the recent Netflix to show the good nurse tells the true crime story of Charles Cullen, who killed dozens and maybe even hundreds of patients during his years in healthcare. But although the tv show can paint a disconcerting picture of a cold-blooded killer, the the real story may be even stranger. Cullen clearly showed that he didn’t care about the people he affected, even when he was on trial.
How ‘Nurse Killer’ Charles Cullen Was Finally Caught
Although Cullen has confessed to about 40 murders, only 29 of them have been confirmed. Even more chilling is that authorities have estimated that he may have killed more than 300 people. According to NBC New York, Cullen was able to cover up his crimes at his job as a nurse. He injected drugs, usually digoxin or insulin, into patients’ IV bags. Since no one knew that he had done this, they did not know what caused his sudden deaths.
Surprisingly, Cullen was fired from several hospitals during his career for reasons ranging from conflicts with fellow nurses to serious questions about the deaths of patients under his care. These concerns were not investigated until he worked at Somerset Medical Center in New Jersey.
When a pharmacy aide noticed a suspicious pattern of deaths on the same hospital ward, he contacted state poison control. His investigation alarmed them enough to notify the New Jersey State Police.
Charles Cullen brought to justice
the police investigation, aided by the cooperation of his friend Amy Loughren, led to his arrest. He was accused of killing 13 patients in New Jersey and another seven in Pennsylvania, where he had previously worked. According to New York MagazineNew Jersey prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty if he cooperated with the investigation and helped identify his victims.
After he was found guilty in New Jersey and awaiting trial in Pennsylvania, Cullen made a very unusual request. He wanted to donate a kidney to his ex-girlfriend’s brother. His answer seemed reasonable when asked why he wanted to do this.
“I admit that I have certainly done some very bad things, I have taken lives,” he explained. “But does that stop me from doing something positive?” But his altruistic decision did not mean he had begun to care about other people.
Cullen’s strange behavior in court
According to the New York Timeswhen Cullen appeared in court in Pennsylvania, the the nurse was upset at the judge According to a statement the judge made on the news, Cullen felt it was unfair and that the judge should recuse himself from the case. He stood up during the sentencing hearing and began chanting, “Your Honor, you must resign.”
Despite the judge’s refusal to resign and his orders to remain silent, Cullen continued to repeat his demand. Sheriff’s deputies tried to stop him by wrapping a cloth around his mouth and putting duct tape over it. He persisted in chanting about him so loudly that relatives of his victims had trouble coming forward with statements about him.
The scene was extremely frustrating for the people who had waited for this day to confront Cullen about the pain he had caused them.
“I feel very cheated,” said one of them. “Our last trump card was taken from us by Mr. Cullen’s childish behavior.”
Ultimately, Cullen’s bizarre behavior did not stop the judge from sentencing him to an additional six life terms. He later donated his kidney, but that single act of compassion is not what he will be remembered for.