Angel of Death

By Takhyla green


Kristen Heather Gilbert (born Kristen Heather Strickland, November 13, 1967 is an American serial killer who was convicted for three first degree murder, one second degree murder and two attempted murders of patients admitted for care at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in North Hampton. She induced cardiac arrest in patients by injecting their intravenous thearpy bags with massive doses of ephedrine , an untraceable heart stimulant. She would then respond to the coded emergency, often resuscitating the patients herself.

Gilbert's known victims are Stanley Jagodowski age 65, Henry Hudson, 35, Kenneth Cutting, 41, and Edward Skwira, 69.

Careers and Murders

In 1989, she joined the staff of the VAMC in Northampton. She was featured in the magazine VA Practitioner in April 1990. Although other nurses noticed a high number of deaths on Gilbert's watch, they passed it off and jokingly called her the "Angel of Death". In 1996, three nurses reported their concern about an increase in cardiac arrest deaths and a decrease in the supply of epinephrine; an investigation ensued. Gilbert telephoned in a bomb threat to attempt to derail the investigation.

Gilbert left the hospital in 1996 amid a hospital investigation into many suspicious patient deaths that occurred during her shifts. That fall, Gilbert checked herself into psychiatric hospitals seven times, staying between one and 10 days each time. In January 1998, Gilbert stood trial for calling in a bomb threat to the Northampton VAMC to retaliate against co-workers and former boyfriend James Perrault who worked at the hospital for their participation in the investigation. In April 1998, Gilbert was convicted of that crime.

Some claim that Gilbert was using these emergency situations to gain the attention of James Perrault, a VA police officer who had an affair with the married Gilbert. VA hospital rules required that hospital police be present at any medical emergency. VA hospital staff members speculate that Gilbert may have been responsible for eighty or more deaths and over three hundred medical emergencies. The prosecutor in her case, Assistant U.S. Attorney William M. Welch II, asserted that Gilbert was having an affair with VA police officer Perrault at the hospital. Perrault testified against Gilbert, saying that she confessed at least one murder to him by phone while she was hospitalized in a psychiatric ward of a hospital. Defense attorney David P. Hoose claimed reasonable doubt based on a lack of direct evidence.


Gilbert was convicted on March 14, 2001 in federal court. Though Massachusetts does not have capital punishment, her crimes were committed on federal property and thus subject to the death penalty. However, upon the jury's recommendation, she was sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole plus 20 years.

Gilbert was transferred from a prison for women in Fragriham,Massachusetts to a special federal prison in Texas, where she has remained ever since. She is serving her sentence at hospital in Fort Worth Texas.

Gilbert dropped her federal appeal for a new trial after a recent us supreme court ruling that would have allowed prosecutors to pursue the death penalty upon retrial.

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