In his new book, The Good Nurse, Charles Graeber does more than expose the crimes of Charles Cullen, a nurse whose indiscriminate lethal injections of patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania may make him the most prolific serial killer in history. Mr. Graeber also exposes that hospitals’ own actions helped Cullen keep his crimes secret so he could go on killing.
The Story of the Killer Nurse
Cullen worked as a night nurse at many area hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When he was unsupervised, he would select victims, then inject them with lethal chemicals. It is unknown how many victims he killed, but we know that he killed a judge, a recovering breast acncer patient, a priest, a teen—there was no profile for his victims.
The killings went on and on until a pair of Sommerville, New Jersey cops realized they had discovered a pattern connecting a number of unexplained patient deaths. Despite denials and resistance from hospital officials, they managed to identify Cullen as a killer and put him behind bars.
How Hospitals Can Encourage Killers
One of the first and most problematic aspects that came to light in the Cullen case is just how little documentation exists on some of these nurses. When the detectives began their investigation, there was little to no documentation on his activities. However, what few records there were are evocative. One former supervisor from a hospital where he left notes “Would not consider for rehire—medication issue.” Apparently, some hospitals were happy to keep his activities secret if he would just resign.
Worse, other hospitals actively stonewalled investigators. When the police came asking about Cullen at his final assignment, the hospital’s risk management specialist lied to them, saying that the drug ordering system Cullen used to order lethal drugs kept no long-term records, so they shouldn’t even bother to look. Witnesses were told to refer investigators to lawyers rather than answer their questions.
Your Case Matters
One of the most important takewaways from tragic cases like this one is that every case matters. If your loved one has been hurt by medical negligence or by the deliberate misconduct of someone at a hospital, you have to come forward. There is no telling how many other people are being affected by the same situation. Don’t let yourself be persuaded by hospital officials that nothing is wrong or that they will handle the problem.
At Andres & Berger, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys can help you bring your case to light. We will also hold hospital officials and others responsible when they contribute to the error or misconduct that resulted in your injury or loss.
To learn more about how we can help you, please contact Andres & Berger in Haddonville, New Jersey today for a free case evaluation.