Joseph Michael Swango

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Joseph Michael Swango (born October 21, 1954) is an American serial killer and former licensed physician. It is estimated that Swango has been involved in as many as 60 fatal poisonings of patients and colleagues, though he only admitted to causing three deaths.

A License to Kill

Doctor “Double-O Swango”

Joseph Michael Swango is a serial killer who, as a trusted doctor, had easy access to his victims. Authorities believe he murdered up to 60 people and poisoned countless others, including co-workers, friends, and his wife.

Though American doctor Michael Swango appeared to be handsome and congenial in nature, signs of his inner mental instability were noticeable to colleagues even while he was attending medical school. Swango’s classmates observed that he often worked on a scrapbook containing images of horrific, bloody disasters, and they worried that some of the basic anatomical knowledge expected from a physician was sorely lacking. However, no one knew how scary Swango really was until they discovered years later that he had killed between thirty and sixty of his patients.
As an intern in 1983, Swango’s patients started quietly dying after he had been in the room with him. Though nurses alerted hospital officials at Ohio State University, their cursory investigations revealed nothing, and Swango continued to practice medicine without reproach. He moved to Illinois, taking a job as an ambulance driver because he admitted that he liked seeing the blood and gore of accidents. It was there that his co-workers again became suspicious of him. Swango began slowly poisoning his co-workers with ant poison, sending them home sick with terrible stomach pains. After a particularly bad episode involving a tainted batch of doughnuts, his co-workers set a trap for Swango by leaving him alone in a room with a pitcher of iced tea. They later had the tea tested in a lab and found that Swango had indeed put ant poison in the tea.

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