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
To be able to peer inside the mind of America's most pervasive serial killer is a rare and distinctly unique experience... I love psychology and especially criminal psychology.
No - but I enjoyed it immensely
I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.
The Mad Sculptor, The Stranger Beside Me
Pretty good reader, fine overall. As some health professionals have said his pronunciation of "dig" as an abbreviation is annoying to even me, (should sound like dijj, not dig like digging a hole and I'm not even a nurse) but otherwise he does a fine job.
Creepy and fascinating, well reported and especially gripping when it comes to Amy's point of view in the second half of the book.The author does his very best to delve into the mind of Charlie Cullen, to answer the unanswerable question: why why why? One of the better true crime stories I've read.
I am the Evil Mama
I have to admit I had not heard of Charles Cullen and this was a very enjoyable nonfiction book that I would recommend to true crime lovers!
I would not recommend the audio-book. I do recommend the text-version.
I think that the criteria for choosing the narrator of this book should have been an actor familiar with proper pronunciation of healthcare terminology and possibly experience in healthcare. I felt the narrator's discomfort with the subject matter, the characterizations and the medications so crucial to the story.
The short form of "Digoxin" is pronounced "didge" not "dig". A "Q.R.S." is not a "O.R.S." An injection of Xanax 8mg is unheard of as Xanax is not available as an injectable.
Every medical professional (including nursing and medical students) in the country knows that the spoken abbreviation for digoxin is pronounced "didge". This was so distracting and unprofessional that I believe that it should be corrected.
Charles Greber has done a fabulous job researching and presenting the characters in this most interesting tale. At first I thought his presentation of the main character's perspective was a little sappy, but then I realized he was able to put you inside his head, and it will spook you. Excellently narrated, the story unfolds at a deliberate but never boring pace that keeps you engaged.
Say something about yourself!
The tough questions weren't addressed. Why did he slip through the medical and mental health care system after all those suicide gestures? How does the threat of lawsuits rule the decisions and policies of hospitals? Those are the real stories of import to our society, completely ignored. And the "dig" flaw in narration is no small point, someone made a bad decision to let this go to market as is.
This book is about a nurse who is a psychopath...I would expect the narrator to have taken the time-and the editor to have made certain of the medical terms and pronunciation. I would conservatively guess that the term "dig" as an abbreviation for the drug Digoxin was used more than 200 times in this book-the narrator, who was able to pronounce the full name of the drug mispronounced the abbreviation "dig" to sound like -to dig a hole, when in fact the first three letters of the name Digoxin when abbreviated sound JUST like the Drug name so should sound like "DIJ" -I wouldn't have made such a big deal of it except that the word is used SO frequently I started to struggle to even listen to the story...which is just an account of some horrible man killing people as a hobby and calling it nursing. I thought that I was going to learn something about what this person was thinking and all it is is the author retelling a news article and adding some "feelings" that he sort of assumed were there. Completely awful book-RETURN.
Bravo to the author and police team that gathered information in these real life serial crimes. I am sure there are many more of these type of murders committed every year that go undetected.
It is a shame that childhood trauma causes some people to turn to savagery instead of help from Jesus Christ.
This book was very well done and I highly recommend it.
If you've ever been helpless in a hospital, as I have found myself MANY times over my lifetime...you will be horrified, as you should be.
Not so much the murderer as the system which allowed him to murder, and that is the big business of the hospitals and all of their hierarchy. Rather than ONE hospital, the first one, the first time having done something about it instead of covering their own posteriors, possibly hundreds of innocents were killed. All for the bottom line and saving face (which ostensibly IS on their posteriors). None of those people were ever prosecuted and civil suits were settled, everything hidden away from the public. Those hospitals are still open for business. All I can say is...don't get sick and stay as far away from hospitals as you can. It isn't your best interest that is uppermost. Clearly.
And as for the first case the detective was literally stonewalled by city hall, the one that had nothing to do with Cullen...I'd say let's all jump on Newark, but that town is so corrupt it is hopeless.
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