Clubhouses Offer HOPE for Recovery

I’ve spent much of the last several days in airplanes.

 In El Paso, Texas, I  spoke to criminal defense attorneys and then flew to Cambridge, Mass., to address a wonderful NAMI group in a local library. Next came a fundraiser for the HOPE Clubhouse in Ft. Myers, Florida;  a seminar sponsored by NAMI Four Seasons in Asheville, N.C.; and two speeches in the New Orleans area at the request of the South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority. This week, I will be flying to Boston to address the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

I am always touched when I hear recovery stories, especially those told by young people.  Jourdan Miller, a beautiful girl in her  early twenties,     described how important the HOPE Clubhouse in Ft. Myers was to her recovery. As with so many of our young people, Jourdan had excelled as a teenager and had gone to college with big plans – only to become sick.  She was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and not long after that she became so ill that she had to drop out. At one point, she was suicidal. When she called the local police during a manic episode, rather than getting help, she ended up getting arrested and  jailed — “to be taught a lesson.”  That experience — at the hands of unsympathetic and poorly trained sheriff’s deputies — resulted in her developing PTSD.

Click to continue…

Vote for Janet Howell



I believe we should vote for political candidates who care about reforming our mental health system. I believe we should do our best to defeat incumbents who don’t recognize mental health reform as an important issue or show no interest in improving our system.

State Senator Janet Howell represents Virginia’s 32 district. She has been an effective and strong advocate in Virginia for persons with mental disorders. No one has fought harder than she has to improve our state’s mental health services. I had the honor of serving with her on a task force that was rewriting our state’s mental health laws. She attended every hearing, asked poignant and thought provoking questions and offered concrete solutions.

If you live in her district, please, please vote for her.  She is making a huge difference in Virginia. We need more like her.

Too Many Unanswered Questions

      *Several of Glenn Koons’  friends have posted  comments on the blog post  that I published about his death. If you take a moment to read them, you will discover there are several disturbing questions about his death that have not been answered.  

Click to continue…

A Girl With An Untreated Mental Illness and a Sexual Offender: Who Gets Committed?

I received a desperate email this week from a father who explained that his daughter has a serious mental disorder but she doesn’t believe anything is wrong with her and consequently will not seek any help. Last week, she assualted him.

Finally, he thought, his daughter had reached a point where he could get her involuntarily committed into a hospital where she could get treatment.  But at her hearing, a special justice ruled that the woman did not meet Virginia’s criteria for involuntary commitment. Even though the woman was psychotic and had attacked her father, the special justice would not involuntarily commit her to a hospital.

“What’s it going to take for me to get my daughter help?” the father asked in his email. “Does she have to kill me?”

I should mention that the father lives in Fairfax County, Virginia, where I also reside. I should also mention that the three special justices, who oversee involuntary commitments here, have a well-deserved reputation in our state for being reluctant to force anyone into treatment.

Contrast that father’s experience with what happened to another Virginia resident who also wrote to me this week. He complained that he had been involuntarily committed to a state facility even though he has never been diagnosed with a mental illness. Click to continue…

NBC Buys Rights to My New Book “Serial Killer Whisperer”

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter:

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Producer Developing ‘Serial Killer Whisperer’ at NBC

The network has given a script order to the drama project based on the upcoming book about traumatic brain injury survivor Tony Ciaglia.

The Serial Killer Whisperer by Pete EarleyNBC is expanding its Law & Order universe with consulting producer Judith K. McCreary.

The network has given a script order to Serial Killer Whisperer, an hourlong drama project loosely based on the life of traumatic brain injury survivor Tony Ciaglia.

The character-driven project with procedural elements will revolve around a fictional version of Ciaglia, who after suffering a traumatic brain injury that renders him incapable of judging or feeling repulsion winds up becoming a confidant to convicted serial killer.

Ciaglia’s story is the subject of Pete Earley’s The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man’s Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World’s Most Terrifying Killers, which Simon & Schuster unit Touchstone will publish in January.

Click to continue…

Positive Review for My New Book “The Serial Killer Whisperer”

The Serial Killer Whisperer by Pete EarleyBefore a book is released, publishers send advance copies of it to reviewers to read. The reviewers need time to read a book and comment on it before it actually appears in bookstores for sale. Some of the most important reviews are printed in trade publications such as Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, or The Library Journal.

These reviews are important because book sellers often use them to gauge when a “hot” title might be coming their way. Hollywood agents also watch those publications for reviews of promising books that might be made into movies.

Which is why I was thrilled when Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews both gave my new book, The Serial Killer Whisperer, positive reviews this past week.  My book will not be available until January 10, 2012.

Here is what Kirkus had to say about it.

Click to continue…