When you think about going to the doctor for the usual checkup, there naturally has to be some degree of trust between the two of you. After all, doctors and nurses are in the business of taking care of us and making sure we’re safe, right? Well, that’s not always the case. As we’ll soon learn.
Welcome or welcome back to Twisted Minds. My name is James and this is the case of Niles Hotel, a German former nurse and serial killer who is believed to have claimed the lives of 85 people between 2000 and 2005. However, more recently, police estimated that his victim count could be around 300 over 15 years. If this is true, it would make Niles the most prolific serial killer in modern German history.
Niles Howell was born and raised in West Germany on December 31, 976 when he was a small boy. He grew up in the coastal town of Wilhelmshaven in Lower Saxony. The Nile said that throughout his childhood he was never exposed to violence at home. His parents didn’t fight any more than a normal set of parents would and his home was very well put together. He also explained that he grew up in a highly protective atmosphere.
These days, most of us would probably call this type of home environment sheltered, and that seems to be the case for Niles. His parents did everything within their power to keep him free from harm and to keep him on the straight and narrow. To top them off, both his father and his grandmother had dedicated their lives to helping people. They were both nurses and it seems like Nialls always looked up to them. His father set a great example for what a nurse should be after having followed in the footsteps of his mother.
When Niles became of age, he decided that he would become a nurse as well. On the surface, it seemed like Niles also wanted to do everything within his power to help others in his community. However, as time passed by, his desires would become much darker and more sinister. Niles went through very in-depth training to become a nurse. Unlike nursing schools that you may find in the United States and other parts of the world in Germany at the time, nursing could be taken as a vocational course instead of requiring countless years of College.
By 1997, Niles had completed his training and became a nurse working at Sank William Hospital. He was just 21 years of age. By 2004, Niles had begun to explore other opportunities in life. Niles managed to find love and decided to settle down a bit more. He and his longtime girlfriend were married in 2004 and later that year his wife would give birth to their daughter.
By 1999, Nialles had decided to move on from his job at the hospital and began working for a different clinic while holding down an identical position as a nurse. This was a result of accepting a job offer at Oldenburg Clinic, he would be tasked with taking care of patients in the intensive care unit at a cardiac or surgery Ward known as Ward 211. Niles had been working here for several years before staff members began to get a bit suspicious of him. By August of 2001, just two years after accepting his new job, a large meeting was called at the clinic. The board members were concerned that a shockingly large number of patients had been losing their lives over the last year.
The leaders explained that there was an unusually large number of deaths that had seemingly come out of nowhere. To top this off, there was also an increase in the number of resuscitations and an increase in the number of deaths months after resuscitation. According to the board, 58% of these deaths took place while Niles was on duty. After the meeting had drawn to a close, Niles knew that the leaders of the clinic were onto him. The following day, he would call in sick for work and would remain away from the clinic for a total of three weeks.
For Niles, this seemed like the perfect way to lay low. However, he only made his situation worse. This is because after leaving his job for a short time, the number of deaths dramatically decreased at the clinic. For some of the workers who were suspicious of him, this proved that Niles may have had a part in some of the unusual deaths that had been taking place recently. Once he returned to work, Niles was asked by one of the head physicians in Ward 211 to transfer to a different unit.
It’s unknown if this was due to a difference in opinion or if the doctor truly felt that Niles’s skills would be more useful elsewhere. Nevertheless, Niles accepted his proposal and would soon be transferred to the anesthesiology unit later that year in 2001.
It was at this point that the heat began to amp up for Niles. The head physician at his new Ward explained that he didn’t like how Nialls always forced himself into emergencies. To add to this, he explained to Niles that after he would become involved in emergencies, the patients would have a significantly higher chance of passing away or facing serious difficulties. The doctor never accused Niles of anything outright, but it seems as though his words were very clear. Soon after the two had this conversation, Niles was approached by one of the leaders of the clinic.
The worker gave Niles an ultimatum. Niles was told that he would need to transfer units once again or be fired from his position and given three months of severance pay. If he accepted the transfer, he would be placed in the logistics unit. That did nothing but help move patients from one place to another throughout the hospital and clinic. That way, potential lives weren’t in danger.
It doesn’t seem like Niles liked either of these options. Soon after the conversation with the clinic leader, he began looking for a job elsewhere. Just a couple of weeks after the meeting with the leader of the clinic, Niles was given a very good reference letter by one of his superiors. In the letter, the superior explained that Niles was an incredible nurse that always went above and beyond what was expected of him. The letter acknowledged his devotedness and cooperative conduct as well and even explained that every task he completed was to the utmost satisfaction.
It seems that even though the clinic threatened to fire him, they didn’t hold any ill will against him or they just wanted him to move on. It’s difficult to know which way they were leaning. By December of that year 2002, Niles had accepted a new job at the Delman Horse Clinic. Unfortunately, his questionable behavior did not end when he left his former job at his new clinic. The dark cloud would continue to linger over Niles in his clinic.
As soon as he joined the new team, deaths rose to unprecedented levels. Fatalities began to rise and were occurring every time Niles was on duty. For the most part, these patients would be losing their lives due to arrhythmia or other blood and heart-related problems. Many of his new coworkers began to shy away from him, not wanting to become involved in whatever was going on around him. It seems that many of his superiors were suspicious of him as well, but none of them took a step forward and accused him of anything, as police would later find out in court proceedings.
By all means, this was gross negligence on the part of the clinic, as some of his coworkers had found four empty vials of Ads malign while Niles was on duty one day, which causes life-threatening arrhythmia and heart-related problems. This information was taken to the leaders of the clinic, but they did nothing to stop him. A brief investigation into the matter proved that no doctors had prescribed that medication recently, and none of the patients had been taking that medication. When the vials were found, all eyes were now on Niall, so it seems like everyone around him was too scared to do anything about it.
By June of 2005, police were finally beginning to close in on Niles. One of his coworkers had managed to catch him intentionally sabotaging a patient’s medical pump, as the worker soon learned he had been injecting it with Admaline, the same chemical he was suspected of three years prior. This incident was enough to finally get the police involved, so they showed up and began conducting an investigation. As you probably suspected, they found that Niles had been tampering with other patients throughout the years and soon enough the case began to explode. Police requested all of the death records and time cards for the previous two years, taking their investigation back to 2003.
It didn’t take them long at all to begin connecting the dots and every trail they followed led back denials. The investigation would soon conclude that over the last two years, at least 73% of the deaths at this clinic could be connected to Niles in some way or another. Though it seems like the law works much differently in Germany than it does in other parts of the world. Even though this was proven by investigators, there was still only a small penalty to be paid by Niles rather than being sentenced to prison for life as he would have been if he lived in the United States, he was only facing five years behind bars and a temporary suspension of his nursing license. After being taken to trial with these allegations, he was found guilty in December of 2006.
He was then taken away to prison to face his punishment. However, he wouldn’t get off that easily. No sooner than his sentence was handed down. A team appealed his conviction. Soon enough, his conviction was reversed, but not the way you might be expecting.