The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder

by Charles Graeber
4.1 111

Hardcover(Large Print)

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The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber

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 sixteen 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 ten 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781410460356
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 09/11/2013
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 601
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Charles Graeber is an award winning journalist and contributor to numerous publications including Wired, GQ, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Vogue, Outside Magazine, Men's Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, Travel + Leisure, and The New York Times, and an occasional guest on CNN, NPR, and other radio programs. As a former medical student and researcher, his co-authored papers appeared in scientific journals including Kidney International. His work has been honored with prizes including the Overseas Press Club award for outstanding international journalism, the New York Press Club prize for the year's best magazine spot news reportage, several National Magazine Award-nominations, and inclusion in numerous anthologies including The Best American Crime Writing, The Best American Science Writing, The Best American Business Writing and The Best of National Geographic Adventure. Born in Iowa, he now lives in Nantucket, MA and Brooklyn, NY. For more information, you can visit

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The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 111 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never read any serial killer novels until now; however, I always was curious what their mindset was like such as how they got this way, do they have plans, do they pick their victims at random or not.  I decided to pick up the book because I'm in the medical field and was so surprised that there are evil people out there especially who take the oathe to care for the sick and harm innocent people.  Patients expect the medical team to do their work by making sure they are well taken care of and there will be no harm to them.  It is an unfortunate that a man like Charlie Cullen, a Navy Vet, a nurses aid, then returned to school to receive his Bachelors degree in Registered Nursing.  A reputable career choice in Registered Nursing when women were predominantly in the work field during the last 80's.  Back in the midcentury of medieval times, men were considered nurses during war time. I think it's a norm where there are lots of Nurses that have so many employers.  Nurses have so much better opportunities for them other than working in acute hospital, hospice, and now they can work at corporate companies as on-site nurses, or pharmaceutical companies now. Charlie was very intelligent, but lacked social skills.  He appeared to be a very good worker like being employee of the month and was the face of  the hospital's advertisement recruitment pamphlet for nurses.  Charles Cullen had issues and acted out his rage on his patients out while caring for his patients even for the ones that were not assigned to him.   What a shame!!  The health care system that hired Charlie Cullen suspected there was something going on with him in particular; however, they rather terminated him or let him quietly leave so the hospital's reputation would not be tarnished with the publicity  The health care system should be a shame that they would save their reputation than try to save their patients all because of numbers.   I think this book is worth reading, you always wandered what type of drug he would use next to harm his patients.
ramona_dviola More than 1 year ago
Equal parts medical primer and murder mystery, "The Good Nurse" by Charles Graeber is a romp of a read. Chronicling the 16-year killing spree of male nurse Charlie Cullen, the level of research, detail, and recollection required to write this book is astounding. Part two of the saga could have been written by David Simon for an episode of The Wire. With its code-speak, cop talk dialog, the homicide police are finally called in to solve this stone cold whodunnit. I read until my eyes hurt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really worth the read. A perfect story of good triumphing over evil. The 'evil' being the hospitals who tried to cover it up. The dynamic between the investigators and the CI was interesting. Brave girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Apparently seven years of reporting and writing went into this book and if so, it was worth it. A stunning and important true story which reads like a thriller. wow. I liked Devil in the White City. But I liked The Good Nurse much more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating true story about a serial killer nurse and how he was caught. The writing and story were both great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow. What a story! Very well written. Really gets you to understand not why he killed, but how hard people worked to cover it up. Great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was suspensful and a quick read! Sad story but very detailed and interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down! Well written, easy to follow medical info. Very scary that this goes on for so long. What else are the hospitals hiding?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully written and hard to put down! I think Mr. Graeber did an outstanding job on his research and interviews. He really was able to delve into the mind of a killer. Such a scary thought that this was able to continue for so long until a very brave woman helped put a stop to it.
arleah More than 1 year ago
This was a very intense story of a trusted nurse, killing patients for no reason, it was almost impossible to believe it was true until they interviewed him o 60 minutes during the time I was reading the book! He killed to kill. He wasn't even acting as an angel of mercy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being a nurse myself, I found the book a compelling read; however I found the length to be a little too long. It also makes me wonder how corrupt our health systems are that this carried on. It makes me think twice now before having co-workers help with meds . I don't understand how Charles was allowed to practice across multiple states with so many allegations and charges against him. I would have condensed some of the book because I did feel lost or strung on for a few chapters. The ending kind of left you wondering why and I had a few questions. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent fast paced read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down
1traumamama More than 1 year ago
Interesting and creepy. As nurse it makes me look at my practice differently
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not sure what is more concerning....what the nurse did or how the hospitals handled it. Lengthy to get to point but decent read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so fascinating and held my interest the entire time! Graeber does a great job of telling Cullen's story. I can not believe he remained a nurse for so long and that people could not use the evidence to convict him much earlier in his career.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a nurse I found it astounding that this nurse,and his killings went on for so long. Surprised the other hospitals didn't speak up...the writer did a great job of keeping your intrest peeked. Will definately recommmend.
NorthernSue More than 1 year ago
This is a very interesting story about a very sick male nurse whose illness plays out in the murder of many of his patients. He doesn't have the ability to kill himself so kills others as suicide by proxy. As an ex-Health Care Manager, I have significant difficulty with the organizational responses to many of the unexplained deaths not being appropriately investigated and managed. Seems to me that the lawyers have won when an organization gives a neutral reference on someone like this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Remarkable craft and one of the most riveting untold stories of our generation. 
DAKOTACAT More than 1 year ago
Very well written and researched accounting of a very intriguing case of multiple murders in hospitals. The thing that makes it very scary is the fact that I was left with nearly as much disregard of the hospitals self serving acts that allowed these murders to continue as the murderer himself. This is not writen with sensationalism in mind and the research is well noted in the back of the book. Excellent read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For people in the medical field, for which I am one, we must no be afraid to be a whistleblower when YOU know something is wrong.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Will especially be interesting for hospital employees and management
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finished this book wondering, how corrupt is todays hospital system? Scary thought if you or your loved ones are ever in the hospital.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HHMarie2015 More than 1 year ago
I actually stumbled upon this book after reading a journal article about medical professionals who, essentially, like to "play God" as Charles Cullen did. It is very informative and makes one question the blind faith we put into authority figures. We assume people in caring professions, or those that require extensive schooling are going to act in our best interest, but, as this book shows, that is not always the case.