Harold Shipman

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Harold Shipman
Background information
Birth name Harold Fredrick Shipman
An aw kent as "Dr. Death"
Born 14 Januar 1946(1946-01-14)
Nottingham, Ingland
Dee'd 13 Januar 2004(2004-01-13) (agit 57)
HM Prison Wakefield, Wast Yorkshire, Ingland
Cause o daith Suicide bi hangin
Penalty Life impreesonment plus 4 years for forgery
Killings
Nummer o victims 250+
Kintra Ingland, Unitit Kinrick
Date apprehendit 7 September 1998

Dr Harold Fredrick Shipman[1] (14 Januar 1946 – 13 Januar 2004) wis an Inglis doctor an ane o the maist prolific serial killers in recordit history bi pruiven murthers wi 250+ murthers being positively ascribit tae him.

On 31 Januar 2000, a jury foond Shipman guilty o 15 murthers. He was sentencit tae life impreesonment an the judge recommendit that he niver be released.

Efter his trial, the Shipman Inquiry chaired bi Dame Janet Smith, begun on 1 September 2000 an lastin amaist twa years, investigatit aw daiths certifee'd bi Shipman. Aboot 80% o his victims wur weemen. His youngest victim wis a 41-year-auld man.[2] Hintle o Breetain's legal structur concernin health care an medicine wis reviewed an modifee'd as a direct an indirect result o Shipman's creemes. Shipman is the anerlie Breetish doctor who haes been foond guilty o murtherin his patients.[3]

Shipman dee'd on 13 Januar 2004, efter hangin hissel in his cell at HM Prison Wakefield in Wast Yorkshire.

Early life an career[eedit | eedit soorce]

Harold Frederick Shipman wis born in Nottingham, Ingland, the seicont o fower childer o Vera an Harold Shipman, a larrie driver.[4][5] His wirkin cless parents were devout Methodists.[4][5] Shipman wis pairticularly close tae his mither, who dee'd o lung cancer[6] when he was 17.[5][7] Her daith came in a manner similar tae wha later became Shipman's awn modus operandi: in the later stages o her disease, she haed morphine admeenistered at hame bi a doctor. Shipman witnessed his mither's pain subside in spite o her terminal condition, up till her daith on 21 Juin 1963.[8]

Shipman studiet medicine at Leeds School of Medicine an graduatit in 1970.[9] He stairtit wirk at Pontefract General Infirmary in Pontefract, Wast Yorkshire, an in 1974 teuk his first position as a general practitioner (GP) at the Abraham Ormerod Medical Centre in Todmorden, Wast Yorkshire. In 1975 he wis caucht forgin prescriptions o pethidine for his awn uise. He wis fined £600, an briefly attendit a drog rehabilitation clinic in York. Efter a brief period as medical officer for Hatfield College, Durham, an temporary wirk for the National Coal Board, he became a GP at the Donneybrook Medical Centre in Hyde, Greater Manchester, in 1977.[9][10]

Shipman continued wirkin as a GP in Hyde throughoot the 1980s an foondit his awn surgery at 21 Market Street in 1993, becomin a respectit memmer o the commonty. In 1983, he wis interviewed on the Granada Televeesion documentar World in Action on hou the mentally ill shoud be treatit in the commonty.

Detection[eedit | eedit soorce]

In March 1998, Dr Linda Reynolds o the Brooke Surgery in Hyde, promptit bi Deborah Massey frae Frank Massey an Son's funeral parlour, expressed concerns tae John Pollard, the coroner for the South Manchester District, aboot the heich daith rate amang Shipman's patients. In pairticular, she wis concerned aboot the lairge nummer o cremation forms for elderly weemen that he haed needit coontersigned. The matter wis brocht tae the attention o the polis, who wur unable tae fynd sufficient evidence tae bring chairges; The Shipman Inquiry later blamit the polis for assignin inexperiencit officers tae the case. Atween 17 Aprile 1998, when the polis abandoned the investigation, an Shipman's eventual arrest, he killed three mair fowk.[11][12] His last victim wis Kathleen Grundy, a umwhile Lady Mayor o Hyde, who wis foond deid at her hame on 24 Juin 1998. Shipman wis the last person tae see her alive, an later signed her daith certificate, recordin "auld age" as cause o daith.

Grundy's dochter, lawyer Angela Woodruff, became concerned when solicitor Brian Burgess informit her that a will haed been made, apparently bi her mither. Thare wur douts aboot its authenticity. The will excludit her an her childer, but left £386,000 tae Shipman. Burgess tauld Woodruff tae report it, an went tae the polis, who began an investigation. Grundy's body wis exhumit, an when examined foond tae contain traces o diamorphine (heroin), aften uised for pain control in terminal cancer patients. Shipman wis arrestit on 7 September 1998, an wis foond tae awn a teepewriter o the teep uised tae mak the forgit will.[13]

The polis then investigatit ither daiths Shipman haed certifee'd, an creatit a leet o 15 specimen cases tae investigate. They discovered a pattern o his admeenisterin lethal owerdoses o diamorphine, signin patients' daith certificates, an then forgin medical records indicatin they haed been in poor halth.[14]

Prescription For Murder, a beuk bi journalists Brian Whittle an Jean Ritchie, reports twa theories on why Shipman forgit the will. Ane is that he wantit tae be caucht acause his life wis oot o control; the ither raison, that he planned tae retire at age 55 an then leave the Unitit Kinrick.

Trial an impreesonment[eedit | eedit soorce]

Shipman's trial, presidit ower bi Mr Justice Forbes, began on 5 October 1999. Shipman wis chairgit wi the murthers o Marie West, Irene Turner, Lizzie Adams, Jean Lilley, Ivy Lomas, Muriel Grimshaw, Marie Quinn, Kathleen Wagstaff, Bianka Pomfret, Norah Nuttall, Pamela Hillier, Maureen Ward, Winifred Mellor, Joan Melia an Kathleen Grundy, aw o whom haed dee'd atween 1995 an 1998.

On 31 Januar 2000, efter sax days o deliberation, the jury foond Shipman guilty o killin 15 patients bi lethal injections o diamorphine, an forgin the will o Kathleen Grundy. The trial judge sentencit him tae 15 consecutive life sentences an recommendit that he niver be released. Shipman receivit fower years for forgin the will an aw. Twa years later, Home Secretary David Blunkett confirmit the judge's whole life tariff, juist months afore Breetish govrenment meenisters lost their pouer tae set minimum terms for preesoners.

On 11 Februar 2000, ten days after his conviction, the General Medical Council formally struck Shipman aff its register.[15][16]

Shipman consistently denied his guilt, disputin the scientific evidence against him. He niver made ony statements aboot his actions. His defence tree'd, but failed, tae hae the coont o murther o Mrs Grundy, whaur a clear motive wis allegit, tree'd separately frae the ithers, whaur nae obvious motive wis apparent. His wife, Primrose, apparently wis in denial aboot his creemes as well.[17]

Awtho mony ither cases coud hae been brocht tae court, the authorities concludit it wad be haurd tae hae a fair trial, in view o the enormous publicity surroondin the oreeginal trial. An aw, given the sentences frae the first trial, a further trial wis unnecessar. The Shipman Inquiry concludit Shipman wis probably responsible for aboot 250 daiths.[18] The Shipman Inquiry suggestit that he likit tae uise drogs recreationally an aw.[19]

Despite the prosecutions o Dr John Bodkin Adams in 1957, Dr Leonard Arthur in 1981, an Dr Thomas Lodwig in 1990 (amangst ithers),[20] Shipman is the anerly doctor in Breetish legal history tae be foond guilty o killin patients.[21] Accordin tae historian Pamela Cullen, Adams haed been a serial killer an aw—potentially killin up tae 165 o his patients atween 1946 an 1956—an it is estimatit he mey hae killed over 450, but as he "wis foond no guilty, thare wis nae impetus tae examine the flaws in the seestem till the Shipman case. Haed these issues been addressed earlier, it micht hae been mair difficult for Shipman tae commit his creemes."[22] H. G. Kinnell, writin in the British Medical Journal, speculates that Adams "possibly providit the role model for Shipman" an aw.[23]

Daith[eedit | eedit soorce]

Harold Shipman committit suicide bi hangin in his cell at HM Prison Wakefield at 06:20 on 13 Januar 2004, on the eve o his 58t birthday, an wis pronooncit deid at 08:10. A Prison Service statement indicatit that Shipman haed hanged himsel frae the windae bars o his cell uisin bed sheets.[24] Some Breetish tabloids expressed joy at his suicide an encouragit ither serial killers tae follae his example; The Sun ran a celebratory front page heidline, "Ship Ship hooray!"[25]

Some o the victims' faimilies said they felt cheatit,[26] as his suicide meant they wad niver hae the satisfaction o Shipman's confession, an answers as tae why he committit his creemes. The Home Secretar David Blunkett notit that celebration wis temptin, sayin: "You wake up and you receive a call telling you Shipman has topped himself and you think, is it too early to open a bottle? And then you discover that everybody's very upset that he's done it."[27]

Despite The Sun's celebration o Shipman's suicide, his daith dividit naitional newspapers, wi the Daily Mirror brandin him a "cauld coward" an condemnin Her Majesty's Prison Service for allouin his suicide tae happen. The Independent, on the ither haund, cried for the inquiry intae Shipman's suicide tae leuk mair widely at the state o Breetain's prisons as well as the welfare of inmates.[28] In The Guardian, an airticle bi Sir David Ramsbotham (umwhile Chief Inspector of Prisons) suggestit that whole life sentencin be replacit bi indefinite sentencin as these wad at least give preesoners the howp o eventual release an reduce the risk o their committin suicide as well as makkin their management easier for preeson offeecials.[28]

Shipman's motive for suicide wis niver establisht, awtho he haed reportedly tauld his probation officer that he wis considerin suicide so that his widae coud receive a National Health Service (NHS) pension an lump sum, even tho he haed been strippit o his awn pension.[29] His wife receivit a full NHS pension, which she wad no hae been entitled tae if he haed dee'd efter the age o 60.[30] Shipman haed been encouragit tae tak pairt in courses which wad hae haed him confess his guilt. Efter refusin, he became emotional an close tae tears when privileges - includin the opportunity tae telephone his wife - wur remuivit.[30] Privileges haed been returned the week afore the suicide.[31] Addeetionally, Primrose, who haed consistently believit that Shipman wis innocent, micht hae begun tae suspect his guilt. Accordin tae Shipman's ex-cellmate Tony Fleming, Primrose haed recently written a letter tae her husband, exhortin him tae "tell me everything, no matter what".[17]

Eftermath[eedit | eedit soorce]

In Januar 2001, Chris Gregg, a senior Wast Yorkshire detective, wis selectit tae lead an investigation intae 22 o the Wast Yorkshire daiths.[32] Follaein this, a report intae Shipman's activities submittit in Julie 2002 concludit that he haed killed at least 215 o his patients atween 1975 an 1998, durin which time he practisit in Todmorden, Wast Yorkshire (1974–1975), an Hyde, Greater Manchester (1977–1998). Dame Janet Smith, the judge who submittit the report, admittit that mony mair suspicious daiths coud no be definitively ascribit tae him. Maist o his victims wur elderly weemen in guid halth.

In her saxth an feenal report, issued on 24 Januar 2005, Smith reportit that she believit that Shipman haed killed three patients, an she haed serious suspicions aboot fower further daiths, includin that o a fower-year-auld girl, durin the early stage o his medical career at Pontefract General Hospital, West Riding, Yorkshire. Smith concludit the probable nummer o Shipman's victims atween 1971 an 1998 wis 250. In total, 459 fowk dee'd while unner his care, but it is uncertain hou mony o those wur Shipman's victims, as he wis aften the anerly doctor tae certify a daith.[33]

The Shipman Inquiry recommendit chynges tae the structur o the General Medical Council an aw.[34]

The General Medical Council chairgit sax doctors who signed cremation forms for Shipman's victims wi misconduct, claimin they shoud hae noticit the pattern atween Shipman's hame visits an his patients' daiths. Aw these doctors wur foond no guilty. Shipman's widae, Primrose Shipman, wis cried tae give evidence aboot twa o the daiths durin the inquiry. She maintained her husband's innocence baith afore an efter the prosecution.

In October 2005, a similar hearin wis held against twa doctors who wirkit at Tameside General Hospital in 1994, who failed tae detect that Shipman haed deliberately admeenistered a "grossly excessive" dose o morphine.[35][36]

A 2005 inquiry intae Shipman's suicide foond that it "coud no hae been predictit or preventit," but that procedures shoud nanetheless be re-examined.[30]

In 2005, it came tae licht that Shipman micht hae stolen jewellery frae his victims. Ower £10,000 wirth o jewellery haed been foond in his garage in 1998, an in Mairch 2005, wi Primrose Shipman pressin for it tae be returned tae her, polis wrote tae the faimilies o Shipman's victims askin them tae identifee the jewellery.[37][38]

Unidentifee'd items wur haundit tae the Assets Recovery Agency in May.[39] In August the investigation endit: 66 pieces were returned tae Primrose Shipman an 33 pieces, which she confirmit wur no hers, wur auctioned. The proceeds o the auction went tae Tameside Victim Support.[40][41] The anerly piece returned tae a murdered patient's faimily wis a platinum-diamond ring, for which the faimily wur able tae provide a photograph as proof o awnership.

A memorial garden tae Shipman's victims, cried the Garden of Tranquillity, opened in Hyde Park (Hyde) on 30 Julie 2005.[42]

As o early 2009, faimilies o the victims o Shipman wur still seekin compensation for the loss o their relatives.[43] In September 2009, it wis annooncit that letters written bi Shipman durin his preeson sentence wur tae be sauld at auction,[44] but follaein complaints frae victims' relatives an the media, the letters wur remuivit frae sale.[45]

In media an popular cultur[eedit | eedit soorce]

Harold and Fred (They Make Ladies Dead) wis a 2001 strip cartoon in Viz, featurin serial killer Fred West an aw. Extracts frae the strip wur subsequently merchandisit as a coffee mug.[46][47]

Shipman, a televeesion dramatisation o the case, wis made in 2002 an starred James Bolam in the title role.[48] The case wis referencit in an episode o the 2003 televeesion series Diagnosis: Unknown cried "Deadly Medicine" (Season 2, Episode 17, 2003) an aw.[49] Shipman's activities inspired D.A.W., an episode o the American TV series Law & Order: Criminal Intent an aw. In it, the polis investigate a pheesician who they discover haes killed 200 o his patients.[50]

Baith The Fall an Jonathan King released sangs aboot Shipman. The Fall's sang is, "What About Us?", frae the 2005 album Fall Heads Roll. King's sang became controversial when, sax months efter its release, it wis reportit tae be in Shipman's defence, urgin listeners no tae "faw for a media demon".[51]

A Canadian film, 'Fatal Trust' directit bi Philippe Gagnon an starring Amy Jo Johnson came oot in 2006 an maks a nan-specific reference tae the Shipman case juist afore the closin credits. It seems tae hae been pairtly inspired bi his story an aw.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Harold Shipman: The killer doctor BBC News, 13 January 2004
  2. "The Shipman Inquiry". The Shipman Inquiry. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  3. James Stovold. "The Case of Dr. John Bodkin Adams". Strangerinblood.co.uk. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Swan, Norman (29 July 2002). "Why Some Doctors Kill". The Health Report. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Kaplan, Robert M. (2009). Medical Murder: Disturbing Cases of Doctors Who Kill. Allen & Unwin. pp. 59–60. ISBN 1-74175-610-3. 
  6. Born To Kill?, Channel 5, 2 August 2012
  7. Herbert, Ian (14 January 2004). "How a humble GP perverted his medical skill to become Britain's most prolific mass killer". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2 September 2009. 
  8. [1] The Early Life of Harold Shipman
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Harold Shipman: Timeline". BBC News. 18 July 2002. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  10. Bunyan, Nigel (16 June 2001). "The Killing Fields of Harold Shipman". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  11. Second Report - The Police Investigation of March 1998 (Cm 5853). The Shipman Inquiry. 14 July 2003. 
  12. "Shipman inquiry criticises police". BBC News. 14 July 2003. 
  13. "The Shipman tapes I". BBC News. 31 January 2000. Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  14. "UK Doctor 'forged victim's medical history'". BBC News. 8 November 1999. Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  15. Frith, Maxine (11 February 2000). "GMC strikes Shipman off medical register". The Independent (London). Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  16. "Shipman struck off". BBC News. 11 February 2000. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Sweet, Corinne (16 January 2004). "He could do no wrong". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  18. The Shipman Inquiry — Sixth Report — Conclusions
  19. "Shipman's 'reckless' experiments". BBC News. 27 January 2005. 
  20. "Killing the Willing ... And Others! Legal Aspects of Euthanasia and Related Topics". Actrtla.org.au. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  21. Strangerinblood.co.uk Dr Nigel Cox wis convictit o attemptit murther in 1992, in the daith o Lillian Boyes.
  22. James Stovold. "Strangerinblood.co.uk". Strangerinblood.co.uk. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  23. Kinnell HG (2000). "Serial homicide by doctors: Shipman in perspective". BMJ 321 (7276): 1594–7. doi:10.1136/bmj.321.7276.1594. PMC 1119267. PMID 11124192. 
  24. "Harold Shipman found dead in cell". BBC. 13 January 2004. 
  25. Cardy, Philip (14 January 2004). "Ship Ship hooray!". London: The Sun. [deid airtin]
  26. "No mourning from Shipman families". BBC News. 13 January 2004. 
  27. "Blunkett admits Shipman error". BBC News. 16 January 2004. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Shipman's death divides papers". BBC News. 14 January 2004. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  29. "Shipman leaves his wife £24,000". BBC News. 8 April 2004. 
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 "Shipman suicide 'not preventable'". BBC News. 25 August 2005. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  31. "Harold Shipman found dead in cell". BBC News. 13 January 2004. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  32. "How many more did Shipman kill?". The Independent (London). 9 October 2001. Retrieved 19 September 2009. 
  33. "Shipman 'killed early in career'". BBC News. 27 January 2005. 
  34. "Shipman report demands GMC reform". BBC News. 9 December 2004. 
  35. "Shipman doctors deny misconduct". BBC News. 3 October 2005. 
  36. "Shipman doctor 'not good enough'". BBC News. 11 October 2005. 
  37. "Theft fears over 'Shipman gems'". BBC News. 17 March 2005. 
  38. "Twenty make Shipman jewels claims". BBC News. 15 April 2005. 
  39. "Shipman jewels not going to widow". BBC News. 24 May 2005. 
  40. "Shipman stole victim's jewellery". BBC News. 31 August 2005. 
  41. "Shipman's stolen gems found in his wife's jewellery box". London: The Guardian. 31 August 2005. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  42. "Garden tribute to Shipman victims". BBC News. 30 July 2005. 
  43. "Alexander Harris, the law firm who represented families of victims of Allitt and Shipman". Alexander Harris. 25 August 2006. 
  44. "Shipman prison letters to be sold". BBC News (BBC). 27 September 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009. 
  45. "Shipman letters removed from sale". BBC News (BBC). 7 October 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  46. Garrett, Jade (1 February 2001). "'Viz' pushes taste to its limits with Shipman cartoon - Media, News - The Independent". The Independent. Retrieved 6 March 2009. 
  47. "BBC News - Anger at Shipman Cartoon". news.bbc.co.uk. 1 February 2001. Retrieved 6 March 2009. 
  48. Roger Bamford (Director). Shipman. [Television drama]. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0306943. 
  49. Greg Francis (Director). Diagnosis: Unknown: Deadly Medicine. [Television series]. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0559329. 
  50. Law & Order: Criminal Intent: D.A.W. episode (Season 3, Episode 20), TV.com. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  51. BBC Article concerning Jonathan King's song 'The True Story of Harold Shipman [2]

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]