Behind the Murder Curtain

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

Fantastic book.  So disturbing but so fascinating at the same time. It is horrible to know that you never know what can happen behind that curtain and why you need to have an advocate for yourself.  Great details and wonderful insight.  Not a lot of examples but the ones that were given were very well written and thought out.
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Terrifying and fascinating all at the same time.

Working in healthcare it is hard to imagine that those in positions of trust and responsibility could relish the opportunity to cause harm, and even kill the most vulnerable. This is exactly what was happening in the veterans association hospital in America and this book tells the story of bringing these perpetrators to justice.

A fascinating insight into the American system of healthcare investigations which is very different to the set up in the UK. And a brilliantly told account of how the investigations played out.
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"Behind the Murder Curtain" is mainly concentrated on a killer
named Swango,whom they called "The Doctor of Death"
He mainly worked at VA Hospitals on 3rd.shift,where most deaths occurred.
He would mostly kill by injecting different medicines,which they didn't need into their iv lines and then sit back to watch them die.He always remembered to pull the curtains around the bed. 
There were several others and one woman by the last name of Gilbert who they called "The Angel of Death."
She killed her patients at the VA Hospital where she was employed in much the same way.She also liked  calling codes so she could bring her patients back from the brink of death,which made her look special,until.She was caught.
 All of the murderers in this true book,preferred working at VA Hospitals as there were more patients,they were lots of elderly and they had fewer visitors.
I wanted to read this because I lost a younger brother a few yrs.ago.He passed away in a VA.Hospital.in the middle of the night with no family there.He was expected to make a full recovery.
This book takes place, mostly in the eighties and nineties and I'm sure they have many more  stringent rules and regulations today.At least they say they do.
It gets a little swarmy at times,so beware,it's not all Honeymoon and Roses.
Thanks to Netgalley and authors for the opportunity to read and give my review.
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This is the true story of veterans hospital patients who suddenly die In increasing numbers. How Bruse Sackman Special Agent in  Charge of the Department  of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General. He is used to catching white collar criminals, usually for embezzlement. This case is different, he is dealing with killer doctors and nurses. The ones who have been tasked with protecting the sanctity of life. When I started reading this book I had to keep on reminding myself that this FACT not FICTION. This is a medical thriller and at the heart is a serial killer. This is not about mercy killings, yes we have all heard about them, this is doctors and nurses killing for the sake of killing. I could not put this book down. It is abhorrent and way beyond the evil I have read in fiction books. I was shocked to the core. This book made me angry, emotional yes quite a few tears and lastly explains what has changed.
These people went to war to fight for their country only to come back home to be prayed on by monsters in the guise of men and women who were supposed to protect them and aid in their recovery.    I read this book in one sitting and it kept me reading late into the night. It is terrifying, abhorrent and this guy needs a medal. One of the best true crime books I have ever read. So highly recommended and an easy five stars. This book will stay with me long after I have turned the last page. 
I would like the author, BooksGoSocial and Netgalley for the advanced copy in return for giving an honest review.
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VA Special Agent in Charge Bruce Sackman, who knew there even were such investigators?  This whole story is terrifying.  This is not fiction, keep telling yourself that.  FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Behind the Murder Curtain is the true story Special Agent Bruce Sackman   An amazing look into a scary world  There are those we trust with our lives as doctors and nurses, but this is about those that are taking lives instead od saving them
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Being a retired RN with over 35 years experience I found this book interesting. Having had personal experience with patients who also were VA outpatients or discharged from one of their hospitals I know about inconsistent medical staff and frequent medication changes. We were always relieved when a VA patient had a private M.D... because we ' on the outside' often speculated that they hired medical school drop outs. (Which the author confirmed in a least one case)!!  However, I must also say the VA has done an excellent job of exploring wound care and use of prosthetics. It seems their quality of care seems to have improved since the big shakeup a few years ago. 
 The authors describe in detail their efforts to clean up the staff and  system and the many battles,egos and politics they had to deal with to seek justice for the veterans . I can't even fathom how those families felt when they discovered the mistreatment and unnecessary deaths of their loved ones. 
Many thanks to the investigators for blazing trails and increasing awareness so hopefully these incidents won't  occur in ANY hospital.  And thanks to the investigators and authors for their recognition of nursing staff to identify and speak up when things aren't quite right!  All medical staff and administrators should read this book and review the red flags. 
I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion, the opinions expressed are my own.
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This book will open your eyes to all the evils that trained professionals inflict upon their innocent patients every day. It was heart breaking to learn that this type of behavior is going on right under our noses and nothing’s being done about it. To treat our veterans like this is disgusting and I hope this book will begin many a conversation about how to change it! Thank you Netgalley for my advanced copy.
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Thank you NetGalley and PostHill Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book for my honest opinion.
Special Agent Brian Sackman takes us into the dark word of Angel of Mercy. Those who think that they are merciful reliving the sick patient of the pain by silently ending their lives while they sleep. No more pain. 
Yet this is not those kind of people. These people are just killing because they like to kill. They are veterans killing veterans. 
Sackman shows us that background checks are not being done, medication logs are so laxed and security is pretty much non exist. 
We already knew that the VA hospitals were despicable to say the least but now this takes them to a whole new level.
So many breaches are taking place and going undocumented. They are being swept under the rug because the corporation does not want the bad press. 
We need to protect our vets We need to make sure that VA hospitals are up to par. We need to get involved.
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.


When Veterans Hospital patients on the road to recovery suddenly die in increasing numbers, it’s up to VA Special Agent in Charge Bruce Sackman to find out why. His shocking discovery rips open the hidden world of what goes on behind the bedside curtains when a killer doctor or nurse decides a patient must die.

Behind the Murder Curtain is the true story of Bruce Sackman, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General. Sackman’s main responsibilities had been investigating white-collar crimes such as embezzlement when he is drawn into the macabre world of doctors and nurses who murder their patients. Sackman evolves from an investigator of routine cases to the world’s leading expert on Medical Serial Killers—MSKs—doctors and nurses who ply their evil trade hidden behind the privacy curtain at a patient’s bedside.

Behind the Murder Curtain tells how this dedicated investigator brought down four MSKs in Veterans Hospitals while developing the RED FLAGS PROTOCOL, which is now taught to investigators and forensic nurses throughout the world as a tool for stopping an MSK.

This book is freaking scary (and freaking is not the word I want to use)!! Maybe it is different in Canada as our military is a lot smaller and in my opinion (I may be glaringly wrong) not as "prone" (is that the word?? ) to have so many people with so many catastrophic injuries.  Canadians are more Peace Keepers and although we have a lot of men and women with horrible injuries we have nothing on the scale of what the USA has. 

I know of instances where nurses and doctors have helped patients with catastrophic diseases or injuries go "in peace" but I had no idea that is was so common within the VA to kill and murder patients. My husband is reading this book right now and is as gobsmacked as I am that something like this can happen and does happen.

Mr. Sackman is an excellent writer: you can tell that he did amazing research and he presents it well: it does not read like a report or a thesis as many books end up being like. This book shook me to the core - this is a travesty and tragedy and it really pisses me off to know that it happens so frequently. 

DEFINITELY a book club read!

I am usually cheeky and try to use an emoji that represents the book instead of stars but this is too serious a book to slag so I award it 🎖️🎖️🎖️🎖️🎖️
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I have never read a true crime book before, and in all fairness to the author cannot objectively rate this one.  It was mostly data which did not hold my interest.
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Behind the Murder Curtain: Special Agent Bruce Sackman Hunts Doctors and Nurses Who Kill Patients

This is a quickly paced book that I really enjoyed about a man who finds himself having to learn about investigating killers in the Veteran’s Administration hospitals that he is responsible for keeping crime covered in. When he’s made aware of a serial killer named Swango, he gets in gear to check it out and learn what he has to do to catch him and put him in check and prove the cases against him.

I’d read about the Swango case years ago, and this book interested me on how the author set up his protocol for catching him and any other Medical Serial Killers (MSK) like him in the future, and the program he used to log in the data that helped him do it. He also had teams of great people that helped him too, and Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Baden helped out and taught him a lot and got him going in the beginning, along with Dr. Rieders, who handed the toxicology testing. It goes on to tell about other cases they investigated such as Kristen Gilbert, Charles Cullen, Richard Williams, and Paul Kornak.

This is like a medical thriller with a serial killer but with multiple cases all through this guy’s career. It’s better than fiction. It’s one of my favorite kinds of books, where the good guy goes up against the bad guy (or gal) and catches them so they can’t kill anyone again. And these are our veterans these killers are murdering! So that makes it even worse, in my estimation. I found this to be a very good biography and true crime read if you like either of those categories or medical stuff. 
Publisher: BooksGoSocial. 204 pages
Publication: Sep 20th, 2018
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