In a scene right out of a murder mystery, a Filipino nurse Victorino Chua was found guilty of murdering the sick patients he was supposed to take care of. The nurse, working at Stepping Hill Hospital in north England, also poisoned several others by secretly injecting their saline bags and ampoules with insulin.
Chua reportedly embarked on his killing spree in 2011, when he murdered 44-year-old Tracey Arden and 83-year-old Alfred Weaver – both seemingly chosen at random. The police were called in but no one suspected foul-play.
A patient even suffered irreversible brain damage as a result of the maladministration of insulin.
However, after more patients were poisoned – each suffering from symptoms of insulin overdose – the staff discovered punctures in saline bags, indicating the medication was tampered with.
Greater Manchester Police then delved into its most complex and largest inquiry in years. They monitored hospital data and drug stores, though no arrests were made for a long time.
Meanwhile, Chua continued his vicious activity by altering medical notes and prescription charts by increasing patients' dosages and taking care to avoid tightened security.
During the investigations, police arrested nurse Rebecca Leighton, charging her with criminal damage with intent to endanger life. She even spent six weeks on remand in prison before the police realized she was innocent.
Police soon arrested Chua from his home in Stockport, after their Venn diagram – plotting the poisonings and the staff working the shifts – pointed to the 49-year-old.
The father of two was arrested in Jan 2012 and rearrested in March 2014 where the court deemed him guilty for the crimes. He was cleared of a third murder but now faces a life in prison.
The motivation for the killings is yet unknown, but as indicated by a confession letter found in Chua’s home, the nurse suffers from a mental condition.
“I'm evil at the same time angel,” he wrote, referring to “the devil in me.”
The letter presented to the jury, is being described as “the bitter nurse confession,” where the former nurse claimed that he had things he’ll take to the grave. It was apparently written on the suggestion of a psychologist in 2010 – just before Chua started killing patients.
Furthermore, he is also said to have forged documents, alarming the authorities that thousands of foreign nurses might be working in the U.K. with fake degrees.