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Where is Charles Cullen now and is Netflix’s killer nurse still alive?

October 26, 2022

Netflix show The Good Nurse brings Charles Cullen’s true story to screens – but where is the serial killer now?

After the success of Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Netflix continues its plunge into true crime with The Good Nurse. Starring Oscar winners Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne, it focuses on the 16-year-old killing spree of Charles Cullen from the 1980s to the early 2000s.

Slated to premiere on Netflix after a theatrical release, the platform will expand on Cullen’s case by releasing a chilling documentary titled Capturing The Killer Nurse. It will contain interviews with colleagues who uncovered her crimes, as well as audio recordings of the nurse herself.

Cullen was sentenced to 11 consecutive life sentences, totaling 397 years, without the prospect of parole. He pleaded guilty to killing 29 patients at hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, reports The New York Times.

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Nurse accused of killing terminally ill patientsPhoto by John Wheeler/Getty Images

Is the killer nurse still alive?

Cullen was arrested on December 12, 2003 for first degree murder and attempted murder, according to NY Magazine. Cullen, 62, confessed to poisoning 12 to 15 people at Somerset Medical Center. At the time of his sentencing in March 2006, he admitted the figure was closer to 40.

The West Orange, New Jersey native was spared the death penalty in exchange for his cooperation with authorities in identifying his victims. He remains incarcerated at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.

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The Good Nurse shines a light on Charles Cullen’s serial crimes

The gripping thriller is based on the real events of Cullen’s activities, although the film’s name is borrowed from Charles Graeber’s book The Good Nurse: A True Story Of Medicine, Madness, And Murder.

Considered the most prolific serial killer in American history by Crime Wire, Graeber writes that the registered nurse was quickly dubbed “the angel of death” after his arrest in December 2003.

Cullen has worked in nine hospitals and one nursing home for 16 years. His modus operandi was to sneak into a victim’s room and inject them with a lethal dose of drugs. He often used digoxin, a powerful drug used to treat heart disease.

Graeber claims Cullen also injected insulin into the IV bags of some victims at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. “It was very difficult to distinguish Cullen’s personal death count from the death rate in a hospital,” the author wrote.

Cullen’s attorney said his client believed the victims were “terminally ill and it was dehumanizing to prolong people’s lives by artificial means,” NBC News reports. Additionally, New York Magazine claims that killing became Cullen’s way of escaping a stressful personal life.

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CHARLES CULLENNDon Fisher/Allentown Morning Call/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Good Nurse was released in select US cinemas on October 19, 2022 and in UK cinemas on October 21. It is available to stream on Netflix from October 26.

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