The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

Charles Graeber

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 1455574139

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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.

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began having respiratory problems that morning. Hospital officials discovered the insulin overdose. Henry was later returned to Liberty, placed on a morphine drip, and subsequently died. Liberty’s records don’t say if his death was a result of the insulin overdose. Charles Cullen would ultimately confess to being responsible for Henry’s overdose. 5 Pepe’s suit alleged that administrators at Liberty “intentionally chose to ignore and overlook any evidence pointing to the fact that Cullen may have

for a tour until even newer sailors would come aboard and it was their turn. He’s been a quiet kid, solipsistic and friendless, and ill-equipped to decipher the social dynamics of Navy culture. He couldn’t take teasing, and soon it snowballed into more. The other sailors saw how he bristled too hard, how he’d drop his eyes and mutter under his breath then shoot a look, like he’d kill you in your sleep. They called him fucking psycho, fag psycho spaz. He was “fishbelly,” pale as death, except when

suspects, and no clues other than the bullet itself. Tim got the call but it was a stone-cold whodunnit. It took a year before Tim was able to connect the bullet to the gun that fired it, another six months before he connected the gun to a multi-million-dollar insurance scam. Somebody in the emergency rooms of local hospitals was selling privileged patient information to local slip-and-fall lawyers. And some of those lawyers had some political juice in Newark. It was starting to look like Nurse

off background, but Tim and Danny weren’t playing. Five minutes later, they were done. Tim waited until they were back on the highway before he let loose and smacked the steering wheel. “Okay,” he said. “Wanna tell me, what the fuck was that happy horseshit?” “It’s bullshit, what it is,” Danny said. Everything ends up on paper in an investigation. Detectives knew that, lawyers—especially former prosecutors—knew that, too. There were printouts, records, memos, date books. You make lists, you make

police again. Their investigation has… stepped up a notch.” Amy finished the call and dropped the phone. What the hell was going on? It was like someone had changed the channel in the middle of her life and switched to some detective story. “See, that’s what we’re talking about,” Danny said. “They’re covering their asses,” Tim said. “We’re trying to catch a killer.” Amy reached over for a cigarette and threw herself back into the groaning wicker. How weird was that? It was too much to

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