The Nightmare closet

Richard Angelo

(Killings between April 1987 and October 1987)

He was a killer with a different mindset from all others. He made the entire nation scared of hospitals. The desire to be a hero in others eyes made him a monster. He was 26 when he went to work at the Good Samaritan Hospital on Long Island in New York. He was a former Eagle Scout and always did good things for others.  His inability to achieve the level of praise he always desired made him a dangerous serial killer of a totally different kind.

 Since he worked as an emergency medical technician and Charge Nurse, he saw plenty of opportunities, so he decided to take a chance.  Injecting something into the IV tube of a patient named John Fisher, Angelo created an emergency.  The man was soon in critical condition, but before Angelo could save him, he died.  That one was a failure, but Angelo tried again.

Some of the patients survived, some died.   It's estimated that he managed to kill ten people in his desire to be important. 

Then one patient, Gerolamo Kucich, caught him.   Kucich saw a bearded man put something into his IV, and he managed to reach for his call button before he succumbed.  That action saved his life.  He then told some nurses about the man and they linked the description to Angelo.  Kucich's nurse took a urine sample and had it analyzed.  It came back testing positive for the paralyzing drugs, Pavulon and Anectine, which had not been prescribed for this patient.

A search of Angelo's apartment turned up vials of both drugs, so he was arrested.   He confessed that he'd murdered several patients.  Ten bodies were exhumed and the paralyzing drug was found in their system.  Angelo was soon nicknamed Long Island's "Angel of Death."

He is said to have killed 25 people.  He was charged for second-degree murder on multiple counts and sentenced to 61 years to life imprisonment. He is currently in the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York.

"I wanted to create a situation where I would cause the patient to have some respiratory distress or some problem, and through my intervention or suggested intervention or whatever, come out looking like I knew what I was doing," Angelo later said of the murders. "I had no confidence in myself.