November 27, 2020

Lucy Letby, Children's Nurse, Charged With Murdering Eight Babies and Trying to Murder Ten More

Children's nurse Lucy Letby was arrested on November 10th, 2020 and charged with the murder of eight neonatal babies and the attempted murder of ten more. The 30-year-old has word at the Countess of Chester Hospital for several years and was arrested twice before in connection to the same murder charge since 2018.

A years-long investigation of the hospital noted that several tots "collapsed" or were "surprisingly unresponsive to resuscitation" and many even displayed "sudden mottling". It is possible that Letby used a deadly drug to kill the infants, but toxicology reports, blood electrolytes, or blood sugar test were never performed on any of the babies during routine autopsies.

Nurse Lucy Letby started working at the Chester and District Standard in 2013 after her graduation. She trained with Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation and Trust, caring for babies "requiring various levels of support." Letby was an honours graduate in 2011, getting a BSc in child nursing.

Letby's arrest shocked both her family and friends. The Times of London reported she was "quite awkward and geeky but seemed like a kindhearted person. Her co-workers adored Lucy, often referred to as the "Champion of Kiddies" Lucy was instrumental in a fundraising campaign for an expensive baby unit at her hospital. She told The Chester District and Standard that, "I hope the new unit will provide a greater degree of privacy and space." One of Letby's friends recalled, "Lucy was doing the job she dreamed of doing and appeared nothing but dedicated and professional. You can't imagine her hurting a fly let alone defenseless babies."

Lucy Letby's victims have been identified as Cemlyn Bennett, Maddie Freed, Barney Gee, Eli Gelder, Joseph Gelder, Joseph Johnson, Elsie McNall, and Daisy Parkin.

If you like this story, you may also like The Murdaugh Family Murders Are Getting Ridiculous

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4 comments on “Lucy Letby, Children's Nurse, Charged With Murdering Eight Babies and Trying to Murder Ten More”

  1. Hello, I’ve just listened to your podcast (first time listener) & thought perhaps I could share some light on a possible motive. The US had an infanticide/baby killer case in Texas. Genene Jones was arrested in 1983. Your show mentioned many angel if mercy killings but in Genene’s case (& possibly Lucy’s?) it was actually Munchasen By Proxy. Genene would often inject the babies with dilantin (an anti-seizure med which caused hemorrhaging in large doses) & succinylcholine (a paralytic often given to be able to put a breathing tube in, it paralyzes the lungs & makes breathing without help impossible). Since Genene knew what she was giving the babies, she also knew how to save them. She was given high praise for saving these babies... when she could. Not all survived, but Genene figured if there were enough sick babies where she worked, they would open an entire unit & she could be queen of it. She lived on the praise she was given for saving them. I can’t remember if they figured out how many she saved, but oven I think an 18 month period of time, the deaths of 83 babies were attributed to her. The hospital didn’t want the bad press, nor could they 100% prove it, so they felt that phasing out their LVNs & only having the more experienced RN’s on staff, would fix their problem since Genene was only an LVN. Unfortunately, she was recommended to a new pediatrician opening up in nearby Kerrville where an additional 13 died as a result of Genene’s use of succinylcholine (a drug which would almost never be used in a pediatric office & was only on hand in extreme emergencies). Genene herself had 2 children which she took great care of, so it had nothing to do with that, only with addiction to the praise she would be lavished upon when saving a child (& I would think addiction to the adrenaline as well). 2 books were written on the case & one of them, “The Death Shift” was made into an ABC TV movie “Deadly Medicine”. Genene is currently in prison, I think she was given 99 years as many of the 83 hospital deaths were attributed to her but none could be proven (science wasn’t as good in 1983 as it is now plus there were no autopsies at their times of death). As for the 13 pediatric office deaths, they focused on the death of Chelsea McClellan whose death they felt they had the best shot at conviction. This is the first case in which succinylcholine was actually detected postmortem as it was considered undetectable previous to contacting the company in Switzerland that developed it. I most recently saw a documentary series “Nurses That Kill” I think on Netflix (maybe Amazon Prime?” which has said that Genene is already up for parole but not expected to get it. It shocks me that with almost 100 known deaths, parole comes so swiftly. Even though she was really only convicted I think for Chelsea’s death, it seems sudden.

    Anyways, I thought that maybe I could fill in some of the questions that were raised during your podcast. I did have a question of my own though. There was an Audible book mentioned about the switching of 2 babies, three days old, at a church which of of the girls on the show read for the audio version. I thought she said the name was “2 hunters” but I was unable to find it. A google search mainly brought up the Kimberly Mays/Arleta Twigg case which I’m already familiar with. Could you please help me find this book? It sounds like it might be a great listen. Thank you!

    1. Katie, wow that is awful. I will have to research that story. Thanks for your suggestion, even though I am really hesitant to cover a monster like that. Also the book is called Two Hunters - https://www.audible.com/pd/Two-Hunters-Audiobook/B087Z153RS

    2. I do not think Lucy would have had access to all the drugs you described in your post. Most drugs are prescribed by the Doctors & only if necessary. Those drugs you mentioned in your post are ‘controlled drugs’ and can only be administered in the presents of another Registred Nurse - both healthcare professionals must sign for the treatment intended for a particular individual. However, Lucy would have had access to Adrenaline (Epinephrine) Injection - all cardiac arrest trolleys have these injections & are easily accessible. Have a quick read further down about Adrenaline overdose.

      4.9 Overdose
      Symptoms:

      After overdose or inadvertent IV administration of usual intramuscular subcutaneous doses of adrenaline/epinephrine, systolic and diastolic blood pressure rise sharply; venous pressure also rises. Cerebrovascular or other haemorrhages and hemiplegia may result, especially in elderly patients. Pulmonary oedema may be caused by overdosage or extreme sensitivity to adrenaline.

      Adrenaline/epinephrine overdosage causes transient bradycardia followed by tachycardia and may cause other potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmias.

      Kidney failure, metabolic acidosis and cold, white skin may also occur.

      https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/3449/smpc#gref

    3. You could also have a look at this academic article - it is a very interesting read. Imagine these children’s vital signs going through the roof - Doctors trying to resuscitate these children thinking they have some sort of reaction to a treatment or something & eventually administering more Adrenaline (this could explain why these children were impossible to revive).

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5422946/

      This is my theory only - after all she is the one who knows what happened to these children.

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