Charles Graeber: Hachette Speakers Bureau

Charles Graeber

Journalist & Author of The Good Nurse, the Bestseller Chronicling the Life and Crimes of Serial Killer Charles Cullen

Charles Graeber is the New York Times best-selling author of The Good Nurse: The True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder as well as an award-winning journalist and contributor to publications such as The New Yorker, New York Magazine, GQ, Outside Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, the New York Times, National Geographic Adventure, Vogue, Men’s Journal, MIT Technology Review, Wired, and numerous others.

In a riveting piece of investigative journalism nearly ten years in the making, Graeber presents registered-nurse-turned-serial-killer Charles Cullen’s whole story for the first time. Based on hundreds of pages of previously unseen police records, interviews, wire-tap recordings and videotapes, as well as exclusive jailhouse conversations with Cullen himself and the confidential informant who helped bring him down, The Good Nurse weaves an urgent, terrifying tale of murder, friendship, and betrayal.

After his December 2003 arrest, Cullen was quickly dubbed "The Angel of Death" by the media. But Cullen was no mercy killer, nor was he a simple monster. He was a favorite son, husband, beloved father, best friend, and celebrated caregiver. Implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients, he was also perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history.

Cullen's murderous career in the world's most trusted profession spanned sixteen years and nine hospitals across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When, in March of 2006, Charles Cullen was marched from his final sentencing in an Allentown, Pennsylvania, courthouse into a waiting police van, it seemed certain that the chilling secrets of his life, career, and capture would disappear with him.

Graeber's portrait of Cullen depicts a surprisingly intelligent and complicated young man whose promising career was overwhelmed by his compulsion to kill, and whose shy demeanor masked a twisted interior life hidden even to his family and friends. Cullen hadn’t slipped invisibly through the system- in fact, during his 16 nursing career he was caught in the act of murder many times. But somehow he was able to continue to move job to job, maintaining a clean record and positive recommendations. Were it not for the unrelenting work of two former Newark homicide detectives racing to put together the pieces of Cullen's professional past, and a fellow nurse willing to put everything at risk, including her job and the safety of her children, there's no telling how many more lives could have been lost.

In the tradition of In Cold Blood, The Good Nurse does more than chronicle Cullen's deadly career and the breathless efforts to stop him; it paints an incredibly vivid portrait of madness and offers a penetrating look inside America's medical system. Harrowing and irresistibly paced, this book makes readers look at medicine, hospitals, and the people who work in them, in an entirely different way.

Graeber’s writing has received honors including the Overseas Press Club award for Outstanding International Journalism, a 2012 New York Press Club prize, several National Magazine Award nominations, and an American Poet’s Prize, and been honored by inclusion in anthologies including The Best American Crime Writing, The Best American Science Writing, The Best American Business Writing, The Best of 10 Years of National Geographic Adventure, Flights of Fancy: Extraordinary Writing About Birds, The Best of 20 years of Wired, and the upcoming Best American Magazine Writing collection.

His works have been the subject of a special 60 Minutes double segment, as well as episodes of Katie Couric’s talk show, Katie, The CBS Early Show with Charlie Rose and Gayle King, NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, CNN, the BBC, and dozens of other radio and television appearances.

A native Iowan, Graeber resides in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Brooklyn, New York.

Interested in booking Charles Graeber to speak at your next event?

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  • Behind The Good Nurse: The Stories Behind the Investigation of the Most Prolific Serial Killer in American History
  • Lessons for Lawyers, Nurses, Bioethicists, Hospital Administrators, Pharmacists and Doctors from the Most Prolific Serial Killer in American History
  • Heroes on the Nightshift: The Good Nurses Behind The Good Nurse
  • Adventure Journalism: The Good, The Bad, The Crazy and The Scary From Twenty Years of True Life Storytelling

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