- Additional Details
- Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
- Rating: Not Rated
- Number of Discs: 1
- Run Time: 50 Minutes
- Region: Region 1
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Language: English
- Studio: A&E Home Video
- DVD Release Date: December 22, 2004
This deadly doctor was responsible for the worst murder spree in British history, killing upwards of 250 people. Watch as BIOGRAPHY® details how a happily married father of four - a man with a loyal following in the community - could also be the most prolific known serial killer in the world.
- Most of Shipman’s victims were elderly women, but he killed men too, and his youngest victim was only 41.
- Throughout his imprisonment he maintained his innocence, and was staunchly defended by his wife.
- All of Shipman’s killings were carried out by injecting drugs, usually at a patient's home.
In July 1998, police in Manchester, England were asked to investigate a mysterious document that had arrived at a local law firm. It purported to be the last will and testament of Kathleen Grundy, an elderly widow who had died unexpectedly only a few weeks earlier. The will left her entire estate to her doctor, Harold Shipman. When Mrs. Grundy's body was exhumed and found to contain a deadly dose of pharmaceutical heroin, Dr. Shipman was charged with murder. It soon became clear that over a 23-year period, the bearded, bespectacled doctor might have killed hundreds of his patients.
Shipman was born in Nottingham, England. He studied at Leeds University and worked at Pontefract General Infirmary before becoming a general practitioner. Fined for making out drug prescriptions to himself (to feed a pethidine addiction), he received treatment, and in 1977 became a GP again in Greater Manchester, where he practiced until 1991. Years later an official inquiry into Shipman concluded that during this period he murdered at least 71 patients with drug overdoses. In 1992, Shipman set up his own one-man medical practice. During the next six years, he is said to have killed at least 143 of his loyal patients.
It was not until he forged Kathleen Grundy's will that Shipman was caught. In October 1999, Shipman went on trial for murdering Grundy and 14 other women, ages 49 to 81. After four months he was found guilty of 15 murders (plus forgery), and sentenced to 15 concurrent life sentences. A public inquiry reported in July 2002 that there had been 215 victims in all, dating from 1975, with another 45 likely, making him Britain's worst ever serial killer.
Hiding behind his status as a caring, family doctor, it is almost impossible to establish exactly when Shipman began killing his patients, or indeed exactly how many died at his hand. On January 13, 2004, a day before his 58th birthday, Shipman hanged himself in his cell at Wakefield Prison. The motive for his multiple murders died with him.