 people.

His favoured method was arsenic and cyanide poisoning, but some of his victims suffocated after he let their oxygen tanks run out and he also administered fluid tainted with hepatitis B and HIV, resulting in illness rather than death.

Harvey claimed he was trying to "ease the pain” of his victims, but admitted that at as time progressed he increasingly began to enjoy the killing.

His crimes were not limited to hospitals.

He killed his partner's father with arsenic and tried to poison his hairdresser boyfriend Carl Hoeweler.

He also poisoned two of his neighbours, killing one by putting arsenic in her pie.

After pleading guilty to avoid the death penalty, Harvey told a newspaper he had enjoyed the control of determining who lived and died.

Former Hamilton County Prosecutor Arthur Ney Jnr told the Associated Press that Harvey was not a mercy killer.

"He killed because he liked to kill,” Ney said.



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