True crime Netflix documentary Capturing the Killer Nurse revisits the shocking crimes of American nurse Charles Cullen which inspired the 2022 film The Good Nurse. The documentary offers an indictment of the US healthcare system which enabled one man to commit dozens of confirmed murders (the real figure could be in the hundreds) over more than a decade before being caught.
What is Capturing the Killer Nurse about?
The documentary follows the efforts of investigators to prove that respected critical care nurse Charles Cullen was a serial killer responsible for dozens of murders. Over a career of 16 years beginning in 1988 Cullen killed his patients whilst working in medical centres and care homes in New Jersey and the northeastern United States.
Cullen was finally arrested in 2003 and confessed to 40 murders, 29 of which have been confirmed - through the true number of his victims could be more than 100. The documentary features interviews with Cullen himself as well as his co-workers and the detectives who worked on the case and brought the killer to justice. Family members of Cullen’s victims, and author Charles Graeber who wrote the true-crime book The Good Nurse, which the feature film is based on, are also featured.
The documentary examines how Cullen was able to get away with so many murders over a span of 13 years without being caught, and the failures of the American healthcare system to protect patients. Several of Cullen’s colleagues had tried to raise the alarm to police - several nurses voiced concerns that Cullen had mishandled medication in 2002 but an investigation was dropped due to lack of evidence.
A series of wrongful death lawsuits were settled with five hospitals in 2008 - the suits alleged that the hospitals had not acted to stop Cullen from using stolen medication to kill patients, and failed to notify police when suspicions were raised.
Where is Charles Cullen now?
Cullen received 18 consecutive life sentences for his crimes (he agreed to cooperate with authorities if they did not seek the death penalty). He will not be eligible for parole until 2388, meaning that he will die in prison. Cullen is serving his sentence at New Jersey State Prison, a maximum security facility populated by murderers and rapists.
As part of his plea agreement, he is working with police to identify his other victims. The total number of people that Cullen killed may never be known, though some investigators have suggested that he may have killed 400 people - if this were true, he would be the most prolific known serial killer in the United States, and possibly the world.
When is the Capturing the Killer Nurse release date?
The feature length documentary was released on Netflix on Friday 11 November and is available to watch now. Drama film, The Good Nurse, starring Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain is also available to watch on Netflix now.
Is there a trailer?
Yes there is, and you can watch it right here: