Scroll to Top

How Did Charles Cullen From Netflix’s “The Good Nurse” Get Caught in Real Life

By newadmin / Published on Friday, 28 Oct 2022 15:52 PM / Comments Off on How Did Charles Cullen From Netflix’s “The Good Nurse” Get Caught in Real Life / 53 views

Content warning: This article contains references to murder some may find upsetting. There are also spoilers for Netflix’s The Good Nurse. Reader discretion is advised.

Notorious serial killer Charles Cullen is back in the headlines courtesy of Netflix’s latest true crime effort, The Good Nurse. In 2006, Cullen, nicknamed the “Angel of Death”, was convicted of killing up to 29 patients while working as a nurse in medical facilities throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. However, it is speculated that he may have been responsible for hundreds of other deaths. According to The New York Times, Cullen was fired from multiple jobs, survived at least three or four suicide attempts, was placed in four psychiatric hospitalizations, and evaded four suspicious death investigations before he was finally arrested.

In order to finally catch the serial killer, Detectives Tim Braun and Danny Baldwin recruited Cullen’s close friend and then-co-worker Amy Loughren to help secure more evidence of Cullen’s involvement in the sudden increase of suspicious deaths at Somerset Medical Center in 2003. Along with providing documentation of Cullen excessively withdrawing large quantities of a drug that wasn’t commonly used in their unit, Loughren also wore a recorder while meeting with Cullen to confront him about the deaths and ultimately record his confession. If you’re wondering more about how the infamous killer was captured and finally arrested, read ahead to discover everything we know about how Charles Cullen was caught.

How was Charles Cullen caught?

Staff at Somerset Medical Center notified authorities after a string of suspicious patient deaths. According to The New York Times, a patient suffered a nonfatal insulin overdose on August 27, 2003. Nearly a month later, on September 25, 2003, the Department of Health penalized the medical center for failing to report the incident. Eight days following that, another patient experienced a steep drop in blood sugar and died 45 minutes later. This time, hospital officials immediately contacted the county prosecutor and state health officials.

Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne J. Forrest began interviewing witnesses and checking hospital records. According to The New York Times, hospital officials “combed through Mr. Cullen’s personnel file” and discovered that Cullen had lied on his job application. He was fired that Halloween. Detective Braun also discovered that Cullen was previously charged with trespassing in Palmer, Pennsylvania, and reached out to Palmer officials for more information about the case. The authorities in Palmer revealed there was a note that read, “digoxin,” (a type of medication) pasted to Cullen’s file, The Cinemaholic reports. Detective Braun discovered that the same heart medication had been administered to dead patients at Easton hospital, where Cullen previously worked.

Detectives Braun and Baldwin showed the evidence to Amy Loughren, a close friend and coworker of Cullen’s at Somerset Medical Center. She confirmed that the drug wasn’t an essential medication commonly used on their unit. Loughren, a single mother with a heart condition, launched her own investigation in a hospital computer system that revealed Cullen accessed the records of patients he wasn’t assigned. Both Somerset detectives asked Loughren to wear a wire to get Cullen to confess to his crimes. That December, the duo met for lunch, where Loughren confronted Cullen about the crimes and encouraged him to turn himself over to police officials. He reportedly replied, “I can’t,” several times before leaving the restaurant. He was then apprehended before he could flee.

Cullen later admitted to killing as many as 40 patients. To avoid the death penalty, he pleaded guilty to the murder of 29 patients and was sentenced to 11 consecutive life terms. Cullen is currently an inmate in protective custody at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.