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The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killers | [Pete Earley]

The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killers

From New York Times best-selling 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (391 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Maryanne DEXTER, OR, United States 02-26-12
    Maryanne DEXTER, OR, United States 02-26-12 Member Since 2003

    mpeaslee

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Way too graphic"

    I understand that serial kills are sick predators, and a bit of detail would have been good, but the story of Tony is what this book should have been for me and how getting involved with these folks made him who he is. But this book was more about details of murders and what these folks did. I will probably finish the book, but I am fast forwarding through much of the murderers confessions TMI in my opinion.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kitty Reno, NV 02-15-12
    Kitty Reno, NV 02-15-12 Member Since 2014

    I am rarely seen without my headphones on and my iPod clipped on my waist. I love my books.

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    "True Crime is not my usual genre"

    I love my novels, however in approximately 600 books, I have just a few true crime. I think that it is because of the mystery that I prefer the fiction over the true crime. This book well written and well narrated. If you like true crime you will like this book. I think that I will stick to my fiction whenever possible.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Indianapolis, IN, United States 05-04-13
    Teresa Indianapolis, IN, United States 05-04-13 Member Since 2014

    As a person with dyslexia, audio books give me the opportunity to "read" wonderful books that I would otherwise miss. Thank you for this fabulous service.

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    "I would not recommend"

    I am not a prude, and I have read a number of books and watched a lot of documentaries about true crimes. I finished this only because I wondered what the point was.

    The story of Tony and his family is tragic. He was a normal bright teenager who sustained a traumatic head injury that greatly altered his personality. Trying to figure out how to cope, he started writing to imprisoned serial killers to help him understand his impulses. A good portion of the book is the actual letters from these serial killers. It is not for the faint of heart. They brag about their crimes, not leaving out a single sickening detail. I did not realize there were as many serial killings as there are. I did not recognize any of the men who were highlighted in this book.

    I felt like there was a lot of padding in this book. It could almost have been a several-part magazine series. I also wondered about the killers' reactions to the book. They were very open with Tony because he didn't want something from them, then he exposes them here.

    I felt the conclusion was weak. The "big revelation" wasn't satisfying enough for me. I would only recommend this to someone who enjoys graphic stories of rape, torture, murder, and mutilation.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rochelle Eden, NC, United States 01-10-13
    Rochelle Eden, NC, United States 01-10-13
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    "It's not you, it's the brain injury!"
    What disappointed you about The Serial Killer Whisperer?

    This had the potential to be both a heart warming story about a boy growing into a good man despite a horrific accident and connecting with serial killers that have some of the same tendencies. What you got was an uninteresting story of a boy and family that runs around yelling, "It's not him, he has a brain injury," or "It's not you, it's the brain injury" to compensate for everything. You will get chapters and chapters of the Ciglia family's ordeals extensively detailed. Even down to Tony rushing to tell his family he had a powerful orgasm with his girlfriend (who is Tony's junior by 9 or so years....the age difference was mentioned multiple times.) They you had a few encounters with the serial killers and excerpts of the letter. Do not let the title, "Whisperer" fool you like it did me. He did not "whisper" like we think of with animals. He was able to get killers to write to him, but any "additional" information he received from them never amounted to anything except some probably coincidence. By the end of the book, I came to the conclusion the Ciglia family wrote the book to start lining Tony's bank account so he can be taken care of when the family cannot. I wish I would have stopped about mid-way and not wasted my time.


    What does Alan Sklar bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He did great voices for the killers. I loved all the maniacal laughter he puts in.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Serial Killer Whisperer?

    Many. I would shorten the first few chapters about Tony in the hospital to less than a chapter. I would shorten the number of stories about Tony behaving badly and someone having to yell, "He didn't mean it. He has a brain injury!"


    Any additional comments?

    Some of the serial killer information is really neat. Fast forward through all the other family crap and just listen to that.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Richmond, British Columbia, Canada 11-14-12
    Anne Richmond, British Columbia, Canada 11-14-12 Member Since 2014

    Avid general reader with a fondness for British and Irish Writers and world history.

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    "Nothing new, here."

    I am amazed that the young man with his multiple problems was given access and encouragement to visit and correspond with some of the most manipulative and evil prisoners - not that Shawcross, et al. wanted anything other than to obtain publicity at any possible occasion. Additionally, the killers were certainly not particularly unique or interesting. There were just the bottom of the barrel. This has absolutely no educational value and is of no worth, whatsoever, in the work of those who study anti-social personality disorder a total waste of time.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corinna Hendersonville, TN, United States 07-31-12
    Corinna Hendersonville, TN, United States 07-31-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Ok book - not for the easily offended for sure!"
    What did you like best about The Serial Killer Whisperer? What did you like least?

    The actual story playing out from the accident to the first serial killer contact. You really get to know the main character in this book

    Least - the shocking foul language and the disgusting descriptive sexual abuse/murders


    Would you be willing to try another book from Pete Earley? Why or why not?

    Yes. I don't judge all books from reading just one.


    What about Alan Sklar’s performance did you like?

    Enjoyed it. He is definitely engaging.


    Do you think The Serial Killer Whisperer needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Might be interesting to read the follow up to each story.


    Any additional comments?

    The foul and disgusting language in this book was shocking. I'm not a prude by any means however it even made me uncomfortable to hear some of it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis albany, NY, United States 07-26-12
    Dennis albany, NY, United States 07-26-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Terrible, pointless, and boring. TITLE MISLEADING!"
    What would have made The Serial Killer Whisperer better?

    The story premise was flawed, but it did not have to be such an empty, tedius listen.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Pete Earley again?

    I'll pass.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He tried too hard to mimic the serial killer laughs--that drove me nuts becuase he did it so often.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Serial Killer Whisperer?

    This book would haven never made it to print. The title is an absolute LIE.'You, like the so called Whisperer will learn nothing, NOTHING, nothing about the murders.


    Any additional comments?

    Skip this junk. It was horrible!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susie Dexter, MI 06-28-12
    Susie Dexter, MI 06-28-12 Member Since 2012

    SusieQ

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    "Nasty book"

    I ignored the warning about the graphic nature of the book--I'm a true crime buff and I thought I was pretty used to graphic material. But this one went over the top into the pornographic area, lingering with uncomfortable glee over the letters of the killers. I certainly wouldn't recommend that a woman listen to this book and I'm not sure I'd recommend it to men. Unpleasant listening.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john russell webster seabrook, tx 05-19-12
    john russell webster seabrook, tx 05-19-12 Member Since 2015
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    "narcissistic psychos need friends too!"
    If you could sum up The Serial Killer Whisperer in three words, what would they be?

    hope they rot.


    What other book might you compare The Serial Killer Whisperer to and why?

    none, its in a category i don't normally delve so i have no base of experience, maybe silence of the lambs for the way that Clarice communicates with Lector to solve a crime, only this is real!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the boy comes out of the coma, only to be crushed by a horrifically described torture and murder of someone.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I would hope there wouldn't be a film of this book. too much gore, no pun intended:>, unless it focused on the main characters fight to come back from suicidal madness to his triumphant heights on the strip in Vegas, and his families' will to see him survive.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Sylmar, CA, United States 05-17-12
    Kimberly Sylmar, CA, United States 05-17-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Couldnt hold my attention"

    I love stories about serial killers, true crime is my thing but for some reason this book just didn't hold my interest. I kept going back to it but it just never held my attention.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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