Fifteen-year-old Tony Ciaglia had everything a teenager could want: good grades, good athletic skills, and good friends - until he suffered a horrific head injury at summer camp. Pronounced clinically dead three times by helicopter paramedics before he reached a hospital, Ciaglia lapsed into a coma. When he emerged, his right side was paralyzed and he had to relearn how to walk, talk, and even how to eat. The areas of his brain that were damaged required him to take countless pills to control his emotions and rages. Abandoned and shunned by his friends, he began writing to serial killers on a whim and discovered that his traumatic brain injury - which made him an outcast to his peers - enabled him to emotionally connect with notorious murderers in a unique way.
Soon many of America's most dangerous psychopaths were revealing heinous details to Tony about their crimes - even those they'd never been convicted of. The killers opened up to him, trusted him, and called him a "best friend". But there was a price. As Tony found himself being drawn deeper and deeper into their violent worlds of murder, rape, and torture, he was pushed to the brink of despair and, at times, forced to question his own sanity - until he found a way to put his unusual gift to use. Asked by investigators for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for help in solving a murder, Tony began launching his own personal searches for forgotten victims, incredibly with clues often provided to him voluntarily by the killers themselves.
The Serial Killer Whisperer takes listeners into the minds of murderers in a way that has never been done before - straight from a killer's thoughts. It is also an inspiring (albeit sometimes terrifying) tale of an American family whose idyllic life is shattered by a terrible accident and how healing and closure came to a tormented man in the most unlikely way: by connecting with monsters.
©2012 Pete Earley (P)2012 Tantor
Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.
True conversations between convicted serial killers and one young man that detail the serial killers crimes in every graphic and horrific detail. Very well written and narrated. Please do not download if you would be offended by detailed murder and crimes that to the general population are unimaginable because you will be offended. This book is for you if you enjoy true crime. Awesome book.
Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
First off, this book pulls no punches. A lot of it contains letters from REAL serial killers, and believe me, they are even more messed up than you can imagine! The author did an excellent job of letting the letters pretty much guide you through the story. I had never heard of most of these serial killers, but the author gives them a voice that makes them unforgettable. This book is graphic, and very gory at times, so be warned. However, if you like true crime books, this one is a MUST. Imagine your 3 favorite true crime books rolled into 1, and this is what you get.
Narraration is spot on. Couldn't have chosen a better reader.
I am a 34-year old litigator, father of three young sons. I listen to a lot of business books, suspense/thrillers, bios, and history.
This book was better than average. It is very graphic. I have read a lot about serial killers, but this definitely adds something.
For me, the book was more about Tony and the way his family dealt with a very difficult situation in a humane, kind, and ego-free manner than it was about the serial killers, per se.
I suppose from my prior reading on the subject of serial killers, I was aware of the depravity of which the human mind is capable. What I took away from this book is admiration for the courage shown by Tony's family. It couldn't have been easy for them to let their disabled son write to serial killers, but instead of judging him, they made the best of it. The truth of the matter is, had his parents behaved as almost any parents would, it would likely have pushed Tony over the edge and likely resulted in his own death. Interesting book in that regard.
host of the podcast Not In A Creepy Way, avid audiobook listener
Yes. the story was captivating and kept my interest throughout.
Obviously Tony is the protagonist but I thought his dad was interesting as well.
Digging in the orange grove, just so well written.
Not necessarily. The letters to/from the killers were good places to stop and reflect.
I loved Earley's book
The narrator Alan Sklar is one of the best narrators living. He nailed this one.
****warning - this is not just a true crime book. This book is filled with actual letters/conversations of the killers themselves. It contains very descriptive graphic language.
If you dont believe in capital punishment now you WILL after this book.
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
In 1996, FBI profiler John Douglas, (the inspiration for Thomas Harris' Agent Jack Crawford of "The Silence of the Lambs" (1988)) wrote a book with Mark Olshaker called "Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit." Douglas had profiled, and hunted, serial killers including Arthur Shawcross, who killed 13 people and Robert Hansen, an Alaska hunter who made his own real life version of Richard Connell's 1924 short story "The Most Dangerous Game", taking women hostage, raping them, letting them go, and hunting them down in the wilderness.
Douglas is able, with great difficulty, to understand these psychopaths, but that work almost killed him. Tony Ciaglia, "The Serial Killer Whisperer" has Douglas' ability to communicate with the same psychopaths, but without the moral constraints and judgments that Douglas has. Ciaglia survived a traumatic brain injury, and gained the ability - and desire - to explore what creates and sustains these killers. Ciaglia is not, by any measure, a psychopath - but he does not have the filter that causes almost everyone to recoil in horror from these individuals. Ciaglia's family supports his 'hobby', and he has helped victims families. His story is much more fascinating than any of the killers in the book.
I've heard the phrase "the banality of evil" for years, but I didn't quite understand what it meant until I listened to "The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killers" (2012). Hannah Arendt wrote a book called "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil" (1963). Earley's book gives a picture of individual psychopaths while Arendt deals with the political conditions that created a whole sociopathic society, Nazi Germany. What fascinated me about both books is that, after pushing through the sheer horror of individual killers or an entire society of killers, just how pathetic and repetitive the people who do these things really are. It's almost as if the lack of conscious causes no sense of self, leaving the psychopath to create himself only in relation to how he controls others.
The book is more graphic than Ann Rule's books - it contains numerous excerpts from serial killers' letters recalling the details of their crimes. I liked the narrator's voice, but the audio could have used an edit - I kept hearing distracting intakes of breath.
[If this helped, please press YES]
Yes, there is so much information to process.
The graphic letters
I haven't, but I was very impressed.
No, but I would listed for 5+ hours at a time.
Very graphic, if you are easily offended don't buy this book. If you want a glimpse into the inner workings of a serial killer's mind this is just the book for you. I have read a lot on the topic and let me tell you I was shocked at the level of disclosure in this book. Amazing read!
Life long compulsive reader & lover of recorded books
I can get into true crime and to my chagrin share with many a certain morbid curiosity about the workings of the minds of serial killers but this book moves in a different, perturbing direction.
I would not be inclined to listen to anything by this author again.
This book borrowed elements from reality and true crime shows but it ended up being distasteful and disturbing.
I' am awesome!... Well I try to be atleast. I love true crime stuff, hate to read but love to listen!
Yes, its amazing how fast this book sucks you in.
The conversations between the main character and the killers. Very disturbing but couldn't turn it off.
Found myself sitting in the driveway after work listening till my wife came and got me. Couldn't stop listening.
Found Anthony's journey unique and compelling. His struggle to find meaning was very inspiring!
Lackluster...I assumed at the end he would have cracked a cold case wide open but nothing like that...Disappointing.
His parents struggle to find a place for Anthony after his injury. Thats what you call parents!
Not bad. I did think going to see the serial killers in person was very strange.
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