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Richard ANGELO

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Nurse - Angel of death
Number of victims: 25
Date of murders: September-October 1987
Date of arrest: October 12, 1987
Date of birth: April 29, 1962
Victims profile: Men and women (patients)
Method of murder: Poisoning (Pavulon and Anectine)
Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Status: Sentenced to 61 years to life
 
 
 
 
 
 

Angel of Death

Richard Angelo was 26 years old when he went to work at Good Samaritan Hospital on Long Island in New York. He had a background of doing good things for people as a former Eagle Scout and volunteer fireman. He also had an out-of-control desire to be recognized as a hero.

Playing Hero

Unable to achieve the level of praise he desired in life, Angelo came up with a plan where he would inject drugs into patients at the hospital, bringing them to a near-death state. He would then show his heroic capabilities by helping to save his victims, impressing both co-workers and the patients with his expertise. For many, Angelo's plan fell deathly short, and several patients died before he was able to intervene and save them from his deadly injections.

Working the graveyard shift put Angelo into the perfect position to continue to work on his feeling of inadequacy, so much so that during his realitvely short time at the Good Samaritan, there were 37 "Code-Blue" emergencies during his shift. Only 12 of the 37 patients lived to talk about their near death experience.

Something to Feel Better

Angelo, apparently not swayed by his inability to keep his victims alive, continued injecting patients with a combination of the paralyzing drugs, Pavulon and Anectine, sometimes telling the patient that he was giving them something which would make them feel better.

Soon after administering the deadly cocktail, the patients would begin to feel numb and their breathing would become constricted as did their ability to communicate to nurses and doctors. Few could survive the deadly attack.

Under Suspicion

Then on October 11, 1987 Angelo came under suspicion after one of his victims, Gerolamo Kucich, managed to use the call button for assistance after receiving an injection from Angelo. One of the nurses responding to his call for help took a urine sample and had it analyzed. The test proved positive for containing the drugs, Pavulon and Anectine, neither of which had been prescribed to Kucich.

The following day Angelo's locker and home were searched and police found vials of both drugs and Angelo was arrested. The bodies of several of the suspected victims were exhumed and tested for the deadly drugs. The test proved positive for the drugs on ten of the dead patients.

Taped Confession

Angelo eventually confessed to authorities, telling them during a taped interview, "I wanted to create a situation where I would cause the patient to have some respiratory distress or some problem, and through my intervention or suggested intervention or whatever, come out looking like I knew what I was doing. I had no confidence in myself. I felt very inadequate."

He was charged with multiple counts of second-degree murder.

Multiple Personalities?

His lawyers fought to prove that Angelo suffered from dissociative identity disorder, which meant he was able to disassociate himself completely from the crimes he committed and was unable to realize the risk of what he had done to the patients. In other words, he had multiple personalities which he could move in and out of, unaware of the actions of the other personality.

The lawyers fought to prove this theory by introducing polygraph exams which Angelo had passed during questioning about the murdered patients. The judge however, would not allow the polygraph evidence into the court.

Sentenced to 61 Years

Angelo was ultimately convicted of two counts of depraved indifference murder (second-degree murder), one count of second degree manslaughter, one count of criminally negligent homicide and six counts of assault with respect to five of the patients and was sentenced to 61 years to life.

Charles Montaldo - Crime.About.com

 
 

Richard Angelo (born April 29, 1962) is an American serial killer.

Murders

Angelo worked as a nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital on Long Island. By the time he was caught, he had killed 25 patients.

As a ploy for attention and praise, Angelo came up with a plan where he would inject drugs into patients at the hospital, bringing them to a near-death state. He would then show his heroic capabilities by helping to save his victims, impressing both co-workers and the patients with his expertise. For many, Angelo's plan fell deathly short, and several patients died before he was able to intervene and save them from his deadly injections.

"I wanted to create a situation where I would cause the patient to have some respiratory distress or some problem, and through my intervention or suggested intervention or whatever, come out looking like I knew what I was doing," Angelo later said of the murders. "I had no confidence in myself. I felt very inadequate."

During Angelo's short employment at Good Samaritan there were 37 "code blue" emergancies during his shift. Only 12 of the 37 patients lived.

Angelo, apparently not swayed by his inability to keep his victims alive, continued injecting patients with a combination of the paralyzing drugs, Pavulon and Anectine.

Soon after administering the deadly cocktail, the patients would begin to feel numb and their breathing would become constricted as did their ability to communicate to nurses and doctors. Few could survive the deadly attack.

On October 11, 1987, Angelo purportedly told patient Gerolamo Kucich, "I'm going to make you feel better," and injected pavulon into his IV. Immediately the man felt numbness and had difficulty breathing. However, he was able to buzz in another nurse who saved his life.

One of the nurses responding to his call for help took a urine sample and had it analyzed. The test proved positive for containing the drugs, Pavulon and Anectine, neither of which had been prescribed to Kucich.

The following day Angelo's locker and home were searched and police found vials of both drugs and Angelo was arrested. The bodies of several of the suspected victims were exhumed and tested for the deadly drugs. The test proved positive for the drugs on ten of the dead patients.

Trial and imprisonment

Prosecutors called to the stand two mental health experts, who agreed that Angelo suffered from a personality disorder but not one that precluded him from appreciating whether his actions were right or wrong.

The two psychologists testified that Angelo suffered from dissociative identity disorder, and after he'd injected his victims, he moved into a separate personality that made him unaware of what he had just done. Angelo had earlier passed a polygraph test when asked about the murders; however, the test was ruled inadmissible in court.

The jury convicted Angelo of two counts of second-degree murder, one count of second-degree manslaughter, one count of criminally negligent homicide, and six counts of assault. He was sentenced to 61 years to life. He is currently incarcerated in Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.

Wikipedia.org

 
 

Angelo, Richard

An Eagle Scout and 1980 high school graduate, Richard Angelo signed up for service as a volunteer fireman at the earliest permissible age. Neighbors admired his courage, but none suspected his underlying motivation -- an obsessive need for recognition as a "hero" -- that would drive him to commit a string of vicious crimes in later years. 

Angelo graduated from New York state university as a registered nurse in May 1985, working briefly at two Long Island hospitals before he landed a job at Good Samaritan Hospital, in West Islip, during April 1987.

As the new recruit and low man on the totem pole, he worked the hours from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., in the small ward reserved for cardiac patients and other cases requiring intensive care. Angelo never complained about the hours; if anything, he seemed to like the graveyard shift. The loss of patients in intensive care is not surprising, given the severity of illness and the traumatic nature of their injuries, but doctors on the staff at Good Samaritan recorded some unusual cases in the latter months of 1987. Patients who appeared to be recovering from surgical procedures at a normal pace were dying off without apparent cause, and hospital administrators were alarmed, to say the least.

Six suspicious deaths between September 16 and October 11 left doctors bewildered -- until the killer made a critical mistake.

On October 11, following the deaths of two postoperative subjects in a single day, patient Girolamo Cucich was approached by a bearded, heavy-set man who informed him, "I'm going to make you feel better." The visitor injected something into Cucich's intravenous tube, producing immediate numbness and labored breathing. The patient had strength enough to buzz for a nurse, and his life was saved, providing authorities with their first witness in a mystifying case.

On October 12, police routinely questioned Richard Angelo. As the only male nurse on the graveyard shift -- and a bearded one, at that -- he was a natural suspect in the Cucich attack. By November 3, laboratory test results confirmed that Cucich had received a shot of Pavulon, inducing muscular paralysis that could have led to death by suffocation.

A search of Angelo's hospital locker, on November 13, turned up hypodermic needles and a vial of potassium chloride, a drug that produces massive heart problems if used incorrectly.

The next day, searchers visited Angelo's apartment, seizing vials of Pavulon and a similar drug, Anectine. Arrested on November 15, while attending an out-of-town conference for emergency medical technicians, Angelo was held without bail pending further investigation.

In custody, he swiftly confessed to a series of murders, estimating that he used Pavulon or Anectine to poison an average of two patients per week during September and early October 1987.

His motive? Richard sought to make himself a "hero" by arriving on the scene in time to "save" his victims. As the records clearly indicate, his plan had lethal flaws.

In Angelo's last six weeks on the job, his ward had experienced thirty-seven "Code Blue" emergencies, with a loss of twenty-five patients. Prosecutors were more conservative in their estimate, numbering Angelo's victims "in excess of ten," while other published reports placed the body-count as high as thirty-eight. A legal technicality barred Angelo's confession from the courtroom, and the only charge immediately filed was one of first-degree assault, involving Girolamo Cucich. Angelo was granted bail, but chose to stay in custody, citing various threats against his life.

By mid-December, laboratory tests were under way on nineteen corpses, and the end results brought further charges. On January 4, it was announced that victims Milton Poulney and Frederick LaGois had each been injected with Pavulon prior to death.

Charges of second-degree murder were filed against Angelo, in the LaGois case, on January 13, with more indictments pending.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans

 
 

Richard Angelo was known as a Volunteer Fireman before he became known as a notorious serial killer.

Angelo worked as a nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital on Long Island in New York. Rather than being motivated by the thought of killing his victims, Angelo was motivated by the thought of saving them.

"I wanted to create a situation," he later said in a taped confession, "where I would cause the patient to have some respiratory distress or some problem, and through my intervention or suggested intervention or whatever, come out looking like I knew what I was doing. I had no confidence in myself. I felt very inadequate."

On October 11, 1987 Angelo purportedly told a patient "I'm going to make you feel better," and injected pavulon into his IV. Immediately the man felt numbness and had difficulty breathing. However, he was able to buzz in another nurse who saved his life.

Two psychologists testified that he suffered from a personality disorder called dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder. The defendants argued that Angelo did not realize the risk he was putting his patients at, and after he'd injected them, he'd moved into a separate personality that made him unaware of what he'd just done.

This theory was backed up by the fact that Angelo had been wired to a polygraph during questioning and had proved truthful about his state of mind during the murders. However, the judge did not see the polygraph record as of sufficient veracity, and did not allow its discussion in court.

Countering this, the state had two mental health experts agree that Angelo suffered from a personality disorder but not one that precluded him from appreciating whether his actions were right or wrong, or even just risky. The state argued that he knew exactly what he was doing while he was doing it.

The jury convicted Angelo of two counts of second-degree murder, one count of second-degree manslaughter, one count of criminally negligent homicide, and six counts of assault. He was sentenced to 61 years to life.

Ever since Angelo started working the graveyard shift in the Good Samaritan there had been thirty-seven "Code Blue" emergencies leaving twenty-five patients dead.

 
 


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