Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Dr. Harold Shipman, the World's Most Prolific Serial Killer

Back in Business

Today, it is unlikely Harold Shipman would be allowed to handle drugs unsupervised, given his previous track record.  Nonetheless, within two years, he was back in business as a general practitioner.

He was accepted into the Donneybrook Medical Center in Hyde in the north of England.  How readily he was accepted demonstrates his absolute self-confidence — and his ability to convince his peers of his sincerity.

Dr. Jeffery Moysey of the Center explained "His approach was that I have had this problem, this conviction for abuse of pethidine.  I have undergone treatment.  I am now clean. All I can ask you to do is to trust me on that issue and to watch me."

Headstones of Shipman victims at Hyde Cemetery
Headstones of Shipman victims at Hyde Cemetery (TIMEPIX)

Perhaps he was not watched carefully enough.


Again, he played the role of a dedicated, hardworking and community-minded doctor. He gained his patients' absolute trust and earned his colleagues' respect.

Some of those who worked under him have told of his sarcastic and abusive nature, but he was skilled at masking his patronizing attitude in front of those he chose to impress.  As for any signs of addiction, there were no blackouts as before, and no indication of drug abuse. 

In Hyde, Harold Shipman was home free — and free to kill.

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