Amy Loughren: where is The Good Nurse now? True story behind Netflix film, how she helped catch Charles Cullen
Loughren is played by Jessica Chastain in the Netflix thriller
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The true story of Amy Loughren who helped police catch serial killer Charles Cullen has been portrayed in Netflix’s The Good Nurse. The film tells the horrifying true story of Cullen’s crimes and how his friend, single mother Loughren helped bring him down.
Cullen was convicted of murdering nearly 30 of his patients in New Jersery and Pennsylvania over a 16 year period, however the true number has yet to be determined with some estimating victims numbering the hundreds.
Adapted from the 2013 book The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder, by journalist Charles Graeber, the Netflix movie sees Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) take on the role of Cullen, with Jessica Chastain (The 355) playing Loughren who helped police crack the case of one of America’s most prolific serial killers.
Cullen was eventually apprehended in 2003 and is currently serving 18 consecutive life sentences in a New Jersey state penitentiary. He won’t be eligible for parole until 2403.
So, who was Amy Loughren, how did she help police catch Charlie Cullen and where is she today?
Who is Amy Loughren?
Loughren was a single mother with two kids who worked as a nurse in the ICU department at Somerset Medical Center in New Jersey. She formed a close friendship with Cullen and started to suspect that he was connected to the deaths occurring under his care.
Speaking to People, Loughren described him as “funny,” adding that: “we bonded right away and became friends.” She would look forward to shifts with him and he supported her with her serious heart condition, cardiomyopathy.
How did she help catch James Cullen?
Cullen was eventually caught with the help of Loughren in 2003 after a 16 year crime spree. At the time he was treating a patient called Florian Gall who mysteriously died from a heart attack, despite showing signs of improvement.
It was discovered that Gall had been given a lethal dose of digoxin which had caused their death and suspicions that someone was drugging patients began to grow.
Loughren had started to grow concerned after police detectives showed her that Cullen had ordered these drugs and began to cooperate with the investigation. She wore a wire and met with Cullen, trying to get him to confess to the crimes.
Whilst she was unable to get him to admit he was behind the killings, she collected enough evidence to bring him in for questioning. Cullan was arrested in December in 2003 and admitted that he would sometimes give “very sick” patients drug overdoses.
Did she visit him in prison?
Loughren revealed in an interview with Glamour UK that following getting Cullen arrested she did visit him in prison. She said: “I saw him in prison maybe dozens of times. I really wanted to know if I had harmed someone accidentally and I wanted answers and closure.
“I think I wanted to be in denial that he was a mercy killer, I wanted to make certain that whoever my friend Charlie was that he was no longer there. I didn’t get the answers I wanted, but I was able to see how charismatic he was and how easy it was to be drawn in. It was a process of being able to forgive myself for not seeing it.”
She added that after Cullen realised Loughren had helped the police their visits ended: She said: “When he found out that I had been working for the New Jersey Crown Prosecution that was the last time he answered my letters.”
Where is she now?
Following her experience with Cullen, Loughren no longer works as a nurse. According to her website she now works as a “Reiki Master, hypnotherapist, meditation instructor, DreamSculptor practitioner, reconnective healer, integrative energy healer, past life regressionist, crystal language reader, and medical intuitive.”
At the end of The Good Nurse an update told viewers that Loughren was now a grandmother, based in Florida and lived with her family.