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Orville Lynn Majors
Background information
Birth name: Orville Lynn Majors
Born: April 24, 1961 (1961-04-24) (age 48)
Clinton, Indiana
Killings
Number of victims: 130 (convicted of 6)
Span of killings: 1993–1995
Country: U.S.
State(s): Indiana
Date apprehended: 1997

Orville Lynn Majors (born 24 April 1961) is a former licensed practical nurse from Clinton, Indiana who was convicted of murdering his patients. Though he was only tried for six murders, he is believed to have committed as many as 130 between 1993 and 1995, the period of time for which he was employed by the hospital where the deaths occurred, and for which he was investigated.[1]

Contents

Suspicion

Suspicion first developed when a large number of deaths began occurring at Vermillion County Hospital, where Majors worked. Prior to the time when Majors began employment at the hospital, an average of around 26 patients died annually [2]. After Majors started working at the facility, however, this rate skyrocketed to more than 100 per year, with nearly one out of every three patients admitted to the hospital dying.[3] Suspicion in reference to the large number of deaths landed on Majors in part because of his behaviors and attitudes, and a supervisory study that determined that nearly twice as many patients died when Majors was on duty than with any other nurses.

Additionally, Majors was the only nurse present at the deaths of seven patients. He was believed to be injecting potassium chloride as his murder weapon. The license of Majors to practice nursing was suspended in 1995, leading to termination of his employment, and the death rate at the hospital dropped to prior levels.

Prosecution and trial

After the state of Indiana launched a criminal investigation, Majors was arrested in December 1997. A total of 79 witnesses were called to the stand at his trial. Some of the witnesses testified that he hated elderly people, and that he believed that they "should be gassed."[4]

A judge ruled that the supervisory study that showed the number of deaths rose during the duration of Majors' employment at the hospital was inadmissible as evidence because Majors was only being tried for six murders. However, other evidence that was admissible included witnesses who heard Majors refer to elderly patients as "a waste" and by various derogatory terms. Additionally, some of the deadly substances that were allegedly used in the murders were found at his house.[5]

In October 1999, Majors was found guilty of murdering six patients, and was sentenced to 360 years in prison.

Press coverage

Majors' story was covered in an episode of The Prosecutors: In Pursuit of Justice.

References

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