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From the Publisher: Pete Earley had no idea. He'd been a journalist for over thirty years, and the author of several award-winning-even bestselling-nonfiction books about crime and punishment and society. Yet he'd always been on the outside looking in. He had no idea what it was like to be on the inside looking out until his son, Mike, was declared mentally ill, and Earley was thrown headlong into the maze of contradictions, disparities, and catch-22s that is America's mental health system. The more Earley dug, the more he uncovered the bigger picture: Our nation's prisons have become our new mental hospitals. Crazy tells two stories. The first is his son's. The second describes what Earley learned during a yearlong investigation inside the Miami-Dade County jail, where he was given complete, unrestricted access. There, and in the surrounding community, he shadowed inmates and patients; interviewed correctional officers, public defenders, prosecutors, judges, mental-health professionals, and the police; talked with parents, siblings, and spouses; consulted historians, civil rights lawyers, and legislators. The result is both a remarkable piece of investigative journalism, and a wake-up call-a portrait that could serve as a snapshot of any community in America.
An explosive eyewitness portrait of life inside the nations' most notorious maximum security prison by the author of "Family of Spies". Earley spent two years inside Leavenworth-- the infamous penitentiary that is home to 1,400 of the nation's most dangerous criminals -- to write this gripping, critically acclaimed investigative report.
An account of life in Leavenworth Prison, based on interviews with inmates and others, describes the lives of a sexual predator, a gang member in for forty-two years, a sociopath in "no human contact" status, and others.
The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killerby Pete Earley
From New York Times bestselling author Pete Earley--the strange but true story of how a young man's devastating brain injury gave him the unique ability to connect with the world's most terrifying criminals. Fifteen-year-old Tony Ciaglia had everything a teenager wants--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. His brain damage also required him to take countless pills to control his emotions. Abandoned and shunned by his friends, he began writing to serial killers on a whim 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. Soon many of America's most dangerous psychopaths were revealing to him heinous details 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 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. The Serial Killer Whisperer takes readers into the minds of murderers as never before--straight from a killer's thoughts to paper. It is also an inspiring 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.
In this lively and probing book, award-winning author Pete Earley traces the extraordinary evolution of Las Vegas -- from the gaudy Mecca of the Rat Pack era to one of the country's top family vacation spots. He revisits the city's checkered history of moguls, mobsters, and entertainers, reveals the real stories of well-known power brokers like Steve Wynn and legends like Howard Hughes and Bugsy Siegel, and offers a fascinating portrait of the life, death, and fantastic rebirth of the Las Vegas Strip. Earley also documents the gripping tale of the entrepreneurs behind the rise and fall and rise again of one of the largest gaming corporations in the nation, Circus Circus -- to which he was given unique access. In his trademark you-are-there style, he takes us behind the scenes to meet the blackjack dealers and hookers, the heavy hitters and bit players, the security officers, cabbies, and showgirls who are caught up in the mercurial pace that pulses at the heart of this astounding city.
For decades no law enforcement program has been as cloaked in controversy and mystery as the Federal Witness Protection Program. Now, for the first time, Gerald Shur, the man credited with the creation of WITSEC, teams with acclaimed investigative journalist Pete Earley to tell the inside story of turncoats, crime-fighters, killers, and ordinary human beings caught up in a life-and-death game of deception in the name of justice. When the government was losing the war on organized crime in the early 1960s, Gerald Shur, a young attorney in the Justice Department's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, urged the department to entice mobsters into breaking their code of silence with promises of protection and relocation. But as high-ranking mob figures came into the program, Shur discovered that keeping his witnesses alive in the face of death threats involved more than eradicating old identities and creating new ones. It also meant cutting off families from their pasts and giving new identities to wives and children, as well as to mob girlfriends and mistresses. It meant getting late-night phone calls from protected witnesses unable to cope with their new lives. It meant arranging funerals, providing financial support, and in one instance even helping a mobster's wife get breast implants. And all too often it meant odds that a protected witness would return to what he knew best-crime.In this book Shur gives a you-are-there account of infamous witnesses, from Joseph Valachi to "Sammy the Bull" Gravano to "Fat Vinnie" Teresa, of the lengths the program goes to to keep its charges safe, and of cases that went very wrong and occasionally even protected those who went on to kill again. He describes the agony endured by innocent people who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up in a program tailored to criminals. And along with Shur's war stories, WITSEC draws on the haunting words of one mob wife, who vividly describes her life of lies, secrecy, and loss inside the program. A powerful true story of the inner workings of one of the most effective and controversial weapons in the war against organized crime and the inner workings of organized crime itself-and more recently against Colombian drug dealers, outlaw motorcycle gang members, white-collar con men, and international terrorists--this book takes us into a tense, dangerous twilight world carefully hidden in plain sight: where the family living next door might not be who they say they are.
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