NPR 4 The Deaf: We Hear It When U Can’t


In 2003, police in Somerset County, N.J., arrested a hospital nurse named Charlie Cullen who was suspected of injecting patients with lethal doses of a variety of medications. Cullen would turn out to be one of the nation’s most prolific serial killers, murdering dozens, perhaps hundreds of people in nine hospitals over a 14-year period. Journalist Charles Graeber spent six years investigating the Cullen case, and is the only reporter to have spoken with Cullen in prison. In his new book, The Good Nurse, Graeber pieces together the elements of Cullen’s story. “We’ll never know how many people Charlie Cullen ultimately killed,” Graeber tells Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies. “Charlie Cullen doesn’t know how many people he killed. He initially could recall 40 and also said there was a large part of his life that was a fog during which he would have no ability to recall. But during that fog — those fogs lasted years — he said there were probably multiples a week.” Graeber — who has written for Wired, GQ and New York Magazine, among other publications — focuses not only on Cullen’s tortured life and crimes, but on why Cullen wasn’t stopped for so long, despite plenty of evidence he was harming patients. MORE