MURFREESBORO — His topic is nightmare fodder, but investigator Bruce Sackman hopes that creating greater awareness of potential serial killers lurking in health care facilities will help prevent more injuries and deaths.
Sackman, the spring 2016 guest of MTSU’s William M. Bass Legends in Forensic Science Lectureship series, will speak Tuesday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the university’s Student Union Ballroom.
His free public talk, “When the Intensive Care Unit Becomes a Crime Scene: Serial Killers in Health Care,” is being presented by MTSU’s Forensic Institute for Research and Education, or FIRE. A searchable, printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.
Sackman spent more than three decades in federal service, including more than 10 years as special agent in charge of the criminal investigation division at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General. In that role, he led fraud and official misconduct investigations covering 295 veterans facilities and more than 50,000 employees across the northeastern corner of the country, as well as supervising homicide investigations involving medical serial killers throughout the United States.
He has worked since his 2005 retirement as a private investigator in New York specializing in health care fraud. Sackman has lectured across America on medical serial killers, speaking to forensic scientists, criminal investigators and VA medical centers as well as university audiences, and his investigations have been featured on CNN, “America’s Most Wanted,” the Discovery Channel’s “Medical Fraud Investigators,” and HBO.
According to Sackman, 317 confirmed deaths and 2,113 suspicious deaths have been associated with 54 convicted health care providers since 1970.
One of those providers, a German nurse, was jailed for life in 2015 for killing two patients with lethal injections of heart medication and is now suspected in at least 24 more patient deaths. The man told investigators that he injected more than 90 patients with the drug so he could save their lives and appear heroic to his colleagues.
Other “medical serial killers” in the United States include Charles Cullen of New Jersey, who confessed in 2003 to killing 40 patients during his 16-year nursing career and whom authorities fear may have killed more than 300, and Kimberly Saenz of Texas, who was convicted of the 2008 deaths of five dialysis patients after injecting bleach into their dialysis lines.
The Bass Lecture Series, named for internationally renowned University of Tennessee forensic anthropologist Dr. William M. Bass, brings forensic science experts to the MTSU campus each fall and spring.
MTSU’s FIRE, established in 2006, also provides regular educational and training opportunities for law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners, attorneys, social workers, and other groups in forensic science and homeland security.
For more information on this lecture or other FIRE programs and events, contact the FIRE offices at 615-494-7713 or visit http://www.csimtsu.com.