Feeds

UK's worst serial killer was ‘computer bore’

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.