Content by Korin Miller as published on Yahoo! Life
Netflix’s The Good Nurse tells the terrifying story of Charles Cullen, a nurse who deliberately killed dozens of patients while working in multiple hospitals. While the story is scary enough, what’s even more upsetting is that it’s based on a true story.
The Good Nurse follows the real story of Cullen, a prolific serial killer who killed nearly 30 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before finally getting caught in the early 2000s. The movie is adapted from the 2013 book called The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder, by journalist Charles Graeber.
The movie, which stars Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain, is told from the perspective of Amy Loughren, Cullen’s co-worker and friend, who was eventually recruited by authorities to help take him down.
Like Cullen, Loughren is a real person. But who is Amy Loughren and where is she now? Here’s what you need to know.
Who is Amy Loughren?
Amy was a single mom with two kids who lived in upstate New York and commuted to work at Somerset Medical Center in New Jersey. She worked at the medical center with Cullen as a nurse, and she was a close friend of the serial killer before she realized he was killing patients.
Loughren worked as a trauma and ER nurse until 2003, when she left her job to try to figure out how she was able to get so close to a murderer, according to her website.
Loughren told Glamour UK that she “shut down” when she was told what her friend was doing. “I completely disassociated from reality because I could not process it. It was such an intense emotion that I couldn’t even grasp it,” she said.
How did she help catch Charles Cullen?
In 2003, detectives visited Somerset Medical Center to look at abnormal lab reports after several patients died, People explains.
“She came across as a strong-minded, intelligent individual, so I rolled the dice and revealed some of our findings to her,” one detective said, per People. He decided to show Loughren a record of the names and drug dosage information that Cullen had withdrawn while working in the ICU and, she told People, “it was very, very obvious there was something not right.”
Loughren said she knew she had to stop Cullen from hurting more people.
Cullen was eventually charged with the murder of 29 people, per the Times. However, some estimates have put the number of his victims at closer to 400.
Her daughter helped convince her to go to the authorities.
Loughren spoke to her then-11-year-old daughter Alex before talking to authorities about her suspicions. “I told her, ‘Our lives might completely change. I don’t know if I can do this to you,’” Loughren told People. “And Alex said, ‘Mom, he’s murdering people.’”
So, Loughren started working closely with detectives and prosecutors, and eventually participated in a wiretapping that brought Cullen down.
Did she actually have cardiomyopathy?
Loughren’s serious heart condition comes up in the film. As they grow closer, she tells Cullen that she has cardiomyopathy and needs a heart transplant. Loughren also tells the serial killer that she’s working because she still has four months before her employment-related health insurance is activated, and she’s worried that she’ll lose her job if anyone at work found out, per Slate.
Cullen says he’ll keep her secret and even steals some medication for her. But when his crimes are unveiled, audiences see Loughren having a debate with herself about whether it’s worth it to turn him in and have her secret revealed.
True to the movie, Loughren really did have cardiomyopathy. But her condition wasn’t as serious as depicted. The real Loughren used a pacemaker and took medication, but she was never on a heart transplant list, Slate said.
She has visited him in prison.
Cullen is currently serving 11 consecutive life terms in a prison in Trenton, NJ, according to The New York Times. Loughren visited him a few times, and has written to him, she told Glamour.
“I really wanted to know if I had harmed someone accidentally and I wanted answers and closure,” Loughren said. “I wanted to make certain that whoever my friend Charlie was that he was no longer there.”
Where is she now?
Loughren no longer works as a nurse. She’s now doing all kinds of different things. A small sampling: Reiki Master, hypnotherapist, meditation instructor, DreamSculptor practitioner, reconnective healer, integrative energy healer, past life regressionist, crystal language reader, and medical intuitive, according to her website.
She was involved in filming of the movie and has been doing press for it.
Congratulations, Amy! And if you haven’t seen The Good Nurse yet, you’re definitely going to want to tune in this week.