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 16 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 10 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.
©2013 Charles Graeber (P)2013 Hachette Audio
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
"The Good Nurse" recounts a true story about guilt–the obvious legal guilt of a psychopathic murderer and, less obvious, self-assessment guilt; i.e. the guilt of hospital attorneys, doctors, owners, and administrators. Legal guilt is defined by a “court of law” as a criminal law violation determined by judge or jury. Self-assessment guilt is the guilt of violating parental or social expectation (defined by Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D).
A fundamental truth in life is that death is a surety; the only difference is in when you die and by what means. It may be death at the hand of a murderer like Cullen, but more ominously by someone in a doctor’s coat, a nurse’s uniform, a manager’s tie, or lawyer’s suit. There may be deaths without guilt but all unnatural deaths are deeply burdened with guilt. Cullen is guilty of murder but how many white coats, white uniforms, and suits in this case are also guilty? Were the Cullen murders a game of “Truth or Consequences” or “Monopoly” with “Get-Out-of-Jail-Free” cards?
i loved the narrator. I think Will Collyer's performance was great. Hope he does more books.
When the police realize the hospitals have been hiding evidence from them.
I was really liked by the scene where the police show the evidence to his good friend. Her reaction of shock and pain as she grasped the truth was moving. I loved her bravery and courage to do the right thing.
In many ways this book was terrifying. I hope to never spend any time as a patient alone in a hospital. I want to have a very suspicious body guard with me at all times.
This book sort of reminded me of ZODIAC. It took so long for the police to figure out what was going on. Of course in this case, the various hospitals knew and hid the information about what this nurse was doing. A lot of people died who would not have if they had been honest.
I think I could listen again. Very intriguing book.
I don't know if I was on the edge of my seat, but wow this book pulled me in and kept me the whole time.
He was very good.
I know it may just be me, but I love a crime novel and add medical to it and I'm in heaven. This book was very interesting. You could tell that a ton of research went into it . I can't believe this was the first time I heard of this case. Great story. If you like medical true crime this is a book for you.
Listening about the sophisticated method involved in the killings.
I wish there were details about the killings. Instead, there was more focus on the killer's biographical background.
Sorry... but I should have listened to the sample before ordering this book. In my opinion, this is more like a school report than a good book
Well written book. Some long winded and frequently used analogies but sparing those it was a good book.
This book reads like a thriller. It reeled me in from page one and I found it hard stop listening. I've had many sleepless nights trying to keep my eyes (and ears) open for this incredible story. Horrific, amazing, scary, shocking....but an absolute must listen.
While reading the description of patients receiving care on the burn unit, I cringed but couldn't stop reading.
His voice was perfect for the "character" he portrays in this book. There were many times when I got so deep into the reading that I had to remind myself that the person reading wasn't the perpetrator.
A story of a relentless serial killer.
Can't say because I haven't read the book.
Indeed. By making me consider how lucky I have been when I have had to go to a hospital that I came out alive.
I felt no sympathy for the killer, nor the hospital administrators. But I did for Amy.
This book educates listeners they must be their own patient advocates. They must learn to question every pill, injection & food they are given. They must get from their doctor a written list of the medicines they will be given PRIOR to receiving them. The patient must ask why they are being given these medicines & how they will affect them as well as interact with other medication. Also how long they will need to receive the medicines & how often. If the patient is unable to do this, than they must try to ask a trusted family member or friend to provide this protection. As the writer points out more than once, medical accidents in hospitals happen. Much more often than the average person is aware of. That is the biggest worry. Add in the possibility of a nut case killing patients & one begins to see the risks involved & why its necessary to take all precautions to protect yourself when there is a need to be treated in the ER, or admitted to a hospital.
After reading past reviews I was worried I would be disappointed, but I'm glad I took the chance and used my credit. Yes, the narration is dry if not all out boring. Words are mispronounced etc. However, the story itself kept me listening. I could not get over how this killer could have been caught earlier but due to hospitals being more worried over lawsuits than patient's lives, he was passed on from hospital to hospital. It's sick how legal concerns are paramount to people within our hospitals. This story stands as an example.
Having been a Registered Nurse for the better part of 30 years, I was keenly interested in the subject matter of this book. I found the story to be terrifying not only from my perspective as a professional but as a patient. I don't want to say much more because I'd rather not spoil the story but I would recommend this book to everyone. The book is well written and the story so compelling that you will not want to put it down.
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