A former nurse has been confirmed as Germany's most prolific serial killer since World War II with his conviction of the murders of 85 patients. "The human mind capitulates in the face of the sheer number of deeds," Judge Sebastian Bührmann said Thursday in handing Niels Hoegel a second life sentence at the District Court of Oldenburg. The 42-year-old Hoegel—who admitted to using drugs to cause cardiac arrest in patients, whom he would then attempt to resuscitate—is already serving a life sentence for his 2015 conviction of two murders and four attempted murders. But while those serving life in Germany are generally up for parole after 15 years, this second sentence was "the most severe form" allowed by German law and delays access to parole for an "unspecified period," per the Guardian.
Though police suspect Hoegel may have killed as many as 200 people at two clinics in Delmenhorst and Oldenburg between 2000 and 2005, their investigation led them to charge Hoegel with 100 killings. He was acquitted of 15 counts for lack of evidence, per CNN. "I want to apologize wholeheartedly to every single one of you for what I have done over the years," Hoegel told victims' relatives Wednesday as his seven-month trial wrapped. He said the trial showed him the suffering caused by his "terrible deeds," though a lawyer representing victims' relatives wasn't buying it. "He only acted out his remorse to gather plus points," he said, per the Guardian. (Read more about the case here.)