Most people attend medical school in the hopes of bettering humanity and assisting those who need it most. Doctors and nurses take an oath to do no harm, but not all of them uphold that oath. With the rise of true crime podcasts, medical true crime has become an increasingly investigated subject matter. People who have sworn to protect and heal fellow humans abusing their power and often resorting to murder.
The history of these “angels of death” go way back: from the times of Burke and Hare to Jolly Jane, all the way up to modern day Harold Shipman and Jan Karbaat. We have gathered the best podcasts about killer doctors, murderous nurses, and conniving mental health professionals.
Hold on to your scalpels, here are some of history’s most notorious medical murderers:
We’ll start this off with the pinnacle of medical true crime. “Dr. Death” has long stood as one of the top podcasts ever, and for good reason. Dr. Christopher Duntsch was a neurosurgeon who claimed to be the best in Dallas. His charming and calming demeanor made him a trusted source in hospitals across Texas. If you had uncurable back pain, then he was your miracle. That is, until shortly after your surgery. Despite many complaints and numerous firings from hospitals, Dr. Duntsch still managed to perform dangerous and deadly surgeries for years. From Wondery, “Dr. Death” sets the bar for true medical murder mysteries.
One hopes they can trust the person on the other end of the scalpel, but not every doctor uses their expertise for good. This Parcast Original, “Medical Murders”, looks at medical professionals who don’t intend on helping. Host Alastair Murden looks at infamous killers who used their years of training for murder. He dissects their medical backgrounds, psychology, and modus operandi with the professional help of co-host, Dr. David Kipper M.D.. Every Wednesday, hear about killer doctors with sinister intentions with “Medical Murders”.
The Immaculate Deception
Not murder perhaps, but Jan Karbaat was a fertility doctor renowned for the amazing results he produced for women desperate for children. Women would come to his Rotterdam clinic and leave pregnant after their first visit. But these miracle workings came under question after his clinic closed. The children of his patients – the Karbaat Kids – began to investigate their own origins. How did Karbaat produce such phenomenal results? What methods did he use to impregnate his patients? Somethin’ Else dives into the story of a doctor who believed he was helping.
From Wondery and Bloomberg, “The Shrink Next Door” is hosted by journalist and now podcaster Joe Nocera, who also happened to be Ike’s neighbor. Ike was a therapist in the Hamptons with high-end patients ranging from star-studded celebrities to the Manhattan elites. One summer, Nocera noticed that Ike was gone, left without a trace, and that everything he thought he’d known about the therapist was a lie. Nocera investigates a 30-year scam, one that involves money, power, and manipulation.
Breakdown: Predator, M.D.
TW: this podcast is about sexual abuse and sexual assault. Please scroll down to the next podcast for podcasts that do not contain this content.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s podcast “Breakdown” covers the case of Dr. Narenda K. Gupta, a serial sexual abuser who managed to continuously evade consequences. When Dr. Gupta arrived in Georgia, he already had a slew of sexual abuse accusations against him. Despite these numerous accusations in both Canada and the United States, Dr. Gupta continued to practice medicine until his arrest. Actually, after his trial, the court ruled that he was still allowed to practice medicine, just not in the country. Why did the medical community shield this monster? Who else could they be shielding?
People in search of life-saving cures turned to a new kind of stem-cell treatment only to end up on death’s door. Doctors and medical professionals race to find out what went wrong, and they are led to the doorstep of a seemingly trustworthy medical company. Eventually, they find that with a slippery marketing scheme and a charming CEO, this company snuck its way into the multibillion dollar stem-cell industry with no real expertise. From Wondery, podcast host and reporter Laura Beil of “Dr. Death” brings you a tale of greed, desperation, and deceit in “Bad Batch”.
What happens after it is revealed that a fertility doctor impregnated patients with his own sperm? Women find out that their trust has been betrayed, and their children find out that their biological father is a criminal. WFYI and Side Effects Media present “Sick”, a podcast that investigates the case of fertility doctor Donald Cline. Journalists Jake Harper and Lauren Bavis interview mothers and children, taking in stories of personal injustices, and search for accountability from the man and institution that let this happen.
Mens Rea: Harold Shipman (Part One and Two)
The 15th and 16th episodes of “Mens Rea” recounts the life, career and murder spree of Harold Shipman. A doctor who would falsify his patients records to make it appear that they died of natural causes, Shipman remains Britain’s most prolific serial killer. While he was only found guilty of 15 murders, it is suspected that he killed up to 250 of his patients. The majority of his victims were elderly women, but there are suspicions that he could have murdered patients as young as four. “Mens Rea” digs deep into the life and eventual suicide of the killer English practitioner.