Nature attacks Lucy B murder statistics

The Telegraaf has managed to get its hands on an early copy of science magazine Nature, which looks at the case of serial murderer Lucy B. The nurse was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Dutch court in 2003 for murdering seven patients – despite the lack of physical evidence against her.

The court was told that the chances of B being present at so many deaths was one in 325 million. Nature disagrees. Mathematician Richard Gill says it was hardly surprising that there was a high death rate on B’s wards because she worked on the toughest unit. He put the chance of being present at so many deaths at one in 48 or as high as one in five.
The article also points out the selective choice of evidence. While B worked in the Juliana Children’s Hospital there were six unusual deaths. Yet in the period before she arrived, there had been seven.
A Dutch law commission is currently looking into the case.

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