Prosecutor Says 11 Of 13 Deaths Harvey Claims Were Murder
Sep. 14, 1987
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ A prosecutor says he has determined that 11 of the 13 deaths claimed by an admitted serial killer at a Kentucky hospital were murders.
''I wouldn't say the other two were accidental, but I can say that they apparently involve no criminal liability,'' Laurel County Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Handy said after a television interview Sunday.
During the broadcast of WLEX-TV's ''Your Government'' program, Handy said he has identified nine of the 13 people Donald Harvey said he killed when he worked as a nurse's aide at Marymount Hospital in London in 1970 and 1971.
Harvey, 35, pleaded guilty in a plea bargain last month in Cincinnati to killing 25 people, 21 of them patients at Cincinnati's Drake Memorial Hospital, where he worked as an aide in 1986-87.
After he was sentenced to three consecutive life terms for those murders, Harvey told his lawyer he also killed eight people while he worked at Marymount.
Harvey increased that number to 12, and later to 13, in subsequent interviews with his attorney and in an interview with Handy last Wednesday.
Harvey has agreed to help Handy with his investigation, and the prosecutor said Harvey supplied the names of three of the nine identified victims. Handy and others working on the case used information from Harvey, plus medical records and interviews with Marymount employees, to identify the other six.
Handy said he hoped to identify the other four. ''We're further along on some of those than others,'' he said.
Harvey's lawyer, William P. Whalen, has said Harvey said he killed most of the Marymount victims by hooking them up to empty or nearly empty oxygen tanks.
Handy said Harvey told him he tried to kill some of his victims at Marymount three or four times before he succeeded and that he unsuccessfully tried to kill other patients.
Handy also said his investigation has turned up no indication of any criminal liability on the part of any other Marymount employee.
Asked for a motive in the London killings, Handy said: ''He did some on the spur of the moment and cannot explain why he killed them. One he claimed was a mercy killing, but he had given us the facts that it was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing.''
The London killings will be presented to a grand jury when all 13 victims are identified, possibly late this month, Handy said.