One of the stories making the news here in Italy is the arrest of Daniela Poggiali, 42, a nurse who is accused of killing at least 38 of her patients because she found them or their relatives to be annoying. She was initially charged in the death of an elderly patient and now police believe that she is a serial killer.
The case of Rosa Calderoni draw attention of the authorities because she been admitted for a routine illness and when she died there were high levels of potassium in her bloodstream. At least 10 other deaths are now being listed as “very suspicious”.
Prosecutor Rossella Materia called her a sadist who “who draws pleasure in provoking the death of the patients in her care.” One picture on her phone reportedly shows her giving a thumbs up next to when of her patients who had died seconds before. The public statements are an interesting dimension since Italy prosecutes people for criminal libel, as in the abusive case against the parents of Amanda Knox that we discussed earlier. While comments against the police can bring a charge, it clearly does not apply when prosecutors make such comments against individuals.
Even a colleague described her as a “cold person who was always eager to work.” This included the allegation from a co-worker that Poggiali would give patients strong laxatives at the end of her shift to make work more difficult for the nurses taking over.
Poggiali told police that she is innocent and the victim of a conspiracy by her enemies.
The case could prove very difficult given the length of time that has passed.