Dr Death: The Harold Shipman Story | Part One

(Harold Shipman. Picture credit: filmdaily

For a lot of people in the UK as well as avid true crime enthusiasts, the name ''Harold Shipman'' needs no introduction. From the picture above you would assume that he seemed like a nice, friendly, family man and that is how a lot of his patients saw him. Harold was a Doctor and a very popular one at that, he was a pillar of the community and nobody had a bad word to say about him, until a large number of his elderly patients started dying in mysterious circumstances.

This case shocked Britain and it still remains fresh in people's memories. Nobody in the UK will ever forget the Shipman case and one of my amazing Top Tier subscriber's, Jean Nicolas requested that I cover this story and I thought I knew a lot about it but during my research I found out a few things I wasn't aware of. I hope you find my coverage of this case informative and don't forget to check out my other cases (some are listed below) as well as my weekly personal blogs

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I know I shouldn't judge on appearance but if someone showed you a picture of Harold and you didn't know who he was or his history, you would probably think he was a decent, well versed Doctor. The scary thing is, I would probably have trusted him. Not only was Harold well presented, always with a shirt and tie, always well spoken, he had a way with people and was able to gain people's trust very easily.

He had the perfect ''bedside manner'' for a doctor and was very popular. 

I want to talk about the beginning like I always do with my true crime cases. So, let's delve into it.....

 Harold Frederick Shipman (some people called him Fred) was born on the 14th of January 1946 in Nottingham, England and he came from a working class background. He was the second of four children and whilst his mother, Vera took care of the house and the children, his father was busy working as a Lorry Driver. 

Up until Harold's teenage years, nothing seemed abnormal. The family were quite close and Harold was very close to his mother who was said to be quite a domineering woman. However, tragedy stuck when Harold was 17 and his mother sadly passed away after a battle with lung cancer. It was a shocking event that would go on to affect him for the rest of his life as it would a lot of people who lose a parent. To lose a parent at the young age of 17 must have been very traumatic for Harold and up until his mother's death he saw a lot of the Nurses and Doctors who would come to the house and administer Morphine to help his mother in the later stages of her illness. He became very interested in how Morphine was able to have a positive affect on his mother at the times that she was in pain and would often try and help her during her illness. 

It's unclear if Vera's death motivated Harold to want to become a Doctor himself but he worked hard at school and did so well that he gained a scholarship to medical school. Harold was never a sociable type of person and he had very few friends but when he was 19 years old he met his future wife, Primrose Oxtoby on a bus when she was 17. The pair would go on to spend the next 40 years together. Primrose quickly fell pregnant with their first child and they married when she was five months pregnant. 

Once he had graduated from the famous Leeds School of Medicine he began working at the General Infirmary in Pontefract in the early 1970s.

In 1974 he moved his medical career onto The Abraham Ormerod Medical Centre where he worked as a GP (General Practitioner/Doctor) in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England. Everything seemed to be going really well for Harold, he now had two children with Primrose and what seemed like a happy marriage but the first signs of a sinister character were beginning to emerge.

Harold began abusing the painkiller, Pethidine and would use false names on prescriptions for himself in order to gain huge quantities of the pills. He was caught and forced to leave his role and enter rehab and paid a £600 in 1975.

(Harold Shipman. Picture credit: mirror.co.uk

Despite this incident, he was able to to return to the medical profession a few years later like nothing ever happened and carried on working as a Doctor at the Donneybrook Medical Center in Hyde. This was a role that he managed to keep for two decades and there was no reported incidents but the younger members of staff found him to be quite arrogant and patronising. Harold would often be sent Christmas, Easter and Thank You cards from his patients whom he had bonded with over the years.

In 1993, Harold founded his own medical practice and a lot of his previous patients carried on seeing him for appointments there. He continued to be a well liked and respected member of the community, however, a local family funeral directors began to notice something very strange and alarming happening with quite a number of Harold's patients, especially elderly female patients.

Continued in part two....

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Check out some of the true crime cases I have covered previously:

The Babes In The Wood (Epping Forest, 1970) | Ronald Jebson

The Deadly Cougar? | The Jimmie Sue Finger Story | 2 Part Series

The Story of Ed Gein (3 Part Series)

Infamous Murderers On Death Row, Their Last Words & Last Meals

The Real Buffalo Bill & His House Of Horror | Gary Michael Heidnik

Playing With Fire: Mick & Mairead Philpott 

What Happened To The Petit Family?

The Most Evil Cult Leader In History? | Roch Theriault

The Truck Stop Serial Killer 

Deadly Lust: The Pamela Smart Story 

The Dark & Haunting History of Overtoun Bridge 

The Stuff Of Nightmares | The Toy Box Killer: David Parker Ray

Beyond Evil: The Murder of Jessica Lunsford 

Death Row Scot: The Kenny Richey Story: Part One

Death Row Scot: The Kenny Richey Story: Part Two

Death Row Scot: The kenny Richey Story: Part Three

Don't Talk, Just Listen...The Weepy Voiced Killer

Amityville | The DeFeo Murders

What Really Happened To Mavis Bran? 

Nowhere To Run: The Marilyn McKenna Story | Part One

 Unsolved : Part Three: The Highway Of Tears & The Disappearance Of Maddy Scott 

Unsolved: Part Two | What Happened To Melanie Melanson? 

- Unsolved: Part One | Molly Bish & Holly Piirainen 

The Dark Side of The Internet: The Amanda Todd Story 

The Story of Bible John

1 comment:

  1. what can I say. So far the name Harold Shipman dose not ring a bells to me. I think that all the medical attention that his mum was getting may of made him to go in to the medical Profession. I can't wait to read pt2 🌹🌹🌹🌹