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Lainz "Angels of Death" The disturbing story of the Austrian killer nurses

The Lainz Angels of Death is a dark story detailing the desire of four women to play God with the lives of those they had been trusted to take care of, spread over a deeply disturbing six-year period.


Lainz angels of death photo
The four women confessed to 49 murders spread across the six year period

Four women from Austria who were all nurses in the Vienna Hospital in Lainz, these women admitted to killing 49 elderly patients at the city hospital between the years of 1983 and 1989.


The reported ring leader of the group of killers was Waltraud Wagner, she was 23-years-old at the time the killings are believed to have started, it is reported that Wagner committed the first murder on her own by giving a patient an intentional morphine overdose.

Maria Gruber, 19-years-old, Irene Leidolf, 21-years-old and Stephanija Meyer, 43-years-old then joined up with Wagner to create the evil killing force that they quickly became.

Wagner claimed she enjoyed the feeling of playing God and relished having the power of life and death in her hands.


The four women quickly came up with their favourite method of murder which involved one woman holding the head and nose of the patients whilst another would pour water into the victim's mouth, causing them to die by drowning.


This brutal and torture like way of killing their victims was established to be almost impossible to discover as elderly patients often died from fluid on their lungs, this method made the cause of death look natural to the unsuspecting eye.


The Lainz Angels of Death
The Angels of Death are believed to have murdered up to 200 patients

It was their bold and proud behaviour of their actions that finally brought their demise. The women were heard bragging to each other about their most recent murder in a local tavern, this led to a report by the witness which resulted in a police investigation into the deaths that the women were involved with.


In 1991, when the four women, who had been labelled "The Angels of Death" were put into the dock in court they confessed to a total of 49 murders spread over the six years. Investigators still believe that the four nurses could have actually been guilty of up to 200 murders in total that they were never tried for.


Wagner, was found guilty for a total of 15 murders, 17 attempted murders and 2 assaults, she and Leidolph were both sentenced to life imprisonment.


Mayer and Gruber received 20 years and 15 years respectively for manslaughter and attempted murder charges.

Angels of Death Wagner
Wagner was said to be the leader of the group of killers

In 2008, Wagner and Leidolph, to the outrage of the Austrian people were both released from their life sentences on the grounds of good behaviour.


Both Mayer and Gruber were released several years earlier and were issued with new identities as a precaution against vigilantes.


Officials at the time refused to comment on whether Wagner and Leidolph would also get the privilege of being handed new identities.


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