An angel of mercy or angel of death is a rare type of criminal offender (often a type of serial killer) who is usually employed as a caregiver and intentionally harms or kills persons under their care. The angel of mercy is often in a position of power and may decide the victim would be better off if they no longer suffered from whatever severe illness is plaguing them. This person then uses their knowledge to manufacture the death of the victim. As time goes on, this behavior escalates to encapsulate the healthy and the easily treated.
The motivation for this type of criminal is variable, but generally falls into one or more types or patterns:
Mercy killer: Believe the victims are suffering or beyond help, though this belief may be delusional.
Sadistic: Use their position as a way of exerting power and control over helpless victims.
Malignant hero: A pattern wherein the subject endangers the victim’s life in some way and then proceeds to “save” them. Some feign attempting resuscitation, all the while knowing their victim is already dead and beyond help, but hope to be seen as selflessly making an effort. (from Wikipedia)
ALLITT, Beverly Gail – (1968- ) Lincolnshire, England, active February – April 1991; Arrested November 1991; Sentenced to 13 concurrent years of life imprisonment on May 28, 1993 (poisoning by insulin & potassium; 1 suffocation) 4 victims (ages 2 months-11 years) Nurse suffering from Munchhausen’s Syndrome by Proxy. All were treated at Grantham & Kesteven Hospital; at least 26 known attacks, 4 deaths.
ARCHER-GILLIGAN , Amy (1873-1962) –Windsor, Connecticut, USA 1916 – Black Widow/Angel of Death – May 1916 arrested and charged with 6 counts murder; (poison by arsenic); July 1917 sentenced to life in prison on one count of murder; appealed, same verdict. Jailed 1923 to state asylum; lived to be 90.
JONES, Genene – San Antonio, Texas, USA;(1951-) Active period 1978-1982 (aged 27-31); Actual number of victims unknown (at least 11; some investigators believe up to 46! All babies and young children); Injections typically of digoxin (a cardiac medicine); Worked at Bexar County Medical Center Hospital & Kerr County Clinic; Convicted of Murder in 1984 and sentenced to 99 years.
RACHALS, Terri – Georgia, USA (1962- ) Active 1985-86 (aged 23-24); Believed to be up to 9 patients killed and up to 20 acts of aggravated assault (ages 3-89); Injections of potassium chloride; Surgical Intensive care Nurse Phoebe Putney hospital, Albany, Georgia;