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The Nurse Who Took Selfies With Her Patients Before Killing Them

True Crime

By Based On a True StoryPublished about a month ago 5 min read

“I must be especially careful in matters of life and death. If I have the opportunity to save a life, I will feel grateful. But it is also possible that it is in my hand to attend a life that ends; I must face this enormous responsibility with great humility and awareness of my own fragility. Above all, I shouldn’t play to be God.”

Hippocratic oath of Dr. Louis Lasagna (1964)

What leads a woman (or a man) who has committed theirself professionally and ethically to taking care of the sick and saving lives to become their murderer?

The Spanish criminologist Vicente Garrido affirms that a relationship is often established between these subjects and their patients, but the keys to deciding whether to kill them or let them live are not always understandable. They can consider them annoying, offensive, too weak to deserve to continue living, or simply feel God by having in their hands the power and ability to kill or let live.

As Janire Rámila says, the mobile will depend on the relationship that has been established with the victim as well as the psychic state of those subjects.

That’s exactly what today’s case is about.

In mid-2014, the staff of a hospital in Lugo, Italy, began to worry about the increasing mortality rate that existed at that time, and it seemed that patients, particularly the elderly, were dying at an alarming rate.

This left many doctors and nurses perplexed, so much so that they became obsessed with getting to the bottom of the matter since the circumstances surrounding the deaths were really suspicious.

Immediately some hospital workers began to focus their attention on Daniela Poggiali, a 42-year-old nurse.

Several of Daniela’s colleagues observed disturbing things such as that during her shifts the woman sedated the patients who bothered her or that shortly before the end of her day she gave them laxatives to make life more difficult for the nurses who arrived later.

Without Daniela noticing, her colleagues began to watch her in the shade to see what she was doing in her guards and it was there that they discovered that when she worked the mortality rate in the hospital skyrocketed, however in the moments when she was on vacation she went down again.

Thanks to them, Daniela’s days as a nurse were numbered, but unfortunately she managed to charge her last victim before.

The facts:

In October 2014, Rosa Calderoni, 78, was admitted to the hospital for her diabetes problems. As it was nothing serious, her relatives thought that they would discharge her immediately.

One day Rosa’s daughter was visiting her mother in the hospital when suddenly a nurse quickly took her out of the room because according to her she had things to do. This nurse was none other than Daniela.

When the daughter returned an hour later, she found a small glass jar attached to her mother’s drip food that had not been there before.

Shortly after emptying the vial into the elderly patient’s bloodstream, Rosa began to convulse with her eyes rolled and minutes later she died.

Fortunately, one of the co-workers who suspected Daniela was also on duty that day and managed to do some tests on the deceased, arguing that she had not given any previous signs that she was going to die.

Undoubtedly, this was the beginning of the end for the nurse since the tests showed high levels of potassium chloride in the old woman’s body, which can cause cardiac arrest. Subsequently, an empty vial containing traces of the substance was also found in an elimination unit.

All this was quickly reported to the police, who interrogated Daniela at the police station. One of the agents asked her how it was possible that in 2 years she had been present in 93 deaths to which she replied that it was simply bad luck.

To give you an idea, this figure was 4 times higher than the average of her colleagues in the hospital and more than double that of the nurse with the second highest figure.

Daniela failed to convince the investigators of her innocence so after the interrogation she was arrested.

From here, more sinister details about Daniela came to light, such as that she had stolen their patients’ belongings, in addition to laxatives and sedatives.

They even knew that when one of her colleagues said that they were going to report her behavior, she threatened him by leaving him a funeral bouquet on the hood of his car.

The police checked Daniela’s phone and it was there when they confirmed that their suspicions were true.

On her phone there were 2 images that showed Daniela posing next to the lifeless bodies of the patients she had just taken the life. Her face showed her laughing, without remorse.

The trial:

The trial against Daniela for the death of Rosa Calderoni began at the beginning of 2016. During the judicial process she was always laughing, as if she didn’t take the charges seriously.

The prosecutor’s office alleged that the nurse killed at least 38 patients because she found them or their loved ones upset. To this they added that in Rosa’s case it was not possible that the administration of so much potassium chloride had been done by accident claiming that Daniela Poggiali was the only person who could possibly have administered the dose.

Although she kept saying that she was not guilty in March 2016, she was sentenced to life in prison.

During her stay in prison, Daniela received a large number of letters from admirers and even received marriage proposals. Those around her in prison said that the woman enjoyed all the publicity she was receiving.

However, despite the fact that the police were sure of her guilt and that the case was resolved, the following year, Daniela appealed her sentence and was released in 2017 for a technicality.

Her defense successfully argued that the injection she had allegedly given to Rosa would have killed the patient in a matter of minutes, and no more than an hour, which is what happened.

This was initially accepted by the court and was acquitted of the woman’s death.

According to reports, judicial proceedings have never been carried out in relation to the other 38 suspicious deaths, since potassium chloride is detectable in the body only a few days after death.

Daniela Poggiali herself has stated that she would like to return to work as a nurse:

“I feel good, little by little I am recovering my freedom and that incredible taste that freedom has after a few years locked up in a prison. I have been described as someone I am not and now I will be able to take charge of my life.

It wasn’t my idea but my colleague’s, who took the photographs. It was something private between her and me. Anyway, it was a mistake.

I haven’t killed anyone. Rather, I always lived to help others.”

Thank you for reading the case and subscribing ❤️

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About the Creator

Based On a True Story

Hi everyone! My name is Marta and every week I write about true crime, always with an educational purpose.

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