On January 13 2004, on the eve of his 58th birthday, Harold Shipman killed himself inside of his cell at Wakefield Prison.
For a long time it was speculated that serial killer Shipman had committed suicide either from guilt, or perhaps from the growing realisation that he would spend the rest of his life behind bars.
However, the story of the so called Dr. Death has now been turned on its head as top secret documents, due only for release in 2069, were found and unveiled in the public records office in London, according to The Independent.
The documents, obtained by the Sun on Sunday, reveal that Shipman did not kill himself out of guilt or self-pity, but rather so that his wife, Primrose, would get his full £100,000 pension and be able to cash it in.
The prison records show that Shipman intended to kill himself prior to his 60th birthday in order for his wife to get a £10,000 a month payment, as if he died after that she would get only half the amount.
One document read:
Mr Shipman has stated he plans to kill himself in five years as this is the amount of time it takes for his pension to be secured for his wife. He has further commented that he will incite a lifer to attack him at this point with a view to being killed. It is indicated that his wife was in agreement that it was preferable to spending the rest of his life in prison.
Shipman was convicted of murdering 15 of his elderly patients in Greater Manchester but later inquiries concluded that he actually murdered around 250 people over the course of his career as a GP.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.