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Is ‘Capturing the Killer Nurse’ based on the book ‘The Good Nurse’? Netflix’s new release is ‘sinister’

The documentary uses interviews with the nurses who blew the whistle on their coworker - killer nurse Charles 'Charlie' Cullen
Amy Loughren in ‘Capturing the Killer Nurse’ (Netflix)
Amy Loughren in ‘Capturing the Killer Nurse’ (Netflix)

SOMERVILLE, NEW JERSEY: Spooky season might be over, but not for Netflix. The streaming platform is back with yet another chilling true-crime movie. If the story of Jeffery Dahmer did not make your blood run cold, ‘Capturing The Killer Nurse’ would indeed chill your spine. This new crime documentary is right up the alley for all true crime fans. ‘Capturing the Killer Nurse’ follows the story of Charles “Charlie” Cullen and his horrific journey as a serial killer who murdered many patients at the hospital where he was employed.

The documentary also has a film adaptation that covers the same plot, albeit with a few changes. The movie ‘The Good Nurse’ highlights the story of Amy Loughren, a kind and loving nurse who grew close to Charlie while they were colleagues, never once suspecting that he was involved in such a heinous activity. Soon, a series of mysterious deaths of multiple patients sets off an investigation that casts Charlie in a suspicious light. The movie stars British actor Eddie Redmayne as Charlie while Jessica Chastain plays the role of Amy. ‘The Good Nurse’ and ‘Capturing the Killer Nurse’ are different titles, although they fit together like companion pieces. Those who have read Charles Graeber’s book ‘The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder’ might find that the plot matches Netflix’s upcoming documentary and movie. So has Netflix based the flicks on Graeber’s book? Here’s what we know.


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A shot from the true-crime documentary 'Capturing The Killer Nurse' (Netflix)
A shot from the true-crime documentary 'Capturing The Killer Nurse' (Netflix)

Is 'Capturing the Killer Nurse' based on ‘The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder’?

Netflix’s official synopsis for the project states, “Charlie Cullen was an experienced registered nurse, trusted and beloved by his colleagues at Somerset Medical Center in New Jersey. He was also one of history’s most prolific serial killers, with a body count potentially numbering in the hundreds across multiple medical facilities in the Northeast. Based on The Good Nurse, the best-selling book written by Charles Graeber – to be dramatized in a Netflix feature film starring Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne, premiering this fall – this documentary uses interviews with the nurses who blew the whistle on their coworker, the detectives who cracked the case, and audio from Cullen himself as it unravels the twisted path to his conviction.”

So as per the information by Netflix, the documentary is indeed based on Graeber's ‘The Good Nurse’. While the movie adaptation of the book adds a few additional elements and details for cinematic drama, the documentary stays true to the book. It gives fans a true insight into the crimes at Somerset Medical Center. The true crime documentary will include interviews with the nurses who helped bring Charlie to justice. And it will also have an audio clip from the killer himself.

Amy Loughren in the documentary 'Capturing The Killer Nurse' (Netflix)
Amy Loughren in the documentary 'Capturing The Killer Nurse' (Netflix)

Charlie murdered patients by administering lethal drugs like insulin, digoxin, and epinephrine into their IV bags. Authorities arrested Charlie in December 2003 with the help of Amy. In 2006, Charlie was convicted of 29 murders and sentenced to 11 consecutive life terms. But many experts believe he has been responsible for 400 patient deaths. As of now, he is serving 18 consecutive life sentences in New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, New Jersey.

Catch the story of the crime and the killer in ‘Capturing the Killer Nurse’ premiering on October 11, 2022, on Netflix at 12.30 am ET/PT