Daniele Poggiali, 42, was arrested in October on suspicion of poisoning her patients with potassium at the Umberto I Hospital in Lugo, northern Italy.
Investigators have since estimated that there were 87 more deaths than average during a two-year period in which Poggiali worked in the hospital, Corriere della Sera reported on Thursday.
But aside from the sheer number of potential victims, national revulsion was prompted by the release of photographs of Poggiali grinning next to her dead patients.
“I was wrong and I recognize that,” the nurse told Corriere through her lawyer, Stefano Dalla Valle, passing blame to a fellow medic.
“It wasn’t my idea but that of my colleague, who took the photos. Also, I never could have imagined they would be circulated. It was something private between me and her. Anyhow, it was a mistake,” Poggiali said.
Discussing the high number of patient deaths, she said she was unable to explain but noted that she worked a lot of shifts.
“I haven’t killed anyone. Rather, I always lived to help others,” Poggiali said.
Described by judges as a “public danger” and denied bail, she will remain in prison until the start of the trial, Corriere said.