In 2022, an American biographical crime thriller film was released. It was based on the 2013 true-crime book of the same name, and it once again drew attention to Adrienne Taub, a woman who was by chance involved with the man the book was written about.
Perhaps “involved” may be too light a choice of word. Adrienne Taub was married to the man now serving multiple life sentences. They also had kids and pets together, but they were far from being a perfect family.
As Taub discovered, perfection does not exist, and its facade never lasts. Who was Taub, and what did she know about her husband, Charles Cullen, being one of history’s most prolific killers?
Who Is Charles Cullen’s Wife, Adrienne Taub?
Adrienne Taub was married to Charles Cullen, but there’s little information about her aside from what they shared. Legal documents show the former couple married in June 1987, shortly after Cullen graduated from Mountainside Hospital Nursing School. Unfortunately, their union was not a peaceful one.
They welcomed two kids: a daughter named Shauna and another named Saskia. Most of what is known about Taub comes from what was supplied in their divorce documents from 1993. Taub made many claims about her husband in the proceedings that pointed to his twisted personality.
What Adrienne Taub Faced as a Serial Killer’s Wife
Cullen started his killing one year after he tied the knot with Taub. His first murder happened while working at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey.
The victim was a retired judge named John W. Yengo Sr. He was admitted to the hospital’s burn unit with severe sunburn then he died some days after. Cullen later admitted to giving the poor man a fatal overdose of lidocaine, which led to his demise.
At home, Taub started to worry about her husband, whose behavior had become strange and erratic. In her divorce filing, Taub accused Cullen of “extreme cruelty.”
She claimed he was distant, flared up quickly, and was unsupportive. She also pointed out his abusive conduct, which included harming their dogs.
Taub claimed that he once spent hours in their basement beating their dogs, two Yorkshire Terriers, with an excuse of training them. She said:
“I was awakened many nights by the screams of these dogs. Charlie was in the basement ‘training’ and beating them if they did not listen to him.”
More on Cullen’s Cruelty at Home
Taub also said that Cullen once zipped up one of the dogs in a small bowling bag as punishment for urinating in the house. It was something he said could not be overlooked or readily forgiven.
It got so terrible that Taub eventually had to eliminate the family pets because she feared for their lives. Other violent examples she gave include Cullen burning his daughter’s books and spiking people’s drinks with lighter fluid.
Taub also feared Cullen would harm their girls, so she filed for numerous restraining orders, which were not granted because he had done nothing physical toward her.
Cullen denied her claims, too, saying she was only exaggerating. Their divorce was concluded in 1993, and Taub got custody of their kids. Cullen got unsupervised visitation rights.
What Happened After Their Split?
After their divorce, Cullen reportedly became depressed and attempted to commit suicide several times. On the other hand, Taub led a quiet life, choosing to keep herself and her daughters away from publicity.
When Cullen’s heinous crimes were revealed in December 2003, Taub was living a stable life with her daughters in Roselle Park, New Jersey. Around that time, reporters hounded her to get an exclusive, but Taub told them off.
Her only priority was protecting her daughters, who were adolescents at the time. The only statement she ever made reads: “You can imagine what we are going through. Leave my family and children out of it. I have nothing to say.”
Taub has enjoyed privacy since then.
However, like Keiko Fujimoto, whose name came up when her ex-husband’s terrible deeds were revealed, Taub and her children’s names were thrust into the spotlight once more with the retelling of her Cullen’s sordid story. But thankfully, they continue to live privately away from his deeds while he remains imprisoned.