Harold Fredrick Shipman was a British doctor and one of the most prolific serial killers in recorded history by proven murders with up to 250 murders being ascribed to him.
On 31 January 2000, a jury found Shipman guilty of 15 murders. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and the judge recommended that he never be released.
After his trial, the Shipman Inquiry, chaired by Dame Janet Smith, began on 1 September 2000. Lasting almost two years, it was an investigation into all deaths certified by Shipman. About 80% of his victims were women. His youngest victim was a 41-year-old man. Much of Britain’s legal structure concerning health care and medicine was reviewed and modified as a direct and indirect result of Shipman’s crimes. Shipman is the only British doctor who has been found guilty of murdering his patients.
Shipman died on 13 January 2004, after hanging himself in his cell at Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire.