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 could want until he suffered a horrific head injury at summer camp. When he emerged from a coma, his right side was paralyzed, he had to relearn how to walk and talk, and he needed 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.
Tony despaired as he found himself inescapably drawn into their violent worlds of murder, rape, and torture—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 launched his own searches for forgotten victims with clues provided by the killers themselves.
The Serial Killer Whisperer takes readers into the minds of murderers like never before, but it also tells the inspiring tale of a struggling American family and a tormented young man who found healing and closure in the most unlikely way—by connecting with monsters.
Tony Ciaglia s life changed forever when a traumatic brain injury at 15 left him uninhibited and struggling to control his temper and emotions. Searching for a way to connect, Tony turned to the unlikeliest of pastimes: writing letters to serial killers. Edgar winner Earley (Comrade J) intersperses Tony and his family s continuing struggles to adjust to life as a TBI survivor with excerpts from Tony s pen-pal correspondence. While he received letters from over 30 killers, his primary communications were with Arthur Shawcross, Joseph Metheny, and David Gore. Shawcross and Metheny describe in lurid detail the pleasure they derived in raping, torturing and often eating their prostitute victims. Tony s brain injury made it impossible for him to judge the convicts heinous actions and the closer he became to his best friends, the more convinced Tony became that he could help bring closure to families by drawing out details from the killers about unsolved cases. While Tony s recovery story is inspiring, the sheer amount of graphic sexual sadism and violence is overwhelming: the warning not for the faint of heart is an understatement.