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Wakefield's Notorious People - Harold Frederick Shipman

Harold Frederick Shipman

Although not born in Wakefield, Harold Shipman was notorious throughout the country, if not the world, as the most prolific serial killer in the history of this country.

Harold Shipman was a doctor in general practice who was convicted in 2000 of murdering 15 of his patients with morphine injections, but he was suspected of killing more than 200 others over the previous 23 years.

He started his medical training in 1965 at Leeds University. While he was there he met his future wife, Primrose.

He trained at Pontefract General Infirmary and Leeds Hospital before joining a practice at Todmorden in 1974.
While at Todomorden he became involved with drug taking and was forced to move. It is believed his first murders were committed there.
He eventualy had a practice at Hyde, Greater Manchester, where he committed the murders for which he was found guilty.

The reason he was caught was by chance - He was found to have forged the will of one of his victims to obtain over 380,000 pounds as a beneficiary of the will.

He was found guilty of forgery and given a 4 year sentence for that, and he was also given 15 life sentences for the murders.
During his trial he showed NO remorse and has NEVER admitted that he committed the crimes.
The judge said that in his case a life sentence would mean life and he would NEVER, EVER be released from custody.

He was transferred to Wakefield maximum security prison on 18th June 2003.

On Tuesday 13th January 2004, he was found hanging from bed sheets in his single cell at Wakefield prison at 6.20am.
This was the day before his 58th birthday.
He was certified dead by the prison doctor at 08.10 on 13th January 2004.

At the time of his death investigations were still going on regarding the earlier suspected murders.

UPDATE 27th January 2005

It's been announced that Shipman actually started killing patients while working at Pontefract General Infirmary, where he was employed as a junior houseman in the 1970s. Up to 15 may have been killed there.

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