- NAME: John Bodkin Adams
- OCCUPATION: Serial Killer, Doctor
- BIRTH DATE: January 21, 1899
- DEATH DATE: July 04, 1983
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Randalstown, Ireland
- PLACE OF DEATH: Eastbourne, England, United Kingdom
- AKA: Dr. John Bodkin Adams
- AKA: Doctor John Bodkin Adams
- AKA: John Adams
- Full Name: John Bodkin Adams
Best Known For
John Bodkin Adams is best known for standing trial in the suspicious deaths of 163 former patients in England.
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Adams, including a Rolls Royce.
Gossip surrounding Adams began circulating around the close-knit seaside community. Whether there was truth in the allegations that Adams was an 'angel of death,' preying on vulnerable wealthy widows, or was an 'angel of mercy,' kindly alleviating suffering, was up for conjecture.
It appears that the death of Hullett in 1956 precipitated a state of affairs that was to bring Adams to the attention of the authorities.
The gossip in the town finally led the police to investigate and they arrested Adams on suspicion of murder. The general rumors that swept the genteel seaside resort were that Adams' bedside manner was to persuade a wealthy widow to write a will which left him money before administering a lethal concoction of drugs.
Accusations and hearsay had reached such a peak that the local police had little choice but to undertake an investigation. At the same time the press got hold of the story and almost in a 'trial by media' manner helped reinforce the view that Adams was a doctor with a sinister agenda. One headline, Inquiry into 400 wills, no doubt helped fuel the view that Adams was a potential killer.
The police investigated for several months during 1956. Then on October 1 of that year they confronted Dr. Adams with their suspicions concerning the death of Mrs. Morrell. In his defense Adams argued that his ill patient, suffering terribly from pain, wanted to die. He argued that it was no crime to ease the suffering of the terminally ill. But it was the legacies left in the patients wills that caused the police to remain suspicious over Adams motivations.
Adams' trial took place in March 1957. Adams defense made a point that the charge was based mainly on testimonies from the nurses who had tended to Mrs. Morrell.
It transpired that Mrs. Morell had been cared for on a 24-hour basis by a team of four nurses. The nurses testified that it had been Dr. Bodkin Adams's practice to inject his patients with grossly excessive doses of pain-killing drugs such as morphine and heroin. Despite their deeply shock and suspicion of this behavior, they felt that as nurses there was little could they do.
The situation looked bleak for Dr. Adams until the defense cross-examined the first of the nurses who had given such damning evidence. Lawrence managed to procure from her the fact that all injections given to Mrs. Morrell had been carefully recorded in a notebook, together with details of her condition at all stages during her illness. This procedure was standard practice for any terminally ill patient.
When the defense produced not just one but eight notebooks, overlooked by police investigations, they proved to contain every detail of Mrs. Morell's treatment for several years before her death. The nurses themselves had also written in them, and during examination of the notes it was discovered that their memories failed to correlate with their verbal evidence in court.
Could it have been the case that these nurses had allowed themselves to be influenced by malicious gossip circulating in the town?
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