After his December 2003 arrest, registered nurse Charlie Cullen was quickly dubbed “The Angel of Death” by the media. But Cullen was no mercy killer, nor was he a simple monster. He was a favorite son, husband, beloved father, best friend, and celebrated caregiver. Implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients, he was also perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history.
Cullen’s murderous career in the world’s most trusted profession spanned sixteen years and nine hospitals across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When, in March of 2006, Charles Cullen was marched from his final sentencing in an Allentown, Pennsylvania, courthouse into a waiting police van, it seemed certain that the chilling secrets of his life, career, and capture would disappear with him. Now, in a riveting piece of investigative journalism nearly ten years in the making, journalist Charles Graeber presents the whole story for the first time. Based on hundreds of pages of previously unseen police records, interviews, wire-tap recordings and videotapes, as well as exclusive jailhouse conversations with Cullen himself and the confidential informant who helped bring him down, THE GOOD NURSE weaves an urgent, terrifying tale of murder, friendship, and betrayal.
Graeber’s portrait of Cullen depicts a surprisingly intelligent and complicated young man whose promising career was overwhelmed by his compulsion to kill, and whose shy demeanor masked a twisted interior life hidden even to his family and friends. Were it not for the hardboiled, unrelenting work of two former Newark homicide detectives racing to put together the pieces of Cullen’s professional past, and a fellow nurse willing to put everything at risk, including her job and the safety of her children, there’s no telling how many more lives could have been lost.
In the tradition of In Cold Blood, THE GOOD NURSE does more than chronicle Cullen’s deadly career and the breathless efforts to stop him; it paints an incredibly vivid portrait of madness and offers a penetrating look inside America’s medical system. Harrowing and irresistibly paced, this book will make you look at medicine, hospitals, and the people who work in them, in an entirely different way.
The Good Nurse by Charles Graeber
Does contain some spoilers
I actually really enjoyed this book. It was a smooth read. The author didn’t make it complected. Charles Graeber did an excellent job taking us through the life of Charles Cullen. There has been many other nurse killers throughout history. Most wanted to be center of attention. They would make their victims code so they could be the ones to bring them back to life. They didn’t always want to kill them. Some who killed wanted to just end the suffering of their victims. But Charlie…Charlie to me is a whole different type of nurse killer. Most of the time he wasn’t even there when his victims coded. Sometimes it would take days for them to die. Charlie didn’t care about the attention. He never came out and said why he did what he did but upon reading the book I came to my own conclusion on maybe why he did it. Before Charlie became a nurse his mother was in the hospital sick. She ended up dying. I don’t remember the exact details but I do know it made Charlie mad. He ended up becoming a nurse and his first job was at the hospital his mom died at. He worked in the burn unit. That is where his killing began. I believe his mothers death and his hatred towards the hospital is what started him on his path to killing. But that is just my opinion. Anywho, this book was done right for that lack of information that was out there. I don’t really know what else to say about this book without telling you the entire book. So I just say go read it. Learn all the crazy details. I did think of one more thing….each and everyone of those hospitals that knew what he was doing and decided to just fire him and do nothing because they didn’t want to look bad, SHAME ON YOU! You should be held responsible. If I was a family member of one of Charlie’s victims I would have sued you so hard!
The real Charles Cullen
The Good Nurse (A Netflix Original Movie)
Ok well….oooo this is gonna be bad. Really, really bad. I was really excited for this. Especially once I finished the book. But WOW. This was bad. Like the writers for the movie did not read the book or do any real research. You learn absolutely nothing from this movie. Your best bet is to read the book. I am not going to dive too deep into this. Just going to make a few pinpoints and then I will direct you to my Parabatai and I’s podcast where we covered this movie for an episode. So here goes my list of what went wrong:
- They gave you no info on who Charlie Cullen was. All we know is he was a nurse. They didn’t go into his background, the 9 other hospitals he had worked at and killed at.
- It feels like this movie focused more on Amy than Charlie. Which Amy is an important person to this story but this is supposed to be about Charlie. At least that’s what i assumed.
- Amy did NOT print out the Pixis list for the detectives. They called the company themselves to get those printouts. She did though get computer history printouts for them. All the info from when Charlie was on the computer charting and/or googling stuff.
- Charlie was brought in to talk with the detectives and let go. Then later on he was arrested.
- There were many recorded phone calls between Amy and Charlie and more than one wired face to face meeting.
- Charlie has a crazy past that needed to be shown in this movie to really get to know who this crazy person was.
So that is just a small list of my main issues. I understand that when it comes to converting a book to a movie they are going to miss things but this is a TRUE FUCKING STORY! You can’t leave things out. Not this story. Oh man I was so pissed and let down. Please please skip this garbage and just go read the book.
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