Behind the Murder Curtain (Hardcover)

Special Agent Bruce Sackman Hunts Doctors and Nurses Who Kill Our Veterans

By Bruce Sackman, Michael Vecchione, Jerry Schmetterer, Dr. Michael Baden (Foreword by)

Post Hill Press, 9781682617144, 208pp.

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

List Price: 27.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


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.

About the Author

Bruce Sackman served as the Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, Northeast Field Office until May 2005 when he retired after 32 years’ service. In this capacity, he was responsible for all major criminal investigations involving the VA from West Virginia to Maine. During his tenure, he was involved in hundreds of investigations involving allegations of fraud, corruption, false claims, thefts, patient assaults, pharmaceutical drug diversions, and suspicious hospital deaths. He was also responsible for supervising the successful investigation of the nation’s first homicide conviction in connection with pharmaceutical research. His cases have been featured on the Discovery Health Channel, CNN, MSNBC, America’s Most Wanted, and on Home Box Office. He is the recipient of many awards for his investigations and for his efforts in encouraging the profession of forensic nursing. Sackman has lectured at several forensic-related conferences, state police organizations, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, universities, and medical related symposia.

Sackman is self-employed as a licensed private investigator in New York City specializing in healthcare-related matters. Under contract, he directs all major investigations for a major New York metropolitan regional healthcare system. He is president of the Society of Professional Investigators in New York City and serves on the board of directors of the American Academy for Professional Law Enforcement.

Jerry Schmetterer is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist. Behind the Murder Curtain is his sixth nonfiction book. He is a former bureau chief and editor at the NY Daily News and managing editor at CNN and WPIX in New York. He served for 12 years as spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. He is past president of the NY Press Club and currently serves as a Trustee. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Emily.

Michael Vecchione is a former Chief of the Rackets Division of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, topping off a career of 40 years as a prosecutor. Behind the Murder Curtain is his third nonfiction book. He is a frequent contributor to true crime television productions as an expert on organized crime. He lives in Long Island City, NY, with his partner, Lenor Romano.

Praise For Behind the Murder Curtain: Special Agent Bruce Sackman Hunts Doctors and Nurses Who Kill Our Veterans

"As if being hospitalized wasn't traumatic enough, spend more time with the ultimate wolves in sheep's clothing—medical professionals who murder the very people they're tasked with keeping alive. Behind the Murder Curtain is a nonstop thrill ride with Special Agent Bruce Sackman, who tracks and brings these killers to justice."
— Terence Winter, creator and executive producer of Boardwalk Empire

"Special Agent Bruce Sackman looks Behind the Murder Curtain and doesn't like what he sees. Then he does something about it. An amazing look into a scary world."
— Nicholas Pileggi, author of Wise Guys and Casino

"Everyone who reads Behind the Murder Curtain will experience an epiphany about the dangers that lurk within the presumed secure environment of hospitals. For two decades, Bruce Sackman has been educating nurses about medical serial killers to improve early detection of unspeakable crimes. Bruce Sackman's shocking revelations about health care workers is a must read for forensic nurses. The motives, the murder plots and their execution masterfully unfold in this true crime story that reads like a novel."
— Janet Barber Duval, MSN, RN, FAAFS, forensic nurse educator and consultant, co-author Forensic Nursing Science

"Behind the Murder Curtain shines a light on a macabre world where we are betrayed by people we trust the most. Special Agent Bruce Sackman's groundbreaking work to bring down medical serial killers is the stuff of great detective novels but more frightening because it's true. This book may keep you awake at night, but it is worth a nightmare of two."
— Rupert Holmes, multiple Tony and Edgar award-winning author of Broadway's The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Nero award-nominated Best American Mystery Novel Where the Truth Lies

"When patients at a VA hospital are dying at an alarming rate, Special Agent Bruce Sackman is called in to find out why. What he finds Behind the Murder Curtain is the stuff of great detective fiction... but it's true!"
— Otto Penzler, owner of New York's Mysterious Bookshop and editor of The Big Book of Jack the Ripper

"Special Agent Bruce Sackman, a pioneering expert in investigating medical serial killers, provides a chilling tale of medical professionals who kill those entrusted in their care, and the Murder Curtain that protects them. Through his experience into these cases, and his dedicated service to those he himself swore to keep safe, he provides an invaluable protocol for identifying and investigating these most chilling cases, to bring to justice those who break their solemn oath."
— C. Gabrielle Salfati, M.Sc. Ph.D. F.IA-IP, Professor of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Researcher and author in the field of behavioral crime scene investigation and serial homicides