How One Man’s Tragedy Unlocked the Deadliest Secrets of the World’s Most Terrifying Killers
From New York Times bestselling author Pete Earley — the strange but true story of how a young man’s devastating brain injury gave him the unique ability to connect with the world’s most terrifying criminals.
Fifteen-year-old Tony Ciaglia had everything a teenager wants — good grades, good athletic skills, and good friends — until he suffered a horrific head injury at summer camp. Pronounced clinically dead three times by helicopter paramedics before he reached a hospital, Ciaglia lapsed into a coma.
When he emerged his right side was paralyzed and he had to relearn how to walk, talk, and even how to eat.
His brain damage also required him to take countless pills to control his emotions.
Abandoned and shunned by his friends, he began writing to serial killers on a whim and discovered that the same traumatic brain injury that made him an outcast to his peers now enabled him to connect emotionally with notorious murderers. Soon many of America’s most dangerous psychopaths were revealing to him heinous details about their crimes—even those they’d never been convicted of.
The killers opened up to him, trusted him, and called him a “best friend.”
But there was a price.
As Tony found himself being drawn deeper and deeper into their violent worlds of murder, rape, and torture, he was pushed to the brink of despair and, at times, forced to question his own sanity — until he found a way to use his gift.
Asked by investigators from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to aid in solving a murder, Tony began launching his own personal searches for forgotten victims, with clues often provided to him voluntarily by the killers themselves.
The Serial Killer Whisperer takes readers into the minds of murderers as never before — straight from a killer’s thoughts to paper.
It is also an inspiring tale of an American family whose idyllic life is shattered by a terrible accident, and how healing and closure came to a tormented man in the most unlikely way — by connecting with monsters.
What Reviews Are Saying
Investigative journalist Pete Earley documents Ciaglia’s intensive interplay with a brilliant combination of scrutiny and unobtrusive narration, allowing the verbatim letters to do the book’s grisly spadework.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“For readers of true crime and psychology and others interested in the workings of the brain.”
- Library Journal
“A unique and compelling personal story and a fascinating exploration of the unsettling subculture that has grown up around serial killers.”
- Booklist Review