Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
A failed mayoral candidate suspected of killing more than a dozen people after forging qualifications she was a doctor to gain respect has burst into tears after learning she faces life if convicted.
The woman named only as Meike S., 50, because of local privacy laws is facing three murder charges and 10 manslaughter charges in court in Fritzlar in the German State of Hesse. The mother of one adult child also faces charges over GBH, falsification of documents and abuse of professional titles.
Prosecutors initially suspected treatment errors of Meike S. causing the deaths of five people aged between 77 and 86. However, they reduced the number to three in the meantime as the investigation continued. The number of manslaughter allegations was also dropped from 11 to 10.
Meike S. – who is in her third marriage – has a biochemistry degree and ran for mayor in the small town of Bad Emstal near Kassel, Hesse, in 2012. After losing out to her opponent Ralf Pfeiffer, Meike S. reportedly forged documentation on her iMac saying she was a medic so she could get a job in the anesthesiology department of the Heiligen Geist Hospital in Fritzlar.
Dirk Metz is a spokesman for the clinic. He told newspaper Bild: “Her documents were forged in a highly professional manner. No one had any suspicions about them, not even at the state’s medical council.”
She anaesthetised 350 patients during her engagement at the hospital between 2015 and 2018 without any supervision of a senior doctor and despite the fact that she did not even have basic training.
Now prosecutors said Meike S. should be imprisoned for life due to the severity of her crimes, adding that she carried out the shocking deception because she was longing for a doctor’s prestige and lifestyle.
Lawyer Carsten Drastik represents the wife of Karl-Georg Schaefer. The grandfather-of-two died two days after being treated by Meike S. ahead of his routine dialysis in 2017.
Drastik, 50, said: “She made major mistakes. His blood pressure suddenly dropped, but she just watched him die.
“She does not give any statements or show any emotion in court. She is as cold as ice. But she started to cry when the prosecutor called for a life sentence.”
The suspect’s defence lawyer, Sven Schoeller, argued his client had “performed impeccably”. According to Schoeller, there had never been any complaints regarding her work.
Schoeller said: “The evidence will undoubtedly show that my client forged her degree. However, she is not a murderer. Murder and attempted murder require an intention of killing.”
Schoeller’s appeal to free Meike S. from custody has been rejected by the Regional Court in Kassel.
Investigations started after doubts have been raised concerning her certificates when Meike S. applied for a position at the renowned private Baltic Sea Clinic in Schoenberg, in Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany.
In her letter of motivation, Meike S. said she wanted to “continue showing my determination as a doctor.”
Ralf Pfeiffer, 58, her rival in the Bad Emstal mayor campaign back in 2012, told Bild: “I remember her telling me: ‘I work as an emergency doctor. I’m saving lives.’”
According to Bild, Meike S. splashed GBP 50,000 (EUR 59,000) on a luxury car during her spell at the hospital in Fritzlar.
Prosecutors urged the court to confiscate her property assets of a reported GBP 139,000 (EUR 162,000).
The trial – which started in January 2021 – continues.