(Picture credit: tyla.com)
The name Lucy Letby might not ring any bells with you especially if you're not from the UK but it's a name that has been in the back of my mind for the past few years. In 2018 I was watching the news when a report came on about a series of unexplained infant deaths on a Neonatal Unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester, England. Little babies were mysteriously dying and all fingers pointed to the same nurse who'd just happened to always be there when these children had passed away.
The news reported that this woman had been taken in to be questioned and that the police were searching her property and the investigation was ongoing. Over the next few months things went quiet and the case was put to the back of my mind, I assumed that the woman must have been let go by the police and that the case was dropped. I've since found out that this woman who was finally named as 30 year old Lucy Letby, had been on bail and the police had actually arrested her a total of three times, the third being this year (November 2020).
The police are 100% confident that they have their killer and whilst I looked over the newspaper articles and listened to the news reports about the case, one name jumped to the front of my mind.....Beverley Allitt. I will be going into why the Lucy Letby case will be opening old wounds and the connection to the Beverley Allitt case in this post. It's important for me to mention that Lucy is yet to go to trial and has pleaded innocence. She has attended a few court hearings and her family have been standing by her.
None of us like to admit that we judge sometimes based on appearance but some of us do especially when it comes to professional roles and as you'll see in this post, both Lucy and Beverley had that innocent, wholesome, nice girl look about them, the sort of girls your mother would approve of. But behind the friendly smiles and bubbly personalities were two cold blooded killers who took the lives of children and stood and watched as the heartbroken parents of their victims sobbed their hearts out.
I'm currently keeping my eye on the Lucy Letby case so I will update you when I know more. I know that more horrific details will be shared and we could be looking at another female serial killer in the UK. At her most recent court appearance she was denied bail and there is a considerable amount of evidence against her. Lucy is said to be responsible for the deaths of eight babies and ten attempted murders. [Lucy Letby UPDATE!]
Before I get into one of the most shocking and horrendous cases the UK (and the world) has even seen, I want to just remind you that you can find more exclusive true crime content, including my thoughts on the cases I have covered, mini podcasts, case requests and more over on my Patreon page
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So, let me tell you more about the Beverley Allitt case. Beverley was a trainee nurse in her early twenties who worked on a children's ward at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital in Grantham, Lincolnshire back in the early 1990s. The children's ward was very understaffed and wasn't properly supervised. Despite Beverley's lack of experience (she'd previously struggled to get through her nursing training barely scraping a pass. She also complained of various illnesses and had quite a number of sick days off of her training. There were also some strange things that had happened at the trainee nurses quarters, things being set on fire, human faeces being left in the fridge and under cupboards. All fingers pointed to Beverley but nobody could prove it) a role was created for her on the ward because they needed an extra pair of hands and Beverley was finding it really hard to find somewhere that would take her on (she never got past previous interviews).
Beverley was quite a quiet person and seemed to be very friendly towards the staff and the patients however, behind closed doors Beverley was a completely different person. She was born on the 4th of October 1968, one of four children and seemed to have a somewhat normal childhood apart from the fact that she could not stop lying and this was a huge trait of her personality that she carried on up to adulthood. To gain attention from her parents or teachers, she would intentionally hurt herself or fall over. As she got older she would try this same routine with boyfriends that she had. Her previous partners said that she lied constantly throughout their relationship, was obsessed with her health and created false illnesses (including injecting water into one of her breasts so it would appear larger than the other) through most of it and had even beaten up one of her boyfriends in a rage.
So before Beverley Allitt (who is now referred to as The Angel of Death) even set foot on the children's ward she had a very dark history behind her of violence, lies and delusions.
How did she manage to get the role? It's simple, they didn't bother to give her the proper security checks that a nurse working with vulnerable people (especially babies and older children) should have. There was a staff shortage and the more experienced nurse that was supposed to be training Beverley didn't do her job properly. What I also found shocking in my research is that Beverley was left pretty much to her own devices and that staff had a suspicion that something very sinister was happening on the ward after the child deaths but failed to raise the alarm straight away for fear of the ward being shut down and funding being put on hold.
On the 15th of February 1991, Beverley was offered a six month contract and began working on the ward where she had access to things that she shouldn't have had. The first child to die at the hands of this evil woman was a beautiful seven week old baby boy named Liam Taylor on the 24th of February. NINE DAYS!, just nine days from when she first started working there, that's how quickly she started killing, she didn't waste any time carrying out her evil crimes.
The next victim to lose his life at her hands on the 5th of March 1991, was eleven year old Timothy Hardwick. Timothy had Cerebral Palsy and had been brought to the children's ward by his parents after he suffered an Epileptic seizure.
[In between the murders there were also attempted murders and as it was a hospital setting (where cleaning would regularly take place) it was very difficult at the time to establish what had exactly happened to these children. The common factor in all of these deaths and the children who suddenly fell even more gravely ill was that Beverley Allitt had been present with each child. Some of the children who were injected with heavy dosages of insulin (which was her favourite method to use) managed to pull through with the help of other Doctors, some children were able to recover fully when moved to another hospital]
Becky Philips was only two months old when her anxious parents brought her to the hospital. Becky had Gastroenteritis and knowing how serious that can be in such a young baby, they wanted her to be in the best place possible to receive whatever proper healthcare she needed. Beverley Allitt saw another opportunity to kill and before Becky was sent back home with her parents, she administered a heavy dosage of insulin which killed Becky two days later. Becky was at home when she died so at the time it was thought that she had died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Becky had a twin sister Katie who was brought into the hospital as a precaution after Becky's sudden death. One cannot imagine how Beverley Allitt found the nerve and coldness to stand in front of these two distraught parents who'd already lost one child and were in fear of losing another. Beverley put on the performance of being the caring nurse and she was so good an actress that Becky's parents asked her to be the Godmother of Katie. Despite all of this, Beverley did her best to try and destroy this family even more by trying to kill Katie. Little Katie fought twice for her life after Beverley had administered fatal dosages of insulin and potassium into her blood stream. The first time, the Doctors were able to rush in and save Katie just in time. The second time, when everyone left the room and Beverley was again alone with the child, Beverley injected her again causing Katie to stop breathing and turn blue. Thinking her plan had worked this time and it would be too late to save her, Beverley raised the alarm, pretending to show concern. Luckily the Doctors were able to get Katie stable where she was moved to another hospital but by then a lot of damage had been done. Katie had suffered permanent brain damage and continues to need medical assistance to this day (Katie received a 2 million pound compensation payout in 1999 to help pay for her medical bills).
Claire Peck was admitted to the children's ward on the 22nd of April with Asthma complications, she had been a regular at the hospital since birth so both she and her parents were well known by the staff. Again, it was a situation that Doctors had managed to get under control but when left alone with Beverley Allitt all hell had broken loose. Claire was only fifteen months old when she was murdered.
There are stories of other children who came so close to death, all the circumstances similar, all injected with high dosages of insulin, all were left alone with Beverley Allitt and whenever she wasn't around or if the children were sent to another hospital they seemed to make a miraculous recovery.
Eventually an investigation took place and all the evidence lead back to Beverley, who of course denied everything and because she was such a good actress some people actually believed that the ''lovely, friendly'' Beverley had been stitched up by the police.
It got to the point where there was so much evidence against her that even she knew the game was up and told friends that she would make sure she was never be sent to prison. She was assessed by healthcare professionals and they determined that she should be sent to prison (Beverley refused to eat and drink so that she would be sent to a Psychiatric Hospital instead like she planned). She was described by experts as manipulative and suffering from both Munchausen's Syndrome (where you fake an illness or accident in order to get sympathy and attention) and Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy (fabricating or causing an illness to someone else in order to get attention). It was clear that Beverley had been showing characteristics of these two psychological illnesses since childhood.
(Picture credit: tyla.com)
When Beverley went to trial she was charged with four counts of murder, eleven counts of attempted murder and eleven counts of Grievous Bodily Harm. She was found guilty of all charges and given thirteen life sentences, she will never be released. She is currently 52 years old and is carrying out her sentences at Rampton Secure Hospital in Nottingham. Some of the Parents have spoken out about how disgusted they are that she is in a more comfortable environment when she should be in jail and I couldn't agree more.
So, as you can see the reason why the Lucy Letby case reminded me of what happened with Beverley Allitt. Who knows what horrific details we are yet to learn about Lucy's case but one thing I do know is that what these monsters did was pure evil and I don't care that they are women. Some women can be just as evil as some men can be and sometimes they can be even worse.
I will be sharing my thoughts on both of these cases in my mini podcast over on my Patreon page.
RIP to all of the victims of Lucy Letby (the names have been kept from public knowledge out of respect for the families), God bless the survivors and their families.
RIP to Liam Taylor, Timothy Hardwick, Becky Phillips and Claire Peck. God bless the survivors and their families.
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