*All names aside from Lucy's were omitted due to privacy concerns
In the eyes of a mother, no place could be safer than this for her newborn baby. The careful hands of a nurse would ensure that her baby would be healthier than ever. But not even in her wildest dreams would she ever imagine that the memory of those very same hands, that lovingly performed the ritual after their baby's death, would, months later, bring a chill down their spine when they found out that those two unscathed hands who laid their child to rest were the same ones who relentlessly snatched their first and last few breaths away from them. Lucy Letby, a 33-year-old neonatal nurse, would be convicted of murdering 8 newborns and attempting to murder another 10.
Lucy Letby, a young 33-year-old nurse, would find herself working countless hours at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Chester Hospital. Always being there for the children and their parents, ultimately, with her countless qualifications in the field, there was no one better to work in such a demanding unit at the hospital. Despite her bright character, her coworkers and the families she would be working with would often feel uncomfortable in her presence. The grieving parents felt as if her presence was always looming over them, never giving them a second to breathe. The nurses, despite appreciating her consistent efforts, would often find themselves annoyed at the fact that not only would Letby do her work, but she would also intrude on the other nurses' duties as well. Even if these efforts were just to give everyone a helping hand, the families and nurses could not help but loathe her presence.
The general average for infant deaths in hospitals at the time was 3 deaths per 1,000 infants. Chester Hospital would pride itself on its outstanding care, especially in the NICU unit, considering that it would often align perfectly with the national average. That was until 2015 when the hospital experienced a sudden surge in infant mortality rates without clear explanations. Considering the abnormal demeanour of this sudden surge, the events were attributed to the NICU floor being haunted, or something being wrong with the feng shui, or maybe some faeces had leaked into the water supply as a result, increasing the rate of infections and ultimately deaths in the unit. However, among these, there was a peculiar rumour that had slowly begun gaining traction. Many believed that a singular nurse was directly responsible for all these deaths.
Nurse Lucy would often be seen hovering over almost every single child in the NICU, coincidentally moments before their conditions would experience a steep decline or would be hovering over special moments that families would be having with their newborn. Alice, a new mother in the NICU, had finally gotten the chance to bathe the child. As she did, she took her time observing the soft lines on her child's face, the colour of their eyes, and the gentle features. However, she was unable to cherish and enjoy this moment. Nurse Lucy was standing at the door of the bathroom, observing Alice and even offering to take some pictures. Despite acknowledging the consistent efforts by Nurse Lucy, Alice just wanted to be left alone with her newborn. She wanted to cherish these last moments with them since these were her child's first and last moments. The child was no longer with them. Alice's water had broken 3 months before the estimated due date when her child was born. Due to their premature nature, the child faced various complications. However, as per a close family member's recommendation, her child was moved to Chester Hospital, where, after being stable for about a week, her child went on to flatline 2 times, with the third time being the last and final flatline.
Despite being a tragic occurrence, this was only one death, right? Unfortunately, not. In the very same month, four more infants went on to lose their lives, with 2 barely escaping the brink of death. Baby Andy was the first to go, followed by baby Charlie, both in the same week. Despite dying from "natural" causes, some raised eyebrows began to emerge. That same month, baby Bella was one of the few who managed to stay alive. However, the same wasn't true for baby Diana, who passed away the very same night she was born, followed by baby Grace and Elliot, and almost his twin, baby Freddy. As a result of this drastic increase in deaths, a doctor by the name of Dr. Jay decided to put an end to the rumours, especially the one regarding a nurse being responsible for the deaths, since in his eyes, it was essentially a lawsuit waiting to happen.
This was all until a few days later when he heard code blue go off, thus insinuating that a patient was in critical condition. However, to his surprise, the alarm quickly turned off. Regardless, he still rushed over to the room from where the alarm sounded. That's when he found Nurse Lucy towering over the baby crib, motionless, simply staring at the infant. As a result, Dr. Jay quickly rushed over when he noticed that the baby's breathing tube was out, not allowing the baby to breathe. As he frantically tried to stabilize the child, Nurse Lucy fidgeted around with some machines yet did not help. The doctor began to believe the rumors himself. When thinking about the incident again, he found it odd how the alarm had abruptly stopped, which would either mean that there was a malfunction or someone manually stopped it. The fact that Nurse Lucy did absolutely nothing to help the dying child only further added to his suspicions. Despite the rumours and nothing concrete, everything so far was solely circumstantial evidence. As a result, if these suspicions turned out to be incorrect, Dr. Jay would be responsible for ruining an innocent person's career.
Eventually, Dr. Jay could no longer sit and watch more and more infants die. So he decided to go over hospital records in hopes of finding something. Despite all of the deaths being listed as natural causes with no link between them, there was only one coincidence: Nurse Lucy was on shift for all of the deaths that occurred. Now that he had more evidence, Dr. Jay decided to inform his boss, urging him to take action regarding the matter. However, by the time a response was received, two more babies had died, and the response itself shut down any allegations presented by the doctor. Nonetheless, a meeting was arranged where Dr. Jay would be able to further elaborate on his observations. Despite being shut down again, the directors agreed to switch Lucy's shift from a night to a day shift, since most of the deaths occurred at night.
Soon enough, these "coincidences" began occurring in the morning. This then led to some doctors and nurses bringing up the topic to which Lucy would state that since she was always working, she would always be on shift when a death would occur. The hospital's poor management decided that in order to silence the rumours about their hospital, it would be ideal to use her as a scapegoat. Initially, many of her friends defended her because they knew that she could not do something like this. One of the people doing so was a man by the name of Dr C. He would often text Lucy after these deaths in order to console her, and it has been suggested that they had some sort of a relationship going on. However, nothing has been officially confirmed.
After one of the deaths, Lucy is urged by not only her coworkers but also by Dr C to take some time off. During this time, she decided to go to Ibiza. While she was there, every child in the NICU was stable, and no sudden complications or deaths were expected. However, the day Lucy came back, one of the children went into critical condition, eventually passing away, with two more babies, two of three triplets, also passing away later that week.
Due to rising suspicion and mortality rates in the hospital, and Dr. Jay finally finding something unnatural in one of the reports of a child that had passed away, an investigation was launched. This was urged by a group of doctors and nurses who decided to start Project Hummingbird in hopes of getting to the bottom of these deaths. In interviews, many of Lucy's co workers stated that she would often be nervous when investigators would be looking around in the NICU, which they found odd since it further solidified their suspicions regarding Lucy being responsible for these deaths.
On July 3rd, 2018, Lucy Letby was arrested for the first of three times. She seemed relatively calm during the arrest and never once resisted the arrests or tried to plead with the officers, which was then picked at by netizens since if someone were truly being falsely accused, they would most likely not be so compliant with the police. Nonetheless, officers were able to issue a search warrant for Lucy's house where they found a plethora of evidence linking Lucy directly to these deaths.
When investigating the home, there were several notes found that were covered with Dr. C's name, almost in an obsessive manner. These notes then fueled the theory that Lucy would kill so she could gain more and more sympathy from this doctor. Investigators also found various medical documents regarding the dead babies hidden under her bed, which not only was extremely illegal since patient records cannot be taken home by any health professional, regardless of whether or not the patient is alive, additionally having these records hidden under her bed was extremely odd since most people, if they were to hide something under their beds, it would most likely be important documents. However, all of Lucy's "important" documents were found elsewhere. Psychologists later stated that Lucy kept these medical files as trophies for each of her killings, a common pattern among serial killers. When investigators got to Lucy's computer, they found over half a million pieces of evidence solely from their computer, which have not been released to the public yet. However, part of Lucy's search history has been released where it can be seen that Lucy would search up the families of the deceased children close to their death anniversaries, generally when parents would make posts regarding their loss. It has been speculated that due to these searches and Lucy's behaviour at the hospital, she enjoyed witnessing the parents' grief, hence searching up their accounts on Facebook over 3000 times in one year. Additionally, Lucy's diary was also found amongst her belongings where a note that has been released to the public shows that she directly admitted to her crimes.
From interviews, Lucy's various killing methods were gathered. The first was that she would inject infants with air directly into their veins, or she would inject air into their feeding tubes, which would essentially end up crushing the internal organs of the children. In some cases, Lucy even physically assaulted the children by jamming their feeding tubes forcefully into their stomachs, which as a result would damage internal organs to such lengths that doctors would state that this could not have happened unless the infant had been in a serious accident. Lastly, it was even stated that she would administer insulin to the children, which would then cause an imbalance, ultimately killing them.
During the trial itself, due to her "anxiety," Lucy was allowed to have a small blanket and a stress toy. This not only acted as a "slap to the face" for grieving parents given that their children, who were ultimately killed by Lucy, never got the chance to do the same.