British Police Looking at Dozens More Suspicious Deaths Possibly Linked to Man Dubbed 'Dr. Death'Aired February 7, 2000 - 2:06 p.m. ET
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DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: In Manchester, England, the man dubbed "Dr. Death" may be in prison, but the investigation into his alleged deadly handiwork is far from over. Police say they're looking at dozens more suspicious deaths that may bear his trademark.
CNN's Margaret Lowrie has an update.
MARGARET LOWRIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Police in Manchester say they will investigate 39 new complaints about suspicious deaths of patients while in the care of Dr. Harold Shipman, complaints that have come from relatives or friends of those patients. Shipman was found guilty last week of killing 15 other female patients with lethal injections of heroin. Since his conviction last week, British authorities have said they believe the 54-year-old family practitioner is the country's most prolific serial killer ever.
The new probe brings to 175 the total number of cases thus far requiring a police investigation, including those 15 for which he received 15 life sentences. Of that total so far, police say 98 cases were dropped for lack of sufficient evidence.
Police have handed over files to prosecutors on 23 other cases that came up either during or after the trial. The Crown Prosecution Service must decide on the feasibility of bringing Shipman to trial again, but legal experts believe there is little likelihood that will happen. The amount of publicity Shipman has received, experts say, could prejudice a second trial. The cost of mounting another prosecution would also be a factor, as well as the fact his 15 life sentences mean he will never again be a free man again.
(on camera): However, there may be pressure for some kind of hearing from those who want to know whether Harold Shipman was, indeed, responsible for their relatives' deaths, and British authorities may have to find some way to answer their questions.
Margaret Lowrie, CNN, London.
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