Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

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

Defaming the Dead

In an outrageous example of Shipman's heartless behavior, the killer ridiculed dead Ivy Lomas. — Of the fifteen deaths Shipman was charged with, only Ms Lomas' occurred in his offices.

The Surgery Offices on Market Street, where Shipman worked
The Surgery Offices on Market Street, where Shipman worked (CAVENDISH PRESS/UK)

Detective Sergeant Philip Reade — a constable at the time, told how he had gone to the doctor's office to locate Ivy's next of kin. He recalled his bizarre encounter with Shipman:

"He was laughing.  He said he considered her such a nuisance that he was having part of the seating area permanently reserved for Ivy with a plaque to the effect —seat permanently reserved for Ivy Lomas."

Even worse, Shipman told the officer that as he left the room Ivy "could have taken her last breath."  And yet, he had made no effort to resuscitate the woman.  Instead, he left her alone while he saw other patients.

Ivy Lomas' gravesite
Ivy Lomas' gravesite (CAVENDISH PRESS/UK)

Medical expert for the defense, Dr Grenville told the court: "This was a medical emergency.  I would have given my entire attention to this particular patient."


But 63-year-old Ivy would have been past resuscitation. 

Again, Shipman had murdered with morphine.


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