LUCERNE, Switzerland — Claiming he acted out of compassion, a 32-year-old nurse has confessed to killing 27 elderly and ailing patients over a six-year period, authorities said Tuesday.
The nurse, identified by Swiss media as Roger Andermatt, was arrested at the end of June after a suspicious death in a nursing home. He subsequently admitted killing nine patients there.
Suspecting the toll might be higher, police launched a full investigation into mysterious deaths in other homes where Andermatt worked. Under interrogation, Andermatt confessed to 18 other killings, including 12 in a home for invalids in the central Swiss town of Sarnen, investigating magistrate Orvo Nieminen told a news conference in Lucerne.
The deaths appear to be Switzerland’s worst serial killings.
Andermatt gave his victims an overdose of tranquilizers or smothered them with a folded plastic bag or a small piece of cloth over the mouth and nose, Nieminen said. In some instances, the nurse claimed he first sedated the patients before stifling them.
All along, Andermatt insisted his motives were "sympathy, compassion and a desire to end the suffering of the patient," Nieminen said.
But the man also confessed that in some cases he was simply overwhelmed by the stress of work. Psychiatric tests have been ordered, he said.
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