A doctor has an unnatural obsession with death. When the FBI gets involved after a string of mysterious deaths, they discover a 20-year-long trail of destruction that leads them on an international hunt to stop a sadistic madman.
Murder by Syringe
A Glendale, California, hospital worker confesses to suffocating dozens of his patients. Investigators fear he’ll walk free because doctors believe the victims died of natural causes.
A beloved grandfather vanishes out of the blue. Strange activity in his financial records leads detectives on a chase from California to Mexico, where they reach a devastating conclusion.
After an orderly is arrested for killing a patient at a Cincinnati hospital, a local reporter gets a tip that leads him to uncover new information about a string of horrifying deaths.
Dialysis patients' weekly treatments go from routine to fatal without explanation. Police shut down the Lufkin, TX, facility to investigate what, or who, may have turned lethal.
An alarming spike in ICU patient deaths prompts a head nurse to investigate the cause. After examining charts recorded by the hospital staff, her findings send shockwaves through the small Indiana town.
Heather Hansen, author of “The Elegant Warrior: How to Win Life’s Trials Without Losing Yourself,” walks through tips for patients. She breaks down the difference between a recognized complication, a malpractice case, or a criminal act.
Billy Meyer, a chief investigator with the Quincy Police Department, recalls investigating Dr. Michael Joseph Swango, who had been accused by his paramedic co-workers of poisoning them. Swango was arrested in October 1984 for poisoning his co-workers, and during a search of his apartment, police found Tero ant poison, books on Satanism, guns, survival knives and recipe cards for pesticides, botulism and cyanide mixtures.
James McCarthy, a former FBI Special Agent, recalls going to interview Michael Joseph Swango, a former physician and serial killer who poisoned patients and co-workers, in prison. Swango pleaded guilty to murdering four victims in 2000, and he is currently serving four life sentences at the ADX Florence supermax prison near Florence, Colorado.
Dennis Cashman, a judge from Quincy, Illinois, remembers overseeing the case of Michael Swango, who had been charged with poisoning his paramedic co-workers at a local hospital. Worried Swango could be a potential danger during the trial, Cashman ordered a padlock to be placed on an ice machine so Swango could not have access to it and potentially harm more co-workers.
In one of serial killer Dr. Joseph Michael Swango's cases, a pregnant patient accused him of injecting her with an unknown substance, shortly after which she went into convulsions. The patient survived and told nurses at the hospital what happened, but Swango denied any wrongdoing. Following suspicion from medical authorities, his privileges were suspended, and Swango fled the area.
Quincy Police Department Chief Investigator Billy Meyer recalls searching Dr. Joseph Michael Swango's disturbing "house of horrors." Meyer says he was "totally shocked and amazed at the same time" after finding "one giant chemistry lab" at Swango's apartment, which was mostly filled with deadly poisons and recipe cards for various toxins.
Detective Tony Futia discusses arresting and interrogating Efren Saldivar, a respiratory therapist and serial killer. Saldivar later pleaded guilty to killing six victims and attempting to kill a seventh, admitting that he murdered patients through methods such as suffocation or lethal injection with drugs like Pavulon and succinylcholine chloride, which halt breathing.
Sergeant John McKillop from the Glendale Police Department recalls the investigation of Efren Saldivar, who pleaded guilty to the murders of six patients and the attempted murder of another patient. Saldivar killed his victims through methods such as suffocation or lethal injection, using drugs like Pavulon and succinylcholine chloride to halt their breathing.
Detective Will Currie from the Glendale Police Department remembers interviewing Efren Saldivar, who pleaded guilty to the murders of six patients and the attempted murder of another. Detective Currie called in Saldivar for his initial interview, and although Currie did not have a lot of information about the respiratory therapist's murders, he wanted to "keep [him] talking."
Michelle Elmore, the daughter of Jean Coyle, discusses her mother's near-death experience at Glendale Adventist Medical Center in February 1997. Coyle survived a "code blue" after being resuscitated, and when Elmore talked to Coyle the following morning, Coyle expressed that "someone was trying to do something" to her and had caused her to stop breathing.
Law enforcement recall interviewing respiratory therapist Bob Baker, who worked alongside Efren Saldivar, another respiratory care therapist at Glendale Adventist Medical Center in Southern California. Police say Baker told them he believed someone was killing patients, and that Saldivar had once told another employee that he had a ''magic syringe.''
Former detective Mo Mekenes-Parga from the San Diego Police Department remembers her interview with Denise Michelle Goodwin, who was Gerald Rabourn's caretaker before he vanished in October 2010. Mekenes-Parga said she had a "gut feeling" something had happened to Rabourn and that he had not simply left town with his new girlfriend as Goodwin had claimed.
Ralph Scobey, the son of Carolyn Rabourn, recalls calling Gerald Rabourn, his mother's husband, after Carolyn's death. Scobey said Gerald was distraught and crying and that he promised to call back the following day. When he called that next morning, a woman named Denise answered the phone and said that Gerald had met a new partner, which Scobey had trouble believing.
Former detective Mo Mekenes-Parga from the San Diego Police Department Missing Persons Unit recounts the case of Gerald Rabourn, who disappeared in October 2010. When Mekenes-Parga reviewed the case report, it explained Rabourn had a new girlfriend and that he no longer wanted to have a contact with his family. Mekenes-Parga spoke with Rabourn's daughter, Mary Weaver, who was adamant something was wrong.
Pat Minarcin, a former news anchor, remembers investigating nurse's aide and serial killer Donald Harvey, who would ultimately admit to killing 37 people. Harvey used a variety of methods to kill his victims, including asphyxiation, turning off their respirators, injecting air into their veins, and poisoning them with arsenic, cyanide, and rat poison.
After 44-year-old John Powell suffers a horrific motorcycle crash, he is sent to the Daniel Drake Memorial Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Powell dies weeks later, and during his autopsy, the Hamilton Country Deputy Coroner smells burnt almonds, an indicator of cyanide. He alerts authorities, who later uncover that Powell was poisoned by nurse's aid Donald Harvey.