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Evil Doctors | The Worst Doctors in History

Updated on August 23, 2017

The worst doctors of all times

We've all seen our fair share of evil doctors and mad scientists in movies, cartoons and read about them in fiction, but most of us never took it to heart. I never considered these things could exist or happen, actually. Now, the mad doctors in our minds still don't sound real, but I assure you, there were a lot of them, and we can never be sure if some evil scientists are real and scheming and planning bad things even now as you are reading this.

I know I never believed unreal scenarios, but after a research that allowed me to compile the information below, I admit to having certain chills running up and down my spine. These people were and perhaps are among us, genuinely believing in their causes and working quietly in the background. And yet they call themselves doctors.

Doctors are supposed to be people who help those who are ill and in need of treatment. Even though most of them do just that, history has witnessed some extreme opposites. It was a real ordeal to rank these killer doctors, but in the end it does not matter. The following parts contain interesting facts about evil doctors who were, if you ask me, horrible cases of the God complex.

This article will talk about the most evil doctors who embody all things cruel and atrocious, wearing a white mantel with an excuse of "helping" you feel all better! The facts are actually from some of the books I listed below that describe the details of their crimes, their careers as evil surgeons and their downfalls. It is safe to say that not all of us can stomach such information.

With no further ado - meet some of the worst doctors of all times!

Photo credit: Alex E. Proimos / Foter.com / CC BY

Do you believe that all people are either good or evil? - Or are we all somewhere in between, leaning towards one of the extremes?

Do you believe that all people are either good or evil?

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What is evil actually? Can we ever understand? - If you have any suggested reading, please feel free to add your books to this list. Have your read something to

I am interested to know if you know a great book to add to this list or have read one of these and are able to vote it up or down. Add anything related to the topic, or better yet, add another evil doctor you know about and is not listed here.

The following parts are based on true facts, and a result of a lot of research. Some of the persons and events mentioned below may not be suitable for people with weak stomachs. With that said, I hope you find the topic interesting.

5. Shipman, Harold

This doctor was maybe the first doctor in history to become infamous as a serial killer. But how did this happen?

Adored by his patients (mainly elderly women), Harold Shipman, the demented M.D. had an easy time finding and killing his victims. This monster of a doctor committed around 400 gruesome murders, most of the victims being so horribly disfigured that they barely linked them to him. The number may be even larger!

In 1974 he became a general physician in West Yorkshire, and a year later he was caught stealing pethidin for his personal usage. He was punished, but he did not lose his licence. Over time, many of his patients died, mostly from diamorphin (medical term for heroin). Many people started worrying because of the number of death certificates Shipman was signing day by day, and that eventually led to an investigation against him.

Because of Shipman's success as a killer, British heath care had somewhat of a reality check, altering and modifiying structures related to the medical area. Perhaps this was the only good that came out of this case.

Doctor Harold Frederick Shipman died in January 2004 in prison, after being convicted and sentenced to serve fifteen consecutive lifetimes in prison.

Photo credit: Harry Potts / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

More about Harold Shipman in these books:

If you wish to know the details, then these are the books to go for. But since Shipman's case was well covered by the media, you can learn a lot just by doing a bit of research. After all, that's what I did.

Addicted to Murder-Harold ShipmanCHECK PRICE

History of British Serial Killing: The Shocking Account of Jack the Ripper, Harold Shipman and BeyondCHECK PRICE

Prescription for Murder: The True Story of Dr. Harold Frederick ShipmanCHECK PRICE


4. Freeman, Walter

Walter Freeman was a neurologist who graduated in Yale and the Medical Faculty of the Pennsylvania University. Even though his first experiments were not done with bad intentions, Freeman soon became one of the notoriously feared doctors after doing over 3000 lobotomies.

He performed his first lobotomy in 1936 along with James Watts, using the ice pick method. Freeman was an infamous doctor in his day and age - tales were told about his successful surgical operations that healed many! But were his methods as popular?

There was an incident regarding Freeman in the media (he allowed the media to be present at some of his lobotomies) when an ice pick accidentally slipped into his patient's brain. Do you know what he did? Nothing, he continued operating on the dead man.

Another interesting fact is that Freeman used to do over 20 lobotomies a day, sometimes all by himself and using only local anesthetic! The word out there was that even the best surgeons, who were experts, used to faint at Freeman's operations!

Photo credit: Stanford Medical History Center / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Want to know more about Freeman? Or lobotomies? Useful:

We all heard about lobotomies but knowing how these surgeries were performed takes a bit of a toll for anyone with a weaker stomach. In fact, I chose not to share some of the information I found just because of that. If you can read about this topic without cringing in distaste, kudos to you!

The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental IllnessCHECK PRICE

American Experience: The Lobotomist (2008)CHECK PRICE

The Pest Maiden: A Story of Lobotomy [Paperback]CHECK PRICE


3. Clauberg, Carl

Carl Clauberg was born in 1898 into a family of craftsmen. He served as an infantryman in the First World War, but after that he studied medicine and became a doctor.

Carl Clauberg was one of the many doctors who experimented in the Nazi concentration camps, and particularly in Auschwitz. He turned Nazi in 1933, and in 1943 he approached Heinrich Himmler with a proposal to massively sterilize women. Himmler approved of the plan and authorized Clauberg to do his experiments, turning Block 10 of the concentration camp into a private laboratory for Clauberg.

Clauberg was desperate to find a cheap and simple way to sterilize women. He often used acidic mixures and directly injected them into the uterus of his victims. He removed the damaged ovaries and then sent them to Berlin for further research. The estimated number of surviving sterilized victims were around 700 or more women, mostly Jewish. Others died or struggled with serious infections which caused permanent damage to their bodies.

Clauberg was captured by the Soviets and in 1948 he was put on trial in the Soviet Union, where he was sentenced to 25 years. However, he was released due to exchange of prisoners and returned to Germany. After that he was arrested again, trialed again, but to no avail.

He died of a heart attack before being sentenced.

Photo credit: muddyclay / Foter.com / CC BY (Auschwitz Block 10)

More about Clauberg and Nazi experimentation during World War II:

While it was hard for me to find something focusing on Clauberg in particular, the vast number of research papers and books on the topic of Nazi experiments astounded me. And Clauberg is mentioned in most of those.

Architects of Annihilation: Auschwitz and the Logic of DestructionCHECK PRICE

The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing And The Psychology Of GenocideCHECK PRICE

Murderous Medicine: Nazi Doctors, Human Experimentation, and TyphusCHECK PRICE


2. Ishii, Shiro

Shiro Ishii was a Japanese doctor and microbiologist. He was the head of the biological war unit during the time of the Second China-Japan War. Despite the fact that he was notorious for being aggressive and selfish, Ishii was a prodigy in school and that got him stationed in the First Military Hospital in Tokyo.

In 1932 he was chosen by the Japanese Army to start biological warfare research which he gladly accepted. In 1942, Ishii started conducting experiments of germ warfare on Chinese prisoners, and even civilians. He tested the effects of anthrax, cholera, plague, and many others. He also performed various bizarre experiments on people such as forced spontaneous abortions, heart attack simulations, stroke simulations, hypothermia, freezing of body parts etc.

Shiro Ishii was arrested after the war by the Americans, but was granted immunity in exchange for his bio-warfare knowledge. He died in Tokyo, allegedly of throat cancer, in 1960, although this has never been confirmed.

Photo Credit: Shiro Ishii

More about Ishii and biological warfare in WW2:

Some of these testimonies are so horrible that I chose to share with you only those books that are a bit lighter. But only a bit.

731: Secret Ishii Shiro and germ warfare unit (paperback)CHECK PRICE

Unit 731: Japan's Secret Biological Warfare in World War IICHECK PRICE

THE DEVIL'S DOCTORS: Japanese Human Experiments on Allied Prisoners of WarCHECK PRICE


josef mengele
josef mengele

1. Mengele, Josef

The German SS Officer and a Nazi doctor, Josef Mengele is probably the most famous name on this list. Mengele was in charge of determining which prisoners were strong enough for forced labor, and which were too weak - and deserved to be killed!

Mengele not only determined the fates of millions of people, he was also known for his bizarre human experiments. In Auschwitz, Mengele was very interested in genetics, and he often experimented on identical twins. It is presumed that he took 10 sets of twins at a time, put them to sleep to be able to kill the with chloroform, and then he would dissect them in order to analyse the similarities and differences between their bodies.

He is also notorious for his attempts of sewing people together, detaching and re-attaching limbs, attempts to change the eye color etc. All his attempts and experiments revolved around one main idea - one main goal - the expansion of the German race!

Rumor has it that after the war, Mengele was speculated to have escaped to South America, and that there was a village there that reported births of only identical twins. Is there a connection? We may never know.

Photo credit: US Govt office scans of WWII German images by staff of SS Karl-Friedrich Höcker / Foter / Public Domain Mark 1.0

More about Mengele:

I'm sure we all know at least something about this man, but it's interesting to read about theories of how he escaped and how his life looked like after the war.

Mengele: The Complete Story [Paperback]CHECK PRICE

Echoes from Auschwitz: Dr. Mengele's Twins: The Story of Eva & Miriam MozesCHECK PRICE

The Search for Mengele (1985)CHECK PRICE


A quick question!

Do you believe things like this happen today without our knowledge?

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Leave your comment! - What do you think about the topic?

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    • ramonabeckbritman profile image

      ramonabeckbritman 3 years ago

      Very Interesting Lens. That's why I try to stick with Herbal remedies.

    • RestlessKnights profile image

      RestlessKnights 3 years ago

      I'm sure there are more doctors that you could add to this list, sadly. More recent ones for example.

    • SimonJay profile image

      SimonJay 3 years ago

      Interesting lens i heard of 3 out of 5 the main guy i remember was Shiro ishii

    • Marja79 profile image

      Marja79 4 years ago

      Loved this lens so much! Recently I have seen documents of most of these guys. Mengele of course is most familiar to us Finns from history lessons at school.

    • profile image

      WinWriter 4 years ago

      This is an interesting topic. I would add kermit gosnell to the list.

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      I think you have to have a doctor in front of your name before you can be really evil. Since I have one in front of my name I have known many.

    • bornot2b1 profile image

      bornot2b1 4 years ago

      God in heaven, I did not know that there were THAT MANY evil medical people around. Thanks for sharing this. (plus another 'thank you' for visiting my lens about 'oven cleaning' & squidliked it)

    • Underrated profile image

      Underrated 4 years ago

      Interesting lens.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 4 years ago

      Fascinating read. Well done!

    • profile image

      kulla 4 years ago

      Highly interesting read.

    • Mellithorpe profile image

      Mellithorpe 4 years ago

      While somewhat of a gruesome lens topic, the lens itself is very interesting and presented very well. Things like this needs to be out in the open and get it stopped ASAP!

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      The worst part is that many of these "doctors" thought they were helping some "part" of mankind

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Charlino99: Thank you, I wanted to show another side of the coin, so to say.

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 4 years ago from USA

      There are good doctors, and there are bad doctors. It is unfortunate that the bad ones are caught only after so many have died. Very informative lens to one of the dark sides of the medical world.

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Redneck Lady Luck: It is very scary to see that some people have no limits when "unchained".

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I have met some very arrogant doctors so I can see how they might go a little wild if allowed to. It is terrifying for those vulnerable enough to run into these characters.

    • LiliLove profile image

      LiliLove 4 years ago

      Very interesting lens! It's terrifying because doctors should be the people we trust the most. Thanks for sharing!

    • MightyManda profile image

      MightyManda 4 years ago

      Very interesting lens! The things these people did are terrible but I love reading about strange historical things like this.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @PNWtravels: Oh, I must look into that as well, thank you for your very useful feedback!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Thamisgith: It's incredible that the service we all take for granted is so twisted sometimes, which is why I was perplexed when gathering information for this lens. Still, it's good to know these things.

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      Thamisgith 4 years ago

      It's frightening when doctors, or any other health care professional, takes advantage of their position. It's a total betrayal of trust. What's worse is that the large majority of us will, at some point or other, be reliant upon medical assistance and treatment. It's fortunate that these extreme cases are a very small minority.

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      Vicki Green 4 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Definitely some scary doctors out there. Another one I know of was Dr. Linda Hazzard who starved her patients to death. Her patients are believed by some to haunt the Pike Place Market in Seattle.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I think your discussion of this topic made me look at Richard Speck a whole lot different! So I shared a link to this lens at my lens about bad dreams.P.S. I don't think that all people have a mean side. For example: I really don't think Abel had a mean bone in his body. But his brother Cain killed him anyway.- That's just what I think.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @TheLittleCardShop: It's easier not to think about it, that's for sure.

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      Malu Couttolenc 4 years ago

      It is a serious topic, there have been cases recently but better not to think about them

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image

      ComfortsOfHome 4 years ago

      Not exactly reassuring... but this is fascinating stuff. Horrible, but fascinating all the same.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @NibsyNell: I am sure it goes on all around the world, but I am not so sure I want to know anything about this.

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      This is so terrifying! And it still goes on today. In the past few years (in the UK) there have been cases of nurses killing their patients.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Melissa Miotke: It definitely puts things into a different perspective.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @tonybonura: I was going to research it even deeper but then the list would contain too many people. Historically, each period had its share of insane people.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Niagara Ghosts: Thank you very much!

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @TemporaryTattoo1: Thank you for reading, I appreciate the feedback.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Ruthi: Thank you for your support. I am very happy you enjoyed the read.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @shewins: Lobotomies are pretty disgusting - I agree. Incredible what people are capable of.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @CoeGurl: There were plenty more - it was difficult to reduce the list but I did not have the time to research all of them.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @sukkran trichy: Thank you for your feedback, it is much appreciated.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @LisaDH: It is pretty bad and horrible, and alas, the truth. But I still believe that certain things need to be known.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @LiteraryMind: Exactly. Having a medical licence does not make you a hero of morality.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Tawice: Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed the read and happy you got something you did not expect!

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Noveliaa: Thank you - it means a lot!

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 4 years ago from Arizona

      Very scary stuff, I always think of doctors as being people like you say who are here to protect and would never expect otherwise. It makes killing extra scary somehow.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 4 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      The doctors you have listed here are only those in modern times. I am sure that "doctors" from way back have used their positions for murder for fun.TonyB

    • Niagara Ghosts profile image

      Niagara Ghosts 4 years ago

      Interesting read!

    • TemporaryTattoo1 profile image

      TemporaryTattoo1 4 years ago

      Very interesting and enjoyed reading through this gob smacking material, thanks for sharing.

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      Ruthi 4 years ago

      Demented, evil, doctors indeed! Interesting topic and reading list you have shared.

    • shewins profile image

      shewins 4 years ago

      This is horrifying. What people will do sometimes boggles the mind. The lobotomies got the strongest gut reactions from me.

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 4 years ago from USA

      We've heard so much about Mengele but I was not aware of the other four. They are all evil.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 4 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      nice topic and an interesting read. thanks

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 4 years ago

      Mengele is the only one on this list I'm familiar with, but the others certainly deserve to be here, too. How sad and horrible that someone who has taken the Hippocratic oath could stray so far from the sacred duty of a doctor.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Very interesting. A while back I was being harassed by a neighbor who was a physician. Most people's reaction when I told them, was "a doctor wouldn't do that". Physicians are just people with a medical license, not saints.

    • Tawice profile image

      2wice 4 years ago from Maine, USA

      When I first saw the title to the lens I thought it was going to be about Dr. Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and a few other Evil storybook Doctors. A Lens celebrating the thrills of Halloween. Imagine my surprise when I read about real life killers called Doctors. Very Nice lens, Excellent read!

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      Noveliaa 4 years ago

      Great lens- I enjoyed reading it very much.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @siobhanryan: Thank you - I am more than happy you enjoyed it!

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Gloriousconfusion: I actually read a few theories that Mengele eventually managed to succeed in his primary goal - which was to make women give birth to twins. There was a paper about a village in Brazil where women only gave birth to twins, and it is speculated that this was the place where Mengele settled down after he fled. It would be strange that the experiments did not result in new discoveries, if you ask me. It is very possible that the results are, just like you said, still undisclosed. Thank you very much for your opinion, I appreciate it!

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @atomicgirl24: I agree with you. This was a time when a lot of these things were happening, and it almost seemed common to that day and age. It's a bit sickening to think about it. But then again, who knows what is happening today, without our knowledge!

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @CreativeGal: I'm very happy that you enjoyed it, and I am also glad that you think I did a good job!

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @RosaMorelli: I would also like to avoid the medical workers for as long as possible, no matter how good or professional they are!

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Sara Dowling: I know, when I was researching him I had a similar experience. Sends chills down your spine!

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @kislanyk: That's why I saved him for the last (number one). I think he was the most wicked of them all. Thank you!

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @ViolaSuSi: I'm glad you like this topic, and I absolutely agree with you! Thank you for participating on my lens!

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @ViolaSuSi: Thanks! I am very glad you like the topic of this lens.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      Blessed- very good topic

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very interesting. I had only heard of Shipman and Mengele. I wonder whether the cruel deaths of any of the victims actually advanced medical science. I suspect that they might have done, and that one day the facts might be disclosed - I thiink much of the German experiments were shrouded in secrecy, but the medical records might one day be disclosed.Blessings to you

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      atomicgirl24 4 years ago

      Fascinating topic, and no, it doesn't surprise me that Mengele was #1 for most evil doctor.Incidentally, I think that many of these doctors were emboldened to do what they did because of the whole "eugenics" craze of the '20s and '30s, which left doctors feeling comfortable with the idea of experimenting on and subjecting the "genetically inferior" to barbaric medical treatments. Sick an sad.

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      CreativeGal 4 years ago

      Oh, My Gosh! I'm amazed that you came up with this subject, and thank you for doing a very good job with it.

    • RosaMorelli profile image

      RosaMorelli 4 years ago

      I don't trust the medical profession anyway, but after this ... well I think I'll take my chances with diet and exercise.

    • Sara Dowling profile image

      Sara Dowling 4 years ago

      I saw a doco on Dr Shipman not too long ago chilling

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

      Yeah they were evil indeed. Personally I would have started with Mengele, he was really something else! (in a bad way!). Great review.

    • ViolaSuSi profile image

      ViolaSuSi 4 years ago

      I think it's rather mental insanity. I like the topic. Great job.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @JohnTannahill: It was very difficult to rank them, considering the atrocities that they did.

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @anonymous: I agree, pure evil indeed!

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @anonymous: I agree, pure evil indeed!

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @anonymous: Thank you :)

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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Otto Phillips: Definitely, who knows what could be out there.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 4 years ago from Somewhere in England

      With Dr Shipman at number 5, I knew the rest would be very disturbing and it was.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      some of those guys were just pure evil!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      great lens..:)

    • Otto Phillips profile image

      Otto Phillips 4 years ago

      Great lens. Glad these doctor's are not around anymore but makes you think twice about the doctor's out there now.