In 2003, Amy Loughren helped law enforcement officers apprehend one of the most prolific serial killers of all time, Charles Cullen. Now, nearly two decades later, Tobias Lindholm is bringing her story to light with The Good Doctor, a film chronicling the nurse's life as she helps take down Cullen, who was her colleague at Somerset Hospital in New Jersey. It has been speculated that Cullen has killed almost 400 people, with 29 being confirmed so far.
Starring Jessica Chastain in the role of Amy Loughren, the film will explore the intense part of her life when she risked her life by trying to get Cullen to confess, while the authorities waited to gather enough evidence to charge him. Loughren's selfless work helped put one of the biggest serial killers behind bars and stop him from murdering more people.
The Good Nurse will premiere on Netflix on October 26, 2022.
How did Amy Loughren stop Cullen's streak?
In 2003, Cullen worked alongside Amy Loughren in the Intensive Care Unit at Somerset Hospital in New Jersey. A dedicated caregiver from the outside, Cullen was well-liked by the people around him, including Amy. In fact, Amy and Cullen got along pretty well. Loughren recalled:
"He was funny...We bonded right away and became friends."
The Somerset County Police Department was investigating a series of mysterious deaths at the time, mostly based on hospital reports showing abnormal signs in certain patients. Detective Danny Baldwin and Detective Tim Braun reached the hospital in 2003 as part of their investigation. When they interviewed the staff, they found Loughren somewhat special. Baldwin recalled:
"She came across as a strong-minded, intelligent individual, so I rolled the dice and revealed some of our findings to her."
As they discussed the case with Loughren, they pieced the puzzle together, and soon realized that they had to stop Cullen by any means necessary. But the authorities could not do it without sufficient proof. That's where Amy Loughren stepped in. After checking in with her older daughter, Amy decided to take a risk and get a confession from Cullen.
She agreed to wear a wire and meet Cullen, where she planned to get him to admit to the crime. Authorities waited outside to apprehend him, in case something did not go according to their plan. After exchanging small talk, Loughren confronted him about the deaths at the hospital and even offered to go to the police station with him. She recalled:
"He sat straight up. The color of his eyes changed. He put a smirk on his face and said, 'I'm going to go down fighting.'"
With this, the police apprehended him and brought him to the police station. There, Amy Loughren stepped in again and convinced the serial killer to tell the truth to the police. She managed to convince him and he confessed to the killings. Three years later, he was convicted of 29 murders and was sentenced to 11 consecutive life sentences. Investigators allege that the numbers could go up to an estimated 400.