On August 18, 1978, registered nurse Mary Rose Robaczynski was indicted on charges of murdering four terminal patients at Maryland General Hospital, in Baltimore. The charges resulted from a four-month investigation, launched by police after hospital administrators reported suspicious" deaths in the intensive care unit. Robaczynski, a 1975 graduate of Maryland General's nursing program, employed in ICU until March 8, surrendered voluntarily and was released by the court on her own recognizance. According to authorities, the victims included three women and one man, whose life-support systems were unlawfully disconnected between December 1977 and March 8, with 48-year-old Harry Gessner killed on Robaczynski's last day of employment . Colleagues described Robaczynski as an open advocate of euthanasia, who freely admitted pulling the plug on selected "gorks" -- hospital slang for "God only really knows" -- in an effort to end their suffering. Robaczynski's trial opened on February 25, 1979, with the defense contending that it is not murder to disconnect life-support machinery from a patient who may already be dead. On March 20, the jury deadlocked at 10-to-2 in favor of acquittal, resulting in declaration of a mistrial. Nine days later, charges were dismissed in return for Robaczynski's promise to surrender her nursing license and refrain from practicing anywhere inside the United States.