A 25-year-old German nurse has confessed to murdering seven female and five male hospital patients aged between 60 and 89. The man, identified only as Stefan L, has told police that he wanted to relieve them of their suffering. He was not suspected until officials at the hospital in the small Bavarian town of Sonthofen noticed that drugs were missing from the ward he worked on. Police are now investigating a further 70 deaths as well as deaths in his former workplace in Baden-Wurttemberg. Psychiatrist Karl-Heinz Beine, who has studied hospital staff who kill, says that most want to ward off their own fears of suffering and death. Their initial motivations of relieving suffering are overcome by aggressive fantasy and obsession.
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