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20050317: New leads in hunt for suspected serial killer London Serial Killer News

Detectives investigating a vicious attack on a schoolgirl believe her assailant may also be responsible for several high-profile murders, including that of Milly Dowler.

Scotland Yard are following up "four or five" strong lines of inquiry after an appeal for information about the attempted murder of 18-year-old Kate Sheedy on Tuesday's Crimewatch. Ms Sheedy, a sixth-former at Gumley Convent School, was seriously injuredwhen she was deliberately run over near her home in Isleworth, west London.

The attack is the sixth to be linked to the murder of a 22-year-old French student, Amelie Delagrange, on nearby Twickenham Green last August. Police believe Ms Delagrange's killercould also have murdered a 19-year-old gap-year student, Marsha McDonnell, in nearby Hampton.

Four other attacks on women in south-west London have also been connected to Scotland Yard's Amelie inquiry, codenamed Operation Yeaddiss. Surrey Police are also examining possible links with the murder of the 13-year-old schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

The, Crimewatch appeal focused on CCTV footage of a car police believe could have been used in the attack in the early hours of 28 May last year.

Ms Sheedy had got off a bus opposite the County Arms pub in Worton Road, Isleworth, when she noticed a white people-carrier - thought to be a Toyota Previa - with blacked-out windows parked with its engine running. As she crossed the road, the vehicleheaded straight for her, running her over. The car then reversed over her before driving off.

Despite multiple fractures and serious internal injuries,Ms Sheedy made a full recovery.

Anyone who has information is asked to contact police on 020 8247 7911 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

 

20050316: Suspected Serial Killer: New Leads from Crimewatch Appeal London Serial Killer News

Detectives hunting a possible serial attacker feared to be responsible for a vicious attack on a convent school head girl and two high profile murders were tonight following up several strong new leads.

Scotland Yard received “four or five” strong lines of inquiry following last night’s Crimewatch appeal for information about the attempted murder of 18-year-old Kate Sheedy.

Kate, a sixth-former at Gumley Convent School, was left with horrific injuries after being mown down by a hit-and-run driver near her home in Isleworth, west London.

The attack has become the sixth to be linked to the brutal murder of 22-year-old French student Amelie Delagrange on nearby Twickenham Green last August.

Police believe Amelie’s killer may be a serial attacker and think he could be the same man who murdered 19-year-old gap-year student Marsha McDonnell in nearby Hampton.

Four other attacks on women in south-west London have also been connected to Scotland Yard’s Amelie inquiry, codenamed Operation Yeaddiss.

It has also emerged that Surrey Police are examining possible links between Operation Yeaddiss and the hunt for the killer of 13-year-old schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

Following last night’s appeal for witnesses to the attack on Kate, Crimewatch received 25 calls, producing four of five strong new leads which are now being followed up.

The new appeal was focused around CCTV footage of a car police believe could have been used in the attack in the early hours of May 28 last year.

Kate had just got off a bus opposite the County Arms pub in Worton Road, Isleworth, after a night out, when she noticed a white people carrier – thought to be a Toyota Previa – with blacked-out windows parked nearby with its engine running.

As she crossed the road, the vehicle’s engine suddenly revved and it headed straight for her, running her over.

The car then stopped and reversed back over her before driving off.

As she lay on the ground, she used her mobile phone to make a desperate call to her mother Eileen to tell her she was dying.

Kate suffered multiple broken bones and serious internal injuries but, incredibly, she made a full recovery and is now set to go to university.

Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton, who is leading the Operation Yeaddiss team, said: “Kate was conscious throughout all of this. She had appalling injuries – every single one of her ribs was broken.”

The CCTV footage shows a white Previa following and then waiting behind the bus which Kate got off. There is a short gap of just over a minute before the vehicle flashes past again at high speed.

Detectives have already seized a white Previa, registration K855 EFL, which they believe may be connected to the attack.

Anyone who has information is asked to contact police on 020 8247 7911 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

 

20050315: Serial killer link sought by police in Milly case London Serial Killer News
A SERIAL killer may be responsible for the murder of schoolgirl Amanda “Milly” Dowler and the killings of Marsha McDonnell and Amélie Delagrange.

Senior police officers confirmed yesterday that Surrey Police were working with a Scotland Yard team investigating possible links between the murders of Miss McDonnell, Mlle Delagrange and attacks on four young women in southwest London in the past three years.

Commander David Almond, head of Scotland Yard’s murder squad, said: “Both forces are liaising, but not linking the cases formally. We are liaising on possible links.”

Detective Chief Inspector Brian Marjoram, who heads the team hunting Milly’s killer, said: “We are liaising with the Metropolitan Police team and will keep an open mind on any possible links.”

Surrey Police have released new pictures of a Daewoo car seen close to the spot where Milly disappeared. She vanished on March 21, 2002, in Walton-on-Thames, southwest London. Her body was found in woods in Hampshire six months later. Scotland Yard is investigating attacks in southwest London, which began in November 2002, when Sonia Salvatierra, 26, was attacked in Twickenham.

Two months later a 17-year-old girl was attacked in Strawberry Hill. A month later Miss McDonnell, 19, a gap-year student, was struck on the head and killed near her home in Hampton. In November 2003 Dawn Brunton, 36, an accounts clerk, survived a similar attack in Hatton Cross and in April last year Edel Harbison, 34, an accountant, survived an attack close to Twickenham Green.

Mlle Delagrange, 22, a French student, was killed on Twickenham Green one evening last August. In all Scotland Yard cases, victims were attacked in the street or the open in mid-evening or at night and were battered around the head. Milly, 13, was last seen by a school friend at 4.08pm in Station Avenue on the day she disappeared, some miles from the scene of the other attacks.

Surrey Police are releasing photographs from a security camera of a red, N-registration Daewoo Nexia pulling out from Copenhagen Street into Station Avenue at 4.33pm. Yesterday Mr Marjoram said that the car had emerged as part of a new line of inquiry after a “significant development”.

Police say that they suspect that the car was being driven by someone who had connections in the area at the time. Mr Marjoram said that police think that the car could have been used to abduct the girl. The car appeared to be fully laden and sat very low on its springs. Police want to trace the car and talk to anyone who owned a similar vehicle and was in the area when Milly disappeared.

Police also want to speak to anyone who might have seen the same car near Yateley Heath Woods, Hampshire, shortly after Milly disappeared and where her body was found.

 

20040930: Met boss makes serial killer vow London Serial Killer News
The murders of Marsha (left) and Amelie are being linked .The Met Police Commissioner has made a personal pledge to catch the serial attacker thought to have murdered French student Amelie Delagrange. ."That person will be caught. You have my word on that," Sir John Stevens told the Metropolitan Police Authority. ..The hammer murders of Miss Delagrange, 22, and Marsha McDonnell, 19, along with four other attacks in south-west London, are being connected. ..Miss McDonnell was murdered 18 months ago, yards from her Hampton home. ..The attacker struck again last month when he killed Miss Delagrange on Twickenham Green. ..Detectives have said one man is responsible for all the attacks and could strike again. ..In each case the attacker struck from behind on women with blonde or light brown shoulder-length hair who were walking alone in the evening. ..At least two were listening to personal stereos. .. .
 

20040924: Serial killer could be at large London Serial Killer News
The killer of French student Amelie Delagrange could be a serial attacker who has struck at least six times, police have admitted...Five weeks into their hunt, detectives are officially linking the murder of Amelie, who was killed as she crossed Twickenham Green, with that of Marsha McDonnell in Hampton last February. They believe the same man could also be responsible for four other attacks within a five mile radius over the past 19 months...In each case the attacker pounced from behind with a blunt instrument on women with blonde or light brown shoulder length hair as they walked home at night. Two were wearing personal stereos...Yet, there is no forensic or personal link between the victims. Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Murphy said: "It is entirely possible that we have got more than one attacker out there, we have linked the attacks for the purposes of investigation..."It's more about what we can't prove than what we can prove - we are unable to show that these offences were not committed by the same person."..The four victims who survived the attacks were a 28-year-old woman attacked in Feltham on August 23 and found unconscious on the pavement, accountant Edel Harbison, 34, targeted near Twickenham Green on April 18, Dawn Brunton, a 36-year-old accounts clerk in Hatton Cross in November last year and a 17-year-old girl who was attacked in Strawberry Hill last January...Police have also revealed that four suspects have been arrested in the Richmond area and released on bail in recent weeks. But Mr Murphy said: "The fact that they have been arrested doesn't mean that any of them are the prime suspect."..Detectives have looked at records of injuries from other attacks as they try to establish what weapon the killer used, originally thought to have been a hammer..."We can say what it isn't - it isn't the type of hammer you would keep in your toolbox. It could be a large flat hammer like a 4lb-hammer. It could be a baseball bat, a pipe or a large heavy branch, anything which can be wielded with force."..There were no attacks between February and November last year and he said the killer may have been in prison or out of London during that period...He added: "Somebody has committed some terrible offences. There may be in the days leading up to the attacks, or in the immediate aftermath, a change in them. They may become sensitive or reclusive. On the other hand there are certain individuals who are able to commit terrible murders and go about their everyday life. There are very cool operators."..Mr Murphy agreed that describing the incidents as the work of a serial attacker could change the public's psyche, but urged people not to panic. He reiterated the message that people should just take sensible precautions. "Our advice is for people to be aware of their surroundings particularly when walking late at night, coming home from the pub or work, when you may tend to switch off..."We would just ask people to put it in context, ask women to take stock of what they do and how many times do they go out on their own and nothing happens."..Questions about the status of the 17-year-old who is currently held in a secure unit under the Mental Health Act have been raised this week following the development. But Mr Murphy said the new investigations did not demean any evidence they had in relation to him and things were very much as they were before...Although he added that there was a possibility that in the review process into Amelie's death he could be eliminated from the inquiry into Marsha.
 

20040920: Police confirm serial killer theory in French student killing London Serial Killer News
Police said they were linking the murder of French student Amelie Delagrange, found beaten to death in a London park last month, with other killings attributed to a serial killer. .."We are now formally linking a number of attacks on women in southwest London," a Scotland Yard spokesman said Monday in the first formal admission that they now favoured the serial killer hypothesis. ..The spokesman said there had been six other cases of women killed or seriously injured by an attacker wielding a blunt instrument, perhaps a hammer. ..The two killings and four attacks presented "similarities in the times, the nature of the venues, and the mode of attack," the spokesman said in a statement. ..Delagrange, 22, was found with serious head injuries in Twickenham Green park, southwest London, on the night of August 19. She later died in hospital. .....
 

20040920: Amelie: Four Held, Serial Killer Suspected London Serial Killer News
Detectives hunting the killer of French student Amelie Delagrange have arrested four suspects in recent weeks, it emerged today...They now believe her murderer could be a serial attacker who has struck at least six times...The latest arrest was a 42-year-old man who was held in Richmond, south-west London on Friday...A 47-year-old man was arrested in Kew on September 10 and his home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, was searched...He was later released on police bail and detectives plan to speak to him again in October...Another man, aged 31, was held in Richmond on September 1 and has also been bailed until October...Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Murphy said: “The fact they are on bail does not mean they killed Amelie Delagrange. We haven’t charged anybody.”..A fourth man, aged 22, was held in Whitechapel, east London, on August 28 and has since been detained at a psychiatric hospital under the Mental Health Act...The four arrests are in addition to five detectives have made in connection with the murder of 19-year-old gap year student Marsha McDonnell...They believe both murders were probably carried out by the same man...The two murders have also been linked to four other similar attacks in south-west London stretching back to the beginning of last year...In each case the attacker pounced from behind on women with blonde or light brown shoulder length hair who were walking alone in the evening. At least two were listening to personal stereos...Detectives fear one man is responsible for all the attacks and will strike again...But Mr Murphy added: “It is entirely possible that we have got more than one attacker out there...“We have linked the attacks for the purposes of investigation...“It’s more about what we can’t prove than what we can prove – we are unable to show that these offences were not committed by the same person.”..Detectives have looked at records of injuries from other attacks as they try to establish what weapon the killer used. It was originally thought to have been a hammer...Mr Murphy said: “We can say what it isn’t – it isn’t the type of hammer you would keep in your toolbox...“It could be a large flat hammer like a 4lb-hammer. It could be a baseball bat, a pipe or a large heavy branch, anything which can be wielded with force.”..There were no attacks between February and November last year and he said the killer may have been in prison or out of London during that period...He added: “Somebody has committed some terrible offences. There may be in the days leading up to the attacks, or in the immediate aftermath, a change in them. They may become sensitive or reclusive...“On the other hand there are certain individuals who are able to commit terrible murders and go about their everyday life. There are very cool operators.”..The latest victim was a 28-year-old woman attacked in Feltham on August 23 and found unconscious on the pavement...Ms Delagrange, 22, was killed on Twickenham Green four days earlier...In April accountant Edel Harbison, 34, survived an horrific attack close to Twickenham Green and Dawn Brunton, a 36-year-old accounts clerk survived a similar attack in Hatton Cross in November last year...Miss McDonnell, 19, was battered to death near her home in Hampton February last year and a 17-year-old girl survived when she was attacked in Strawberry Hill, Richmond a month earlier..
 

20040920: Slayings spark fears of London serial killer London Serial Killer News
The brutal hammer slayings of two young women and four cases of assault across London are linked, British police said yesterday, sparking fears of a serial killer operating in the nation's capital...Frenchwoman Amelie Delagrange, 22, was bludgeoned to death near a cricket pitch in the southwest London suburb of Twickenham in August, and Marsha McDonnell, a British 19-year-old student, was killed with a hammer in February of 2003, when she walked home after taking the bus after a night out with friends..."It is now felt appropriate to treat these murders as linked from an investigative point of view," a London Metropolitan police spokeswoman said, adding they could not rule out a group's involvement. Reuters. .
 

20040920: Serial killer fears in London London Serial Killer News
A suspected serial attacker was responsible for two murders and four assaults on blonde women in south-west London, police believe. .Fears that a potential serial killer was at large emerged after detectives yesterday formally linked the murders in south-west London of Amélie Delagrange, a French student, and Marsha McDonnell. ..The Metropolitan police had been anxious not to cause alarm after Delagrange, 22, was bludgeoned to death with a blunt object on Twickenham Green last month. ..But they have now merged investigations in the light of similarities in "the times, the nature of the venues, and the mode of attack" in six incidents within a five-mile radius. ..A team from the Met's specialist crime directorate will examine the unsolved murders of Delagrange and McDonnell, 19, who was murdered with a blunt weapon, possibly a hammer, in February last year after getting off a bus near her home in Hampton, and four other assaults in the past 20 months. ..All six victims were blonde women walking alone after dark. They were all attacked from behind with a blunt instrument. ..Delagrange, a Spanish and English graduate who had just arrived in London to improve her English, looked similar to McDonnell. ..The man once regarded as the prime suspect in the McDonnell case has been held in a secure hospital under the Mental Health Act since last year, so police know he could not have carried out the four linked attacks that have occurred in the months since he was locked up. ..Detectives will also examine assaults on a 28-year-old in Feltham on August 23, four days after the murder of Delagrange; an attack on accountant Edel Harbison, 34, in Twickenham on April 18; an attack on Dawn Brunton, 36, in Hounslow on November 5 2003; and an assault on a 17-year-old girl in Strawberry Hill shortly before the murder of McDonnell in January 2003. ..A police spokeswoman said there were no personal links or forensic evidence connecting the victims, but they were "linking" the six incidents. ..
 

20040827: Is this the work of a serial killer? London Serial Killer News
Police are currently investigating whether Amelie's killer is responsible for a number of unsolved attacks in the area January 8 2003: A 17-year old girl is found unconscious outside her home in Strawberry Hill by her father. At first it was thought that she had slipped on ice, but a medical examination discovers that her serious head injuries were caused by a blow to the head by a blunt instrument...February 4, 2003: Hampton teenager Marsha McDonnell dies after being found with head injuries a few yards from her home in Priory Road. A murder hunt is launched...February 25, 2003: An 18-year-old man manages to escape unhurt after a hooded attacker lunges at him with a blunt instrument in Hampton Hill...November 5 2003: A woman suffers a fractured skull after being struck with a hammer in Feltham...April 18, 2004: A woman is found with head injuries near Twickenham Green. At first police are unsure what has happened but a pathologist's report on her x-rays reveals that she had been hit on the head...
 

20040822: Police hunting serial killer issue alert to young women London Serial Killer News
Detectives pursuing a possible serial killer in London warned young women yesterday to maintain extreme vigilance as they revealed that a 22-year-old French student was bludgeoned to death last week after she had missed her bus stop...Emilie Delagrange, a French national who had been in Britain only a few months, was attacked with a blunt instrument on Twickenham Green, south-west London, last Thursday. Police say CCTV footage shows that Miss Delagrange missed her bus stop as she returned home from a night out with friends. She then chose to walk back to her rented room on Gould Street, a 10-minute journey across the Green...Det Chief Supt Andy Murphy, who is leading the investigation, said: "Unfortunately, she missed her stop and took a diagonal path across Twickenham Green to get home. It would seem that it was because she missed her stop that she got attacked."..Miss Delagrange boarded the 267 bus at 9.39pm last Thursday to take her home from London Road, central Twickenham, where she had been drinking with friends in the Crystalz wine bar. Instead of getting off at her normal stop, she ended up at the Fulwell bus garage, several hundred yards away, at 9.53pm...She was found by a passing motorist almost 40 minutes later, just before 10.30pm, lying in a pool of blood and unable to speak. She later died of her injuries in hospital...Police have linked the killing to the murder last year of Marsha McDonnell, 19, and two similar attacks in the area in the past two years on an 18-year-old and a 34-year-old woman. Both were beaten over the head with a heavy blunt instrument...Miss McDonnell, a gap-year student, was struck three times over the head after getting off a bus in nearby Hampton 18 months ago. The attack was so violent that people sleeping in a nearby house were awoken by the noise of the blows. She died instantly...Police also revealed that Miss Delagrange's Sony Erikson T300 mobile phone and light-brown handbag with metal buckles were missing. They said that Emilie used her phone at 8.30pm and she was wearing a white cardigan, white trousers and a red top. They appealed to the public to remain vigilant and to look out for iron bars, bricks, sticks or bats that might have been used in the attack...Det Supt Murphy also issued a warning to young women in the area to be extra cautious. "If these attacks are linked, then clearly somebody is choosing to attack women in the 18-to-34 age group. We ask that women and other members of the public be especially vigilant. Be aware of who is around you, especially when it's late at night. Try not to walk across open spaces and stick to the main roads."..Police have been in touch with Miss Delagrange's parents, who live in a village 60 miles from Paris. They are said to be "very shocked" and are expected to come to Britain this week...Miss Delagrange's friends are being interviewed and police are calling on psychological profilers to map out the killer's state of mind. Dozens of uniformed and CID officers were carrying out detailed searches for clues or a possible weapon and conducting house-to-house inquiries...A police spokesman said that officers investigating the Twickenham murder would consult detectives from the Marsha McDonnell inquiry..."There is nothing specific to link the incidents at this stage but it is obviously an important line of inquiry," he said. "We cannot rule anything in or out - we are keeping an open mind." On Twickenham Green yesterday a yellow and white forensic tent covered the scene of the killing in an area surrounded by terrace cottages and immaculate rosebeds..."I've lived here all my married life and it's always been so quiet and safe," said Anne Toal, 64, a retired secretary. "I've taken that same short cut across the green myself. It's horrific to think it happened there in full view of everyone. Now I am always looking behind me for someone who could be creeping up.".
 

20040822: Serial killer scare London Serial Killer News
A HAMMER-wielding serial killer is feared to be on the loose in London after a young woman was found murdered on a cricket pitch..The French student, 22, died from a single blow to her head about a kilometre from where another student, 19-year-old Marsha McDonnell, was murdered last year. ..Detectives yesterday confirmed they were investigating possible links with both Marsha's death and a series of attacks in southwest London. ..Five assaults have taken place within a 3km radius in the last 19 months. The latest victim, Amelia Delagrange, had been drinking with a friend in a wine bar, in Twickenham, on Thursday night. ..At 10.26pm she was found on Twickenham Green's cricket square by a local bar manager. .. ...There was no evidence she had been sexually assaulted or that the motive was robbery. Amelia is understood to have been in Britain for several months learning English. ..Four months ago, a 34-year-old woman accountant was found with serious head injuries on the same green. ..She had spent the evening of April 18 at a restaurant and police thought she had fallen. ..But closer inspection of her wounds revealed that she, too, may have been the victim of several blows to her head during an attack in a nearby street. ..The hammer attacks started in January last year when a 17-year-old girl was bludgeoned not far from Thursday night's murder scene. ..Less than a month later, Marsha McDonnell was murdered in Hampton, southwest London. ..The blonde student was killed about 90 metres from her home as she walked from a bus stop after a night out with friends. ..Three weeks after her death, an 18-year-old was attacked, again in Hampton, by someone swinging a hammer.
 

20040822: Serial Killer suspected behind London´s park murders London Serial Killer News
British police are considering that a serial killer may be behind several similar murders in London's parks as the family of the latest victim, a 22-year-old French student, mourned their daughter's death Sunday. ..    Amelie Delagrange, who had been in Britain for two months, was thought to have met her killer as she cut across Twickenham Green,a park in southwestern London on Thursday night. She was found with serious head injuries and died shortly afterwards. ..    Her parents, sister and uncle traveled from France and laid flowers, cards and a soft toy at the murder scene. ..    The murder is possibly linked to another three attacks on women in the area, local media reported. ..    Marsha McDonnell, 19, was bludgeoned to death three miles away from the scene in February 2003. ..    A 17-year-old girl and a 34-year-old women were both left with serious head injuries after attacks in Twickenham in January 2003 and April 2004. ..    Det Chief Supt Andy Murphy said the murder was carried out by somebody who "probably had some local knowledge and a possible link between the attacks was a major line of inquiry." ..    But he added: "What is important to me is to focus people's minds back to what happened on Thursday, because that is where the evidence is, that is where the clues will be and that is how we will solve this murder."
 

20040821: French woman murdered London Serial Killer News
A woman has been killed and another has suffered serious head injuries less than a mile from the site in a quiet suburb where a teenager was bludgeoned to death 18 months ago, police revealed yesterday...The body of Amelia Delagrange, 22, a French national who lived and worked in Twickenham, west London, was found by a member of the public in Twickenham Green at 10.30pm on Thursday.. ..Amelia Delagrange..Police said she had been drinking with friends in Twickenham and boarded a bus home at 9.30pm. She was alone when she got off and was murdered shortly after...Police are also investigating another "serious assault" in Twickenham on April 18 when a 34-year-old woman sustained head injuries following a night out at a restaurant opposite Twickenham Green...The death and the attack have raised fears that there is a serial attacker on the loose...They echo the murder of Marsha McDonnell, 19, a gap year student who died in Hampton, south-west London, in February 2003 from severe head injuries believed to have been inflicted by a "blunt, rounded instrument"...Miss McDonnell's killer has never been brought to justice. However, a youth who is now 18 was arrested at the time and is being held in a secure hospital under the Mental Health Act. Scotland Yard said yesterday that it was keeping an "open mind" about a possible link between the murders and the attack...In addition to the two murders and the April attack, a 17-year-old girl suffered a fractured skull, cheekbone and eye socket in an attack in January 2003. Her attack in Strawberry Hill, near Twickenham, took place a month before Miss McDonnell was murdered..
 

20030429: Stalking linked to Marsha´s murder London Serial Killer News
Police investigating the murder of the gap-year student Marsha McDonnell disclosed yesterday that the killer might have tried to attack another young woman an hour before...Detectives appealed for witnesses after an 18-year-old woman reported being followed by a man near where Miss McDonnell, 19, was bludgeoned to death in south-west London.. .The new incident has also been linked to two other attacks - on a young woman and a young man - in January and February. The attacker is believed to have used a heavy, blunt object, possibly a hammer. Detectives have made a number of arrests, but no one has been charged...The new witness told police that she took the bus from Kingston upon Thames to West Molesey in Surrey on Feb 3...At about 11.15pm she got off in Walton Road and as she began walking she noticed a man following her. Fearing for her safety, she changed direction. The man began running behind her but she managed to escape...Scotland Yard sources said the incident was close in time, and geography, to the murder. West Molesey is about a mile, across the Thames, from Hampton, where Miss McDonnell died in the early hours of Feb 4. The man would have had time to travel to Kingston and take a bus to Hampton...The man is described as white, possibly of Mediterranean appearance, 5ft 10ins to 6ft with dark wavy hair, long enough to be tucked behind his ears...He was unshaven, appeared scruffy and was wearing a green Parka-style jacket with a hood...Another attack took place on Jan 8, when a 17-year-old was severely beaten on the head in nearby Strawberry Hill. A witness saw a man standing over the girl on the ground...On Feb 25, a young man suffered a glancing blow in an attack in the same area..
 

20030301: Marsha suspect seized London Serial Killer News
Police hunting the killer of Marsha McDonnell, the gap year student beaten to death near her home, arrested a 22-year-old man last night...Officers backed by an armed unit seized him outside New Malden railway station, south-west London, less than two miles from the Hampton area, where Miss McDonnell, 19, was attacked early on Feb 4...A man and a woman were also arrested but only because they were with him, not as part of the murder inquiry...The suspect is understood to be from the Hampton area. Police were thought to have searched his home but it was not known whether they found a weapon that might have caused Miss McDonnell's injuries...Detectives believe a hammer, or a blunt, heavy, metallic implement, was used in the murder and two linked attacks, on a 17-year-old student in January and an 18-year-old man this week...Officers said the man had been identified as a potential suspect after information came into the murder squad about him. It is understood that he had been under surveillance for some time...Police received the information before Wednesday's appeal on BBC1's Crimewatch UK. But officers were checking more than 200 calls yesterday following the programme...Det Supt Alastair Jeffrey said: "We've had a large number naming individuals they've got concerns over. They are from the medical profession, friends and relatives.".
 

20030226: Police think Marsha's killer may have struck again London Serial Killer News
The killer of Marsha McDonnell, the 19-year-old gap student bludgeoned to death this month in Hampton, south-west London, may have struck again, police said yesterday.. .Detectives are linking the murder to two attacks on young people in the area...The latest was early yesterday when an 18-year-old student was hit with a blunt object on his way home in Hampton Hill, a few hundred yards from where Miss McDonnell died on Feb 4...The first blow missed him and the second grazed him before the attacker ran off...Police believe he escaped because he had read about Miss McDonnell's death and, when he realised he was being followed, was alert to the danger of being attacked...Miss McDonnell's murder and the attack on the young man - whose identity has been withheld at the request of Scotland Yard - is also being linked to a vicious attack last month...On Jan 8, a 17-year-old girl suffered severe head injuries after being struck with a blunt, heavy instrument in nearby Strawberry Hill...Detectives believe they are hunting a man with local knowledge who has chosen his victims at random.. ..All three attacks took place late at night or in the early hours. The latest victim described the attacker as a young man, 5ft 10in tall, wearing dark tracksuit bottoms, a white hooded top with the hood up, and a dark jacket also with the hood up. He could not see his skin colour...Det Supt Alistair Jeffrey said: "It was a blunt, heavy object but we cannot say definitely what type it was."..The injuries to the January victim were not consistent with a hammer. Miss McDonnell's injuries could have been caused by a hammer but were equally consistent with a heavy, blunt instrument...Mr Jeffrey said: "We are linking these investigations because of the similar facts. They all took place during darkness and all in the same type of location..."It appears the attacker has good local knowledge, which may indicate he is a local man. They were all seemingly motiveless, unprovoked attacks, probably a lone attack in each case, and in each case it was a blunt instrument."..It was "unlikely, but possible" that the attacker could have mistaken the latest victim for a girl. Although short-haired, he was slightly built...The young man had been for a drink with friends in nearby Kingston and took the N285 night bus home, getting off in Hampton Hill...He left his friends and walked along Uxbridge Road into Ormond Drive, where, at 2.50am, he heard a "groan"...Mr Jeffrey said he saw a man running towards him and, because of the publicity about Miss McDonnell, was "very switched on to the fact that he might be under attack..."He crossed the road. The attacker followed and swung a blow. He missed. He swung a second blow and caused a very minor injury."..The blow struck the student's waist and the attacker ran off...The Metropolitan Police have stepped up night patrols in the area and are thought to have mounted covert operations. Detectives are checking records of psychiatrically disturbed people...Supt Sue Hill, of Richmond Police, said: "We are trying to do everything to try to keep you safe but it's also about taking some personal responsibility..."Be aware who is behind you and of where you are. Tell people where you are going."..Last night, the mother of the 18-year-old said: "He is a little sore but he is recovering..."He is very lucky to be alive, we are just so relieved he is all right. He is with his friends now but he still very shaken.".
 

20030211: Murder hunt police seek bus passengers London Serial Killer News
Detectives hunting the killer of Marsha McDonnell, clubbed to death as she walked home, put up road blocks last night in the area where she was attacked a week ago...Officers were also at bus stops in Kingston-upon-Thames and Hampton, south west London, where Miss McDonnell, 19, died after three blows with what police believe could have been a hammer...It was hoped bus passengers and motorists travelling last night could provide important information...Police do not believe the motive lies in Miss McDonnel's private life. A police source said: "You are looking at a nice young girl from a nice family."..A major factor behind the theory of a random "stranger attack" is that very few people knew Miss McDonnell was out and no one could have predicted she would return at the time she did...She died after catching a No 111 bus in Kingston at 12.08am last Tuesday and getting off, alone, at 12.17am near her home in Priory Road, Hampton...Police also renewed their appeals for 10 men on buses last Monday night/Tuesday morning, who were captured on the vehicles' video cameras, to come forward...Scotland Yard stressed that they were not suspects as Miss McDonnell got off alone and was not followed...A key line of inquiry is the examination of links with a possible attack on another teenager, believed to be 17, in the same area...The girl suffered head injuries - which are said to have left her facing a number of re-constructive operations - on Jan 8...The incident was regarded as an accident but is now being re-investigated..
 

20030208: Girl was hit three times from behind London Serial Killer News
A gap-year student murdered in the street near her home was struck three times on the head from behind with a "blunt, rounded instrument", which could have been a hammer, police said yesterday.. .No motive has so far emerged for the "deliberate, vicious, violent attack" on Marsha McDonnell, 19, as she walked the short distance from a bus stop to her home in Hampton, south-west London, in the early hours of Tuesday morning...Det Chief Supt David Cook, who is in overall charge of the murder hunt, said there was no evidence of robbery or any kind of sexual assault. An unprovoked, random attack is considered possible...A local resident heard a "thump" sound as Miss McDonnell was either struck around the head, or as she fell to the ground...One police theory is that the killer may have been interrupted in the process of confronting Miss McDonnell for some unidentified purpose...But detectives are also investigating whether she was attacked without warning, either by a disturbed stranger or someone known to her, though police said at this stage they had found nothing in Miss McDonnell's life to explain the murder and no one could have predicted that she would be in the road at the time she died...Miss McDonnell had been out for a night with a friend in Kingston upon Thames. They had a meal and then watched the film, Catch Me If You Can, starring Leonardo di Caprio, before getting on a 111 bus at around 11.50 on Monday night...She got off in Percy Road, Hampton, at 12.17am and started to walk to her home in Priory Road. Police believe, at this stage, that she got off the bus alone. The driver remembered nothing out of the ordinary and there is no evidence that she was followed. CCTV images of Miss McDonnell on the bus were released yesterday by police. By 12.30am, a neighbour had called the ambulance, after finding her body, lying in a pool of blood, outside 60 Priory Road. She lived at No 88. She had been attacked only minutes earlier...Detectives are trying to piece together the gap of around 10 minutes. Miss McDonnell, if she followed the natural route from the bus stop, would have walked for four or five minutes along a road with a school on one side and houses on the other...Police are searching the area for the murder weapon and for anyone who recalls someone hanging around, acting suspiciously or running away. So far, though, no one has reported seeing anything...Det Chief Supt Cook said: "The motive is a complete mystery. We don't know what it was. It wasn't a frenzied attack. There were quite deliberate blows to the head. Early indications are that she was attacked from behind and she was struck three times on the head..."We are not quite sure what the blunt instrument was and there are further forensic tests going on."..As well as piecing together Miss McDonnell's last movements and her private life, and examining her mobile phone records, police are also examining records of psychiatrically disturbed and potentially violent people living in the area. Any other assaults or suspicious incidents in the area in recent times will be examined. Mr Cook said: "At this moment in time, we are looking at an isolated incident, violent, unprovoked."..Miss McDonnell's father, Phil McDonnell, is a former tour manager for Fleetwood Mac, Clannad and Van Morrison. His daughter was a talented violinist and netball player who lived with her family. She had two sisters, Maya and Natalie, and a five-year-old brother, Jack...Charlotte Wickham, 18, who had been at school with Miss McDonnell since she was four, said: "Marsha was a sociable person. She loved going out in Kingston, Twickenham or Richmond. She had lots of different groups of friends from different areas."..Jessica Taylor, another old friend, said Miss McDonnell was someone she would remember as "always happy"..
 

20030207: Serial attacker clue to teenage girl´s killer London Serial Killer News
Detectivesting the killer of 19-year-old student Marsha McDonnell now fear that they may be dealing with a serial attacker...Police revealed yesterday that another teenager may have been a victim not far from where Miss McDonnell was murdered in Hampton, south-west London. The other girl had suffered head injuries while walking home one evening last month, but it was initially thought that she had slipped on ice...Det Chief Supt Dave Cook, who is heading the murder hunt, said: "On the January 8 a young girl was going home and woke up with head injuries in hospital. We believe she slipped on ice but now we are re-investigating, looking at her injuries..."We are concerned about the injuries she received. We can't say if it is connected to this matter but we are keeping an open mind."..Miss McDonnell was attacked from behind with a hammer in the early hours of Tuesday morning on her way home from the cinema. She later died in hospital...She was only yards from her home in Hampton, south-west London, where she lived with father Phil, a 53-year-old tour manager for rock groups, her mother Ute, 47, sisters Nathalie, 21, Maya, 14, and five-year-old brother Jack...Relatives and close friends spoke yesterday of their love for Miss McDonnell, describing the academic high-flyer as a "shining light"...It was revealed that she had regularly socialised with stars of the pop world because of her father's music industry connections. Kylie Minogue is among those to have sent flowers to the family after the killing. ..Miss McDonnell met well known musicians, including members of the rock group Oasis whose drummer Alan White is a family friend. The teenager played bass guitar and wanted to follow her father into the industry, working behind the scenes with bands...Her uncle, Shane McDonnell, said his niece had made an "indelible mark on an enormous number of people" before her life was cut short. He said: "Marsha was a shining light in this world, a star that shone bright."..He added: "Her mother and father have had their hearts torn to pieces. Her sisters Nathalie and Maya are left devastated and bewildered as to how such a thing could happen..."Her five-year-old brother Jack, who worshipped the ground Marsha walked on, is left without his best friend.".
 

20030204: Woman Jogger is stabbed to death in park London Serial Killer News
A young woman was stabbed to death in a London park yesterday while out for a morning jog...Passers-by heard screams and found her bloodstained body on a path in Victora Park, Hackney, at about 8.30am. Park staff tried to resuscitate the woman, aged between 25 and 30, but she died at the scene, sparking a murder investigation...Metropolitan Police sources said one theory was that the woman had been out running. Victoria Park sits next to a "gentrified" area of Hackney popular with young professionals and families, as well as joggers...Attack by a stranger was not the only theory. Forensic scientists were still examining the victim's clothing - a pair of black leggings, a green fleece top and grey trainers...Detectives are not ruling out the possibility that the "slightly dishevelled" clothes were not jogging gear - put on, cleanly laundered, for a morning run - but an outfit the woman may have been wearing for some time. This could suggest that she was in the park for a reason other than jogging and would be consistent with an assault by someone who had been with her, or who knew her and laid in wait...No one saw the attacker and police were searching the park for clues, including the murder weapon. An underwater search team was drafted in to check the park's lakes...A post mortem examination last night confirmed the cause of death as "a handful" of stab wounds. Further examination will establish whether any sexual assault took place on the woman, who was white, 5ft 6in tall and had short brown hair...The body was found on a path near the Rose Gardens, close to a gym and a playground. It is thought police may have found keys but there were no documents to identify her and no one, by last night, had reported a woman of similar appearance as missing...Det Chief Insp Ron Scott, of the Metropolitan Police Serious Crime Group, said a possible reason why the victim had not been reported missing was that she may have been a single woman living alone..
 

20060830: Serial Killer Nurse Donates Kidney To Ex-Girlfriend's Brother NJ Newark Serial Killer News
A serial killer nurse who admitted killing 29 patients donates one of his kidneys to the brother of an ex-girlfriend. Charles Cullen had threatened to skip his sentencing hearing if he was not permitted to be the donor. In February, a judge approved Cullen's removal from prison for the operation. Cullen's public defender, Johnnie Mask, says the kidney went to Ernie Peckham, 37, of Rocky Point, New York. Mask tells The Associated Press, "They have not had a chance to speak" since the operations on Aug. 20. One day after surgery, Cullen went back to New Jersey State Prison. Peckham did not return to his Long Island home for a few days. The New York Daily News reports Peckham is married with four children. He is a metalworker and Cub Scout leader who was an Army reservist. Peckham told The Village Beacon Record that his kidneys began failing after a cut on his finger became a strep infection. Cullen confessed to using drug overdoses to kill 29 patients at nursing homes and hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He was sentenced to 18 life terms in prison.
 

20060822: Serial Killer Back in Prison after Surgery PA Allentown Serial Killer News
Serial killer Charles Cullen is back in prison tonight, recovering from his recent kidney donation. Cullen had the surgery on Saturday. The kidney went to a relative of one of Cullen's friends. Last year, Cullen said he would skip his sentencing unless he was allowed to donate. A judge agreed to allow the transplant and Cullen appeared before the victims' families. He's serving 18 consecutive life sentences in solitary confinement at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.
 

20060321: Serial Killer Nurse May Donate A Kidney NJ Newark Serial Killer News
A judge clears the way for New Jersey's worst serial killer to donate a kidney. If Charles Cullen and his doctors meet certain conditions, he may undergo an operation to remove one of his kidneys. The Associated Press reports the organ would then go to the relative of a friend. Cullen admitted to killing 29 patients in nursing homes and hospitals throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Prosecutors agreed to spare him from the death penalty if he identified patients who had been given lethal drug overdoses. The judge ordered that the operation must be paid for by the recipient's insurance company. The state's medical examiners must also certify the doctors prior to the procedure.
 

20060320: Judge allows serial killer to donate kidney NJ Newark Serial Killer News

A United States judge has agreed to allow New Jersey's worst serial killer to donate a kidney, but the killer and his doctors have to meet conditions.

Judge Paul Armstrong did not say when Charles Cullen might undergo the operation to remove one of his kidneys to be transplanted into the relative of a friend.

Cullen has admitted killing 29 patients with drug overdoses at nursing homes and hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in one of the worst murder sprees ever discovered in the US health care system. He has been sentenced to 18 life terms.

The judge's order, signed on Thursday, stipulates that all operation costs must be paid by the recipient's insurer.
 
Also, the surgery to remove Cullen's kidney must happen in New Jersey at a hospital certified by the state Department of Corrections, and the doctors who perform the operation must be certified by the state Board of Medical Examiners.

Cullen, 46, had tried for four months to reach an agreement with prosecutors to win permission for the donation.

His lawyer, Johnnie Mask, said the requirements made him "suspicious that someone in the Department of Corrections or at the attorney-general's office does not want this to happen".

New Jersey Attorney General's Office spokesman John Hagerty said the requirements reflect the fact that they are for "a serial killer who is not free to travel willy-nilly".

Cullen claimed to have killed 40 patients over a 16-year nursing career, and has said he killed out of mercy. Not all of his victims, however, were old or very sick.

 

20060311: Over Killer's Loud Objections, He Gets 6 More Life Terms PA Allentown Serial Killer News
Charles Cullen, a former nurse who committed one of the worst murder sprees in the United States health care system, was gagged with a cloth and duct tape at a sentencing hearing Friday after he began loudly repeating, "Your honor, you need to step down." Mr. Cullen had maintained almost complete silence every time he appeared in court, steadfastly refusing to explain why he killed at least 29 patients in two states. During an emotional sentencing hearing last week in New Jersey, he sat quietly with his eyes closed as victims' families said he was a monster and called him "garbage." But on Friday, facing another round of sentencing, this time for his murders in Pennsylvania, he infuriated the relatives of some of his victims by repeating his bizarre chant hundreds of times over 30 minutes, during which attempts to muffle him proved unsuccessful. "I feel very cheated," said Walter Henne, a relative who showed up in court to address Mr. Cullen and had to raise his voice to be heard over him. "Our last trump card was taken away from us by the childish behavior of Mr. Cullen." A judge ignored Cullen's outbursts and gave him six more life sentences. Mr. Cullen, who was sentenced last week to 11 consecutive life terms in New Jersey, administered lethal overdoses to seven patients in Pennsylvania, and tried to kill three others. Mr. Cullen had tried to avoid showing up at his sentencing hearings in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. On Friday, he told President Judge William Platt of Lehigh County that he was upset that the judge had said in a newspaper article that he was inclined to make Mr. Cullen show up at sentencing. Mr. Cullen then began repeating the statement and refused to stop. Sheriff's deputies wrapped a white cloth around Cullen's mouth, but that did little to muffle him. They added two pieces of duct tape and tried repeatedly to tighten the gag, but Mr. Cullen still managed to drown out some of the relatives and friends who were there to tell him the impact the murders had had on their lives. "We think you are a total waste of human flesh," Mr. Henne told Mr. Cullen on behalf of the family of his mother-in-law, Irene Krapf. It was not clear whether Mr. Cullen heard a word he said.
 

20060310: NJ serial killer to be sentenced in Pennsylvania PA Allentown Serial Killer News
A week ago, a former nurse who killed at least 29 patients was sent to prison for the rest of his life and confronted by his victims' relatives in New Jersey. On Friday, Charles Cullen was set to sentenced in Pennsylvania, where he was expected to again face relatives of patients he killed. Cullen, 46, pleaded guilty to 29 murders and six attempted murders in both states. He escaped the death penalty after agreeing to help prosecutors in seven counties identify patients to whom he had given lethal drug overdoses. He will serve his sentence in New Jersey. Cullen administered overdoses to seven patients at nursing homes and hospitals in Lehigh and Northampton counties, and tried to kill three others in one of the worst murder sprees ever discovered in the U.S. health care system. Cullen was to be sentenced Friday in Northampton County for the 1998 murder of 78-year-old Ottomar Schramm at Easton Hospital. Although he does not have to be present at that hearing, he has been ordered to attend his sentencing a few hours later in Allentown in Lehigh County, where he was expected to again come face-to-face with his victims' families. Last week, relatives of the 22 New Jersey victims confronted Cullen after he received 11 consecutive life terms, calling him a "monster" and "vermin." Cullen said nothing, his eyes closed. Cullen, who claims to have slain 40 patients over a 16-year nursing career, has said he killed out of mercy. Many of his victims were old and very sick. But the judge who sentenced Cullen in New Jersey told him he "betrayed the ancient foundations of the healing professions." Cullen was arrested in December 2003 after Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J., notified prosecutors about questionable lab results involving patients under his care. The case prompted lawmakers in both states to pass legislation protecting hospitals and nursing homes from legal action when reporting disciplinary actions taken against employees.
 

20060304: How can a serial killer escape the death penalty? NJ Somerville Serial Killer News

A MALE nurse who admits killing up to forty patients with lethal injections has been spared a similar fate through an extraordinary plea bargain in which he pledged to help to identify his victims.

Charles Cullen, 46, a loner with a history of depression and suicide attempts, will escape the death penalty in return for pleading guilty to at least twenty-nine murders and co-operating with investigators looking into other suspicious deaths.

Cullen says that he poisoned up to forty people with hard to-detect medications — usually the heart drug digoxin — during a 16-year career working night shifts at ten nursing homes and hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

He has told authorities, however, that he cannot remember the names of four of his victims and that he randomly injected insulin into intravenous medical bags without knowing which patient they were for.

Prosecutors in all seven counties where he worked have agreed to spare his life in return for his help in identifying all those he killed.

As the families of victims harangued him as a “monster”, “one pathetic little man”, and “Satan’s son”, Cullen was sentenced on Thursday to 11 consecutive life terms for 22 murders and 3 attempted murders in Somerset County, New Jersey. That meant that it would be 397 years before he became eligible for parole.

He is due to be sentenced next Friday for seven more murders and three attempted murders in Pennsylvania.

Investigations remain open in two other New Jersey counties, complicated by the destruction of medical records and the uncertainty of Cullen’s memory.

Cullen is one of the worst serial killers discovered inside America’s health-care system, but he is not alone. Since 1975 there have been about twenty cases of medical personnel involved in the deaths of patients, including a notorious 1987 case in which Donald Harvey, a nurse, was sentenced to life in prison for killing at least thirty-four patients in Ohio and Kentucky.

Cullen was fired from five nursing jobs and resigned from two others amid questions about his conduct but he always found another job, partly because hospitals kept quiet to avoid being sued.

He went on a murder spree in December 2003, killing 13 patients in less than a year at the Somerset Medical Centre in New Jersey. He was caught when hospital officials discovered unusually high levels of digoxin in the victims.

He told police after his arrest that he had targeted “very sick” patients for what he described as mercy killings.

The facts contradicted his claim. His youngest victim was a 21-year-old student named Michael Strenko, who had been admitted to hospital for a non-fatal blood disorder that required doctors to remove his spleen.

Cullen also killed a 22-year-old car crash victim, Matthew Mattern, who was in hospital with severe burns.

 

20060303: Serial killer nurse gets 11 life terms for killing patients NJ Somerville Serial Killer News
 

A nurse who killed at least 29 patients was sent to prison for the rest of his life Thursday after his victims' loved ones angrily branded him ''vermin,'' ''garbage'' and a ''monster'' who ruined lives and shattered their faith in the medical profession.

Charles Cullen escaped the death penalty after making a deal with prosecutors to tell them which patients he killed with hard-to-detect drug injections.

Cullen, 46, pleaded guilty to murdering 22 people in New Jersey and trying to kill three others. He will be sentenced later for seven murders and three attempted murders in Pennsylvania. He has claimed to have killed up to 40 people during a career that spanned 16 years and 10 nursing homes and hospitals.

He received 11 consecutive life terms at a tense hearing in which he came face-to-face with his victims' families for the first time. Wearing a bulletproof vest under his sweater, Cullen sat quietly as relatives wept and yelled at him from a lectern about 15 feet away. Some said they wished Cullen could die as his victims did, by lethal injection.

''I want you to die tomorrow so that you can meet God tomorrow because guess what? There ain't no door out of hell, baby,'' said Debra Yetter Medina, the granddaughter of victim Mary Natoli.

 

20060302: Killer nurse gets 11 life sentences NJ Somerville Serial Killer News
On the day New Jersey's most prolific serial killer received 11 consecutive life sentences, family members of his victims gave the former nurse a verbal lashing in court.

Some had waited years, and defendant Charles Cullen had filed court papers trying to avoid the confrontation.

One by one, for nearly four hours, two dozen relatives of the dead told a New Jersey judge what Cullen had taken from them.

Some called Cullen names -- "Satan's son" or "monster" -- and told him to "burn in hell." Others simply remembered their lost loved ones.

Judge Paul W. Armstrong then handed down 11 consecutive life sentences. Parole is out of the question, since Cullen, 46, will not be eligible until he has served 397 years.

Cullen has pleaded guilty to committing 22 murders in New Jersey and seven in Pennsylvania. He also admitted attempting to murder six people.

Deaths not mercy killings

Cullen administered lethal doses of medication to patients under his care in nursing homes and medical facilities. He claimed at one point that he was an angel of mercy trying to end his patients' suffering.

But the judge rejected that notion. He said the court "would not countenance the characterization of these crimes as acts of human compassion."

Cullen said nothing during the hearing, sitting beside his attorney with his hands in his lap and his eyes lowered. His lack of visible emotion seemed to enrage some relatives of his victims.

They had plenty to say.

Dolores Stasienko called Cullen a monster for killing her father, Jack Toto, whom she described as a hard-working farmer, mechanic and war veteran.

"Burn in hell, Mr. Cullen, for all eternity," she said.

"Am I boring you?" asked Deborah Yetter-Medina, whose grandmother was killed. "Look at me," she demanded.

"Yes, I was the woman who coined the phrase 'Satan's son,'" she said. "You are Satan's son." Later, she told Cullen: "There ain't no doors out of hell, babe."

Richard Stoecker, whose mother, Eleanor, also was a victim, told Cullen: "Maybe you thought you could play God that day by injecting her, but she planned on living, she was a fighter."

As many as 40 victims

As part of his plea agreement, Cullen has been working with law enforcement officials to identify additional victims. He originally told authorities he killed up to 40 patients during the course of his 16-year nursing career.

Last month, when a deal to allow Cullen to donate a kidney to a friend fell through, he filed court papers seeking to waive his appearance at sentencing. (Full story)

The move outraged victim family members, some of whom have said addressing Cullen is an important part of their grieving process.

"He has to hear that we're human beings and that our father, son, mother, whoever, were human beings," said John Shanagher, whose father, Jack, was killed by Cullen. "Hopefully it will give us some sense of justice that it's, after all this time, finally done."

The judge ruled Cullen had to be present for victim impact statments and sentencing. Cullen will be allowed to donate his kidney now that he has been sentenced.

 

20060224: Serial killer must face victims' kin NJ Somerville Serial Killer News

Judge rules that killer nurse can't skip sentencing hearing

Serial killer Charles Cullen must listen to statements by relatives of his victims when he is sentenced for 22 murders, a New Jersey judge ruled Friday.

Cullen, a former nurse, had asked the court to waive his appearance at the sentencing March 2.

The move outraged victims' family members, some of whom said addressing Cullen is an important part of their grieving process.

"He has to hear that we're human beings and that our father, son, mother, whoever, were human beings," said John Shanagher, whose father, Jack, was killed by Cullen.

"Hopefully it will give us some sense of justice that it's, after all this time, finally done," he added.

Superior Court Judge Paul W. Armstrong also ruled Friday that Cullen will be allowed to donate a kidney to a friend after he is sentenced.

Where the organ will be harvested remains an issue. Cullen wants to have the operation performed in New York. New Jersey officials say it must be done in that state.

Cullen has pleaded guilty to murdering 29 hospital patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and attempting to murder six others, with drug injections.

As part of his plea agreement, he has been working with law enforcement officials to identify additional victims. He originally told authorities he had killed up to 40 patients in the course of his 16-year nursing career.

Armstrong ruled Friday that Cullen "possesses no fundamental right" by law to be absent from his sentencing, when the court will hear statements by the victims' families.

Cullen had withdrawn his request, but the judge went ahead with a ruling to prevent Cullen from changing his mind later.

 

20060217: Again, a Serial Killer Plans to Skip His Own Sentencing NJ PA Serial Killer News

A carefully constructed deal between the authorities and the convicted serial killer Charles Cullen to allow him to donate a kidney to a friend in exchange for showing up at his own sentencing has fallen apart, his lawyer said yesterday.

The authorities had hoped this month to sentence Mr. Cullen, a former nurse who has confessed to murdering up to 40 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Many relatives of his victims have been waiting for the day they can face him in court.

But that day, once again, seems far off. At a meeting yesterday, New Jersey authorities and Mr. Cullen's lawyer could not agree on the specifics of the kidney donation, and Mr. Cullen will now fight to skip his sentencing, his lawyer, Johnnie Mask, said.

"There is no deal now," Mr. Mask said. "We're nowhere."

Under New Jersey legal procedures, defendants can apply to skip their sentencing. Mr. Cullen initially indicated he would do this, provoking the ire of prosecutors and relatives of his victims.

But in December, Peter C. Harvey, then New Jersey's attorney general, announced that he had worked out a plan in which Mr. Cullen could donate his kidney if he agreed to come to his sentencing first. A memorandum of understanding was signed, and a transplant team at Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island, where Mr. Cullen's friend is a patient, agreed to do the surgery.

But Mr. Harvey left office in January, after New Jersey's new governor, Jon S. Corzine was sworn in. Officials at the attorney general's office and in the Corrections Department have now decided that Mr. Cullen cannot leave the state for the kidney operation because New Jersey officials do not have the authority to provide security in New York.

Mr. Mask said that prosecutors had yet to come up with a viable plan for the operation to be done in New Jersey. Until they do, Mr. Cullen will do everything in his power, including filing numerous appeals, to avoid his sentencing, he said.

"We're not going to give up what little leverage we have until we know this kidney operation is going to happen," Mr. Mask said. State officials, he said, "have been throwing up roadblocks ever since Harvey left."

John Hagerty, a spokesman at the attorney general's office, said that Mr. Cullen's sentencing has been scheduled for March 2 but that there are issues that could delay that. A presentencing hearing has been set for next week.

Mr. Hagerty said state officials "continue to work with local prosecutors so the sentencing can proceed."

 

20060113: Serial Killer Using Loophole That Delays His Sentencing NJ Newark Serial Killer News

First, he wrangled a way to avoid the death penalty, even though he confessed to murdering up to 40 people. Then, he tried to dictate the terms of his final court appearance. Now, he is refusing to cooperate.

Apparently, Charles Cullen, a New Jersey nurse who confessed to sneaking into hospital rooms late at night and injecting patient after patient with deadly amounts of drugs, is trying to exert his last bits of leverage from a solo cell in the Somerset County jail before he is sent away for life.

His maneuvering is infuriating the families of his victims and delaying their long-awaited rendezvous in court. It is also making a strange case even stranger, partly because of what was, until now, a little-known legal wrinkle in New Jersey that allows defendants to skip their sentencing.

"Can't we just get this over with?" said Lucille Gall, whose brother Mr. Cullen has admitted killing. "This is a sick little game he's playing."

Most of the prosecutors in the case seem unfazed or, at least, they talk that way.

"We don't need him anymore," said Wayne J. Forrest, prosecutor for Somerset County, N.J., where Mr. Cullen confessed to 13 murders. "We've completed our investigation. We got our guilty pleas. We're done."

John Morganelli, district attorney for Northampton County, Pa., where Mr. Cullen admitted killing one patient, said, "I could go to court right now and get a conviction, with or without his cooperation."

But in Essex County, it is a different story. Mr. Cullen told investigators he thinks he killed five patients at a hospital near Newark. The problem is, he does not remember whom. Until recently, he had been meeting regularly with Essex investigators, studying old charts, peering into old photos, trying to jog his memory.

So far, Mr. Cullen, 45, has pleaded guilty to murdering 29 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania medical facilities. Most of his victims were old and sick.

After he was arrested in 2003, he agreed to help investigators identify all of his victims - he estimated there were up to 40 - in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.

But the deal began to fray last month, when Mr. Cullen announced he wanted to donate a kidney to an ailing friend. The authorities said he could do it only after his sentencing, which Mr. Cullen threatened to miss.

Many lawyers said that this was the first time they had ever heard of a serial killer trying to skip his sentencing. Earlier this month, prosecutors indefinitely delayed Mr. Cullen's sentencing, saying they needed more time to investigate the Essex cases and one mysterious death in Morris County. A few days later, Mr. Cullen struck back, saying through his public defender that he was finished cooperating.

"This isn't about a power trip, this is about a kidney," said his lawyer, Johnnie Mask. "Charlie's worried that if the sentencing keeps getting pushed back, it may be too late. He really cares about saving this life, ironic as that may seem."

On Friday, Peter C. Harvey, New Jersey's attorney general, said a new possibility had emerged: Mr. Cullen could be sentenced for the crimes to which he had already confessed, he could donate his kidney and then he could continue cooperating with the authorities on any open cases. "Our goal is to bring finality," Mr. Harvey said.

He added that prosecutors were mulling the options. If talks break down, there is an outside chance the plea agreement could be nullified and Mr. Cullen tried in court, exposing him to the death penalty.

What is giving Mr. Cullen his 11th-hour leverage is New Jersey's criminal procedure rule 3:21-4 (b), which says, "Sentence shall not be imposed unless the defendant is present or has filed a written waiver of the right to be present."

Mr. Mask and other defense lawyers say the law is on their side and that precedent upholds a defendant's right to opt out of sentencing.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, say judges have the ultimate discretion and can order sheriff's deputies to drag Mr. Cullen to court. Both sides vow to press their case aggressively, which only raises the specter of a long appeals process.

And now there's another potential complication. Christopher Bateman, a Republican assemblyman from Somerville, is pushing a bill that would force defendants to come to their sentencing. "It's only right that the families get to inflict a little pain, so to speak," he said.

But all the back and forth seems to be only compounding the pain.

"We want to know how Cullen, a criminal, a murderer, thinks he has so much power to decide what he can do and cannot do?" Tom and Mary Strenko wrote in an e-mail interview. "He is a killer and he has no right to decide anything!"

The Strenkos' 21-year-old son, Michael, was hospitalized in 2003 with a serious but curable blood disease. Mr. Cullen has confessed to killing him. "We are not giving up on this! No way!" the Strenkos continued. "It is as important to us as breathing air to have Charles Cullen once again look into our loathing eyes to personally see and hear the pain and suffering he has caused us for the rest of our lives!"

 

20060110: Serial Killer, Angry at Sentencing Delay, Stops Cooperating NJ Newark Serial Killer News

The New Jersey nurse who confessed to killing 29 people and has spent nearly two years cooperating with investigators decided abruptly on Tuesday that he would no longer help them.

The nurse, Charles Cullen, 45, was so upset about his sentencing being canceled last week that he is pulling out of a carefully constructed plea deal in which he had agreed to help identify his victims in exchange for not facing the death penalty, his lawyer, Johnnie Mask, said.

The authorities said that his refusal to cooperate could mean that prosecutors will seek the death penalty. It could also mean that many mysterious hospital deaths will not be resolved, leaving family members to forever wonder if their loved ones died naturally or were murdered.

Mr. Cullen has told the authorities he killed up to 40 people, many of them old and ailing patients whom he injected with lethal doses of heart drugs. But he did not remember all their names. So investigators have been struggling to identify them and, until Tuesday, were working closely with Mr. Cullen, sifting through mountains of medical records in the effort to jog his memory to determine exactly whom he killed.

The cooperation may now be coming to an end because of a kidney. In a strange concession to coax Mr. Cullen to come to his own sentencing and face dozens of grieving family members, New Jersey authorities agreed in December to allow him to donate a kidney to an ailing friend, as long as the operation was performed after his sentencing. But last week the authorities delayed the sentencing indefinitely, saying they needed more time to investigate hospital deaths in Morris and Essex Counties that Mr. Cullen may have caused. Mr. Cullen lost his patience, his lawyer said, and decided he would no longer help investigators.

"The deal is off," Mr. Mask said. "He's done. No more cooperation. Period."

"Now it's on the prosecutors' shoulders whether somebody else dies," Mr. Mask added, referring to the man who is waiting for a kidney donation.

Peter C. Harvey, New Jersey's attorney general, called that notion "ridiculous" and said it was not the prosecutors' role to find a new kidney for Mr. Cullen's friend.

"Our job is to protect the victims," Mr. Harvey said.

He also said, "It's strange that all of a sudden this guy has become a humanitarian after killing 22 people in New Jersey."

Paula T. Dow, the prosecutor for Essex County, where Mr. Cullen has admitted to killing several people, said Mr. Cullen's refusal to cooperate was "a clear breach of the plea agreement" and that "it now exposes him" to being brought back to court to face trial and possibly the death penalty.

But the reality of his ever being executed, at least in New Jersey, is slim because the state has not put anyone to death since 1963, and this week the Legislature passed a temporary moratorium on capital punishment. However, Mr. Cullen has admitted to seven murders in Pennsylvania, which does have the death penalty.

The authorities said on Tuesday that they were not sure if Mr. Cullen's action was a ploy to speed up donation of the kidney, or if he truly intended not to cooperate ever again. They added that they were unsure of what they would do next.

The development was the latest twist in a long case that began in 1987 at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J. Mr. Cullen had a history of mental illness and suicidal behavior and gravitated to the night shift, where he was known among colleagues as solitary and strange, with a cold bedside manner.

In 1993 he was accused of killing a 91-year-old woman with a single injection of digoxin, a powerful heart drug that became his weapon of choice. But somehow he slipped through the cracks of the medical system and went on to work at 10 places in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania before he was arrested in 2003.

In 2004, he struck a deal with the authorities in both states to plead guilty and cooperate in exchange for at least two consecutive life terms, which in New Jersey meant he would not be eligible for parole for 126 years. But in December, as sentencing approached, problems arose, partly because of a little-known procedural rule that allows a defendant to skip his sentencing. Mr. Cullen said he might do that and deny his victims' families a chance to confront him.

Now it is not clear what will happen, with some prosecutors saying Mr. Cullen will be dragged into court, no matter what, while others are not so sure.

 

20060102: Serial killer nurse to face the families of victims NJ Newark Serial Killer News
This could be the week that Marie Romero finally gets to look Charles Cullen straight in the eye and tell him how much pain he caused by killing her sister.

Romero’s sister, Catherine Dext, was killed with an injection by the former nurse and admitted serial killer in June 1996 at Hunterdon Medical Center, where she had been admitted with a ruptured spleen.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin Thursday for Cullen, who pleaded guilty to 29 murders and six attempted murders during his 16-year nursing career in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Cullen, 44, has told investigators he might have killed as many as 40 persons, but authorities say that estimate appears to be inflated. Most of the victims were given an overdose of heart medication, usually digoxin.

The former critical-care nurse was able to move from hospital to hospital, despite suspicions he was killing patients, because the institutions did not report their fears to authorities.

The sentencing may stretch out over two days because so many victims’ relatives want to give victim-impact statements.

Cullen had filed papers to waive his right to appear at his sentencing, a move that outraged many of the families.

However, authorities had something Cullen wanted: the right to approve his request to donate a kidney to a relative of Cullen’s ex-girlfriend. With that leverage, authorities persuaded Cullen to agree to appear at the sentencing.

Cullen faces life for each of the New Jersey murders, and won’t be eligible for parole for at least 127 years. In exchange for his plea and agreement to help identify his victims, he escaped New Jersey’s death penalty.

State Attorney General Peter Harvey said he hopes to have all 22 New Jersey cases against Cullen resolved in this week’s sentencing. However, the sentencing could be postponed if no decision is made on whether to also bring charges in several open cases in Essex and Morris counties.

He also escaped death in Pennsylvania, where he still faces sentencing.

A judge there already has ordered him to be present.

 

20051207: Serial killer wants to donate kidney Serial Killer News

Former nurse Charles Cullen, who admitted murdering at least 29 patients in the Lehigh Valley and New Jersey by injecting them with lethal doses of drugs, wants to donate his kidney to save a life.

Cullen has asked prosecutors to allow him to travel to New York so doctors can perform the surgery, his attorney said Tuesday.

Johnnie Mask, Cullen's public defender, said prosecutors have agreed to let Cullen undergo the operation in New Jersey, but not travel to New York for it.

''I don't know what the objections are'' to doing the surgery in New York, Mask said. ''Security and expense have always been thrown up as an obstacle.''

Doing the transplant in New Jersey would mean a new transplant team and months of additional tests, he said.

In exchange for permission to give the kidney in New York, Cullen is willing to appear in court when he is sentenced to life in prison, Mask said.

''We're pushing prosecutors to do the operation in New York because the [potential recipient] doesn't have seven months to wait,'' Mask said.

Mask would not identify the intended recipient of the kidney, but The Star-Ledger of Newark, citing unnamed sources, reported in Tuesday's newspapers that it is a relative of Cullen's ex-girlfriend.

The man is in his 30s, a father of four and in poor health, Mask added. He lost kidney function as a result of infection.

Mask said the request for a kidney came about two months ago.

''Initially, some parties opposed the whole thing on the basis that Cullen could die on the table,'' he said.

Cullen, formerly of Bethlehem, had previously filed papers to waive his right to appear in court for the sentencing — an action that had enraged relatives of his victims, who want to confront him one more time.

At one point after Cullen's 2003 arrest, Mask said Cullen wanted to be able to explain his actions to his victims' survivors. But his position changed, Mask said, because the victims' families and victim-rights groups have been hostile.

By appearing at a sentencing, Cullen could answer at least some questions about his crimes.

Mask said he hopes to get an answer in the next few weeks on the transplant and any deal related to Cullen's appearance at the sentencings, which could come in the next few months.

Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest would not comment Tuesday on the transplant offer or the deal Cullen has proposed.

In a series of court appearances in northern New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley, Cullen has admitted to 29 murders and six attempted murders over the course of his 16-year nursing career. In the latest plea Monday, he admitted to attempting to kill Somerset Medical Center patient Philip Gregor in 2003.

There could be more pleas in the future, though authorities and Mask agree that the investigations are winding down.

Cullen was arrested in December 2003 and charged with the murder of a patient at Somerset Medical Center and the attempted homicide of another. The next year, he pleaded guilty and agreed to help authorities determine exactly whom he killed in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.

 

20051206: Serial killer admits another attempted murder while a nurse NJ Somerville Serial Killer News
Serial killer Charles Cullen on Mondy pleaded guilty to another attempted murder at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, in what his attorney predicted would probably be his last plea.

In a proceeding lasting less than 10 minutes in state Superior Court, Cullen, 45, a former nurse, admitted before Judge Paul W. Armstrong to attempting to kill critical care patient Philip J. Gregor of South Bound Brook with an overdose of insulin on June 18, 2003.

"Yes, I did," said Cullen when asked by Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Van Hise if he had administered the insulin to the patient without a doctor's orders. "To cause his death" was Cullen's reply when he was asked why.

The answers have become increasingly rote for Cullen, who has pleaded guilty to killing 29 patients at hospitals in five New Jersey and two Pennsylvania counties and attempting to kill five more between 1988 and 2003.

"News of every heinous act he committed to a patient in his care still shocks and saddens us," said hospital spokeswoman Vicky Allen.

Cullen, shackled and clad in mustard-colored prison scrubs, was brought to the courtroom from the Somerset County Jail in Somerville, where he is being held pending his transfer upon sentencing to a maximum security prison.

He has appeared increasingly gaunt since his arrest and arraignment following a series of suspicious deaths at Somerset Medical Center in December 2003.

Compared with Cullen's earlier appearances, the courtroom was almost empty. although Gregor's widow and sister were present, they declined to comment. "When he's sentenced, I'll have a whole lot to say," said Linda Gregor.

Cullen's plea was part of an April 29, 2004, plea agreement in which he was spared the death penalty in exchange for cooperating with investigators in identifying victims. Investigators have since been reviewing files with him.

 

20050710: New Revelations about Convicted Serial Killer Nurse PA Bethlehem Serial Killer News

Nurses who worked with serial killer Charles Cullen at a Pennsylvania hospital apparently warned authorities long before his arrest that he was suspected of killing patients.

That's according to a report today in The Morning Call of Allentown.

But Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin says there just wasn't enough evidence at the time to prosecute Cullen for anything.

And the forensic pathologist who investigated agrees.The pathologist reviewed 26 cases of patients who died while Cullen was working at Saint Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem.

He says the only evidence beyond "vague suspicions" was medical histories of people who died -- but who were already very sick.

After leaving Saint Luke's, Cullen worked at Somerset Medical Center in New Jersey, where he has admitted killing patients.

 

20050520: Cullen tells AG basic security could stop killer nurses NJ Somerville Serial Killer News

The state's worst serial killer is offering authorities tips on how to thwart people who want to follow in his footsteps.

Killer nurse Charles Cullen met for eight hours over two days this week with state Attorney General Peter Harvey, who wanted to find out how to prevent future murders by medical professionals.

Cullen, who says he may have killed as many as 40 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania by injecting them with lethal doses of drugs, told Harvey that tracking who takes medications from dispensaries could prevent hospital workers from killing patients.

"He believes that the best deterrent is the certainty of detection," Harvey told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Friday's newspapers. "Using more video surveillance. Using a swipe card that would allow hospitals to easily track who is withdrawing what medication. These are security controls that can be placed on rooms that house medications."

Thus far, Cullen has pleaded guilty to murdering 24 patients and attempting to kill five others

The meetings Wednesday and Thursday were part of what Cullen agreed to last year when he promised to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in return for avoiding the death penalty. Harvey said he plans to speak again with Cullen.

"Once we complete our discussions with him, we are going to compile a series of recommendations that we're going to give to the Board of Medical Examiners and the nursing board with suggestions of how to better protect patients and hospitals," Harvey said. "We're going to ask for their input and action."

Cullen, a former registered nurse, worked at hospitals and nursing facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania over a 16-year career.

Harvey said the 45-year-old Cullen showed some remorse _ an emotion that he has not displayed in court.

"He accepts more responsibility than he expresses remorse, but he certainly does both," Harvey said. "I didn't expect it."

 

20050511: Siblings assert serial killer nurse murdered father Serial Killer News

The children of a former Madison resident say they have compelling proof that Charles Cullen, serial killer nurse, killed their father with massive doses of digoxin in January 1997 at Morristown Memorial Hospital.

Lynn Popelka of Netcong and Wayne Sarrow of Readington Township paid to have the remains of their father, Henry Sarrow, disinterred from Saint Vincent’s Cemetery in Madison in February and examined, they said on Wednesday, April 13, at the office of their attorney, Anthony J. Macri of Denville.

Cullen, who is in the Somerset County Jail, denies killing the retired postal worker while he worked at Morristown Memorial from November 1996 to August 1997, according to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. He has admitted to killing 24 patients, from 1988 to 2003, but none at Morristown Memorial, authorities said.

So far, Popelka and Sarrow have sued Morristown Memorial, alleging wrongful death and negligence, said attorney Macri, who added that he expects “a long fight.”

Macri said that autopsy reports have been sent to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, an office the siblings claim was unresponsive to past concerns that Cullen was responsible for their father’s death.

Autopsy Results

Henry Sarrow had been admitted to Morristown Memorial on Jan. 9, 1997, because of shortness of breath, and on Jan. 15 he suffered a fatal heart attack, which the family said was not expected. He was 77.

When Mr. Sarrow’s remains were analyzed after the February exhumation, they were found to have digoxin levels of 230 nanograms per kilogram, when a normal level should be 2 nanograms per kilogram, according to Macri’s office.

The levels of digoxin, a heart medication, found in Mr. Sarrow’s body were 125 times the amount that would be found in someone who was being given therapeutic doses, the family and its attorney assert. Such a scenario would fit Cullen’s preferred method of killing – administering overdoses of digoxin.

Mr. Sarrow had worked as a school crossing guard for the Madison Board of Education after his retirement as a postal worker.

Recognized Nurse

After Cullen was arrested in 2003 on charges that he administered a lethal overdose to one patient and attempted to murder another at the Somerset Medical Center, Popelka reportedly recognized Cullen from news photos as a nurse at Morristown Memorial during her father’s hospitalization.

According to attorney Macri, hospital records show Cullen was on duty during overnight hours before two cardiac episodes Mr. Sarrow suffered at Morristown Memorial, the second one fatal.

Cullen is reviewing records from hospitals where he worked, including Morristown Memorial, cooperating with authorities in exchange for a waiver of the death penalty. He is expected to be sentenced to multiple life terms in prison.

 

20041231: Serial killer spends time reading and doing “homework” NJ Somerville Serial Killer News

CULLEN scans medical files to determine if any patients were his victims.
Life in the Somerset County jail is a little like life aboard the USS Woodrow Wilson, the submarine where Charles CULLEN spent months isolated in the deep waters of the Atlantic. In jail, CULLEN has limited space, a bunk to sleep in, and three square meals served with military precision. He has reading material, time on his hands, and no place to go: the cold steel walls of the sub (where CULLEN developed an interest in nursing by helping to inoculate his shipmates) have been replaced by the cold stone walls of justice.
The only times serial killer Charles CULLEN leaves the jail is to travel to various county courts to admit he murdered patients at the 10 medical facilities where he worked in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. CULLEN claims to have killed as many as 40 patients during his 16-year career.
CULLEN has made five such trips so far, pleading guilty to killing 24 patients and attempting to kill five others by injecting them with various medications that he stole from the hospital's drug supplies. There will be others.
In exchange for his cooperation and guilty pleas, authorities waived the death penalty and CULLEN instead must serve at least 127 years in a New Jersey state prison before he is eligible for parole. For now, CULLEN will remain inmate No. 71533 in the Somerset County jail, on the corner of Grove and High streets in Somerville and across from the prosecutor's office where he first admitted his deep, dark secret to detectives after being arrested last December.

 

20041117: Serial killer nurse pleads guilty to murders in Lehigh County PA Allentown Serial Killer News
Serial killer Charles Cullen pleaded guilty today to six murders and three attempted murders in Lehigh County, bringing the former nurse's tally to 23 deaths in two states...Whispering his replies to a judge's routine questions, Cullen, 44, formerly of Bethlehem, offered no details or excuses to the victims' relatives, dozens of whom packed the Allentown courtroom..."He took something away that was so precious to us and we're never going to forgive him," said Connie Keeler, of Bethlehem, whose father Cullen tried to kill..."He shows no emotion to what he did," she said...Keeler's father, Lehigh Valley radio personality Paul Galgon, 72, died of renal failure at St. Luke's Hospital near Bethlehem nine hours after Cullen injected him with the heart stimulant digoxin. Forensic evidence showed that the digoxin contributed to Galgon's death...Family members were not given a chance to address Cullen today, but are expected to have that opportunity at his sentencing, which may be a year away. Judge William Platt denied Cullen's request to be absent during sentencing, which won't occur until after Cullen is sentenced in New Jersey...Cullen has yet to meet with prosecutors in Essex County, where he worked in the burn unit at St. Barnabas Hospital for four years; or in Hunterdon County, where he worked at Hunterdon Medical Center for two years. His attorney, Johnny Mask, said it appears that Cullen did not kill anyone in Morris County, where he worked in 1997...Cullen has pleaded guilty to murdering patients in hospitals in Somerset County and Warren County, in New Jersey, and in Northampton County, in Pennsylvania. Usually, he injected overdoses into the intravenous bag of terminally ill, elderly patients. His youngest known victim was Matthew Mattern, a 22-year-old patient the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital near Allentown...Cullen will be sentenced to life in prison as part of a plea agreement worked out with prosecutors in both states. He told authorities after his arrest in December that he killed as many as 40 patients in 10 hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey during his 16-year career as a registered nurse. Prosecutors have agreed not to seek the death penalty as long as Cullen cooperates by identifying his victims.
 

20041106: Pa. judge rejects serial killer's intention to skip sentencing PA Allentown Serial Killer News
A former nurse who has admitted killing 17 patients with lethal doses of medication at hospitals in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania will have to attend his sentencing hearing and face the families of his alleged victims in Lehigh County, a judge has ruled. ..Cullen, 44, is scheduled to plead guilty Nov. 17 in Lehigh County Court to six counts of homicide and three counts of attempted homicide. Families won't be able to confront him at the hearing but will be able to do so when Cullen returns to court for his sentencing, likely next year. ..On Tuesday, Judge William H. Platt told Cullen's attorneys that he will not accept Cullen's waiver of his right to appear at the sentencing. ..Cullen's attorney, public defender Johnnie Mask, said he was not happy with Platt's decision but does not intend to fight it. ..After his arrest in December, Cullen told investigators that he killed as many as 40 people during his nursing career. He has pleaded guilty or been charged in a total of 23 murders and has agreed to help investigators identify his victims in a deal to avoid the death penalty. ..The families of several of Cullen's alleged Lehigh County victims were pleased with the judge's decision. .."He needs to be there to face us," said Connie Keeler, the daughter of Paul Galgon, 72, a St. Luke's Hospital patient authorities said Cullen attempted to kill in 2001. "He should have to look into each of our faces and see the pain we are going through." ..When Cullen pleaded guilty to a single killing in Northampton County in September, the daughter of the elderly victim called Cullen a monster, talked about her father's life, and asked Cullen whether he remembered his victims. ..Mask said the hearing was hard on his client, and he would prefer to avoid them. ..In Lehigh County, Cullen is accused of killing five people and attempting to kill two others at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill, where he worked from June 2000 to June 2002, and killing one person and attempting to kill another at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township, where he worked from December 1998 to April 2000. ..In neighboring Northampton County, he pleaded guilty to killing one person at Easton Hospital. ..In New Jersey, Cullen has pleaded guilty to killing 16 people and attempting to kill two others at Somerset Medical Center and Warren Hospital. ..Under his plea agreement, Cullen will be sentenced to life in prison in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and will serve the sentence in New Jersey. He will not be eligible for parole for at least 127 years. .
 

20041030: Serial Killer Seeking to Skip Sentencing PA Allentown Serial Killer News
A district attorney said he is trying to determine whether serial killer Charles Cullen can be compelled to appear in court so relatives of the patients he is accused of killing can confront him if he is sentenced to life in prison...Cullen, a former registered nurse, is expected to plead guilty in the next few weeks to charges he killed six patients at two hospitals with lethal doses of medication. Under the proposed plea agreement, Cullen would be spared the death penalty in exchange for helping to identify his victims...Cullen already has pleaded guilty to killing 17 during a 16-year career at hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey...Cullen has said through his attorney he wants to waive his right to be in court at sentencing...But District Attorney James Martin says he will do research to determine whether there is a legal way to force Cullen to appear. "In all my years doing this, I've never seen a defendant not come to his sentencing," he said...Margory Blakemore, daughter of Edward O'Toole, who died at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill in 2002, said she and other relatives should have the right to address Cullen face to face. "He should have to hear about how much pain he's caused," she said.. .
 


Copyright 1995-2006 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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