Angel of Death: The Donald Harvey Story
by Katherine Ramsland
The story is familiar to anyone who knows about healthcare serial killers, so there's not much new here. Even the reporter, Pat Minarcin, who broke the story and who adds an "Afterword," merely repeats most of what Whalen says. Since there has been no other book on Harvey, this is a good addition to the extant literature on serial killers, but otherwise there seems little justification for retelling Harvey's story at this time.
Harvey was caught when an autopsy revealed a toxin in the body of a male patient, John Powell, and at the time, no one put much effort into considering that he may have caused other deaths as well. It was Harvey himself who started the momentum by confessing to his public defender, who then urged Minarcin to find a way to dig up evidence. Harvey told Whalen that he had lost count of how many people he'd killed (including people outside the hospital), but that it had not been more then seventy. In the end, says Whalen, he was convicted of thirty-six murders and one charge of manslaughter, although beyond the official tally there were clearly many more victims.