At about seven o’clock in the morning, she came out of the hospital, escorted by seven policemen and the endless sea of reporters. Her face was not frightened which confused me; if anything, it scared me. She was calm, she was–and I believe I can say it with complete assertiveness–at peace.
She just looked at the news cameras and smiled. Then she lowered her head in shame. No make-up, bristly gray hair on her head, with the occasional hint of black, and serene green eyes behind wrinkles, a lot of wrinkles. They seemed too weathered, she wasn’t that old.
I made my way near a wall, not to disturb anyone. I came in for the machines, I told myself, and not for the patients.
Then I noticed it; she was a nurse. White dress, closer to her skin that it should have been, a white hat and pale panties. Why a nurse? People pushed and shoved, they wanted to get a look, perhaps shout something. No, some of them even nodded with satisfaction. The policemen loaded her into the back of a squad-car gently and drove off. She left behind a needle. A single needle.
Four hours prior to this, she had entered the hospital dressed as a nurse. The uniform, she had gotten from a used clothing store just a couple of blocks down; the hospital guard trusted her, uniforms are usually a giveaway, and did not ask for her ID. I don’t he checked her purse either; doesn’t matter, she would have stolen the needle from a supply room.
And she knew what she was doing: injecting a huge air bubble then a hefty dose of adrenaline in the main bloodstream would cause anyone an irreparable arrhythmia.
Accelerate the heart past control, sending it to overdrive and forcing a heart-attack, while killing the brain. It seemed the perfect crime. Discard the needle in a junkie-town and you’re home free.
But she didn’t leave. She injected the patient slowly and she cried. The monitor started beeping, it piked with alarms and signals. The lonely nurse on duty at 3 am rushed and found her sitting next to the patient.
“Rest now, my friend,” she said, patting a frail, almost grayish hand, “rest now, my dearest.”
The nurse on duty could do nothing. She was dead within minutes.
The Benevolent Murderer killed her best friend, Lilly, who was on renal support, blood monitoring and, occasionally, a respirator. Lilly was 55 and had been diagnosed with acute diabetes just months past. Her condition dropped to delicate and then to terminally ill in just months. Doctors just waited. Relatives just waited. The Benevolent Murderer didn’t.
Would you wait?