ABSTRACT

In early 1998 a funeral director, Deborah Bambroffe, in Hyde, Greater Manchester became concerned about the number of unexpected deaths of elderly women being handled by her family firm. The women had all died under the care of or been found dead at home by their general practitioner, Dr Harold Shipman. She expressed her concerns to a local doctor, Linda Reynolds, who compared the numbers to that of her own, neighbouring practice and discovered that Shipman had signed cremation forms at over three times their rate over the previous three months. Dr Reynolds reported her detailed findings to the local Coroner, who in turn informed the Police. An investigation followed and concluded that there was no substance in Dr Reynolds’ concerns (Smith 2003, pp7–9).