Release Date: 05/08/10
As research for his acclaimed true-crime books, Philip Carlo has interviewed at length some of the most infamous criminals and killers of our times in prison and on death row. He has been able to forge a trusting relationship with his subjects, enabling him to extract the facts behind their infamy and identify what motivated them to commit their horrific crimes. His successful books reveal the truth about notorious characters such as LA serial killer Richard Ramirez ( The Night Stalker ), Mafia contract killer Richard Kuklinski ( The Ice Man ) and crime-family boss Anthony Casso ( Gaspipe ), and, working closely with the DEA, Carlo also wrote the definitive account of Bonanno Mafia family assassin Tommy 'Karate' Pitera ( The Butcher ). Carlo's investigative achievements are remarkable, but what wasn't known to his readers is that, while working on The Ice Man , he learnt he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a terminal illness that causes all of the muscles in the body to atrophy over time. Suddenly, after years of penetrating the minds of killers, Carlo was himself being pursued by the grim reaper. But rather than lying down and succumbing to the disease, Carlo continues to work; and his books are published to critical and commercial acclaim. In The Killer Within , Carlo documents his difficult experiences with ALS and explains how he has managed to continue working as a true-crime author in the face of adversity. He provides an intimate account of his relationships with Ramirez, Kuklinski and Casso and reveals intriguing information about writing his bestsellers, while simultaneously coping with the numerous challenges that ALS presents as it slowly begins to steal his life away.
Having read a couple of his other titles, I expected something more about the serial killer angle rather than a title based more on the author. That said, it’s fascinating to see how he copes day to day with his illness as well bringing his experiences to the fore. It’s a brave offering from the author and one that will hopefully get the readers to understand things a little clearer. If however you want a book more on serial killers and understanding them then this perhaps isn’t the best title for you and I refer to you some of Philip’s earlier works instead.