Killeen, TEXAS—On Tuesday, April 10, 2012 Tony Ciaglia, The Serial Killer Whisperer, spoke to Texas A&M University-Central Texas Criminal Justice students about his extensive research and relationships with incarcerated serial killers.
At the age of 15, Tony suffered a horrific head injury at summer camp. Paramedics pronounced him dead three times as he was airlifted to the hospital. He immediately fell into a coma leaving him paralyzed. He had to relearn all of his basic motor skills and battled deep depression. After years of recovery, Tony found himself emotionally distant and became intrigued by some of America’s most notorious serial killers. On a whim, he began writing to them 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. He was soon drawn deeper into their violent worlds, at times, questioning his own sanity. Before long, Tony 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 began launching his own personal searches for forgotten victims, with clues often provided to him voluntarily by the killers themselves.
“I had to pretend to like all these people (murderers) just like they had to pretend to like their victims before they killed them. I did what I had to do in order to get the information and help solve these cases,” said Tony.
Tony’s story has been documented by best-selling author, Pete Earley, in the book The Serial Killer Whisperer, and will soon become a major NBC television series.
TAMUCT students from both Dr. Robert Worley’s, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Criminology and Serial Murder classes attended the event Tuesday evening. Following the presentation, students asked Tony questions about his research—building on the information they are learning in their classes.
“Last night, our students were able to interact with a bona fide expert in the field of serial murder. Tony Ciaglia has met with many of these killers face-to-face and has spent countless hours on the phone with these individuals. Our special guest speaker let the audience listen to the actual recordings of conversations he had with serial murderers,” said Dr. Worley. “I believe he provided our students with an amazing opportunity to learn about serial murder from the perspective of the killers themselves. He did an excellent job; it was a fascinating experience that everyone in our university community is likely to remember for a very long time.”