The TRUE STORY behind 'The Good Nurse': How serial killing nurse Charles Cullen came undone

The TRUE STORY behind 'The Good Nurse': How serial killing nurse Charles Cullen came undone
Netflix film 'The Good Nurse', starring Eddie Redmayne, is based on Charles Graeber's 2013 book 'The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder' (Netflix; this is MONSTERS/Youtube)

WEST ORANGE, NEW JERSEY: The true story behind 'The Good Nurse', a new Netflix film starring Eddie Redmayne as a serial killer, is harrowing. The film tells the shocking story of Charles Cullen, a nurse who worked in hospitals around New Jersey and Pennsylvania, murdering 29 people over his 16-year career. He was arrested in 2003 and admitted to killing 29 people, oftentimes by administering fatal drug overdoses in their medication. 

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The two-hour film, directed by Tobias Lindholm and stars Academy Award winners Jessica Chastain and Redmayne, is based on Charles Graeber's 2013 book 'The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder'. This case marked one of New Jersey's most infamous cases of serial killings. It also raised concerns about the framework that allowed Cullen to continue his practice despite the fact that patients under his care frequently died unexpectedly.

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Eddie Redmayne in The Good Nurse. (Credit: Netflix)
Eddie Redmayne in a still from the upcoming Netflix film 'The Good Nurse' (Netflix)

When Cullen's arrest first made headlines, it was said that the former nurse had gone out on "a date" with a female friend, eating spring rolls and drinking beer. The woman was actually Amy Loughren, a former colleague of Cullen's who had been assisting investigators and ultimately assisted law enforcement in apprehending and prosecuting the serial killer nurse. Chastain plays Loughren in the movie.

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Jessica Chastain as Amy (Credit: Netflix)
Jessica Chastain as Amy Loughren in a still from the Netflix movie 'The Good Nurse' (Netflix)

Loughren, a single mother of two, used to work the night shift as a nurse at an intensive care unit (ICU) in New Jersey. Cullen and Loughren become close friends before a series of strange patient deaths sparks an inquiry that named the former as the main suspect. Loughren is asked to assist the authorities in uncovering the truth.

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A still from The Good Nurse. (Credit: Netflix)
Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain in a still from The Good Nurse (Netflix)

Loughren worked at the Somerset Hospital till 2003. She was contacted by two investigators that year with the notion that "her coworker could be one of the most prolific serial killers in American history," according to People. Cullen's horrifying acts ultimately came to light thanks to Loughren. Loughren reportedly found the entire ordeal to be traumatizing. She turned to spirituality after the case was resolved, in order to deal with the excruciating mental damage she had suffered.

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