Italian police have arrested a nurse who possibly killed up to 38 patients because they or their families “annoyed” her, officials say. Daniela Poggiali, 42, was arrested Friday in connection with 11 patient deaths and had already been under suspicion of killing another in April, the New York Post and ANSA report. Police then found a selfie on her phone of Poggiali giving a thumbs-up beside a dead patient in northeast Italy. “I can assure you in that all my professional years of seeing shocking photos, there were few such as these,” says a prosecutor.
Poggiali was originally suspected of killing a 78-year-old woman who had entered the hospital with minor health issues and allegedly died from a potassium overdose—which can trigger cardiac arrest and be hard to trace because it leaves the body soon after death. Now police believe she may have killed up to 38 patients who “needed extra care or had pushy relatives,” reports ANSA. Co-workers, who had already noticed patient deaths during Poggiali’s shifts, describe her as “a cold, polished” person who worked hard, Gawker reports. They also say she had been accused of giving patients heavy laxatives to make life harder for the next nurse on duty. (Read about a hospital shooting that was really a botched mercy killing.)