serial killer news more topics
   
2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000  
   
  WHITE Richard Paul ... ... USA ... ... ... ...
aka ... ... Denver
... : ... ... ... ...
Verdict/Urteil:
 
Serial Killer Robert Lee YATES
 
...

20050817: Serial killer's victim identified CO Denver Serial Killer News

Richard Paul White admitted strangling a woman three years ago and led police to her grave in southern Colorado. Relatives now must deal with her children's pain.

It's too soon for the little boy to talk about losing his mom, so he pounds a basketball instead.

His younger sister is the one with all the questions about why a serial killer named Richard Paul White took the life of her mother, 25-year-old Torrey Marie Foster.

"She says her mom wasn't a bad person, so why did he do that to her?" recalled Della Cardoza, 61, Foster's grandmother, who is caring for the children. "I don't have an answer."

Denver police confirmed Tuesday what Cardoza said the family has known since Saturday: A skeleton found last year near Mesita in southern Colorado was that of Foster, an outgoing woman who was studying cosmetology with hopes of a new life.

White helped authorities find Foster's body as part of an agreement in which he pleaded guilty to the murders of two women found buried in the backyard of his former Denver home.

White told investigators how he strangled a woman in 2002 after picking her up at a bus stop near Colfax Avenue in Denver. He helped them locate the remains near his father's home in Mesita near the New Mexico border in September 2004.

But the victim's identity was a mystery until the Denver District Attorney's Office released a sketch that was recognized by Denver homicide Detective Jon Priest, who remembered Foster as a witness in one of his cases.

The District Attorney's Office then used DNA from Foster's 9-year-old daughter to confirm the woman's identity, spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said.

After being told what happened to their mother, Foster's daughter and her 11- year-old son did not want to start school in Denver this week, Cardoza said. She urged them to go in order to have some sense of normalcy.

"He's pretty quiet," she said of the boy. "He plays basketball. I figure he's using it as a weapon, just playing and playing and playing."

The little girl, she said, is inconsolable.
"She wants her mommy. She doesn't want to stay with me forever," she said.

Cardoza worries for both children, whom Foster entrusted to her care while in cosmetology school.

"She used to live with me, most of the time," Cardoza said of her granddaughter. "She was married, and then he left. So she tried to get it together again."

After his capture in September 2003, White told officers how in January 2002 he picked up a tall, "dark-skinned" woman who was blind in her right eye and drove her to his house at 2885 Albion St., where he strangled her. White said he knew he was fated to kill her because he had a tattoo of a similar woman.

White, now 32, described the woman in detail. He said the tall, thin woman had just gotten her dark, crimped hair done; had perfect teeth; had a bad scar on her forearm; and had children.

In November 2003, White was sentenced to life in prison for strangling Annaletia Maria Gonzales, 27, and Victoria Lyn Tur pin, 32, whose bodies were found in his former backyard.

Because of the deal with prosecutors, which included his help in locating Foster's remains, White will not be charged with her death, Kimbrough said.

He received an additional 144 years for raping and torturing three of his surviving victims.

 

20041228: Serial killer given third life sentence CO Denver Serial Killer News

It was brought to my knowledge by a close family member of Richard Paul WHITE, that he did not plead guilty for avoiding death penalty but to avoid the public attention for his family, which a trial would cause. According to his family Richard Paul WHITE actually seeks death penalty.
eliZZZa

 

Before issuing another life sentence to Richard Paul White, a judge wanted the serial killer to know what he thought about his claim that killing his buddy was accidental. .."I am familiar with guns," Judge Gerald Rafferty said. "I have never heard of anyone pointing a gun at someone and pulling the trigger to demonstrate the safety was on."..Rafferty also made it clear at White's sentencing hearing Thursday that his third life sentence - this one for fatally shooting Jason Reichardt, 27, on Sept. 7, 2003 - was extraordinary..."I think it is fair to note that a great deal of mercy has been displayed to you," Rafferty said...White, who pleaded guilty to killing Reichardt in a deal in which he avoided the death penalty, declined to speak about Reichardt, who helped him get a job..."I don't wish to say anything," he said...On Monday, White was sentenced to life in prison for strangling Annaletia Maria Gonzales, 27, and Victoria Lyn Turpin, 32, whose bodies were exhumed from the backyard of his former Denver home at 2885 Albion St. Another 144 years were tacked on to his sentence for raping and torturing three of his surviving victims...Reichardt's father, Bill, stood at the prosecutor's table flanked by his son and wife, and said that White was not his son's friend, only one of the many people Jason helped..."His kindness cost him his life," Reichardt said. "A day does not go by that we do not miss him."..

 

20041130: Serial killer White sentenced CO Denver Serial Killer News
Murderer mouths words 'I'm sorry' to slain women's kin..Family members of two women murdered by serial killer Richard White looked him straight in the eye and sobbed as they spoke at his sentencing hearing Monday in Denver District Court..."I wish some day I could hear a reason or answer for how someone could do something so cruel to another human being," said Effie Laub, whose sister was raped, tortured and killed...Family members told White about the children left behind when he killed their mothers in 2002...White stared back, nodded and mouthed the words "I'm sorry."..He made no other statement as he was sentenced to two life prison terms for the murders of Annaletia Maria Gonzales, 27, and Victoria Turpin, 34, whose bodies were buried in his back yard...He also was sentenced to 144 years in prison for sexual assaults on three other women who survived..."Mr. White will not see the light of day as a free man ever again," said Denver District Judge R. Michael Mullins...White taunted women he brought to his home at 2885 Albion St., telling them about the bodies buried in his back yard and warning the women that they were likely to end up there, too, said prosecutor Kerri Lombardi..."He has terrorized countless other women," Lombardi said..."Richard White is a predator," she said. "He made a sport of hunting for, raping, torturing and killing these women, who spent hours and days begging for their lives. He enjoyed this game of human torture he created."..White stuck the barrel of a gun in their mouths and threatened to shoot them during the rapes, Lombardi said. After hours of torture, he used cords or belts to strangle them...White claims to have killed three other prostitutes he picked up on Colfax Avenue...He also has admitted killing his friend, Jason Reichardt, and faces another life sentence for that murder in Arapahoe County. He confessed to the other murders after he was arrested in Reichardt's slaying in September 2003...White pleaded guilty in September to avoid facing the death penalty and agreed to help authorities find his other victims...The remains of one of them was found Sept. 28 in Costilla County. The remains have not been identified but White described the victim as dark-skinned, tall, slender and blind in her right eye. He said she was staying at a motel on East Colfax Avenue at the end of January 2002 when he picked her up, according to Lynn Kimbrough, spokesperson for the district attorney...White said he picked up two other victims in Aurora and dumped their bodies in a river near La Junta in Otero County. Those bodies have not been recovered...Defense attorney Sharlene Reynolds said White is psychotic and suffered for years from untreated mental illness. She said he is the victim of "horrendous" childhood abuse...At times, she said, he wanted the death penalty..."He just couldn't deal with the magnitude of what he had done to these victims and their families," she said...White's father apologized for his son..."The English language does not contain the words to express the sorrow we feel," he said. "I know how horrified and remorseful he is. My son's not sane. I love him more than I can say but when these things happened he was delusional. He believed things that were not true."..After the sentencing hearing, Turpin's sister, Destiny Martinez, was not moved by the apology..."There is not enough mental illness in the world to make someone do something like that," she said...Authorities seek help identifying remains..The Denver District Attorney's Office is trying to identify a woman Richard White says he killed. The woman:..• Had dark skin and dark, crimped hair just a little longer than shoulder length..• Was possibly 5 feet 10 inches or 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighed 120 pounds and may have been about 25 years old..• Was blind in her right eye..• Had a bad scar on her forearm..• Was staying near the Family Motel on East Colfax Avenue at the end of January 2002..
 

20040929: Serial killer guides CBI to remains CO Costilla County Serial Killer News
Authorities on Tuesday uncovered what may be human remains with the help of professed serial killer Richard Paul White, who led detectives here in search of one of the women he said he killed. .Costilla County Sheriff Roger Benton confirmed Tuesday that White and Colorado Bureau of Investigation officials searched for the body...According to Paula Woodward of 9News, investigators found remains they believe are human. The skeletal remains were being sent to a pathologist for analysis...A C-shaped hole in the ground was dug about 3 miles north of the tiny southern Colorado town of Mesita in Costilla County, where White lived in his youth...Benton said White was kept in a van with tinted windows while deputies formed a line and searched the sagebrush- covered ground..."They were walking in a straight line, and when they got to a certain point, they walked in a circle," Benton said. "It seemed like they were close to something."..Last year, Benton and his deputies searched for about five days for a body White said he buried there, but they came up empty...Denver prosecutors said this month that they won't seek the death penalty against White for strangling two women after he agreed to help find the bodies of three other women he says he killed...White pleaded guilty in Denver District Court on Sept. 16 to the murders of Victoria Lyn Turpin, 32, and Annaletia Maria Gonzales, 27, whose bodies were exhumed from the backyard of White's former home at 2885 Albion St...He also pleaded guilty to using a weapon to sexually assault three other women that the 31-year-old White said were prostitutes...Twenty-eight felony counts against White were dismissed as part of the deal...Prosecutors in Costilla and Otero counties also agreed not to seek the death penalty against White...White entered a plea deal this month in Arapahoe County in which he will receive life in prison without parole for the Sept. 7, 2003, shooting death of co-worker Jason Reichardt, 27...Two days after killing Reichardt, White was arrested by a Douglas County SWAT team. While confessing to Reichardt's death, White told investigators about the five women he said he killed. A Denver grand jury indicted him on 33 felony counts in May...Following Tuesday's activity, White was apparently returned to Arapahoe County...He also said he dumped the bodies of two woman near La Junta in Otero County. It was not known when White would travel there to help investigators find those bodies... .
 

20040917: Serial killer won't face death CO Denver Serial Killer News
White, who agreed to help locate bodies of 3 women, faces life term..Richard White is escorted to court on Thursday, where he pleaded guilty to killing two women whose bodies were dug up at his former Denver residence. . .Denver prosecutors won't seek the death penalty against Richard Paul White for strangling two women after the professed serial killer agreed to help find the bodies of three other women he says he killed. ..White pleaded guilty in Denver District Court on Thursday to the deaths of Victoria Lyn Turpin, 32, and Annaletia Maria Gonzales, 27, who were exhumed from the backyard of White's former house at 2885 Albion St...He also pleaded guilty to using a weapon to sexually assault three other women that the 31- year-old White said were prostitutes...Twenty-eight felony counts against White were dismissed as part of the deal in which he will get life in prison without parole...Prosecutors in Costilla and Otero counties also agreed not to seek the death penalty against White, who will direct them to where he said he dumped bodies in those counties....Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter said he believed mitigating factors outweighed aggravating factors in the case, making it tough to convince a jury that White deserved the death penalty..."He had a childhood riddled with sexual and physical abuse," Ritter said, adding that authorities wouldn't have even known about the other murders had White not confessed to them...But at least one expert says not seeking the death penalty in a serial-killer case could hamper efforts to get the death penalty in future, less egregious murder cases..."When you are just hunting people and killing them, it's hard to imagine anything worse," said Seattle attorney Todd Maybrown...The Denver plea deal is similar to one cut in 2003 with Green River slayer Gary Ridgway, who was given life sentences in exchange for helping authorities find numerous bodies of women he murdered near Seattle. Ridgway pleaded guilty to killing 48 women...That decision already has had repercussions in death- penalty cases in Washington state...Maybrown filed an appeal for death-row inmate Dayva Cross, who killed his wife and two stepdaughters in Snoqualmie, Wash., saying that although his acts were horrible, they were not as bad as Ridgway's three-decade reign of terror...Under Washington state law, courts must compare death- sentence cases to determine if one outcome is too harsh compared with similar cases, Maybrown said...But Assistant Adams County District Attorney Steve Bernard said Colorado doesn't have such a law...The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in 1990 in the death-sentence case of Gary Davis - who kidnapped, raped and killed a woman - that it also doesn't need such a standard, Bernard said...Colorado's proportionality rule only weighs whether facts of a case prove there are enough aggravating factors to warrant the death penalty, he said...In Davis' case there were, Bernard said. Davis, put to death in 1997, was the last person executed in Colorado, Bernard said...Maybrown said even though Colorado's proportionality rules are different, White's case will be rehashed in future death-penalty cases..."This prosecutor will have to compare every case," he said...Prosecutors will have to explain why they would seek the death penalty in a robbery-homicide case when it wasn't a serial killer case, Maybrown said...White entered a plea deal this month in Arapahoe County in which he will receive life in prison without parole for the Sept. 7, 2003, shooting death of co-worker Jason Reichardt, 27...Two days after killing Reichardt, White was arrested by a Douglas County SWAT team. While confessing to Reichardt's death, White told investigators about the five women he killed. A Denver grand jury indicted him on 33 felony counts in May...Kathleen Lord, Colorado's chief appellate deputy who is part of a team of at least four public defenders representing White, declined to comment.. .
 

20040916: Self-Professed Serial Killer Admits To 2 More Murders CO Denver Serial Killer News
Self-proclaimed serial killer Richard Paul White appeared before a Denver district judge Thursday morning and pleaded guilty to murdering two women and sexually assaulting three others....The bodies of the two slain women were found buried in the back yard of a home in east Denver last year, a home where White once lived. ..As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against White and he will cooperate in the search for the bodies of three other women he claims to have killed...Prosecutors on the case discussed the terms of the plea agreement with the family members of the murder victims and the surviving sexual assault victims before Thursday's hearing. The victims' families are expected to attend White's sentencing on Nov. 29, 2004...He faces mandatory life in prison without parole on each of the two murder charges and faces 16 years to life in prison on each of the sexual assault charges...This is the second plea agreement White has made in as many weeks...Last week, White pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the death of his friend Jason Reichardt. White will be sentenced for that crime in Arapahoe County in Dec. 2. As part of the plea agreement he will not face the death penalty but will be sentenced to life in prison...During his interrogation for the Reichardt murder, White confessed to killing five prostitutes and dumping their bodies. Two women -- Victoria Lyn Turpin, 32, and Annaletia Maria Gonzales, 27 -- were found buried in the back yard of a house in Park Hill. White claims to have dumped the other women around the state but authorities in Otero and Costilla counties in southern Colorado have not found evidence to support his claims.
 

20040908: Serial Killer pleaded guilty CO Denver Serial Killer News
A professed serial killer will spend the rest of his life in prison. Richard Paul White pleaded guilty yesterday to first-degree murder in the shooting death of his former roommate, 27-year-old Jason Reichardt of Aurora...Investigators say White told his sister he accidentally shot Reichardt last year while trying to steal Reichardt's truck...After his arrest, White told authorities he had killed five women and buried their bodies. The bodies of 32-year-old Lyn Turpin and 27-year-old Annaletia Maria Gonzales were found last year, buried in the backyard of a Denver home...White is scheduled to be sentenced to life in prison without parole in December.
 

20040907: Suspected serial killer White gets life in one murder CO Denver Serial Killer News
Suspected serial killer Richard Paul White pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Arapahoe County court today in connection with the death of one of his alleged victims, Jason Reichardt of Aurora. ..White will get a life sentence without parole in exchange for pleading guilty to the murder of Reichardt, 27, a former co-worker...White still faces charges in the killings of two women whose bodies were found buried in the yard of a Park Hill home where White formerly lived, and in attacks on three other women...A Denver grand jury in May returned a 53-count indictment against White, who had law enforcement authorities across the state looking for bodies of his alleged victims last September..."We're looking at five different women," district attorney's spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said in May of the Denver indictment. "All five were kidnapped; all five were sexually assaulted; all five were held against their will; two were killed, and there is one victim of attempted murder."..White had confessed to killing five women he said were prostitutes and dumping their bodies throughout the state. The confession came during an interrogation by Aurora police into the death of Reichardt...
 

20040907: Professed Serial Killer Strikes Plea Bargain CO Denver Serial Killer News
Richard White To Spend Life In Prison Without Possibility Of Parole..Self-proclaimed serial killer Richard Paul White was back in court Tuesday morning to agree to a plea bargain that will spare his life but guarantee that he will spend the rest of it in prison...White, 31, received the life sentence without the possibility of parole in exchange for pleading guilty to the first-degree murder of his best friend, Jason Reichardt. The robbery and burglary charges against White were also dismissed as part of the plea bargain, 7NEWS reported. ..Nearly one year ago, Reichardt was found in the upstairs bedroom of his Aurora home. He had been shot in the head and his pickup truck had been stolen. Reichardt befriended White when he was out of work and had tried to find him a job...During his interrogation for the Reichardt murder, White confessed to killing five prostitutes and dumping their bodies. Two women who were found buried in the back yard of a house he used to occupy in Denver's Capitol Hill. White claims to have dumped the other women around the state but authorities in Otero and Costilla counties in southern Colorado have not found evidence to support his claims...White's official sentencing for the Aurora murder is scheduled for Dec. 2 at 3:30 pm. The case against him in Denver continues and is unaffected by Tuesday's plea agreement...The two women whose bodies were unearthed in the back yard were identified as Victoria Lyn Turpin, 32, and Annaletia Maria Gonzales, 27.
 

20040622: Facing 53 counts in prostitute slayings, attacks Rocky Mountains Serial Killer News
Self-professed serial killer Richard P. WHITE was advised of a 53-count indictment against him Monday...WHITE, 31, is charged with first-degree murder in the killings of two prostitutes and is accused of attacking three other women...WHITE has told police that he killed five prostitutes, but police so far have not found evidence to support his claims...On Monday, his defense attorneys asked a judge to prevent detectives and investigators from talking to him at the county jail...The indictment charges WHITE with murdering Annaletia Maria GONZALES (27) and Victoria TURPIN (34). Their remains were found buried in the yard of his Park Hill home Sept. 11 after WHITE drew a map for detectives...WHITE is accused of strangling both victims between Aug. 1, 2002 and Nov. 30, 2002...The three other women were also picked up on the street for sex at different times in 2002...WHITE strangled one of them and threatened to kill all three, but they were able to escape, the indictment said...WHITE will be arraigned Aug. 9. He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, six counts of sex assault, eight counts of kidnapping and one count of attempted first-degree murder, among other charges. WHITE also faces a trial in Arapahoe County in the Sept. 7 shooting death of co-worker Jason REICHARDT (27).
 

20040520: Accused murderer also a serial killer? CO Denver Serial Killer News
A self-professed serial killer was indicted Thursday on charges of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and murdering two women whose bodies were found buried in the back yard of a Denver house where he once lived. ..Richard Paul WHITE (31), previously charged in another slaying, also was charged Thursday with kidnapping and sexually assaulting three other women and trying to kill one of them...WHITE was charged in January with first-degree murder in the Sept. 7 shooting death of Jason REICHARDT (27) of Aurora. He has said that shooting was accidental...While being questioned in REICHARDT death, WHITE told police he had killed five prostitutes across the state since 1998, buried two in his back yard and scattered the bodies of the others in Costilla and Otero counties in southern Colorado...Police found the bodies of Victoria Lynn HASKAY (34) and Annaletia Maria GONZALES (27) in September. No bodies have been found in Costilla or Otero county despite extensive searches...GONZALES was probably strangled, police said. Little information has been released about HASKAY...The 53-count indictment against WHITE includes first-degree felony murder, sexual assault, kidnapping and other charges. He was being held in the Arapahoe County Jail.
 

20060830: Serial Killer Nurse Donates Kidney To Ex-Girlfriend's Brother NJ Newark Serial Killer News
A serial killer nurse who admitted killing 29 patients donates one of his kidneys to the brother of an ex-girlfriend. Charles Cullen had threatened to skip his sentencing hearing if he was not permitted to be the donor. In February, a judge approved Cullen's removal from prison for the operation. Cullen's public defender, Johnnie Mask, says the kidney went to Ernie Peckham, 37, of Rocky Point, New York. Mask tells The Associated Press, "They have not had a chance to speak" since the operations on Aug. 20. One day after surgery, Cullen went back to New Jersey State Prison. Peckham did not return to his Long Island home for a few days. The New York Daily News reports Peckham is married with four children. He is a metalworker and Cub Scout leader who was an Army reservist. Peckham told The Village Beacon Record that his kidneys began failing after a cut on his finger became a strep infection. Cullen confessed to using drug overdoses to kill 29 patients at nursing homes and hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He was sentenced to 18 life terms in prison.
 

20060822: Serial Killer Back in Prison after Surgery PA Allentown Serial Killer News
Serial killer Charles Cullen is back in prison tonight, recovering from his recent kidney donation. Cullen had the surgery on Saturday. The kidney went to a relative of one of Cullen's friends. Last year, Cullen said he would skip his sentencing unless he was allowed to donate. A judge agreed to allow the transplant and Cullen appeared before the victims' families. He's serving 18 consecutive life sentences in solitary confinement at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.
 

20060321: Serial Killer Nurse May Donate A Kidney NJ Newark Serial Killer News
A judge clears the way for New Jersey's worst serial killer to donate a kidney. If Charles Cullen and his doctors meet certain conditions, he may undergo an operation to remove one of his kidneys. The Associated Press reports the organ would then go to the relative of a friend. Cullen admitted to killing 29 patients in nursing homes and hospitals throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Prosecutors agreed to spare him from the death penalty if he identified patients who had been given lethal drug overdoses. The judge ordered that the operation must be paid for by the recipient's insurance company. The state's medical examiners must also certify the doctors prior to the procedure.
 

20060320: Judge allows serial killer to donate kidney NJ Newark Serial Killer News

A United States judge has agreed to allow New Jersey's worst serial killer to donate a kidney, but the killer and his doctors have to meet conditions.

Judge Paul Armstrong did not say when Charles Cullen might undergo the operation to remove one of his kidneys to be transplanted into the relative of a friend.

Cullen has admitted killing 29 patients with drug overdoses at nursing homes and hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in one of the worst murder sprees ever discovered in the US health care system. He has been sentenced to 18 life terms.

The judge's order, signed on Thursday, stipulates that all operation costs must be paid by the recipient's insurer.
 
Also, the surgery to remove Cullen's kidney must happen in New Jersey at a hospital certified by the state Department of Corrections, and the doctors who perform the operation must be certified by the state Board of Medical Examiners.

Cullen, 46, had tried for four months to reach an agreement with prosecutors to win permission for the donation.

His lawyer, Johnnie Mask, said the requirements made him "suspicious that someone in the Department of Corrections or at the attorney-general's office does not want this to happen".

New Jersey Attorney General's Office spokesman John Hagerty said the requirements reflect the fact that they are for "a serial killer who is not free to travel willy-nilly".

Cullen claimed to have killed 40 patients over a 16-year nursing career, and has said he killed out of mercy. Not all of his victims, however, were old or very sick.

 

20060311: Over Killer's Loud Objections, He Gets 6 More Life Terms PA Allentown Serial Killer News
Charles Cullen, a former nurse who committed one of the worst murder sprees in the United States health care system, was gagged with a cloth and duct tape at a sentencing hearing Friday after he began loudly repeating, "Your honor, you need to step down." Mr. Cullen had maintained almost complete silence every time he appeared in court, steadfastly refusing to explain why he killed at least 29 patients in two states. During an emotional sentencing hearing last week in New Jersey, he sat quietly with his eyes closed as victims' families said he was a monster and called him "garbage." But on Friday, facing another round of sentencing, this time for his murders in Pennsylvania, he infuriated the relatives of some of his victims by repeating his bizarre chant hundreds of times over 30 minutes, during which attempts to muffle him proved unsuccessful. "I feel very cheated," said Walter Henne, a relative who showed up in court to address Mr. Cullen and had to raise his voice to be heard over him. "Our last trump card was taken away from us by the childish behavior of Mr. Cullen." A judge ignored Cullen's outbursts and gave him six more life sentences. Mr. Cullen, who was sentenced last week to 11 consecutive life terms in New Jersey, administered lethal overdoses to seven patients in Pennsylvania, and tried to kill three others. Mr. Cullen had tried to avoid showing up at his sentencing hearings in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. On Friday, he told President Judge William Platt of Lehigh County that he was upset that the judge had said in a newspaper article that he was inclined to make Mr. Cullen show up at sentencing. Mr. Cullen then began repeating the statement and refused to stop. Sheriff's deputies wrapped a white cloth around Cullen's mouth, but that did little to muffle him. They added two pieces of duct tape and tried repeatedly to tighten the gag, but Mr. Cullen still managed to drown out some of the relatives and friends who were there to tell him the impact the murders had had on their lives. "We think you are a total waste of human flesh," Mr. Henne told Mr. Cullen on behalf of the family of his mother-in-law, Irene Krapf. It was not clear whether Mr. Cullen heard a word he said.
 

20060310: NJ serial killer to be sentenced in Pennsylvania PA Allentown Serial Killer News
A week ago, a former nurse who killed at least 29 patients was sent to prison for the rest of his life and confronted by his victims' relatives in New Jersey. On Friday, Charles Cullen was set to sentenced in Pennsylvania, where he was expected to again face relatives of patients he killed. Cullen, 46, pleaded guilty to 29 murders and six attempted murders in both states. He escaped the death penalty after agreeing to help prosecutors in seven counties identify patients to whom he had given lethal drug overdoses. He will serve his sentence in New Jersey. Cullen administered overdoses to seven patients at nursing homes and hospitals in Lehigh and Northampton counties, and tried to kill three others in one of the worst murder sprees ever discovered in the U.S. health care system. Cullen was to be sentenced Friday in Northampton County for the 1998 murder of 78-year-old Ottomar Schramm at Easton Hospital. Although he does not have to be present at that hearing, he has been ordered to attend his sentencing a few hours later in Allentown in Lehigh County, where he was expected to again come face-to-face with his victims' families. Last week, relatives of the 22 New Jersey victims confronted Cullen after he received 11 consecutive life terms, calling him a "monster" and "vermin." Cullen said nothing, his eyes closed. Cullen, who claims to have slain 40 patients over a 16-year nursing career, has said he killed out of mercy. Many of his victims were old and very sick. But the judge who sentenced Cullen in New Jersey told him he "betrayed the ancient foundations of the healing professions." Cullen was arrested in December 2003 after Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, N.J., notified prosecutors about questionable lab results involving patients under his care. The case prompted lawmakers in both states to pass legislation protecting hospitals and nursing homes from legal action when reporting disciplinary actions taken against employees.
 

20060304: How can a serial killer escape the death penalty? NJ Somerville Serial Killer News

A MALE nurse who admits killing up to forty patients with lethal injections has been spared a similar fate through an extraordinary plea bargain in which he pledged to help to identify his victims.

Charles Cullen, 46, a loner with a history of depression and suicide attempts, will escape the death penalty in return for pleading guilty to at least twenty-nine murders and co-operating with investigators looking into other suspicious deaths.

Cullen says that he poisoned up to forty people with hard to-detect medications — usually the heart drug digoxin — during a 16-year career working night shifts at ten nursing homes and hospitals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

He has told authorities, however, that he cannot remember the names of four of his victims and that he randomly injected insulin into intravenous medical bags without knowing which patient they were for.

Prosecutors in all seven counties where he worked have agreed to spare his life in return for his help in identifying all those he killed.

As the families of victims harangued him as a “monster”, “one pathetic little man”, and “Satan’s son”, Cullen was sentenced on Thursday to 11 consecutive life terms for 22 murders and 3 attempted murders in Somerset County, New Jersey. That meant that it would be 397 years before he became eligible for parole.

He is due to be sentenced next Friday for seven more murders and three attempted murders in Pennsylvania.

Investigations remain open in two other New Jersey counties, complicated by the destruction of medical records and the uncertainty of Cullen’s memory.

Cullen is one of the worst serial killers discovered inside America’s health-care system, but he is not alone. Since 1975 there have been about twenty cases of medical personnel involved in the deaths of patients, including a notorious 1987 case in which Donald Harvey, a nurse, was sentenced to life in prison for killing at least thirty-four patients in Ohio and Kentucky.

Cullen was fired from five nursing jobs and resigned from two others amid questions about his conduct but he always found another job, partly because hospitals kept quiet to avoid being sued.

He went on a murder spree in December 2003, killing 13 patients in less than a year at the Somerset Medical Centre in New Jersey. He was caught when hospital officials discovered unusually high levels of digoxin in the victims.

He told police after his arrest that he had targeted “very sick” patients for what he described as mercy killings.

The facts contradicted his claim. His youngest victim was a 21-year-old student named Michael Strenko, who had been admitted to hospital for a non-fatal blood disorder that required doctors to remove his spleen.

Cullen also killed a 22-year-old car crash victim, Matthew Mattern, who was in hospital with severe burns.

 

20060303: Serial killer nurse gets 11 life terms for killing patients NJ Somerville Serial Killer News
 

A nurse who killed at least 29 patients was sent to prison for the rest of his life Thursday after his victims' loved ones angrily branded him ''vermin,'' ''garbage'' and a ''monster'' who ruined lives and shattered their faith in the medical profession.

Charles Cullen escaped the death penalty after making a deal with prosecutors to tell them which patients he killed with hard-to-detect drug injections.

Cullen, 46, pleaded guilty to murdering 22 people in New Jersey and trying to kill three others. He will be sentenced later for seven murders and three attempted murders in Pennsylvania. He has claimed to have killed up to 40 people during a career that spanned 16 years and 10 nursing homes and hospitals.

He received 11 consecutive life terms at a tense hearing in which he came face-to-face with his victims' families for the first time. Wearing a bulletproof vest under his sweater, Cullen sat quietly as relatives wept and yelled at him from a lectern about 15 feet away. Some said they wished Cullen could die as his victims did, by lethal injection.

''I want you to die tomorrow so that you can meet God tomorrow because guess what? There ain't no door out of hell, baby,'' said Debra Yetter Medina, the granddaughter of victim Mary Natoli.

 

20060302: Killer nurse gets 11 life sentences NJ Somerville Serial Killer News
On the day New Jersey's most prolific serial killer received 11 consecutive life sentences, family members of his victims gave the former nurse a verbal lashing in court.

Some had waited years, and defendant Charles Cullen had filed court papers trying to avoid the confrontation.

One by one, for nearly four hours, two dozen relatives of the dead told a New Jersey judge what Cullen had taken from them.

Some called Cullen names -- "Satan's son" or "monster" -- and told him to "burn in hell." Others simply remembered their lost loved ones.

Judge Paul W. Armstrong then handed down 11 consecutive life sentences. Parole is out of the question, since Cullen, 46, will not be eligible until he has served 397 years.

Cullen has pleaded guilty to committing 22 murders in New Jersey and seven in Pennsylvania. He also admitted attempting to murder six people.

Deaths not mercy killings

Cullen administered lethal doses of medication to patients under his care in nursing homes and medical facilities. He claimed at one point that he was an angel of mercy trying to end his patients' suffering.

But the judge rejected that notion. He said the court "would not countenance the characterization of these crimes as acts of human compassion."

Cullen said nothing during the hearing, sitting beside his attorney with his hands in his lap and his eyes lowered. His lack of visible emotion seemed to enrage some relatives of his victims.

They had plenty to say.

Dolores Stasienko called Cullen a monster for killing her father, Jack Toto, whom she described as a hard-working farmer, mechanic and war veteran.

"Burn in hell, Mr. Cullen, for all eternity," she said.

"Am I boring you?" asked Deborah Yetter-Medina, whose grandmother was killed. "Look at me," she demanded.

"Yes, I was the woman who coined the phrase 'Satan's son,'" she said. "You are Satan's son." Later, she told Cullen: "There ain't no doors out of hell, babe."

Richard Stoecker, whose mother, Eleanor, also was a victim, told Cullen: "Maybe you thought you could play God that day by injecting her, but she planned on living, she was a fighter."

As many as 40 victims

As part of his plea agreement, Cullen has been working with law enforcement officials to identify additional victims. He originally told authorities he killed up to 40 patients during the course of his 16-year nursing career.

Last month, when a deal to allow Cullen to donate a kidney to a friend fell through, he filed court papers seeking to waive his appearance at sentencing. (Full story)

The move outraged victim family members, some of whom have said addressing Cullen is an important part of their grieving process.

"He has to hear that we're human beings and that our father, son, mother, whoever, were human beings," said John Shanagher, whose father, Jack, was killed by Cullen. "Hopefully it will give us some sense of justice that it's, after all this time, finally done."

The judge ruled Cullen had to be present for victim impact statments and sentencing. Cullen will be allowed to donate his kidney now that he has been sentenced.

 

20060224: Serial killer must face victims' kin NJ Somerville Serial Killer News

Judge rules that killer nurse can't skip sentencing hearing

Serial killer Charles Cullen must listen to statements by relatives of his victims when he is sentenced for 22 murders, a New Jersey judge ruled Friday.

Cullen, a former nurse, had asked the court to waive his appearance at the sentencing March 2.

The move outraged victims' family members, some of whom said addressing Cullen is an important part of their grieving process.

"He has to hear that we're human beings and that our father, son, mother, whoever, were human beings," said John Shanagher, whose father, Jack, was killed by Cullen.

"Hopefully it will give us some sense of justice that it's, after all this time, finally done," he added.

Superior Court Judge Paul W. Armstrong also ruled Friday that Cullen will be allowed to donate a kidney to a friend after he is sentenced.

Where the organ will be harvested remains an issue. Cullen wants to have the operation performed in New York. New Jersey officials say it must be done in that state.

Cullen has pleaded guilty to murdering 29 hospital patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and attempting to murder six others, with drug injections.

As part of his plea agreement, he has been working with law enforcement officials to identify additional victims. He originally told authorities he had killed up to 40 patients in the course of his 16-year nursing career.

Armstrong ruled Friday that Cullen "possesses no fundamental right" by law to be absent from his sentencing, when the court will hear statements by the victims' families.

Cullen had withdrawn his request, but the judge went ahead with a ruling to prevent Cullen from changing his mind later.

 

20060217: Again, a Serial Killer Plans to Skip His Own Sentencing NJ PA Serial Killer News

A carefully constructed deal between the authorities and the convicted serial killer Charles Cullen to allow him to donate a kidney to a friend in exchange for showing up at his own sentencing has fallen apart, his lawyer said yesterday.

The authorities had hoped this month to sentence Mr. Cullen, a former nurse who has confessed to murdering up to 40 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Many relatives of his victims have been waiting for the day they can face him in court.

But that day, once again, seems far off. At a meeting yesterday, New Jersey authorities and Mr. Cullen's lawyer could not agree on the specifics of the kidney donation, and Mr. Cullen will now fight to skip his sentencing, his lawyer, Johnnie Mask, said.

"There is no deal now," Mr. Mask said. "We're nowhere."

Under New Jersey legal procedures, defendants can apply to skip their sentencing. Mr. Cullen initially indicated he would do this, provoking the ire of prosecutors and relatives of his victims.

But in December, Peter C. Harvey, then New Jersey's attorney general, announced that he had worked out a plan in which Mr. Cullen could donate his kidney if he agreed to come to his sentencing first. A memorandum of understanding was signed, and a transplant team at Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island, where Mr. Cullen's friend is a patient, agreed to do the surgery.

But Mr. Harvey left office in January, after New Jersey's new governor, Jon S. Corzine was sworn in. Officials at the attorney general's office and in the Corrections Department have now decided that Mr. Cullen cannot leave the state for the kidney operation because New Jersey officials do not have the authority to provide security in New York.

Mr. Mask said that prosecutors had yet to come up with a viable plan for the operation to be done in New Jersey. Until they do, Mr. Cullen will do everything in his power, including filing numerous appeals, to avoid his sentencing, he said.

"We're not going to give up what little leverage we have until we know this kidney operation is going to happen," Mr. Mask said. State officials, he said, "have been throwing up roadblocks ever since Harvey left."

John Hagerty, a spokesman at the attorney general's office, said that Mr. Cullen's sentencing has been scheduled for March 2 but that there are issues that could delay that. A presentencing hearing has been set for next week.

Mr. Hagerty said state officials "continue to work with local prosecutors so the sentencing can proceed."

 

20060113: Serial Killer Using Loophole That Delays His Sentencing NJ Newark Serial Killer News

First, he wrangled a way to avoid the death penalty, even though he confessed to murdering up to 40 people. Then, he tried to dictate the terms of his final court appearance. Now, he is refusing to cooperate.

Apparently, Charles Cullen, a New Jersey nurse who confessed to sneaking into hospital rooms late at night and injecting patient after patient with deadly amounts of drugs, is trying to exert his last bits of leverage from a solo cell in the Somerset County jail before he is sent away for life.

His maneuvering is infuriating the families of his victims and delaying their long-awaited rendezvous in court. It is also making a strange case even stranger, partly because of what was, until now, a little-known legal wrinkle in New Jersey that allows defendants to skip their sentencing.

"Can't we just get this over with?" said Lucille Gall, whose brother Mr. Cullen has admitted killing. "This is a sick little game he's playing."

Most of the prosecutors in the case seem unfazed or, at least, they talk that way.

"We don't need him anymore," said Wayne J. Forrest, prosecutor for Somerset County, N.J., where Mr. Cullen confessed to 13 murders. "We've completed our investigation. We got our guilty pleas. We're done."

John Morganelli, district attorney for Northampton County, Pa., where Mr. Cullen admitted killing one patient, said, "I could go to court right now and get a conviction, with or without his cooperation."

But in Essex County, it is a different story. Mr. Cullen told investigators he thinks he killed five patients at a hospital near Newark. The problem is, he does not remember whom. Until recently, he had been meeting regularly with Essex investigators, studying old charts, peering into old photos, trying to jog his memory.

So far, Mr. Cullen, 45, has pleaded guilty to murdering 29 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania medical facilities. Most of his victims were old and sick.

After he was arrested in 2003, he agreed to help investigators identify all of his victims - he estimated there were up to 40 - in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.

But the deal began to fray last month, when Mr. Cullen announced he wanted to donate a kidney to an ailing friend. The authorities said he could do it only after his sentencing, which Mr. Cullen threatened to miss.

Many lawyers said that this was the first time they had ever heard of a serial killer trying to skip his sentencing. Earlier this month, prosecutors indefinitely delayed Mr. Cullen's sentencing, saying they needed more time to investigate the Essex cases and one mysterious death in Morris County. A few days later, Mr. Cullen struck back, saying through his public defender that he was finished cooperating.

"This isn't about a power trip, this is about a kidney," said his lawyer, Johnnie Mask. "Charlie's worried that if the sentencing keeps getting pushed back, it may be too late. He really cares about saving this life, ironic as that may seem."

On Friday, Peter C. Harvey, New Jersey's attorney general, said a new possibility had emerged: Mr. Cullen could be sentenced for the crimes to which he had already confessed, he could donate his kidney and then he could continue cooperating with the authorities on any open cases. "Our goal is to bring finality," Mr. Harvey said.

He added that prosecutors were mulling the options. If talks break down, there is an outside chance the plea agreement could be nullified and Mr. Cullen tried in court, exposing him to the death penalty.

What is giving Mr. Cullen his 11th-hour leverage is New Jersey's criminal procedure rule 3:21-4 (b), which says, "Sentence shall not be imposed unless the defendant is present or has filed a written waiver of the right to be present."

Mr. Mask and other defense lawyers say the law is on their side and that precedent upholds a defendant's right to opt out of sentencing.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, say judges have the ultimate discretion and can order sheriff's deputies to drag Mr. Cullen to court. Both sides vow to press their case aggressively, which only raises the specter of a long appeals process.

And now there's another potential complication. Christopher Bateman, a Republican assemblyman from Somerville, is pushing a bill that would force defendants to come to their sentencing. "It's only right that the families get to inflict a little pain, so to speak," he said.

But all the back and forth seems to be only compounding the pain.

"We want to know how Cullen, a criminal, a murderer, thinks he has so much power to decide what he can do and cannot do?" Tom and Mary Strenko wrote in an e-mail interview. "He is a killer and he has no right to decide anything!"

The Strenkos' 21-year-old son, Michael, was hospitalized in 2003 with a serious but curable blood disease. Mr. Cullen has confessed to killing him. "We are not giving up on this! No way!" the Strenkos continued. "It is as important to us as breathing air to have Charles Cullen once again look into our loathing eyes to personally see and hear the pain and suffering he has caused us for the rest of our lives!"

 

20060110: Serial Killer, Angry at Sentencing Delay, Stops Cooperating NJ Newark Serial Killer News

The New Jersey nurse who confessed to killing 29 people and has spent nearly two years cooperating with investigators decided abruptly on Tuesday that he would no longer help them.

The nurse, Charles Cullen, 45, was so upset about his sentencing being canceled last week that he is pulling out of a carefully constructed plea deal in which he had agreed to help identify his victims in exchange for not facing the death penalty, his lawyer, Johnnie Mask, said.

The authorities said that his refusal to cooperate could mean that prosecutors will seek the death penalty. It could also mean that many mysterious hospital deaths will not be resolved, leaving family members to forever wonder if their loved ones died naturally or were murdered.

Mr. Cullen has told the authorities he killed up to 40 people, many of them old and ailing patients whom he injected with lethal doses of heart drugs. But he did not remember all their names. So investigators have been struggling to identify them and, until Tuesday, were working closely with Mr. Cullen, sifting through mountains of medical records in the effort to jog his memory to determine exactly whom he killed.

The cooperation may now be coming to an end because of a kidney. In a strange concession to coax Mr. Cullen to come to his own sentencing and face dozens of grieving family members, New Jersey authorities agreed in December to allow him to donate a kidney to an ailing friend, as long as the operation was performed after his sentencing. But last week the authorities delayed the sentencing indefinitely, saying they needed more time to investigate hospital deaths in Morris and Essex Counties that Mr. Cullen may have caused. Mr. Cullen lost his patience, his lawyer said, and decided he would no longer help investigators.

"The deal is off," Mr. Mask said. "He's done. No more cooperation. Period."

"Now it's on the prosecutors' shoulders whether somebody else dies," Mr. Mask added, referring to the man who is waiting for a kidney donation.

Peter C. Harvey, New Jersey's attorney general, called that notion "ridiculous" and said it was not the prosecutors' role to find a new kidney for Mr. Cullen's friend.

"Our job is to protect the victims," Mr. Harvey said.

He also said, "It's strange that all of a sudden this guy has become a humanitarian after killing 22 people in New Jersey."

Paula T. Dow, the prosecutor for Essex County, where Mr. Cullen has admitted to killing several people, said Mr. Cullen's refusal to cooperate was "a clear breach of the plea agreement" and that "it now exposes him" to being brought back to court to face trial and possibly the death penalty.

But the reality of his ever being executed, at least in New Jersey, is slim because the state has not put anyone to death since 1963, and this week the Legislature passed a temporary moratorium on capital punishment. However, Mr. Cullen has admitted to seven murders in Pennsylvania, which does have the death penalty.

The authorities said on Tuesday that they were not sure if Mr. Cullen's action was a ploy to speed up donation of the kidney, or if he truly intended not to cooperate ever again. They added that they were unsure of what they would do next.

The development was the latest twist in a long case that began in 1987 at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J. Mr. Cullen had a history of mental illness and suicidal behavior and gravitated to the night shift, where he was known among colleagues as solitary and strange, with a cold bedside manner.

In 1993 he was accused of killing a 91-year-old woman with a single injection of digoxin, a powerful heart drug that became his weapon of choice. But somehow he slipped through the cracks of the medical system and went on to work at 10 places in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania before he was arrested in 2003.

In 2004, he struck a deal with the authorities in both states to plead guilty and cooperate in exchange for at least two consecutive life terms, which in New Jersey meant he would not be eligible for parole for 126 years. But in December, as sentencing approached, problems arose, partly because of a little-known procedural rule that allows a defendant to skip his sentencing. Mr. Cullen said he might do that and deny his victims' families a chance to confront him.

Now it is not clear what will happen, with some prosecutors saying Mr. Cullen will be dragged into court, no matter what, while others are not so sure.

 

20060102: Serial killer nurse to face the families of victims NJ Newark Serial Killer News
This could be the week that Marie Romero finally gets to look Charles Cullen straight in the eye and tell him how much pain he caused by killing her sister.

Romero’s sister, Catherine Dext, was killed with an injection by the former nurse and admitted serial killer in June 1996 at Hunterdon Medical Center, where she had been admitted with a ruptured spleen.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin Thursday for Cullen, who pleaded guilty to 29 murders and six attempted murders during his 16-year nursing career in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Cullen, 44, has told investigators he might have killed as many as 40 persons, but authorities say that estimate appears to be inflated. Most of the victims were given an overdose of heart medication, usually digoxin.

The former critical-care nurse was able to move from hospital to hospital, despite suspicions he was killing patients, because the institutions did not report their fears to authorities.

The sentencing may stretch out over two days because so many victims’ relatives want to give victim-impact statements.

Cullen had filed papers to waive his right to appear at his sentencing, a move that outraged many of the families.

However, authorities had something Cullen wanted: the right to approve his request to donate a kidney to a relative of Cullen’s ex-girlfriend. With that leverage, authorities persuaded Cullen to agree to appear at the sentencing.

Cullen faces life for each of the New Jersey murders, and won’t be eligible for parole for at least 127 years. In exchange for his plea and agreement to help identify his victims, he escaped New Jersey’s death penalty.

State Attorney General Peter Harvey said he hopes to have all 22 New Jersey cases against Cullen resolved in this week’s sentencing. However, the sentencing could be postponed if no decision is made on whether to also bring charges in several open cases in Essex and Morris counties.

He also escaped death in Pennsylvania, where he still faces sentencing.

A judge there already has ordered him to be present.

 

20051207: Serial killer wants to donate kidney Serial Killer News

Former nurse Charles Cullen, who admitted murdering at least 29 patients in the Lehigh Valley and New Jersey by injecting them with lethal doses of drugs, wants to donate his kidney to save a life.

Cullen has asked prosecutors to allow him to travel to New York so doctors can perform the surgery, his attorney said Tuesday.

Johnnie Mask, Cullen's public defender, said prosecutors have agreed to let Cullen undergo the operation in New Jersey, but not travel to New York for it.

''I don't know what the objections are'' to doing the surgery in New York, Mask said. ''Security and expense have always been thrown up as an obstacle.''

Doing the transplant in New Jersey would mean a new transplant team and months of additional tests, he said.

In exchange for permission to give the kidney in New York, Cullen is willing to appear in court when he is sentenced to life in prison, Mask said.

''We're pushing prosecutors to do the operation in New York because the [potential recipient] doesn't have seven months to wait,'' Mask said.

Mask would not identify the intended recipient of the kidney, but The Star-Ledger of Newark, citing unnamed sources, reported in Tuesday's newspapers that it is a relative of Cullen's ex-girlfriend.

The man is in his 30s, a father of four and in poor health, Mask added. He lost kidney function as a result of infection.

Mask said the request for a kidney came about two months ago.

''Initially, some parties opposed the whole thing on the basis that Cullen could die on the table,'' he said.

Cullen, formerly of Bethlehem, had previously filed papers to waive his right to appear in court for the sentencing — an action that had enraged relatives of his victims, who want to confront him one more time.

At one point after Cullen's 2003 arrest, Mask said Cullen wanted to be able to explain his actions to his victims' survivors. But his position changed, Mask said, because the victims' families and victim-rights groups have been hostile.

By appearing at a sentencing, Cullen could answer at least some questions about his crimes.

Mask said he hopes to get an answer in the next few weeks on the transplant and any deal related to Cullen's appearance at the sentencings, which could come in the next few months.

Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest would not comment Tuesday on the transplant offer or the deal Cullen has proposed.

In a series of court appearances in northern New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley, Cullen has admitted to 29 murders and six attempted murders over the course of his 16-year nursing career. In the latest plea Monday, he admitted to attempting to kill Somerset Medical Center patient Philip Gregor in 2003.

There could be more pleas in the future, though authorities and Mask agree that the investigations are winding down.

Cullen was arrested in December 2003 and charged with the murder of a patient at Somerset Medical Center and the attempted homicide of another. The next year, he pleaded guilty and agreed to help authorities determine exactly whom he killed in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.

 

20051206: Serial killer admits another attempted murder while a nurse NJ Somerville Serial Killer News
Serial killer Charles Cullen on Mondy pleaded guilty to another attempted murder at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, in what his attorney predicted would probably be his last plea.

In a proceeding lasting less than 10 minutes in state Superior Court, Cullen, 45, a former nurse, admitted before Judge Paul W. Armstrong to attempting to kill critical care patient Philip J. Gregor of South Bound Brook with an overdose of insulin on June 18, 2003.

"Yes, I did," said Cullen when asked by Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Van Hise if he had administered the insulin to the patient without a doctor's orders. "To cause his death" was Cullen's reply when he was asked why.

The answers have become increasingly rote for Cullen, who has pleaded guilty to killing 29 patients at hospitals in five New Jersey and two Pennsylvania counties and attempting to kill five more between 1988 and 2003.

"News of every heinous act he committed to a patient in his care still shocks and saddens us," said hospital spokeswoman Vicky Allen.

Cullen, shackled and clad in mustard-colored prison scrubs, was brought to the courtroom from the Somerset County Jail in Somerville, where he is being held pending his transfer upon sentencing to a maximum security prison.

He has appeared increasingly gaunt since his arrest and arraignment following a series of suspicious deaths at Somerset Medical Center in December 2003.

Compared with Cullen's earlier appearances, the courtroom was almost empty. although Gregor's widow and sister were present, they declined to comment. "When he's sentenced, I'll have a whole lot to say," said Linda Gregor.

Cullen's plea was part of an April 29, 2004, plea agreement in which he was spared the death penalty in exchange for cooperating with investigators in identifying victims. Investigators have since been reviewing files with him.

 

20050710: New Revelations about Convicted Serial Killer Nurse PA Bethlehem Serial Killer News

Nurses who worked with serial killer Charles Cullen at a Pennsylvania hospital apparently warned authorities long before his arrest that he was suspected of killing patients.

That's according to a report today in The Morning Call of Allentown.

But Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin says there just wasn't enough evidence at the time to prosecute Cullen for anything.

And the forensic pathologist who investigated agrees.The pathologist reviewed 26 cases of patients who died while Cullen was working at Saint Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem.

He says the only evidence beyond "vague suspicions" was medical histories of people who died -- but who were already very sick.

After leaving Saint Luke's, Cullen worked at Somerset Medical Center in New Jersey, where he has admitted killing patients.

 

20050520: Cullen tells AG basic security could stop killer nurses NJ Somerville Serial Killer News

The state's worst serial killer is offering authorities tips on how to thwart people who want to follow in his footsteps.

Killer nurse Charles Cullen met for eight hours over two days this week with state Attorney General Peter Harvey, who wanted to find out how to prevent future murders by medical professionals.

Cullen, who says he may have killed as many as 40 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania by injecting them with lethal doses of drugs, told Harvey that tracking who takes medications from dispensaries could prevent hospital workers from killing patients.

"He believes that the best deterrent is the certainty of detection," Harvey told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Friday's newspapers. "Using more video surveillance. Using a swipe card that would allow hospitals to easily track who is withdrawing what medication. These are security controls that can be placed on rooms that house medications."

Thus far, Cullen has pleaded guilty to murdering 24 patients and attempting to kill five others

The meetings Wednesday and Thursday were part of what Cullen agreed to last year when he promised to cooperate with law enforcement authorities in return for avoiding the death penalty. Harvey said he plans to speak again with Cullen.

"Once we complete our discussions with him, we are going to compile a series of recommendations that we're going to give to the Board of Medical Examiners and the nursing board with suggestions of how to better protect patients and hospitals," Harvey said. "We're going to ask for their input and action."

Cullen, a former registered nurse, worked at hospitals and nursing facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania over a 16-year career.

Harvey said the 45-year-old Cullen showed some remorse _ an emotion that he has not displayed in court.

"He accepts more responsibility than he expresses remorse, but he certainly does both," Harvey said. "I didn't expect it."

 

20050511: Siblings assert serial killer nurse murdered father Serial Killer News

The children of a former Madison resident say they have compelling proof that Charles Cullen, serial killer nurse, killed their father with massive doses of digoxin in January 1997 at Morristown Memorial Hospital.

Lynn Popelka of Netcong and Wayne Sarrow of Readington Township paid to have the remains of their father, Henry Sarrow, disinterred from Saint Vincent’s Cemetery in Madison in February and examined, they said on Wednesday, April 13, at the office of their attorney, Anthony J. Macri of Denville.

Cullen, who is in the Somerset County Jail, denies killing the retired postal worker while he worked at Morristown Memorial from November 1996 to August 1997, according to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. He has admitted to killing 24 patients, from 1988 to 2003, but none at Morristown Memorial, authorities said.

So far, Popelka and Sarrow have sued Morristown Memorial, alleging wrongful death and negligence, said attorney Macri, who added that he expects “a long fight.”

Macri said that autopsy reports have been sent to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, an office the siblings claim was unresponsive to past concerns that Cullen was responsible for their father’s death.

Autopsy Results

Henry Sarrow had been admitted to Morristown Memorial on Jan. 9, 1997, because of shortness of breath, and on Jan. 15 he suffered a fatal heart attack, which the family said was not expected. He was 77.

When Mr. Sarrow’s remains were analyzed after the February exhumation, they were found to have digoxin levels of 230 nanograms per kilogram, when a normal level should be 2 nanograms per kilogram, according to Macri’s office.

The levels of digoxin, a heart medication, found in Mr. Sarrow’s body were 125 times the amount that would be found in someone who was being given therapeutic doses, the family and its attorney assert. Such a scenario would fit Cullen’s preferred method of killing – administering overdoses of digoxin.

Mr. Sarrow had worked as a school crossing guard for the Madison Board of Education after his retirement as a postal worker.

Recognized Nurse

After Cullen was arrested in 2003 on charges that he administered a lethal overdose to one patient and attempted to murder another at the Somerset Medical Center, Popelka reportedly recognized Cullen from news photos as a nurse at Morristown Memorial during her father’s hospitalization.

According to attorney Macri, hospital records show Cullen was on duty during overnight hours before two cardiac episodes Mr. Sarrow suffered at Morristown Memorial, the second one fatal.

Cullen is reviewing records from hospitals where he worked, including Morristown Memorial, cooperating with authorities in exchange for a waiver of the death penalty. He is expected to be sentenced to multiple life terms in prison.

 

20041231: Serial killer spends time reading and doing “homework” NJ Somerville Serial Killer News

CULLEN scans medical files to determine if any patients were his victims.
Life in the Somerset County jail is a little like life aboard the USS Woodrow Wilson, the submarine where Charles CULLEN spent months isolated in the deep waters of the Atlantic. In jail, CULLEN has limited space, a bunk to sleep in, and three square meals served with military precision. He has reading material, time on his hands, and no place to go: the cold steel walls of the sub (where CULLEN developed an interest in nursing by helping to inoculate his shipmates) have been replaced by the cold stone walls of justice.
The only times serial killer Charles CULLEN leaves the jail is to travel to various county courts to admit he murdered patients at the 10 medical facilities where he worked in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. CULLEN claims to have killed as many as 40 patients during his 16-year career.
CULLEN has made five such trips so far, pleading guilty to killing 24 patients and attempting to kill five others by injecting them with various medications that he stole from the hospital's drug supplies. There will be others.
In exchange for his cooperation and guilty pleas, authorities waived the death penalty and CULLEN instead must serve at least 127 years in a New Jersey state prison before he is eligible for parole. For now, CULLEN will remain inmate No. 71533 in the Somerset County jail, on the corner of Grove and High streets in Somerville and across from the prosecutor's office where he first admitted his deep, dark secret to detectives after being arrested last December.

 

20041117: Serial killer nurse pleads guilty to murders in Lehigh County PA Allentown Serial Killer News
Serial killer Charles Cullen pleaded guilty today to six murders and three attempted murders in Lehigh County, bringing the former nurse's tally to 23 deaths in two states...Whispering his replies to a judge's routine questions, Cullen, 44, formerly of Bethlehem, offered no details or excuses to the victims' relatives, dozens of whom packed the Allentown courtroom..."He took something away that was so precious to us and we're never going to forgive him," said Connie Keeler, of Bethlehem, whose father Cullen tried to kill..."He shows no emotion to what he did," she said...Keeler's father, Lehigh Valley radio personality Paul Galgon, 72, died of renal failure at St. Luke's Hospital near Bethlehem nine hours after Cullen injected him with the heart stimulant digoxin. Forensic evidence showed that the digoxin contributed to Galgon's death...Family members were not given a chance to address Cullen today, but are expected to have that opportunity at his sentencing, which may be a year away. Judge William Platt denied Cullen's request to be absent during sentencing, which won't occur until after Cullen is sentenced in New Jersey...Cullen has yet to meet with prosecutors in Essex County, where he worked in the burn unit at St. Barnabas Hospital for four years; or in Hunterdon County, where he worked at Hunterdon Medical Center for two years. His attorney, Johnny Mask, said it appears that Cullen did not kill anyone in Morris County, where he worked in 1997...Cullen has pleaded guilty to murdering patients in hospitals in Somerset County and Warren County, in New Jersey, and in Northampton County, in Pennsylvania. Usually, he injected overdoses into the intravenous bag of terminally ill, elderly patients. His youngest known victim was Matthew Mattern, a 22-year-old patient the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital near Allentown...Cullen will be sentenced to life in prison as part of a plea agreement worked out with prosecutors in both states. He told authorities after his arrest in December that he killed as many as 40 patients in 10 hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey during his 16-year career as a registered nurse. Prosecutors have agreed not to seek the death penalty as long as Cullen cooperates by identifying his victims.
 

20041106: Pa. judge rejects serial killer's intention to skip sentencing PA Allentown Serial Killer News
A former nurse who has admitted killing 17 patients with lethal doses of medication at hospitals in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania will have to attend his sentencing hearing and face the families of his alleged victims in Lehigh County, a judge has ruled. ..Cullen, 44, is scheduled to plead guilty Nov. 17 in Lehigh County Court to six counts of homicide and three counts of attempted homicide. Families won't be able to confront him at the hearing but will be able to do so when Cullen returns to court for his sentencing, likely next year. ..On Tuesday, Judge William H. Platt told Cullen's attorneys that he will not accept Cullen's waiver of his right to appear at the sentencing. ..Cullen's attorney, public defender Johnnie Mask, said he was not happy with Platt's decision but does not intend to fight it. ..After his arrest in December, Cullen told investigators that he killed as many as 40 people during his nursing career. He has pleaded guilty or been charged in a total of 23 murders and has agreed to help investigators identify his victims in a deal to avoid the death penalty. ..The families of several of Cullen's alleged Lehigh County victims were pleased with the judge's decision. .."He needs to be there to face us," said Connie Keeler, the daughter of Paul Galgon, 72, a St. Luke's Hospital patient authorities said Cullen attempted to kill in 2001. "He should have to look into each of our faces and see the pain we are going through." ..When Cullen pleaded guilty to a single killing in Northampton County in September, the daughter of the elderly victim called Cullen a monster, talked about her father's life, and asked Cullen whether he remembered his victims. ..Mask said the hearing was hard on his client, and he would prefer to avoid them. ..In Lehigh County, Cullen is accused of killing five people and attempting to kill two others at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill, where he worked from June 2000 to June 2002, and killing one person and attempting to kill another at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township, where he worked from December 1998 to April 2000. ..In neighboring Northampton County, he pleaded guilty to killing one person at Easton Hospital. ..In New Jersey, Cullen has pleaded guilty to killing 16 people and attempting to kill two others at Somerset Medical Center and Warren Hospital. ..Under his plea agreement, Cullen will be sentenced to life in prison in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and will serve the sentence in New Jersey. He will not be eligible for parole for at least 127 years. .
 

20041030: Serial Killer Seeking to Skip Sentencing PA Allentown Serial Killer News
A district attorney said he is trying to determine whether serial killer Charles Cullen can be compelled to appear in court so relatives of the patients he is accused of killing can confront him if he is sentenced to life in prison...Cullen, a former registered nurse, is expected to plead guilty in the next few weeks to charges he killed six patients at two hospitals with lethal doses of medication. Under the proposed plea agreement, Cullen would be spared the death penalty in exchange for helping to identify his victims...Cullen already has pleaded guilty to killing 17 during a 16-year career at hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey...Cullen has said through his attorney he wants to waive his right to be in court at sentencing...But District Attorney James Martin says he will do research to determine whether there is a legal way to force Cullen to appear. "In all my years doing this, I've never seen a defendant not come to his sentencing," he said...Margory Blakemore, daughter of Edward O'Toole, who died at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill in 2002, said she and other relatives should have the right to address Cullen face to face. "He should have to hear about how much pain he's caused," she said.. .
 


Copyright 1995-2006 by Elisabeth Wetsch
spacer spacer
spacer