Feeds

UK's worst serial killer was ‘computer bore’

Dr Harold Shipman's geekish devotion to technology was his downfall

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

The British doctor convicted yesterday of murdering 15 patients came unstuck via his meticulously kept computer records.

Harold Shipman was a "disciple of computer records" from the moment he became a GP in 1974, today's Times reported. He prided himself on logging patients' files on his trusty PC using MicroDoc software, a program designed for GPs.

But it was this willingness to embrace technology which led to the father-of-four's downfall.

That and the fact that people became suspicious after five patients died inside his Greater Manchester surgery.

"He was very meticulous and had a computer system which he used a lot. He was very proud of what he could do with patients' notes in terms of auditing and things," said one medical colleague.

"I suppose he was a bit of a computer bore."

But what Shipman didn't realise was that he left a shadow on the hard drive every time he put new patient information onto the software. This oversight enabled detectives to find all kind of clues when they confiscated the computer records, despite Shipman's best attempts to delete them.

Police discovered the patients' files had been tampered with and questioned Shipman. It was during this interview that he became distressed and finally collapsed.

The 54-year-old was yesterday labelled Britain's worst serial killer after being found guilty at Preston Crown Court of murdering 15 female patients with lethal injections of heroin.

Shipman, who got a sexual "buzz" out of being present at the time of death, is believed to have killed a total of 150 women. ®

Related Story

A spoonful of email makes the medicine go down

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.