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Angel of Death: Beverley Allitt

Written By: Naomi

Trigger Warning: Infanticide, Death of Children


Beverley Gail Allitt was born October 4th, 1968 in a village called Corby Glen in England to Richard who worked in a liquor store (known as an off licence) and Lillian Allit who cleaned schools, she one of four siblings. Beverley was known for volunteering to babysit for people, for being ill often, and later known as the Angel of Death and one of the most notorious serial killers of England.

When she was young she would wear bandages and casts despite not being injured just to gain the attention of others and would visit hospitals for illnesses she pretended to have which led to her appendix being unnecessarily removed. After this surgery she would also pick at the operation site and self harm to elongate the healing process. She would resort to doctor hopping at one point since they would become familiar with her habits of coming in with all types of made up ailments.

She dropped out of school at the age of 16 before starting her nursing courses at Grantham College, in the nursing home she studied in it was said that she was absent for most of the classes claiming illness and would smear feces on the walls. Growing up Beverley was also violent, abusive, and manipulative to people, but at this time it all became directed at her boyfriend and would falsely claimed on multiple occasions that he raped her and that she was pregnant.

Despite not going to school, smearing fecal matter over the walls, and failing all of her tests she went on to be employed as a state enrolled nurse which is someone who takes nursing courses that were a simplified version of the full nurse training, anyone who failed their nursing exam more than 3 times still could become a state enrolled nurse. Beverley worked in Children's Ward 4 at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital for a six month program since the hospital was severely understaffed. This is where Beverley commit her murders over a period of 59 days from February through April of 1991.

During this time she actually only ended up killing 4 children, there were 3 others she attempted to murder and 6 she caused serious bodily harm to.

Her first victim was seven month old Liam Taylor who was admitted for a chest infection on February 21st, Beverley assured his family he would be in good hands and sent them home. Liam suffered two breathing emergencies under Beverley’s care and went into cardiac arrest. When the emergency team tried to resuscitate Liam they noticed the alarms in the room had failed to sound when he had stopped breathing. He suffered extensive brain damage which prompted his parents to pull the plug, placing Beverley’s first murder on February 22nd.

Timothy Hardwick who was eleven years old with cerebral Palsy came to the hospital two weeks after Liam's death after having an epileptic seizure. Like Liam he had a respiratory issues and was found without a pulse under Beverley's care, dying on March 5th.

Kayley Desmond was one year old when she was admitted for a chest infection on March 3rd. She was healing well but mysteriously went into cardiac arrest under Beverley's care on March 8th in the same bed Liam Taylor had died in. Luckily Kayley was resuscitated and transferred to another hospital. It was suspected that there was foul play when there was an injection wound under Kayley’s armpit with an air bubble in the same area but later professionals called it an accidental injection and no one suspected Beverley.

Paul Crampton was admitted for a non-serious bronchial infection when he was five months old on March 20th. Beverley tried to kill him three separate times with insulin overdoses, nearly sending him into a coma each time, before he was transferred hospitals when his abnormally high insulin levels were noticed. Beverley rode with him while he was being transferred to this new hospital, when he arrived his insulin levels were abnormally high again. He survived and was able to recuperate at the new hospital.

Beverley started to attack more often at this point and targeted Bradley Gibson who was five years old when admitted for pneumonia the day after Paul transferred hospitals. He went into cardiac arrest but was resuscitated with unusually high insulin levels. Beverley was the nurse on duty that night when he suddenly went into cardiac arrest again and had an oxygen desaturation attack before he was transferred to another hospital. Two year old Yik Hung Chan (Henry) who had been admitted after falling out of a window and fracturing his skull on March 21st had an oxygen desaturation attack as well and was transferred to another hospital where his symptoms were attributed to his head injury.

Two month old Becky Phillips and her twin sister Katie Phillips were being held for observation after being born prematurely. When Becky was suffering from gastroenteritis on April 1st Beverley was the one to watch her, like the other children she administered high doses of insulin and returned Becky to her parents after saying that she felt the baby was hypoglycemic and cold to the touch. At home she began to cry in pain and the doctor who preformed a house call said it was probably colic. She died at home 2 days later which was originally thought to be sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) at first. After Becky's death her twin sister was admitted to the same hospital as a precaution and placed under Beverley's care. Katie Phillips had a multiple unexplained episodes of apnea that required her to be resuscitated twice and caused her lungs to collapse, it was later found out to have been caused by Beverley overdosing her on insulin and potassium like her sister. She was then moved to another hospital but she had already suffered permanent brain damage, five of her ribs were broken, partial paralysis and partial blindness from oxygen deprivation. The Phillips family had been so moved by how well Beverley had been taking care of their daughter that they made her Katie’s godmother.

15 month old Claire Peck had an asthma attack on April 22nd and was put on a ventilator but when left alone in Beverley’s care she when into cardiac arrest. She was resuscitated but had a second episode of cardiac arrest when left alone with Beverley again and was not able to be resuscitated again.

Beverley’s final victim was six year old Michael Davidson who was in the ward following an operation to remove and air rifle pellet after an accident. He was injected with insulin multiple times by an iv in his hand and began to suffer from oxygen desaturation and lost consciousness but was resuscitated by doctors on the ward and made a full recovery. Oddly enough he is not listed as a victim in a lot of places, leaving Claire as his last victim. Some sources list other children that had reportedly also been attacked by her and survived like nine month old Christopher King and eight month old Christopher Peasgood and who both had seizures and their breathing stopped.

Seven Week old Patrick Elstone who was admitted for an ear infection was another possible victim of Beverley when he was found unconscious and the oxygen deprivation left him with brain damage.

Police could not determine how these crimes could happen and a serious investigation did not take place until after Claire Peck’s death since the number of cardiac arrests in the children's ward had become suspicious so Dr. Nelson Porter launched an official inquiry, worried that this might have been some sort of airborne virus. Beverley was the only nurse with access to the drugs and was on duty for all of the children that had been attacked. Her crimes had gone undetected for so long since the children’s ward only had one to two nurses during the day and only one staffed at night. 18 days later further blood analysis showed abnormally high levels of potassium in Claire's blood alerting police to exhume her body. During the autopsy lignocaine was found in her system, which is a medication that is a local anesthetic but when ingested can cause low blood pressure and irregular heart rates, it is most commonly used in adults who are in cardiac arrests but to children the chances of overdosing are very high. When looking into the now obvious string of crimes the high levels of insulin was tied to a report made by Beverley herself of the key to the insulin fridge having gone missing. There were also nursing logs from the dates of 25 suspicious incidents that were missing as well.

The police quickly identified Beverley as the prime suspect and arrested her in May 1991, finding the missing nurse logs hidden in her home. The police felt they had enough to charge her in July 1991 however they waited until November to make sure their investigation was solid, the motive being the last piece they needed. Looking into her past she showed symptoms of Factitious disorder aka Munchhausen syndrome by proxy. This is where a person is not motivated by fraud or other compensation (aka malingering motive) act like they have an illness to get attention or the person they are caring for.

Many said that she had no reaction to being arrested and seemed to feel no remorse for herself or the children and families she harmed. During her trial Beverley refused to admit to her crimes and would have her trial delayed claiming illness just like she had in school but she also had a large amount of weight loss in prison due to anorexia nervosa, she was able to delay the trail until February 1993. Proof of puncture marks on each of her victims that had overdosed on insulin and potassium were presented as well as proof that she prevented oxygen flow to the children by smothering them or tampering with the medical equipment.

On May 1993 Beverley was charged with thirteen life sentences and told she was a “serious danger” who was likely never going to be considered for release since she would never be safe enough to enter society again. She was sent to Rampton Secure Hospital in Nottinghamshire where continues to serve her sentence and is listed as unqualified for parole. She continued with her attention seeking behavior when admitted to the hospital and swallowed glass on one occasion as well as pouring boiling water on her hand.

Her actions led the hospital she was working for to shut down and she is still considered one of the cruelest serial killers in England's history.

In 1996 500,000 pounds in damages was paid to those harmed by Beverley and split among the 12 families.

In 1999 Katie Phillips was awarded 2.125 million pounds to pay for treatment and equipment for the rest of her life.

Her victims still have flashbacks of the attacks, Kayley Asher must take expensive drugs to help with the flashbacks and nightmares, she is still able to see the nurse's face and fears leaving her home. The amount she was awarded as a child from the case does not allow her to apply for support allowance and benefits and the brain damage from Beverley does not allow her to work.

However all of Beverley’s health needs are covered 100% . She is 51 now and still in the care of the Rampton Secure Hospital, as of 2005 she has received over $40,000 in state benefits. She became critically in in July 2018 with sepsis and a Gofundme page was set up for her asking to raise 2000 pounds claiming, “Beverley Allitt, who has had a tough life, is now sadly fighting to survive” but they are not sure if the page was legit or made as a joke.

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