Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Looking Back - Life For Serial Killer Shipman

On this day in 2000, Family GP Dr Harold Shipman was jailed for life for murdering 15 of his patients, making him Britain's biggest convicted serial killer.
Shipman, from Hyde in Greater Manchester, was also suspected of killing more than 100 other patients.
From the dock at Preston Crown Court, Shipman showed no emotion as the verdict was read out: guilty to 15 murders and forging the will of one of his patients.
In sentencing Shipman to life imprisonment the judge, Mr Justice Thayne Forbes, said: "Each victim was your patient. You murdered each and every one by a calculated and cold-blooded perversion of your medical skills.
"You brought them death, disguised by the attentiveness of a good doctor."
All Shipman's victims were women and none was suffering from a serious illness when she died. Each one died suddenly after a visit from Shipman.
The court was told how the doctor would visit the victims in their homes and administer a lethal dose of morphine.
The alarm was raised by solicitor Angela Woodruff, the daughter of Kathleen Grundy, Shipman's last victim. Shipman arrived at Mrs Grundy's home on the pretext of giving her a blood test and had, in fact, given her a massive dose of morphine.
He then crudely forged her will so he would benefit from her substantial estate.
Outside the court, Mrs Woodruff gave her reaction. "Sadly, nothing that has happened here nor can happen in the future can bring back my mum, nor the other victims," she said.
"We hope we can now have the space and time to remember my mum as she was - a happy, active, caring, energetic, loving person whom we miss so much."
Shipman's family, his wife, Primrose, and sons, Christopher and David were in court for the verdict.
The defence said the case against the doctor was based solely on unreliable and unsafe toxicological evidence gathered from the exhumed bodies of nine of his victims.
The family solicitor, Ann Ball, said: "Mrs Shipman is devastated by the verdict that has been reached today. The last 18 months have been an ordeal for her and her family."
Further murder charges are possible. The court was told the police had investigated the deaths of 136 of Shipman's patients.

An official inquiry conducted by Dame Janet Smith concluded Shipman may have killed as many as 250 patients over 23 years.
The finding confirmed Shipman as Britain's worst serial killer - ahead of Mary Ann Cotton, believed to have poisoned more than 20 people in the 19th century.
According to the report, published in July 2002, his first victim was Eva Lyons, killed the day before her 71st birthday in 1975.
He had eight previous convictions, including one in 1976 for falsifying prescriptions to feed an addiction to pethidine, a morphine-like drug. The General Medical Council disciplined him, but did not strike him off.
In July 2003 after a second phase of the inquiry, Dame Janet criticised Greater Manchester Police for they way they handled the case and said the last three victims might have been saved "if the police and coroner had moved with reasonable expedition".
On 13 January 2004 Shipman died after he was found hanging in his cell at Wakefield prison.
The true extent of his crimes while a trusted family GP in Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire may never be known.

Today's Smile

The name on the van says it all !

Tallest Man-Made Structure Ever Built

Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Burj Khalifa (Arabic: برج خليفة‎ "Khalifa Tower"), formerly known as Burj Dubai, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the tallest man-made structure ever built, at 828 m (2,717 ft). Construction began on 21 September 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010. The building is part of the 2 km2 (490-acre) flagship development called Downtown Burj Khalifa at the "First Interchange" along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai's main business district.
The tower's architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owens and Merrill of Chicago. Adrian Smith, who worked with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill until 2006, was the chief architect, and Bill Baker was the chief structural engineer for the project. The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea, who also built the Taipei 101 and Petronas Twin Towers. Major subcontractors included Belgian group Besix and Arabtec from the UAE. Turner
Construction Company was chosen as the construction project manager. Under UAE law, the Contractor and the Engineer of Record are jointly and severally liable for the performance of Burj Khalifa. Therefore, by adoption of SOM's design and by being appointed as Architect and Engineer of Record, Hyder Consulting is legally the Design Consultant for the tower.
The total cost for the Burj Khalifa project was about US$1.5 billion; and for the entire new "Downtown Dubai", US$20 billion. Mohamed Ali Alabbar, the Chairman of Emaar Properties, speaking at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 8th World Congress, said in March 2009 that the price of office space at Burj Khalifa had reached US$4,000 per sq ft (over US$43,000 per mt) and that the Armani Residences, also in Burj Khalifa, were selling for US$3,500 per sq ft (over US$37,500 per m2). The completion of the tower coincided with a worldwide economic slump and overbuilding, causing it to be described as "the latest ... in [a] string of monuments to architectural vacancy."

Funny Signs

I've often wondered how deep bottomless was!

Thought For Today

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.

I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye