I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killers by Pete Earley
Published by Touchstone on January 10th 2012
Reading Challenges: Library Love
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.
The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man’s Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World’s Most Terrifying Killers
This was a random grab from my library. I’m fascinated with Behavioral Science and Psychology as a whole, so this seemed like something I would enjoy… ? Enjoy may not be the correct word, as this has some seriously gruesome moments, but it’s like a train wreck, you just can’t pass without rubber necking.
What I loved about this is that it is straight forward about what is going to be inside the covers of this book. There are stories that are gruesome, tragic, horrifying, and yet we all have moments where we think something that we know is against the societal norms. Maybe not to the point of feeling like we’re serial killers, but those small things that don’t seem that bad and would let off steam.
The difference is that these guys do not know when to stop. They do not have a lot, if any emotion or empathy for their victims. Many of them did the crime for the thrill of the hunt. Many of these hunts are described in detail. Which is why there is a disclaimer at the beginning of the book for those that may be squeamish, or think this is too much.
The main portion of the story, however, is about Tony. Tony suffered a head injury when he was a child and his personality changed. He went through moments where he truly wondered if he also had the same problems as serial killers. His thinking was that if he could understand them, maybe he could change the problems he was having.
Instead Tony at many points in his life, gets in over his head. He starts to understand and even identify with the serial killers, more than his own family, and the few friends he has.
This is a look at real stories, from real serial killers. This is also a look at how Tony took a major life changing accident and wound up turning it around to try to help people find closure. It takes a LOT for Tony to get there, and honestly, there are truly some portions of this that I had to skim through. Never did I feel completely comfortable, especially knowing that these were real people with real victims. It’s scary. To say the least. But, it’s also intriguing to try to understand the why behind the who.
This is also a book that I cannot, in all honesty, rate with my normal rating system. It’s not fiction novel that where I can or cannot enjoy the main character. It’s a real life event that changed a boy’s life, and his and his family’s acceptance to that accident, and their refusal to give up. Where many might think it odd for a young man to write to serial killers, I think it is fascinating! The questions he asks them, without wanting anything from them but the truth and friendship, is simply remarkable. He definitely gets the truth out of most of them, which is the gruesome part, but getting them to open up and talk about these details is, in my opinion, amazing.
Definitely a must read for those that enjoy psychology, but beware the graphic, hideous details!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: