The Serial Killer Whisperer
How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killers
By Pete Earley
(Touchstone, Hardcover, 9781439199022, 336pp.)
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
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From New York Times bestselling author Pete Earley—the strange but true story of a man who suffers a traumatic brain injury and as a result is given the ability to converse with the world’s most terrifying criminals.
After suffering a horrific head injury, fifteen-year-old Tony Ciaglia discovered he could no longer control his emotions or social responses and found himself incapable of feeling disgust at the antisocial behavior of others. Eventually therapy and medication helped Tony largely overcome his emotional instability, and when his therapist suggested he develop a hobby, Tony acted on a whim and wrote to an imprisoned serial killer. To his astonishment, the killer wrote back.
Tony’s hobby eventually turned into a full-blown obsession, and soon he was corresponding with dozens of serial killers who revealed heinous details about their horrendous crimes—even those they’d never been convicted of. The killers opened up to Tony; they trusted him, considered him a friend. Unable to feel disgust at the revolting stories, Tony began to fear that the potential for killing without guilt lurked within him, and he became suicidal. Ultimately, Tony found redemption and purpose by helping law enforcement officials solve crimes his connection uncovered, and before long, investigators from around the country were calling on him for assistance with cold cases.
The Serial Killer Whisperer is not only the story of how Tony learned to use his gift in the interest of justice, but it is also an inspiring—albeit sometimes terrifying—tale of healing and closure for a man who has struggled to lead a normal life.
Pete Earley is the author of three New York Times bestsellers. He has won an Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2007. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia. Visit PeteEarley.com.