Britain's 'Dr. Death' found hanged
Shipman murdered at least 215 patients, an inquest found
Convicted serial killer Dr. Harold Shipman was pronounced dead after being found hanging in his prison cell in Northern England (January 13)
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Serial killer Harold Shipman, known as "Dr. Death," has been found dead in his prison cell in northern England, officials say.
Shipman was found hanging in his cell at Wakefield prison, West Yorkshire, at 6:20 a.m. Tuesday and was pronounced dead at 8:10 a.m. after resuscitation efforts failed, a Prison Service spokeswoman said.
His death will be investigated. Shipman would have been 58 on Wednesday.
Shipman, a family doctor in the town of Hyde near Manchester, northwest England, was convicted for the deaths of 15 elderly women patients in 2000.
In July 2003, an inquiry found that Shipman murdered at least 215 patients, mainly elderly women.
Shipman hanged himself using bed sheets from the window bars in his cell, a Prison Service spokeswoman told the UK Press Association.
He had been on suicide watch briefly earlier in his sentence at Manchester prison and on being moved to Frankland prison in February 2000, but never since he arrived at Wakefield in June 2003.
"He was showing no signs whatsoever of pre-suicidal behavior at all," said the spokeswoman. "He was behaving utterly normally. He was working as normal and doing education as normal.
"There was absolutely no indication that this was coming and he was giving no cause for concern."
Shipman killed his victims with large amounts of diamorphine, or heroin, from 1975 to 1998, the 2,000-page report concluded.
High Court Judge Dame Janet Smith, who headed the inquiry, looked at 887 cases of Shipman's dead patients. She immediately dismissed 394 of those cases as death from natural causes.
Of the remaining cases, she found 200 were intentionally killed by Shipman, on top of the 15 for which he was convicted. Another 45 were "suspicious."
In 1976, Shipman was convicted of drug addiction for his use of pethidine and vowed not to have access to controlled substances.
However, the inquiry found Shipman had access to large amounts of diamorphine. One time he used 12,000 milligrams of the drug to end the life of a terminally ill patient -- an amount that could kill more than 300 people.
Although his motive for the killings was not entirely clear, the report concluded that Shipman began ending the lives of terminally ill patients and then moved on to patients that he found annoying or uncooperative.
Shipman had denied the murders.