A 56-year-old nurse, Fausta Bonino, was arrested on suspicion of murdering 13 patients “by administering fatal doses of a blood-thinning drug while they were in intensive care,” according to an April 1 report from the Big News Network. The killer nurse was employed at a hospital in Piombino, Italy, where the murders took place.
The 13 patients, killed from 2014 to 2015, were all between 61 and 88 years old and included both men and women. Italian police said that although the patients were seriously ill, they were not listed as being terminal. Investigators believe that they all died “as a result of being given strong doses of anticoagulant drugs used to prevent blood clotting, triggering internal bleeding,” according to the Big News Network.
After the patients died, the hospital conducted a study to review what was felt to be an abnormally high rate of deaths during 2014 and 2015. In every death that occurred, Bonino was the only hospital staff member to be directly involved in each of the 13 deaths. She was arrested Wednesday evening in Tuscany following revelations from that study, according to ABC News.
The Big News Network quoted Italian Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzi as saying “In the horror rankings we have reached a new peak of human misery.” Leading up to Bonino’s arrest, investigators had been wiretapping her telephone conversations and also searched her home where they recovered incriminating evidence against her, according to the International Business Times.
There’s still no clear cut motive for the killings. Local Italian media reports that the killer nurse “suffered from depression and might have abused psychiatric drugs and alcohol,” according to the Times.