April 21, 2013 |
TRENTON - At his sentencing hearings in 2006, serial-killer nurse Charles Cullen did not explain why he killed at least 29 hospital and nursing home patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He had told investigators they were mercy killings. But a prosecutor said Cullen was driven by a compulsion to kill and was no "angel of death. " In an interview with CBS's 60 Minutes , Cullen at first says he thought he was helping people by ending their suffering. Many of the victims of his lethal drug overdoses were old or gravely ill. But Cullen tells a different story when reminded that some victims were not close to death.
May 12, 2006 |
Hospitals across the country are celebrating "National Nurses' Week," a tribute to the "strength, commitment and compassion" of the thousands of women and men who help revitalize ailing patients. But despite this week of appreciation, it hasn't been all fun and games. For too many years, hospitals and other medical facilities have feared the sharing of negative evaluations of some of their employees who seek employment elsewhere. That stemmed from the fear of defamation lawsuits that could cast hospitals and nursing homes into controversial and expensive court battles.
March 2, 2006 |
Charles Cullen has yet to offer a motive or an apology for killing 22 hospital patients in New Jersey. And his attorney said he didn't expect the former nurse to do so today, when Cullen is scheduled to be sentenced in Somerset County to life in prison for those murders and for trying to kill three others in New Jersey hospitals. Later this month, Cullen is to be sentenced in Pennsylvania for killing seven patients and trying to kill three others in that state. "I probably would advise him not to say anything," Johnnie Mask, Cullen's public defender, said in an interview yesterday.
November 18, 2004 |
In a tone barely audible to the dozens who packed an Allentown courtroom yesterday, serial killer Charles Cullen pleaded guilty to six more murders and three attempted murders, bringing his death tally to 23 in two states. Relatives of victims strained to hear a reason or explanation from Cullen, who claimed when arrested in December that he had killed about 40 patients in his 16-year career as a registered nurse. But the 44-year-old father of three offered nothing but short responses to a Lehigh County judge's questions, as he did in the three other Pennsylvania and New Jersey counties where he has pleaded guilty.
October 15, 2004 |
The grim tally of victims attributed to killer nurse Charles Cullen grew yesterday with six murder charges filed against him in Lehigh County, Pa., drawing investigators closer to the total Cullen cited when he was arrested last year. The latest victims include a well-known Bethlehem merchant and a 22-year-old burn patient - the youngest victim so far - whom Cullen said he had killed so he could "end his suffering," prosecutors said. For family members, who had been waiting 10 months to learn whether their relatives died at Cullen's hand, the news was unsettling.
October 8, 2004 |
After pleading guilty yesterday to his 17th murder, former nurse Charles Cullen was forced for the first time to face the family of one of his victims. "It is my family's opinion that you are a monster," said Kristina Toth, daughter of Ottomar Schramm, 78, who died at Easton Hospital in 1998 after Cullen injected him with an unprescribed heart stimulant. Cullen, of Bethlehem, mostly avoided Toth's gaze as she read a statement, meeting her eyes only when she relayed a message from her 83-year-old mother, Lorraine.
July 2, 2004 |
People waiting to learn whether their relatives were among the victims of serial killer nurse Charles Cullen called yesterday for Lehigh County District Attorney James B. Martin to step down from the case. At a news conference, the families complained of receiving little information from investigators and prosecutors, while giving tearful accounts of their loved ones' last hours. According to the families' attorneys, Martin should recuse himself because of an alleged conflict of interest - the law firm where he had worked represented hospitals including those where Cullen worked.
June 2, 2004 |
Serial killer Charles Cullen would remember 1993 as the year his lifelong depression was at its worst. That year, he also killed three elderly women at Warren Hospital in New Jersey. Cullen has told authorities that during his 16 years as a registered nurse, he killed about 40 patients. So far, he has pleaded guilty to killing 16. Recently unsealed documents in Cullen's 1993 divorce show that in the months before killing his first known victim, 90-year-old Lucy Mugavero, Cullen displayed bizarre behavior, drank heavily, and discontinued the medication he had been taking for depression.
May 20, 2004 |
With guilty pleas yesterday to three hospital killings, former nurse Charles Cullen raised his tally of New Jersey victims to 16, the most for a murderer in state history. Pale and hollow-cheeked, Cullen, 44, of Bethlehem, Pa., looked down as his shackled feet shuffled past the victims' families, who filled a Warren County courtroom. Asked by state Superior Court Judge John H. Pursel whether he had intended to kill when he administered lethal doses of the heart stimulant digoxin to patients Helen Dean, Lucy Mugavero and Mary Natoli in Warren Hospital in 1993, Cullen said: "Yes, it was. " With that admission, Cullen surpassed Howard Unruh, who fatally shot 13 people in Camden in 1949.
May 19, 2004 |
Former nurse Charles Cullen is expected to plead guilty today to three murders at Warren Hospital in Phillipsburg, N.J., bringing to 17 the number of patients he will have confirmed killing in two states. Helen Dean, Lucy Mugavero and Mary Natoli died in 1993, 10 years before the 13 murders for which Cullen pleaded guilty April 29 in New Jersey Superior Court in Somerset County. He also has confirmed killing a 78-year-old man at Easton Hospital in Pennsylvania. Cullen, 44, of Bethlehem, Pa., admitted the new cases to investigators Friday, Warren County Prosecutor Thomas S. Ferguson said.