Monthly Archives: August 2014

Going Where Quantico Couldn’t

He’d refused the FBI profilers from Quantico and, of course, his psych evaluations are privileged. And because he wouldn’t speak, nobody had really even heard his voice, much less had a sense of the way he thought about his crimes, the sort of logic he applied. Hearing his stories, the manner in which he got excited about certain things and how he avoided speaking about others, his blame—his sense of indignation and moral superiority about how the hospitals failed to catch him—that was the greatest insight.

What he didn’t ever discuss was murder. He didn’t call it that and I didn’t push it. If we ever went directly at the murder question or I pressed for details outside of a clinical context—if we went into the emotion of the moment—he would shut down. Involuntarily, it seemed . . . [Cullen’s] ability to coolly disconnect the technical details from the lives taken—was, in some ways, the most instructive insight of all.

Author Charles Graeber discussing his relationship with serial killer Charles Cullen on Brooklyn Based. Check out his riveting book The Good Nurse, now available in paperback.