Andrzej Nowocien (1 Viewer)


Andrzej Nowocien

A.K.A.: "The Skin Hunters"

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Paramedic - Gang who killed patients for profit
Number of victims: 5 - 14
Date of murders: 1998 - 2001
Date of arrest: February 2002
Date of birth: ???
Victims profile: Patients
Method of murder: Poisoning (Pavulon)
Location: Łódź, Poland
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on January 20, 2007

The "Skin Hunters" ("Łowcy skór" in Polish) is the media nickname for four hospital casualty workers from the Polish city of Łódź, who were convicted of murdering at least five patients and selling information regarding their deaths to funeral homes. They were apprehended in 2002. Their descriptive designation was coined by a newspaper article which first brought the story to the public's attention.


On January 20, 2007 four employees from a hospital casualty department in Łódź were sentenced. The perpetrators were shown to have killed mostly elderly patients using the muscle relaxant pancuronium (brand name Pavulon).

The four workers then sold information about the deceased patients to funeral homes, so they could contact the relatives before other funeral homes could. They exacted bribes ranging from 12,000 to over 70,000 zloty.

The killers are:

Paramedic Andrzej Nowocień was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of four patients and for helping Karol B. in a further murder.

Paramedic Karol Banaś was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for the "particularly cruel" ("szczególnie okrutne") murder of "Ludmiła Ś." and for helping Andrzej N. murder the other patients.

Doctor Janusz Kuliński was sentenced to six years and banned from practising medicine for 10 years, for willfully endangering 10 patients.

Doctor Paweł W. was sentenced to five years and banned from practising medicine for 10 years for the willful endangering of four patients.

Their sentences were upheld by the Łódź Appeal Court in June 2008. Further appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court of Poland on October 27, 2009.

The investigation into the scandal is still ongoing and a total of forty other members of the casualty department are under investigation, as are the owners of a local funeral home for receiving information regarding the deaths of patients.. The funeral home added the cost of the bribes it paid to the killers to the bills that the families of the deceased paid for their funerals.


The scandal was first brought to public attention on January 23, 2002 in an article in the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza by Tomasz Patora, Marcin Stelmasiak and Przemysław Witkowski. They described how the hospital workers or paramedics would call funeral homes regarding patient deaths in order to receive a bribe, and sometimes even killed patients. The dead patients were called "skins" and so the article was called "Skin Hunters" (Łowcy skór).

In popular culture

In 2003, a film Skin Hunters (Łowcy skór) was made of the case starring Piotr Adamczyk. In 2008, a documentary of the events, Necrobusiness, was made by a Swedish company.

Łódź "Skin Hunters" Convicted

The Warsaw Voice

January 24, 2007

A court in Łódź Jan. 19 issued a verdict in a case involving a group of "skin hunters," or local paramedics and doctors who had been involved in a medical scandal that outraged the public. Four employees of the local emergency medical service were found guilty of killing patients.

One former paramedic, identified as Andrzej N., received a life sentence for killing five patients, and the other paramedic, Karol B., who was found guilty of killing one patient, will spend 25 years in prison. In addition, two former ambulance doctors received prison terms of five and six years, following accusations of endangering the lives of a total of 14 patients, who eventually died.

In January 2002, the media reported that the emergency medical service in Łódź might have traded information on new deaths and that possibly patients had been deliberately killed. At the time, the prosecutors charged Andrzej N. with killing four patients by administering Pavulon, a muscle relaxant, even though the use of the drug was not justified. Karol B. was accused of killing one person and assisting in the murder of another four. According to the prosecutors, the now-convicted men "deserved special condemnation" because they had been receiving money from funeral home owners in return for information on patients' deaths.

The two doctors were accused of abandoning resuscitation or administering inadequate drugs to a total of 14 patients. All four had also been accused of accepting from zl.12,000 to over 70,000 in bribes from undertakers in the course of a few years. The funeral homes included the costs of the bribes in the bills that the families of the deceased paid for the funeral services.

Karol Banaś (left) and Andrzej Nowocień


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