She’d timed it so her
victims died when she wasn’t at work – because she dreaded having to deal with
grieving family members.
Ayumi Kuboki (31), a
former nurse at Oguchi Hospital in Yokohama, Japan, has been charged with the
murder of two elderly patients, Sozo Nishikawa (88) and Nobuo Yamaki (88), in
September 2016. The men, who’d shared a hospital room, died within two days of
Kuboki now claims she’d
only targeted patients who were “gravely ill” because she’d feared they would
die during her shift, leaving her to deal with the families.
“It would be
troublesome if that responsibility [notifying the families of patients’ deaths]
fell to me,” she reportedly told police after her arrest.
Kuboki, who was arrested
on Saturday, is being accused of injecting the patients’ intravenous (IV) drip bags
with toxic antiseptic chemicals – the same kind used to clean the nurse’s
In their investigation
police found 10 more antiseptic-contaminated IV bags with needle holes in the
rubber seals among the 50 bags stored near the nurse’s station on the floor
where Nishikawa died – the floor where Kuboki worked as a nurse.
Colleagues who’d been
working with Kuboki since 2015, when she started at the hospital, expressed
shock when they heard of the alleged murders. “She was the kind of person who
was hard to figure out . . . but she was considered competent,” one said.
Kuboki was registered as
a nurse in 2008 and worked at another hospital before joining Oguchi.
In December last year, while
the investigation into the mysterious deaths at the hospital was was ongoing, Kuboki
told Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, “I’ve worked hard to help patients die
in peace, so I was shocked by the incidents.”
But police are
unconvinced that Kuboki had only “helped” gravely ill patients to die – there’s
evidence suggesting that healthier patients were also poisoned.
Kuboki has admitted to
killing “at least 20 elderly patients” in her time at Oguchi.