Arnfinn Nessett

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Banned
Arnfinn Nessett




Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Nurse - Poisoner
Number of victims: 22 +
Date of murders: 1977 - 1980
Date of arrest: January 1981
Date of birth: October 25, 1936
Victims profile: Men and women (geriatric institution patients)
Method of murder: Poisoning (Curacit, a muscle relaxing drug)
Location: Orkdal, Norway
Status: Sentenced to 21 years in prison in 1983; the maximum punishment possible by Norwegian law. Released in 2004




Arnfinn Nesset (born October 25, 1936 in Norway) is a Norwegian nurse who became one of the most notorious serial killers in Scandinavian history. He was convicted on 18 March 1983 of poisoning 22 patients with Curacit, a muscle relaxing drug, at a Geriatric institution in Orkdal, Norway where he was the director.

During the investigations he claimed to have killed several more over many years both at this and other institutions where he had previously worked, but later retracted several of these statements.

Curacit becomes increasingly difficult to trace in a corpse as time passes. Consequently, the earliest murders Nesset confessed to having committed were impossible to investigate.

After a two year investigation and a five month long trial (where he was accused of murdering 27), he was found guilty in the murder of 22 people and sentenced to 21 years in prison; the maximum punishment possible by Norwegian law. Released in 2004, he is presumed to be living at an undisclosed location in Norway, under a new name.

Arnfinn Nesset

To look at Arnfinn you would not pick him as a savage killer. A balding, mild mannered nursing home administrator, Arnfinn is believed to have slaughtered up to 138 patients over a 20-year nursing career. In 1977 Arnfinn became the director of the Orkdale Valley Nursing Home. As he took his post, an unusual number of patients started dying.

No one suspected anything until 1981 when an employee noticed the purchase of a large amount of curacit, a derivative of the poisonous curare used as a muscle relaxant.

Police brought Arnfinn, the man in charge of purchasing the curacit, in for questioning. First he claimed he bought the drug to kill a pack of wild dogs around the nursing home. Then, inexplicably, he started confessing to killing 27 patients. At one point he exclaimed "I've killed so many I'm unable to remember them all." In 1983 the lethal administrator was convicted of 22 murders. He was handed a 21-year sentence, the maximum allowed by Norwegian law. Last we heard from him, Arfinn is back on the streets.

Norway's all-time record-holding killer was exposed in 1981 as a result of journalistic curiosity. The Orkdal Valley Nursing Home was opened during 1977, and its patients soon experienced a high rate of mortality.

Considering their ages, this was not especially unusual; in early 1981, however, local journalists received a tip that hospital manager Arnfinn Nesset had ordered large quantities of curacit, a derivative of curare, the same poison used by South American Indians on the tips of their hunting arrows. Under questioning, Nesset first claimed he purchased the poison for use on a dog, later confessing to the murders of twenty-seven patients between May 1977 and November 1980.

At forty-six, Nesset had already cinched the Scandinavian record for mass murder, but he was not finished talking, yet. "I've killed so many I'm unable to remember them all," he told authorities, prompting police to request lists of patients who died in three institutions where Nesset had worked since 1962. In all, detectives were left with a list of sixty-two possible victims, but autopsies were useless, since curacit becomes increasingly difficult to trace with passage of time.

Nesset offered a variety of motives for the murders mercy killing, schizophrenia, simple morbid pleasure in the act itself - which led defense attorneys to suggest that he was mentally unbalanced. Four psychiatrists examined the balding, bespectacled killer, each pronouncing him sane and fit for trial.

Before his day in court, the suspect proved his sanity by suddenly recanting his confessions, leaving prosecutors in a quandry. He was finally charged with killing only 25 of the established Orkdal Valley victims; five counts of forgery and embezzlement were added, based upon the killer's misappropriation of some $1,800 from his victims.

Nesset pleaded innocent on all counts when his trial opened in October 1982. Five months later, on March 11, 1983, jurors convicted him on 22 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, plus five counts of forgery and embezzlement. Nesset was acquitted on the three remaining murder charges, but it scarcely mattered.

Judges were unmoved by the defense plea that Nesset considered himself a "demigod," holding the power of life and death over his elderly patients. Upon conviction, he drew the maximum sentence possible under Norwegian law: 21 years in prison, with a possibility of ten more years preventive detention.

Arnfinn Nesset

The deadliest Norwegian of the Archives. A balding, mild mannered nursing home administrator, Arnfinn is believed to have slaughtered up to 138 patients over a 20-year nursing career. In 1977 Arnfinn became the director of the Orkdal Valley Nursing Home. As he took his post, an unusual number of patients started dying. No one suspected anything until 1981 when an employee noticed the purchase of a large amount of curacit, a derivative of the poisonous curare used as a muscle relaxant.

Police brought Arnfinn, the man in charge of purchasing the curacit, in for questioning. First he claimed he bought the drug to kill a pack of wild dogs around the nursing home. Then, inexplicably, he started confessing to killing 27 patients. At one point he exclaimed "I've killed so many I'm unable to remember them all."

In 1983 the lethal administrator was convicted of 22 murders. He was handed a 21-year sentence, the maximum allowed by Norwegian law, which would put him back on the streets by 2004.


Nesset, Arnfinn

Norway's all-time record-holding killer was exposed in 1981 as a result of journalistic curiosity. The Orkdal Valley Nursing Home was opened during 1977, and its patients soon experienced a high rate of mortality.

Considering their ages, this was not especially unusual; in early 1981, however, local journalists received a tip that hospital manager Arnfinn Nesset had ordered large quantities of curacit, a derivative of curare, the same poison used by South American Indians on the tips of their hunting arrows.

Under questioning, Nesset first claimed he purchased the poison for use on a dog, later confessing to the murders of twenty-seven patients between May 1977 and November 1980. At forty-six, Nesset had already cinched the Scandinavian record for mass murder, but he was not finished talking, yet. "I've killed so many I'm unable to remember them all," he told authorities, prompting police to request lists of patients who died in three institutions where Nesset had worked since 1962.

In all, detectives were left with a list of sixty-two possible victims, but autopsies were useless, since curacit becomes increasingly difficult to trace with passage of time. Nesset offered a variety of motives for the murders mercy killing, schizophrenia, simple morbid pleasure in the act itself - which led defense attorneys to suggest that he was mentally unbalanced.

Four psychiatrists examined the balding, bespectacled killer, each pronouncing him sane and fit for trial. Before his day in court, the suspect proved his sanity by suddenly recanting his confessions, leaving prosecutors in a quandry. He was finally charged with killing only 25 of the established Orkdal Valley victims; five counts of forgery and embezzlement were added, based upon the killer's misappropriation of some $1,800 from his victims.

Nesset pleaded innocent on all counts when his trial opened in October 1982. Five months later, on March 11, 1983, jurors convicted him on 22 counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, plus five counts of forgery and embezzlement.

Nesset was acquitted on the three remaining murder charges, but it scarcely mattered. Judges were unmoved by the defense plea that Nesset considered himself a "demigod," holding the power of life and death over his elderly patients.

Upon conviction, he drew the maximum sentence possible under Norwegian law: 21 years in prison, with a possibility of ten more years preventive detention.



Arnfinn Nesset




Arnfinn Nesset



Arnfinn Nesset



Arnfinn Nesset at trial
















Nesset trial jury verdict
 
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