Synopses & Reviews
Serial Killer On Ward C
In Northampton, Massachusetts, at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Kristen Gilbert was known as a hardworking, dedicated nurseso why were her patients dying? So many emergencies and sudden deaths occurred while Kristen made her rounds on Ward C that her colleagues jokingly called her the "Angel of Death." Yet most people didnt suspect the horrifying truth behind the nickname: that Gilberts polished facade concealed a scheming, manipulative liar and homicidal, narcissistic sociopath.
From August 1995 through February 1996, Gilbert dealt out wholesale death. Her victims were helpless patients who trusted her as a caregiver, only to learn too late that she was a killer, her weapon a drug capable of causing fatal heart attacks. But she got away with murder until three of her fellow nurses could no longer ignore the proliferation of deadly "coincidences" on Gilberts watch. Investigators believe Kristen Gilbert may have been responsible for as many as 40 deaths. As the law closed in, she struck back, faking suicide attempts, harassing witnesses, stalking her ex-boyfriend, and terrorizing the hospital with bomb threats. In March 2001, after being found guilty of four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, Angel of Death Kristen Gilbert was sentenced to life imprisonment.
"A first-rate investigative examination." Dr. Michael Baden
"A stunner from beginning to end, Phelps renders the story expertly, with flawless research and an explosive narrative." Gregg Olsen
"In perfect harmony with the best true crime writers, Phelps unmasks the psychopath with facts, insight and journalistic leg work." Lowell Cauffiel
"Captivating, exciting, a jolt-a-minute. With his encyclopedic knowledge of police procedures, Phelps earns a deserved place among the best." Harvey Rachlin
The shocking true story of a female serial killer who abused her respected position as a nurse to administer death to her trusting patients.
At five p.m. on February 4, 1996, a Northampton, Massachusetts, Veterans Affairs Medical Center nursing assistant looked up and saw nurse Kristen Gilbert standing by the entrance to patient Angelo Vella's room.
Gilbert was drawing a syringe, but it was unclear what she was filling the syringe with, because it appeared as though she was trying to hide what she was doing.
After the syringe was full, Gilbert entered Vella's room.
Seconds later, Vella's heart monitor alarm went off.
"Ow, it hurts . . . it burns!" Vella yelled.
When the other nurses heard Vella scream, one raced into the veteran's room and rushed to his bedside, while the others in the vicinity looked on. Gilbert, frozen in her tracks, just stood there in some sort of daze.
Vella's heart rate began to race uncontrollably as much as 300 beats per minute. But he remained conscious.
"Mr. Vella?" a nurse asked. "Mr. Vella?"
"She did it!" Vella lashed out, pointing at Gilbert. "It started when she flushed my line..."
A moment later there was a flatline...and then...Vella's pulse stopped.
The true story of a serial killer who abused her trust as a nurse to administer death to patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in Northampton, Massachusetts. Kirsten Gilbert became known as the "Angel of Death" and was found guilty of murder and attempted murder in March 2001.
About the Author
True crime writer and investigative journalist M. William Phelps has published more than 65 articles on topics ranging from child abuse to corruption in law enforcement to politics to veterans' rights and nearly everything in between. His articles and essays have appeared in The Providence Journal, The Journal Inquirer, The Hartford Courant, The New London Day, On the Scene Magazine, The Black World Today and Daily Meditations Magazine. He is a monthly correspondent for New England Entertainment Digest in Boston, Mass., where he writes about the music business. Perfect Poison is his first book.