Germany’s killer nurse appeals life sentence for 85 murders

Germany's most prolific serial killer in the country's post-war history has appealed his life sentence, a district court said Tuesday.

Germany's killer nurse appeals life sentence for 85 murders
Högel on trial in Oldenburg before a verdict was reached. Photo: DPA

Former nurse Niels Högel, 42, was convicted last week for killing patients chosen at random by lethal injection.

The murder spree of patients aged between 34 to 96 took place between 2000
and 2005 before he was finally caught in the act.

SEE ALSO: Missed chances: How Germany's killer nurse got away with 85 murders

“I can inform you that the defendant has now lodged an appeal,” Melanie
Bitter, a spokeswoman for the court in Oldenburg, said Tuesday without adding
further details.

Last Thursday's judgement brought the official number of victims to 91 as Högel had previously been convicted for six other murders.

Police suspect that Högel's final death toll may be more than 200.

However, it may never be known exactly how many people he killed because
many likely victims were cremated before autopsies could be performed, and
because of gaps in Högel's memory.

The court in Oldenburg had also dismissed a further 15 murder counts for
lack of evidence.

Driven by a desire to show off his skills in bringing patients back from the brink of death, Högel repeatedly gambled with the lives of vulnerable victims.

He was caught in 2005 while injecting an unprescribed medication into a patient in the north German city of Delmenhorst and sentenced in 2008 to seven years in prison for attempted murder.

A second trial followed in 2014-2015 under pressure from alleged victims' families and Högel was found guilty of murder and attempted murder of five other victims and given the maximum sentence of life.

In delivering his verdict, judge Sebastian Bührmann said Högel's crimes surpassed “human imagination”.

SEE ALSO: Germany's serial killer nurse handed life sentence for 85 murders

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German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.