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The real tale about Charles Cullen, serial killer that is the subject of Netflix’s “The Good Nurse’

This Netflix movie is a fictional story that focuses on the time prior to Cullen’s arrest on charges of murdering patients. Here’s a timeline detailing the actual incidents.

The man now dubbed New Jersey’s most notorious serial killer completed his nursing degree in the year 1986. The following year was the time he murdered the first of his victims. After nearly 20 years, the murder, he confessed to murdering 29 people during an entire 16-year career in nursing that included 10 nursing homes across New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

If Charles Cullen was arrested in 2003, he admitted to investigators that the possibility of killing up to 40 of his patientsaccording to some estimates, the total number of murders at 400. According to what Cullen admitted to police after the arrest of his son, he committed suicide by injecting fatal doses of drugs in IV bagsmostly digoxin, a heart disease medication insulin, lidocaine, and which is a local anesthetic.

Cullen who was later known for his role as an “Angel of Death,” claimed he murdered out of compassion and a desire to ease the suffering and pain of his mostly infirm and elderly victims. However, his victims were at least 21 and some weren’t even sick, as per an Inquirer report from 2006. Inquirer report.

This moment, Cullen, 62, is currently in New Jersey State Prison in Trenton He is serving 18 life sentences in a row. The earliest date for parole could be June 2388.

Cullen’s story has been made the basis for a feature film. The Netflix film The Good Nurse hit the streaming service on Wednesday. Based on Charles Graeber’s 2013 novel that has the same title The film stars the actor Eddie Redmayne as Cullen and actress Jessica Chastain as nurse Amy Loughren who was crucial in stopping Cullen’s murder spree.

A fictionalized version of the story of Cullen, The Good Nurse focuses mostly on the time leading up to Cullen’s arrest. The Inquirer covered Cullen as he was awaiting trial, revealing details of his past and murders, as as the consequences from the trial in Pennsylvania as well as New Jersey. Here’s the information you need to be aware of:

Cullen’s murders

Born in 1960, and was raised to the age of 60 in West Orange, Cullen dropped out of high school in 1978 prior to entering the Navy. After being discharged in 1986, he was able to graduate from Mountainside Hospital Nursing School in Montclair in 1986.

The next the following year Cullen was enlisted as a nursing assistant in the Burn section at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. He carried out his first murder in the hospital, by injecting Municipal Court Judge John W. Yengo Sr., 72, with lidocaine which caused his heart to stop in accordance with the Associated Press report.

Cullen was released from Saint Barnabas in 1992 as the hospital was looking into an outbreak of contaminated IV bags. He was then taken on to Warren Hospital in Phillipsburg. In the hospital, he killed three women overdoses of digoxin prior to his move into The Flemington’s Hunterdon Medical Center in 1994 as well as Morristown Memorial Hospital in 1996, The Inquirer reported in 2003.

The year 1998 was the time that Cullen made the crossing of his way across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania and worked in several Lehigh Valley medical facilities, such as Liberty Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Lehigh Valley Hospital, and Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown and Easton Hospital in Easton, and St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem. Cullen has been reported to have killed seven individuals in Pennsylvania as of 2002.

In the fall of 2002, Cullen was back in New Jersey to work at Somerset Medical Center, where Cullen killed the majority of his victims. One of the murders there, that of the Rev. Florian J. Gall of 68 in 2003, led to Cullen’s detention, as well as an investigation that ultimately resulted in his conviction in 2006. In all, Cullen confessed to and was found guilty of murdering 22 people in New Jersey.

“Maybe someday he believes that he is an angel who showed mercy to him,” declared Dolores Stasienko daughter of 89-year-old victim Giacomo Toto at Cullen’s 2006 sentence. “Let us make sure that we are correct Cullen was a demon that came from the bottom of hell. Burn in hell for all eternity, Monsieur. Cullen, for all eternity.”

A turbulent career

When he was arrested Cullen was dismissed from the previous four job posts, The Inquirer reported in 2003. A number of hospitals were reported to have terminated him for his performance, while another allowed him to go on trial for accusations that he drank in unscheduled hours. Sacred Heart, meanwhile, dismissed him after just 16 days “because it was difficult for him to be a good fit with personnel,” according to an Inquirer report. He was questioned at least twice, once for the death of a patient as well as another for theft of medications.

Cullen has also experienced a turbulent personal life and went through what The Inquirer described as a “bitter divorce” during the 1990s prior to filing for bankruptcy in the year 1998. Cullen was hospitalized at the three times with depression and suicide attempts during the decade prior to his arrest.

Despite his personal and professional problems, Cullen continued to find work, mainly because of confidentiality regulations and the fear of lawsuits kept hospitals from knowing about his background. Cullen was not convicted of any crime or disqualified by a hospital in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, thus his record was unblemished. According to the Inquirer stated back in 2003, hospital administrators were unable to determine if employees were the object of a criminal investigation, unless it led to charges.

As the then-New Jersey Senator. Jon Corzine put it in 2003, regarding Cullen’s track record, “you would think the system could determine the fact that this was a troubled person.” But it wasn’t, Corzine and fellow New Jersey Senator. Frank Lautenberg said, was “a total and complete incompetence of healthcare.”

Cullen’s arrest and trial

Cullen reached an agreement to plead guilty with the prosecutors that would allow him to help investigators find victims to avoid death and then was convicted in 2004.

Cullen continued to operate under the agreement until the end of 2005 when he wished for a kidney donation to a family member of a friend in New York. Prosecutors claimed Cullen could not make the donation until after he was sentenced and they delayed the hearing to look into other murders in the case.

Cullen angry over the delay, claimed the he would not cooperate with the police and attempted to avoid appearing before a judge in 2006, as per an Associated Press article.

“We do not care about whether Charles Cullen donates a kidney to anybody,” said New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey. “He’s likely to die in prison or under an execution. We don’t care.”

Cullen finally bowed down and was sentenced March of 2006. The relatives of the victims called him “a coward, a demon an abomination who is a waste of his life” in addition to “Satan’s Son,”” in the Inquirer report. Cullen did not look at them and appeared to be sleeping at the table where the defendant was sitting.

Although he was silent for two years hearings in court, Cullen became frustrated at his sentencing later before a Lehigh County court. In court, he claimed that the judge was biased when he granted a news interview and repeated the sentence “Your honour is required to resign” over 500 times, even after being slapped with a cloth and a few strips of tape. He didn’t explain or apologize to the victims relatives, and did not look at them as they read the victim impact statements.

“It was a sign of his inability to attend the time of his sentence,” Cullen’s Pennsylvania public lawyer Gary Asteak said. “It demonstrated a lack of respect for his fellow citizens.”

Cullen then donated his kidneys in the form of “a struggling New York man,” according to The Associated Press put it, in August of 2006. The procedure went well and the kidneys were “a perfect size since Cullen is well-nourished,” his New Jersey public defense attorney Johnnie Mask told the Newark Star-Ledger. Cullen was released later in the month.

The aftereffects

In 2008, the families from Cullen’s New Jersey victims reached a confidential settlement with a number of New Jersey hospitals, as in St. Luke’s in Bethlehem that was unable “to alert Somerset Medical Center to hire Cullen,” according to the Associated Press.

Eight families filed a wrongful deaths action to Cullen through Lehigh County Court. Cullen did not face charges with killing the victims listed in the lawsuit, however the families claimed that their loved loved ones were among the hundreds people Cullen killed. Eight patients perished within St. Luke’s.

In March of 2010 an appeals court handed the families $95 million as damages following Cullen was unable to present an argument. The amount of damages, as according to the Associated Press reported, would let the families collect the amount should Cullen ever decided to market his book. Court documents showed that Cullen did not have money to pay.

Cullen’s trial also led to policy modifications in Pennsylvania as well as New Jersey. In 2005, the then-Gov. Ed Rendell signed legislation that ensures Pennsylvania employers from being sued for the work histories of former or current employees mostly as a result in the Cullen case. New Jersey, meanwhile, has passed a so-called “Cullen Law” which requires state healthcare providers to report incompetence, misconduct or incompetence with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

“We believe of this legislation to lead to hospitals having access to details about whether or not a prospective employee was under investigation for any crime,” Somerset Medical Center announced in a statement after the bill’s passage “and make sure that they don’t accidentally choose to hire a health person with a questionable past similar to Charles Cullen.”



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