Mindhunter Season 3: Who will be the featured killers?

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Donald Harvey

An “Angel of Death” is the name of an entire category of serial killers that are usually filled by women. They claim to kill out of “kindness” and their victims are usually sick or elder. Donald Harvey was a self-proclaimed “Angel of Death” that was an orderly at the Marymount Hospital in London, Kentucky and used his position to kill over 30 people.

The exact number of victims is unknown, estimated to be somewhere between 37 and 57. Harvey claimed he started killing in order to “ease the pain” of patients by smothering them with their pillows or poisoning them. Most were Cardiac patients.

However, in an act of jealousy, Harvey showed how little of an angel he was when he suspected his lover Carl Hoeweler of having an affair. He poisoned him with arsenic, not enough to kill him but enough to make him ill, and then killed Hoeweler’s father. He also (for a reason I’m not sure of) poisoned two of his neighbors with hepatitis serum and arsenic, killing one and sickening the other.

Harvey’s crimes were exposed when a patient’s autopsy showed a large amount of cyanide in their system. The police singled Harvey out when they learned of his history with stealing organs from another hospital and took him in for questioning. He confessed while in police custody.

Harvey was sentenced to life in prison plus an extra 20 years but died in 2017 after being beaten by fellow inmate James Elliot. About Harvey, Douglas said that he stood out among other killers because he didn’t match a generic profile and because he never had to hunt for victims.

"“He didn’t have to go out on a hunt. He didn’t have to go on the Internet looking for victims. The victims were in the hospitals. He could go and work at wards, certain wards, where people were very, very sick. Deathly ill. He soon found out that he could kill these people. He made it sound like he was a mercy killer but he was not a mercy killer because some of the things he did were sadistic to the victims, like sticking a coat hanger up through a catheter into a patients abdomen.”"

Douglas said that the actual number of Harvey’s victims will probably never be known because his methods were difficult to detect and almost all his victims were thought to have died from natural causes and were buried or cremated without suspicion. Out of all the killers that Douglas interviewed, he claimed Harvey was one that he couldn’t understand emotionally.