The Unsettling True Story Behind Netflix's New True Crime, "The Good Nurse"

The Good Nurse (2022). L to R: Eddie Redmayne as Charlie Cullen and Jessica Chastain as Amy Loughren. Cr. JoJo Whilden / Netflix

Netflix isn’t any stranger to tackling the true crime style. Over the years, the streaming big has launched a handful of bone-chilling titles that focus on mind-boggling true crime tales, starting from dramatized, acclaimed sequence like “Mindhunter,” to docuseries like “Unsolved Mysteries” and “The Tinder Swindler.”

The platform is now bringing the unbelievable true story of serial killer Charles Cullen to the massive display screen in “The Good Nurse,” which is predicated on Charles Graeber’s 2013 e book of the identical identify. The unique movie, which stars Academy Award winners Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain, facilities round Cullen’s 16-year killing spree as a nurse all through a number of New Jersey and Pennsylvania hospitals and, extra particularly, the heroic nurse who stopped him.

“The Good Nurse” is about to hit Netflix Oct. 26. Read on to be taught extra in regards to the baffling crimes of Charles Cullen.

How Did Charles Cullen Start His Nursing Career?

Charles Cullen was born on Feb. 22, 1960. By the time he was 18 years outdated, he was parentless — his father, Edmond, died earlier than Cullen might even stroll or discuss, and his mom, Florence, died tragically in a automotive accident when he was a senior in highschool, based on The New York Times. Following the dying of his mom, Cullen enlisted within the Navy and served on the Woodrow Wilson submarine, however his time within the army was lower brief. After relentless hazing and bullying from his shipmates, Cullen tried suicide and was medically discharged in March of 1984.

After leaving the Navy, Cullen instantly attended nursing college and graduated from Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing in 1987. With a contemporary new diploma, he landed a job at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ, the place he would start his covert killings.

How Did Charles Cullen Commit His Crimes?

Cullen spent 4 years at St. Barnabas earlier than in the end being fired in January 1992. Jeanne T. Hackett, who labored alongside Cullen on the medical middle, recalled that he was quiet, secretive about his private life, and moderately impersonal with sufferers. “It was like he was going by the motions, patting somebody on the hand and telling them they’d be O.Ok.,” she advised the New York Times.

From St. Barnabas, Cullen began working at Warren Hospital in Phillipsburg, NJ, the place he grew to become snug with murdering sufferers. At the hospital, he labored within the cardiac and intensive care items, which regularly maintain sufferers who’re both severely sick or nearing the top of their life. During his shifts, notably the night time shifts (which are sometimes much less supervised), Cullen would scope out aged sufferers and administer deadly doses of digoxin, a medicine used to deal with coronary heart situations like atrial fibrillation and coronary heart failure.

While employed at Warren Hospital, he additionally went by a divorce from his spouse, stalked and broke right into a coworker’s dwelling, and was suspected of killing not less than three sufferers, although no formal investigation was ever performed.

How Did Charles Cullen Get Away With Murdering Patients for So Long?

Throughout his nursing profession, Cullen labored at 9 totally different hospitals and medical facilities with out consequence, punishment, or critical suspicion. According to the New York Times report, an absence of accountability from the hospital administrations, in addition to a lenient hiring course of that merely required employment dates and a job title moderately than concrete references, had been key components that allowed Cullen to hold out his murders over the span of 16 years. Unfortunately, a lot of Cullen’s victims had been additionally aged or critically sick not directly, which led to little hypothesis and hardly any investigations into their deaths.

How Did Charles Cullen Get Caught?

By the time Cullen took a job at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, NJ, in September of 2002, he had been fired a number of instances and resigned from not less than two of his earlier jobs for something from “poor efficiency” to “violating remedy protocols,” per the New York Times.

At Somerset Medical Center, affected person data had been monitored by a computerized system known as Cerner. Cerner tracked all the pieces for a affected person, whether or not it was when remedy was administered or when a nurse peeked into their chart. It was by Cerner, and a fellow nurse at Somerset named Amy Loughren, that an investigation into Cullen’s suspicious habits was lastly launched.

According to an excerpt from “The Good Nurse” (by way of The New York Post), Loughren observed that Cullen was ordering an abnormally great amount of medicines, digoxin being one in every of them. When wanting into Cener’s database of sufferers, Loughren was not solely in a position to see Cullen’s drug orders, however she might additionally see his searching historical past, which painted a startling image of his connection to not less than 4 circumstances of remedy errors throughout his brief time on the middle. The database confirmed that Cullen would “analysis” sufferers of different nurses he was not assigned to hours earlier than the affected person would expertise some type of medical episode.

The wrench that foiled Cullen’s total operation was the dying of Reverend Florian Gall, who was staying at Somerset resulting from a case of pneumonia. On June 28, 2003, Gall went into cardiac arrest and died of coronary heart failure. Just hours earlier than his dying, Cullen was viewing his chart regardless of Gall not being his affected person, and autopsy lab checks confirmed that Gall had poisonous digoxin ranges in his system. Following an inner investigation from Somerset and data relayed to detectives from Loughren, Cullen’s killing spree was lastly over.

Where is Charles Cullen Now?

On Dec. 12, 2003, Cullen was arrested on one rely of homicide and one rely of tried homicide, per The New York Times. At the time of his arrest, Cullen advised detectives that he had poisoned 12 to fifteen folks at Somerset, and not less than 20+ extra at his many different hospital gigs. By the time of his sentencing in March of 2006, Cullen revealed that the variety of his homicide victims was really nearer to 40.

For his crimes, Cullen was sentenced to 11 consecutive life sentences with out the opportunity of parole, per CNN. He is presently serving his sentence on the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.

Image Source: Netflix

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