A German nurse named only as Niels H has been convicted of attempted murder in 2006 and murder in 2015. After urging by relatives and friend's of Niels' victims, police have exhumed 134 bodies to test.
According to the BBC, Niels administered lethal injections to about 90 people, a fact he admitted during his 2015 trial. The drug caused "heart failure or the collapse of patuents' circulatory systems."
Officials opened a commission for his crimes in 2014. Judges say Niels sought approval by bringing his patients back from near-death.
Police investigations say these "abnormalities" can be traced back to 2000, when Niels worked at another clinic in Oldenburg. In 2001, the clinic noted the strange deaths and unusual amounts of resuscitations in a staff meeting, but did not notify police. This lack of reporting allowed Niels to slip away and move to the Delmenhorst clinic.
Police exhumed around 134 bodies after combing through hundreds of medical records. Unfortunately, not every body can be tested for the lethal injection residue because some were cremated.
"The findings continue to breach any imagination," said Oldenburg police chief Johann Kuhme. "It is simply not possible to say how many people were killed."
According to The Independent, Niels' death toll could be even larger.
“Eighty-four killings … leave us speechless,” Oldenburg police chief Johann Kuehme told reporters. “And as if all that were not enough, we must realise that the real dimension of the killings by Niels H is likely many times worse.”
“If the people responsible at the time, particularly at the Oldenburg clinic but also later in Delmenhorst, hadn’t hesitated to alert authorities – for example police, prosecutors, he could have been stopped earlier," Mr Kuehme continued.
Kuehme went on to say that the number of years between the start of the murders may also hinder investigations, since some people may struggle to remember key information.
Police investigators are also looking into other staff members at the clinics where Niels H was employed.