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Nurse Arrested in Alzheimer Deaths

July 5, 2001

LUCERNE, Switzerland (AP) _ A male nurse at a home for the elderly has admitted to killing nine women afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, judicial authorities said Thursday.

The man, whose identity has been withheld, is being detained pending an investigation on suspicion of intentional homicide, said Orvo Nieminen, the investigating magistrate.

The man was questioned after 12 deaths were reported during a seven-month period in the home’s dementia and geriatric units, police said.

He admitted to causing at least nine deaths and said he had done ``something good″ for the women out of pity and compassion, Nieminen said.

Daniel Bussman, chief of Lucerne criminal police, said investigators were still trying to determine how the man had killed the women.

Police said they will investigate the man’s previous places of employment to determine if there were any similar cases.

Ruedi Meier, who as director of Lucerne social services is responsible for the home, described the deaths as ``an incomprehensible act.″

Alzheimer’s disease causes a decline in memory and the ability to care for oneself.

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