Although investigators collected forensic evidence implicating him, prosecutors did not charge him until a fellow nurse, wearing a wire, coaxed a confession.
The medical examiner who performed the autopsy had a genetic ability to smell cyanide, which triggered the investigation.
Such cases are distinct from medical errors in which doctors, nurses or other clinicians inadvertently harm or even kill patients through carelessness or mistakes.
These serial killers are often called "angels of death," but those familiar with their behavior say the moniker rarely describes their crimes.
The patients had a range of health conditions that made them vulnerable, and completing a complex medical investigation proved difficult.
A federal medical examiner concluded insulin was injected into McDermott’s abdomen and Shaw’s autopsy revealed injection sites tested positive for insulin.
In Clarksburg, veterans and family members want answers about the suspicious deaths at Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center. »