The Serial Killer Whisperer – Peter Earley

The Serial Killer Whisperer – Peter Earley

serial killer whisperer


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

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book – not only as a criminology student, and lover of true crime. Also having an honours degree in psychology, I found the aftermath of the brain injury a fascinating journey. Lack of emotion control, changes in behaviour patterns, and so on are common in certain forms of brain injuries. They’re also known to be displayed in the profiles of serial killers. Sharing these aspects, it was easy for Tony to be able to empathize with many serial killers now in the prison system.

While struggling through his own demons, he embarks on a mission to help these people, as well as solve cases that are left collecting dust – known as cold cases. It’s an ambitious journey that could not be accomplished were it not for Tony’s determination, and the love and support from his family and friends.

Reading about the cases is fascinating in its own right, but reading words that are written by these killers is a thrill all on its own. Once you get past the gore and the inhumane, delving into the thought patterns of the various killers brings to life a view that not many people see. Most readers of true crime get a glimpse of court records, news recordings, comments from law enforcement, and if you’re really lucky, a witness or family member interview. It is rare that readers get words straight from the individual being discussed. This is what Peter Earley did, with the help of Tony Ciaglia.

It’s a fascinating read for anyone interested in true crime, or psychology. It’s a rare glimpse into the world of serial killers – straight from their own recollections.


~ by Aubrey Smith on May 5, 2013.

One Response to “The Serial Killer Whisperer – Peter Earley”

  1. I have always been fascinated with neuroscience, psychology, and crimes. I am even more fascinated (and intrigued) by these criminals and serials killers and the reasons behind their lack of empathy and their sociopathic behavior. Now, this is one book I want to really read. Cheers! =)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: