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Harold Shipman When you are ill, who do you go to for help? A doctor, right? Someone who should be there for you in your time of need, trying their best to get you back on your feet again as soon as possible. Well, that is unless your doctor is Harold Shipman of course. Here, have a look at this 45-minute documentary made in 2005 to see what I mean by this. Trust me. It's a right eye-brow raiser.

Born To Kill? Harold Shipman

In this episode of 'Born to Kill?', narrator, Steve Furst, orates about the clinical life and dark times of medical murderer, Harold Shipman. Now Steve's recount is complemented by numerous snippets of stock-photography, video-clips, re-enactments, plus one on one pre-recorded interviews with as well. For example, their is Criminal Specialists: Dr. David Holmes, Bernard Postles, and Christopher Berry-Dee; Solicitor: Ann Alexander; Authors: Mikaela Sitford and Brian Whittle; Chief Coroner: John Pollard; as well as people who knew Harold on a personal level, like Dr. Michael Grieve, Mike Heath, Colin Shotbolt, and Bob Studholme.

What now follows is a basic break down of how this program plays out.

  • Who is Harold Shipman?   Harold Fredrick Shipman was born on the 14th of January, 1946, in Nottingham, England, and came from a working class family of Methodists who shielded him from the outside world. However, when he saw how his ailing Mother, Vera, was administered morphine by her Doctor during the latter stages of lung cancer, all this changed for him in a rather big way. You see, after her death, Harold then went on to train at a medical school in Leeds, and married an arts student named Primrose, having two children with her.
  • What was his early medical career like?   After spending a couple of years at the General Infirmary in Pontefract -- and then at West Riding -- in 1974 Doctor Harold Shipman became a General Practitioner in the Abraham Ormerod Medical Centre, Todmorden, West Yorkshire.
  • Was Harold's time at this Medical Centre an eventful on?   At first -- no -- he was a pillar of the community until he was caught forging prescriptions for his own use, fined £600, and forced to attend a drug rehabilitation clinic in York for two years.
  • Did Harold bounce back from this medical lapse?   Yes. Yes he did. From 1977 to 1998 he became a respected GP at the Donneybrook Medical Center  in Hyde, Greater Manchester.
  • What were his crimes then?   Harold was convinced of killing over two hundred and fifty of his elderly female patients by giving them morphine. Some of these poor unfortunate women were Lizzie Adams, Marie West, Irene Turner, Kathleen Grundy, Norah Nuttall, Ivy Lomas, Muriel Grimshaw, Marie Quinn, Pamela Hillier, Kathleen Wagstaff, Jean Lilley, Bianka Pomfret, Maureen Ward, Joan Melia and Winifred Mellor.
  • How was he caught?  Angela Woodruff was very confused when her mother suddenly died and then left all her money to her doctor, Harold. So much so in fact, that Angela prompted the police to look into this matter further, resulting in Doctor Shipman being charged for murder and fraud. Moreover, whilst in prison, Harold committed suicide after hearing the news that he would be charged of killing all the other people he killed.

Now unlike my previous review on this series (click here for that episode!), I promise you that in this one I will be a lot more orderly and focused in temperament.

Harold Shipman is a murdering b*stard.

Well, except for that of course.

Anyway, what can I say about 'Born to Kill? Harold Shipman', huh? What little bit of knowledge am I able to impart, to illustrate how I feel about this sordid story. Oh! I know! The film 'Unforgiven', (click here for the review) and Doctor Hunter.

Here, let me explain...

Harold Shipman ready for the chop

Now in the Clint Eastwood film 'Unforgiven', Gene Hackman plays a town sheriff who deludes himself that his wicked ways are not so wicked after all. You see, in the eyes of Gene's character, just as long as he does good things with his life -- like build a house for example, or hold down an honest job -- then no matter what else he gets up to, he's still a just man.

Obviously this is a lot of shit, right? Because in actuality, all this 'act' does is reinforce into the erstwhile 'Sheriff', that appearances mean much more than anything else. Harold was very much the same it seems. And it perpetuated to such a degree, that he deluded both himself as well as those people around him. 

Very simple thing to do when you are in a profession where you act as a 'God'.

Born To Kill? Logo

I'm sure that some of you who have been following my blog for quite some time now, must know that I have the combined vision of Sammy Davis Junior and Steve Wonder (i.e. not that good really). So what do I do to keep this in check? Go to my surgical ophthalmologist -- that's what. 

Doctor Hunter is his name, and he is a very nice chap if I do say so myself. I trust him. Implicitly. Whatever he says I should do to take care of my eyes, I agree with, one hundred percent. And over the years he has proven to me that what has said is always in my best interests.

However, apart from sporting a rather nice moustache and being an 'eye doctor', I don't know that much about him really. He appears very nice. But should I know more? Should I be informed of everything he does, just so I know who he is behind the scenes?

Harold Shipman - What a Bitch

Well, that is what 'Born to Kill? Harold Shipman' prompts me to feel. That me -- you -- anyone -- who visits a 'specialist' on a regular basis, should be able to humanise these people who care for us in turn. Granted, I know that this may come across as a very knee jerk reaction to a very brash crime. Nonetheless, one of the main pitfalls with this tale is that if society didn't hold 'medical personal' in such high esteem, then this type of thing would not have happened in the first place.

Doctor's, Nurses, General Practitioners, whoever, are normal people like the rest of us. And we have to look at them in that way, or else we give them a power that can corrupt and delude the soul -- especially if the soul in question is already corrupted. 

Oh! Delude. That word again. It's come up twice now, hasn't it? Plus I'm sure is one of the key reasons why Harold became who he is.

Say no more. Apart from Harold Shipman is a murdering b*stard.


BORN TO KILL? HAROLD SHIPMAN BORN TO KILL? HAROLD SHIPMAN Reviewed by David Andrews on August 21, 2012 Rating: 5
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