The Serial Killer Whisperer

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A book review of The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man’s Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World’s Most Terrifying Killers by Pete Earley

A book review of The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killers by Pete EarleyStars: ****

Gallery Books (2012)
True Crime
336 pages

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Summary: 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.

The Serial Killer Whisperer

I picked this up at the library because I love true crime and it sounded interesting. It was worth the read. However…

WARNING: This book includes GRAPHIC descriptions of murder, rape, incest and cannibalism. It is not a read for the faint of heart or those who might be triggered by these descriptions. 

I had a look of disgust on my face throughout parts of the book and some of it was hard to read but the insights from serial killers was worth the discomfort. Hearing how they pick their victims was enlightening and I was surprised at how many just gullibly trusted a strange man in the middle of nowhere and willing got in their cars.

The book is a mix of Tony’s life before and after the accident that gave him a Traumatic Brain Injury, the contents of letters to and from serial killers, and stories of information Tony researched and places they visited related to serial killers. It’s a very interesting if disturbing book and I found the parts about Tony’s TBI just as interesting as the serial killer parts.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.