Category: Serial Killing
Location: New Jersey and Pennsylvania, United States
Date: 1988 - 2003
Crime: The total number of his victims is still not known, but it is believed that he killed as many as 45 patients at numerous hospitals that he worked at over the years. Currently serving 18 consecutive life sentences for performing what he called mercy killings via lethal injections of medication.
Biography: Charles was the youngest of eight children born to the Cullen family in West Orange, New Jersey. His father, a bus driver was 58 years old when Cullen was born. He described his childhood as 'miserable' and attempted his first suicide at the age of nine by drinking all of the chemicals from his chemistry set. In all, Cullen attempted suicide 20 times over the course of his troubled life. His naval career was marred by bizarre behavior until his ultimate discharge in 1984. Working at St. Barnabas Medical Center, Cullen committed his first murder in the summer of 1988. He administered a lethal does of a blood thinning drug through an elderly patient's fluid bag. He committed 11 more murders at St. Barnabas before moving on to another hospital to avoid detection. This was the pattern he followed over the next decade. He would stay at a hospital for a period of time before moving on. In 2002, Cullen was under investigation for stealing vials of medicines and was fired. The investigation showed that Cullen was present at nearly 70% of the deaths in the unit that he worked, but the case was dropped for lack of evidence. He moved onto Somerset Medical Center in New jersey and murdered eight more patients before the year was through. In 2003, hospital officials began to piece together evidence of Cullen's activities. He was fired, but the investigation continued. Finally, in December of 2003, Cullen was arrested and proceeded to admit to the killings of dozens of patients.