Who is Charles Cullen and where is he now? The serial killer from The Good Nurse on Netflix

He said he felt ‘overwhelmed’ when he committed his crimes

Netflix has just released a new true crime drama film, based on the real life crimes committed by nurse Charles Cullen. Cullen admitted to killing up to 40 of his patients whilst working as a nurse, but the number of victims is estimated to be closer to 400. This would make Charles Cullen the most prolific serial killer in US history.

It was a friend who worked alongside Cullen, called Amy Loughren, who would be the one to help police bring the killer to justice. So, where is he now?

Charles Cullen shown in The Good Nurse on Netflix

via Netflix

Who is Charles Cullen?

Charles Cullen was born in New Jersey in 1960, and was one of eight siblings. His father died before Cullen’s first birthday, and his mother passed away following a car accident when Cullen was in his teens. Cullen graduated from nursing school in 1987, got married, and became a nurse. In 1993 he divorced his wife, with whom he shares two daughters.

It’s then believed Cullen started killing his first victims. His crimes were committed over a period of 16 years, before he was found out in 2003.

In 2003, Florian Gall was in the care of Somerset Medical Centre in Somerville, New Jersey. There, Florian Gall had a sudden heart attack and died, despite showing signs of improvement previously. After investigating, it was found Gall had been given a lethal dose of digoxin.

Whilst working at this hospital, Cullen met Amy Loughren, who would be key to bringing his crimes to an end. In November 2003, Amy was given documents showing the drugs Cullen had been ordering, and then she “knew he was murdering people” because of the number of lethal medications listed – including digoxin.

The documents were provided by Somerset County Detectives Tim Braun and Danny Baldwin, and Amy agreed to help them bring Cullen to justice. Amy wore a wire and tried to manipulate Cullen into confessing, and the evidence she produced was enough to warrant his arrest.

Charles Cullen

via TONY KURDZUK/AP/Shutterstock

Where is Charles Cullen now?

Cullen was arrested in December 2003. He was brought in for one first-degree murder and one attempted murder, and the next day, shocked officers by telling them there were so many more. He admitted to killing between 30 and 40 of his patients, but this number is believed to be closer to 400.

In 2006, Charles Cullen was convicted of 29 murders and given 11 life sentences. He agreed to work with investigators to identify all of his victims, if they would refrain from giving him the death penalty.

Right now, Charles Cullen is still in prison at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton. Charles Cullen had previously said he only gave “very sick” patients the lethal drugs, so believed he was ending their pain. Speaking from prison in 2013, Charles said: “I thought that people aren’t suffering anymore, so in a sense, I thought I was helping. My goal here isn’t to justify. You know what I did there is no justification. I just think that the only thing I can say is that I felt overwhelmed at the time.”

Charles Cullen will never be released from prison. He is serving 11 consecutive life terms, which totals 397 years, and he is not eligible for parole until 2388.

The Good Nurse is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

The Good Nurse on Netflix: The chilling true story of Charles Cullen who killed 40 patients

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Everything you need to know about Amy Loughren, the nurse who brought down Charles Cullen

Featured image via Netflix / TONY KURDZUK/AP/Shutterstock