Chillicothe, MO

Jennifer Anne Hall: Former respiratory therapist pleads guilty to murder of two patients in 2002

Lavinia Thompson

Jennifer Hall, a former respiratory therapist, has pleaded guilty to two murders from 2002 from her time working at a Missouri hospital, according to a CBS report. However, Hall is more than a former nurse - she’s allegedly also a suspected serial killer despite only being charged with two offenses.

Nine deaths at the Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe over a span of several months throughout 2002 raised red flags to hospital staff, who deemed the deaths “medically suspicious,” according to the probable cause statement. All in all, 18 cardiac arrests or “Code Blue” events occurred during Hall’s employment between Dec. 2001 and May 2002.

Before this, the hospital averaged one “Blue Code” a year, the statement continues, noting that this resumed being the average after Hall, now 42, was put on administrative leave in May 2002. She was 21-years-old, and her colleagues claimed she had been near or in the rooms during each of the nine deaths.
Jennifer Anne HallPhoto byJohnson County Sheriff's Department, Kansas

In Sept. 2022, Hall pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge regarding 75-year-old Fern Franco, a pneumonia patient, KTTN previously reported. A colleague told police that Hall had been in the vicinity of Franco’s room at the time of the cardiac arrest and entered the room with the colleague during resuscitation efforts. Despite only being given atropine and epinephrine, later testing showed the presence of succinylcholine and morphine, neither of which Franco had been prescribed with or given during resuscitation efforts.

The other first-degree murder charge accused Hall of murdering 37-year-old David Wesley Harper, a bronchitis patient, according to the criminal complaint. He was admitted to Hedrick Medical Center on March 18, 2002, and stayed overnight to participate in a sleep study. Despite declaring a “Code Blue” and beginning resuscitation efforts, he died.

During those efforts and the clean-up of the room, the complaint explains that a vial of succinylcholine was allegedly found in Hall’s pocket; a medication for which Hall was not certified to give anyone, nor was Harper ever prescribed the drug.

Hall pleaded not guilty to Harper’s murder on March 1, 2023, KTTN reported.

With her guilty plea, both first-degree murder charges are being reduced to first-degree involuntary manslaughter counts and one count of second degree assault, CBS says.

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Long time true crime lover and blogger who has spent years reading and studying criminal psychology. I also write mystery fiction books, and have a diploma in journalism.


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