'An­gel of Death' serial killer dies af­ter pri­son at­tack

For­mer nurse’s aide was beaten in his cell two days ear­lier.

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS - By John Seewer

A for­mer TOLEDO, OHIO — nurse’s aide dubbed the “An­gel of Death” af­ter he ad­mit­ted killing three dozen hos­pi­tal pa­tients in Ohio and Ken­tucky died Thurs­day, two days af­ter he was at­tacked and beaten in his pri­son cell.

Don­ald Har­vey, who was serv­ing mul­ti­ple life sen­tences, was found in­jured in his cell Tues­day af­ter­noon at the state pri­son in Toledo, of­fi­cials said. A pa­trol re­port said the 64-year-old was beaten when an un­named per­son en­tered his cell.

Har­vey pleaded guilty in 1987 to killing 37 peo­ple, mostly while he worked as a nurse’s aide at hos­pi­tals in Cincin­nati and Lon­don, Ken­tucky. He later claimed he was re­spon­si­ble for killing 18 oth­ers while work­ing at the Veter­ans Ad­min­is­tra­tion Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Cincin­nati.

A rel­a­tive of one of Har­vey’s vic­tims ex­pressed some re­gret but also sug­gested his death might be come­up­pance.

“I’m kind of sad to hear it. But he was in­volved in about 50 peo­ple’s deaths, and I guess maybe the good Lord gave him what he de­served,” said Larry Bel­lamy, of Louisville, Ken­tucky, whose fa­therin-law is be­lieved to be Har- vey’s sec­ond vic­tim.

Hamil­ton County Prosecu- tor Joe Deters, who was an as­sis­tant on the case decades ago, said Har­vey caused a great deal of pain.

“It may sound harsh, but the re­al­ity is that I do not have any com­pas­sion for Don­ald Har­vey,” Deters said.

Har­vey told his for­mer at­tor­ney the killings be­gan in 1970 when he was at Mary- mount Hos­pi­tal in Ken­tucky.

Many of his vic­tims were chron­i­cally ill pa­tients and he claimed he was try­ing to end their suf­fer­ing.

Har­vey used ar­senic and cyanide to poi­son most of his vic­tims, of­ten putting it in the hos­pi­tal food he served them, pros­e­cu­tors said. Some of the pa­tients were suf­fo­cated when he let their oxy­gen tanks run out.

Twenty-one of the peo­ple Har­vey killed were pa­tients at the for­mer Drake Memo- rial Hos­pi­tal in Cincin­nati, where he worked as a nurse’s as­sis­tant.

He was caught af­ter a med­i­cal ex­am­iner smelled cyanide while per­form­ing an au­topsy on a vic­tim.

Har­vey told a news­pa­per af­ter he pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty that he liked the con­trol of de­ter­min­ing who lived and died.

For­mer Hamil­ton County Pros­e­cu­tor Arthur Ney Jr., who pros­e­cuted the cases in Cincin­nati, said Har­vey was not a mercy killer.

“He killed be­cause he liked to kill,” Ney said.

Don­ald Har­vey ad­mit­ted killing dozens of hos­pi­tal pa­tients.

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