A new true crime drama is coming out Netflix — and no, I’m not talking about The Observer or Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

The Good Nurse is a gripping film that follows Amy Loughren (Jessica Chastain), a nurse who befriends fellow nurse Charles Cullen (Eddie Redmayne) when he starts on her ward. Little does Loughren know that Cullen is the killer behind the deaths of multiple patients.

A good nurse is based on journalist Charles Graeber’s 2013 book of the same name. Let’s review some of the main takeaways about the real Cullen and Lauren.

Who is Charles Cullen?

Charles Cullen pleaded guilty to killing 29 people while working at hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. according to NJ.com. But the real death toll could be much higher.

Graeber, the author of the book on which the film is based, told CBS News in 2013 that he “would be very surprised, as would almost everyone I have spoken to who know this case, if there were not hundreds, several hundreds.”

“We’ll never know how many people Charlie Cullen ended up killing,” Graeber told NPR.

How did Cullen kill hospital patients?

Cullen killed victims with drugs such as the heart drug digoxin, according to CBS News.

The victims varied in age and health, with some “ready to be discharged when Cullen injected them with drugs that would have killed them.” according to the news site.

Jessica Chastain as Amy Lauren in The Good Nurse.

Jojo Wheeldon/Netflix

Who is Amy Loughren?

Loughren worked with Cullen at Somerset Medical Center in New Jersey and helped police investigate him. according to NJ.com.

She was a single mother working night shifts when the police told her he was a serial killer to Glamour. Cullen was a close friend of Lauren’s and helped her cover up a heart condition at work. The news shocked her, according to the magazine.

Which parts of The Good Nurse are fictional?

Film invents aspects and changes details, according to the Los Angeles Times. Still, Graeber told the paper that he “felt it was accurate to the core.”

“[The real story here is] about institutions, the banality of evil and individuals and the choices they make,” Graeber said. “I feel like this film brings that out.”

None of the deaths in the film are based on real victims, director Tobias Lindholm told the Times. However, the “methodology of the killings” remains the same, he said.

Why did Cullen do it?

CBS News Correspondent Steve Croft asked Cullen about his motivation in 2013. “I thought people weren’t suffering anymore,” Cullen said. “So in a way I thought I was helping.”

After Croft pointed out that Cullen killed people “who weren’t close to death and didn’t suffer as much,” Cullen said there was “no excuse” and “the only thing I can say is that I felt heartbroken at the time.”

Where is Cullen now?

Cullen is serving several life sentences at the New Jersey State Penitentiary in Trenton. According to NJ.comhe is currently 62.


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