Kicking off 2015 with a feature that I have had quite a few compliments on but had started to neglect *boo* so I am bringing it back! I hope you all enjoy this Serial Killer Sunday as this one is quite an interesting case; this Serial Killer suffered from a mental illness called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy in which a carer exaggerates, creates or induces symptoms of an illness in themselves or other people in order to gain attention from medical staff. Some of you may now be aware of who this is but if you do not you are about to be incredibly disturbed. Be warned, if you are a mother with young children or you have young children in your life that you are close to, you may want to give this one a miss.
Year’s active: 1991
Number of Killings: 4 Deaths, Attempted murder and harm of 22 others.
Killing method: Police were unable to establish exactly how all the attacks were carried out, but large doses of insulin were found in at least two victims.
Year caught: 1991
Where now: Rampton High Security Psychiatric Hospital in Nottinghamshire, England
Beverley Allitt was born in 1968 in Lincolnshire, England. She had two sisters and a brother which she lived with along with her parents. She left school at the age of 16 to take a course in nursing at Grantham College near to where she lived. She had repeatedly failed her nursing exams and also had a history of excessive sick leave, however, she was hired at an excessively understaffed hospital for a six month trial period. Beverley suffered from a mental illness called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy in which a carer exaggerates, creates or induces symptoms of an illness in
themselves or other people in order to gain attention from medical staff. In this instance, Beverly wanted to show the medical staff that she was able to do her job and do it well, which started her spree of harming children so that she could seemingly tend to them and make them better, to parents she would seem like an angel but oh how they were wrong.
On February 21st, 1991, a mother brought in her seven week old son called Liam, who had a chest infection, Beverley made herself available to the parents saying that she would tend to Liam’s needs and make sure that he was looked after, she sent the parents home to get some rest and upon their return Liam had gotten worse but had been rushed to emergency and had recovered… But this was only the beginning.
Just before midnight, Liam went into respiratory crisis but managed to get through it and rest. They all left Beverley alone with the boy, as Beverley had asked them to go and fetch some things that she needed, upon return one of the nurses found Allitt standing next to Liam who appeared white as a sheet until red blotches appeared on his face, Beverley then shouted for the crash team. This was the first suspicion, the nurses were confused as to why, if Liam had stopped breathing, the alarms had not gone off. Soon Liam suffered cardiac arrest and severe brain damage. Unfortunately his parents had to make the decision to turn off his life support.
The next few months followed similar incidents, usually involving cardiac arrests and respiratory problems. There were some children who had survived the attacks by Beverley and remember parts of it, you can read about this in more detail around the internet.
I want to also talk about the most twisted turn of events, in my eyes, in this case. That is involving two twin girls called Becky and Katie Phillips who were just two months old and were born prematurely, they seemed to be growing well but then suffered from gastro-enteritis and Becky was transferred to ward 4 of the hospital, the ward where Beverley Allitt was on staff. Two days later, Beverley exclaimed that Becky was hypoglycemic and cold to the touch but when examined by another nurse she found nothing wrong and Becky was sent home with her mother. But the story does not end here.
During the night Becky went into convulsions and cried out, the parents sent for a doctor but the doctor claimed she was simply colic and to keep a watch over her, she slept in bed with her parents that night where she quietly passed away. Taken into hospital for tests, pathologists were baffled and could find no clear cause of death. For extra precaution, Katie, the remaining twin, was admitted to the hospital and Beverly Allitt was on duty.
It wasn’t long before Beverly ran out shouting Cardiac arrest, Katie was suffering from lack of oxygen but was saved only to have the same thing happen two days later, this time she was not so lucky and her lungs collapsed as well as suffering serious brain damage due to oxygen deprivation. The irony of it all? Katies mother, Sue, thought that Beverley had saved her daughters life and made Beverley the childs godmother, of course Beverley basked in the glory acting like a hero.
Allitt continued attacking children in the hospital, eventually the hospital noticed that something wasn’t quite right. It was the death of a 15 month old girl that lead to Beverley’s capture. The young girl had seemingly died of natural causes, but the vast amount of cardiac arrests on ward 4 lead to an investigation, the ward was tested for an airbourne virus but nothing was found. The 15 month old was tested further and a drug was found in the tissue of the baby was is used in circumstances of cardiac arrest but never on a baby, this was when the theory of a killer was brought to light.
The police found a lot of pages missing from a nursing log, they counted 25 suspicious incidents with 13 victims, four of which were dead. The police started to look for the common factor and there they found; Beverley Allitt.
She was charged on 4 counts of murder, 11 counts of attempted murder and 11 counts of GBH (grievous bodily harm). Beverley pleaded not guilty on all charges, but was found guilty and sentenced in May 1993 to a minimum of 30 years imprisonment.
What are your thoughts on this case? Are there any Serial Killers that you want to know more about?