Beverley Gail Allitt, dubbed the ‘Angel of Death’, was born on 4 October 1968 and grew up in the village of Corby Glen, near the town of Grantham, with her two sisters and a brother. During her early years she failed the admission test to enter Kesteven & Grantham Girls’ School and attended Charles Read Secondary Modern School. Her childhood was normal from the outside, but there were some worrying signs from inside, which were not really normal. As she was growing up, she started to exhibit some unusual tendencies to draw attention, which included wrapping a part her body with bandages and casts over imaginary wounds. Obviously, she did not allow anybody to check those wounds. Gradually, she became more and more attention-seeking, often showing aggression and spent considerable time in hospitals attempting to get medical attention for a series of physical ailments.
Even, she persuaded a doctor to remove her perfectly healthy appendix and then failed to heal because she kept pricking at the surgical scar, again for attention. She came to be well-known in her community for her ‘doctor-hopping’ habit, as she resorted to self- inflicted harm, intending medical attention. However, when all these behaviours, typically related to Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy (MHBP), failed to draw her much desired special attention, she became aggressive and began to hurt others in order to satisfy her desire to be noticed.
Beverley left school at 16 and took admission at Grantham College to take a course in nursing, when she was suspected of some odd behaviour, such as smearing feces on walls in a nursing home, where she was taking her practical training. Her absentee level was also exceptionally high, which was related to her series of imaginary illnesses. Later, it was reported by her boyfriend at that time that she was aggressive, manipulative and deceptive, claiming false pregnancy, as well as rape, before the end of the relationship.
Nevertheless, Beverley Gail completed the training course in 1991 and despite her history of poor attendance and successive failure of her nursing examinations she was absorbed on a temporary six-month contract at Grantham & Kesteven Hospital in Lincolnshire, where she was assigned to Children’s Ward 4. It was an understaffed hospital in Lincolnshire, with two trained nurses on the day-shift and only one for the night, which explains why her murderous behaviour went undetected for long.
The cruel killing spree of Beverley Gail started with seven-month-old Liam Taylor, who was admitted to Ward 4 with a chest infection on the 21st of February 1991. She took over the child’s care, assured his parents and persuaded them to go home to get some rest. As she was left alone with the boy, he had a mysteriously unexplained cardiac arrest and at that critical moment Gail summoned the emergency resuscitation team. However, despite the best efforts of the attending team, the kid suffered severe brain damage, but remained alive in a coma and ultimately died, when his parents made the agonizing decision to remove their baby from life support. Beverley watched the entire incident, then calmly put on her coat and went home.
The next incident took place just after two weeks, when 11-year-old Timothy Hardwick, a patient with cerebral palsy was admitted, as he had suffered an epileptic fit on the 5th of March. This time also, Beverley Gail Allitt took over his care, left alone with the boy and after some time, called for emergency resuscitation, who found the kid in the bed without a pulse and turning blue. However, an autopsy failed to specify the reason of his death.
On 3 March 1991, Beverley had her third victim, one-year-old Kayley Desmond, who luckily escaped her clutches alive. Initially, he was transferred to Ward 4, with a chest infection. Though the young girl seemed to be recovering, suddenly she had a cardiac arrest five days later, while under the care of Beverley Gail. The girl revived after being transferred to another hospital on the 8th of March. It was here that the doctors discovered the first signs of a foul play, a puncture wound under her armpit, along with an adjacent air bubble. Unfortunately, this was analyzed as an accidental injection.
Her fourth victim was Paul Crampton, a five-month-old patient with a bronchial infection, who suffered an insulin shock on 20 March 1991 and was on the verge of going into a coma three separate times. Fortunately, he was revived each time, but doctors were bewildered by his high insulin levels. Next day, it was the turn of five-year-old Bradley Gibson, suffering from pneumonia. While being attended by Beverley at night, he suffered an unexplained cardiac arrest. Though he was successfully resuscitated, his sky-high insulin level confused the doctors. Two-year-old Yik Hung Chan was also in distress, when on 22 March 1991, he turned blue, while Beverley Gail Allitt was attending him alone. He was saved by inducing oxygen, but had a second attack and was fortunately transferred to another hospital, which allowed him to recover. However, a fall and the consequent head injury were blamed for his second attack.
After a dormant period of about a week, just two months old twin sisters, Katie and Becky Phillips, who appeared to have gastroenteritis, were admitted on the 1st day of April and again Beverley Gail took the charge. Two days later, Becky was found to be hypoglycaemic or low blood sugar level, which surprised the doctors. However, as she recovered, the twins were released. Unfortunately, Becky died later that night after having a convulsion, without any apparent reason and Katie was readmitted to the hospital as a precaution. While under Allitt’s care, the child stopped breathing twice in two days and finally, her lungs collapsed. When she was transferred to another hospital, the doctors discovered that five of her ribs were broken and she had serious brain damage.
Meanwhile, the hospital authority became suspicious about the unexplained attacks in otherwise steady patients and the emphatic presence of the Beverley Gail Allitt during all those attacks. Ultimately, the death of 15-month-old Claire Peck on April 22nd marked the end of Beverley’s killing spree.
The baby, a critical asthmatic, who was using a breathing tube, suffered an unexplained heart attack, while under care of Beverley Gail for just a few minutes. She was successfully revived by the medical team, only to suffer another massive attack on the same day, when again in Allitt’s care and died. Though the autopsy report indicated that Claire had died from natural causes, an inquiry was initiated by Dr. Nelson, a consultant at the hospital, who was alarmed by the high number of cardiac arrests over the previous two months only on Ward 4 of the hospital. Finally, after 18 days of the incident, the authority had to contact the police department, since a pathological test reported a high level of potassium in baby Claire's blood. Traces of Lignocaine, a drug used during cardiac arrest, but should not be used in case of a baby, were also found in her system from her exhumation. It was also revealed that Beverley Gail Allitt had reported the key missing to the insulin refrigerator. Suspicions were raised when record checks revealed that the daily nursing logs are also missing. It was discovered that out of twenty five separate suspicious episodes, thirteen victims were identified, four of whom were dead, and the only common factor relating to all of them was the undisputed presence of Beverley Allitt at every fatal episode. As they looked into her past, they also realized that the motive behind her crime was to garner attention by inflicting pain on others, due to her serious personality disorder for years. By 26 July 1991, the police became convinced and confident about having sufficient evidence to charge Beverley Gail Allitt with multiple murders, but it was not until November 1991 that she was formally charged.
During interrogation, Beverley kept her cool, and denied all the charges. After a series of hearings, she was charged with four counts of murder, 11 counts of attempted murder, and 11 counts of causing critical bodily harm. After much delay due to her innumerable reported ‘illnesses’, as a result of which she had lost 70 pounds, she went to trial at Nottingham Crown Court on 15th February 1993. The prosecutors explained to the jury how Beverley had been present in each suspicious episode and the lack of episodes when she was not in the ward. The Evidences were produced against her about the high readings of insulin and potassium in each of the victims, as well as drug injection and puncture marks. She was also formally accused of disconnecting oxygen supply to some of the victims, by smothering or tampering the medical equipment. Finally, Beverley Gail Allitt was convicted on 23 May 1993, and given 13 life sentences for murder and attempted murder, which was the harshest sentence ever delivered to a female in the UK.
Due to the impact of the court case, the Maternity unit of the Grantham & Kesteven Hospital lost its reputation and was forced to close down. However, instead of being sent to a prison, Beverley Gail Allitt was detained at Rampton Secure Hospital in Nottingham, a high-security facility housing under the Mental Health Act, as she was a patient of serious personality disorder syndrome for years. Nevertheless, the appalling nature of her crimes has placed her on the Home Office list of criminals who will never be eligible for parole. On a later date, Beverley admitted to three of the murders of which she was charged, as well as six of the assaults.
It may be added here that, Rampton is more like a holiday camp than a prison and it costs the taxpayers around $3,000 per week, per inmate, to administer it. Beverley Gail Allitt was the subject of a Mirror Newspaper inquiry in May 2005, when it was revealed that, since her incarceration in 1993, she received over $40,000 in State benefits.