Harold Fredrick Shipman (14 January 1946 – 13 January 2004) was an English doctor and one of the most prolific serial killers in recorded history with 218 murders being positively ascribed to him, although the actual number is probably much higher.
On 31 January 2000, a jury found Shipman guilty of 15 murders. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and the judge recommended that he never be released.
After his trial, the Shipman Inquiry, chaired by Dame Janet Smith, investigated all deaths certified by Shipman. About 80% of his victims were women. His youngest victim was Peter Lewis, a 41-year-old man. Much of Britain's legal structure concerning health care and medicine was reviewed and modified as a direct and indirect result of Shipman's crimes, especially after the findings of the Shipman Inquiry, which began on 1 September 2000 and lasted almost two years. Shipman is the only British doctor found guilty of murdering his patients.
Shipman died on 13 January 2004, after hanging himself in his cell at Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire.