cover image Deadly Charm: The Story of a Deaf Serial Killer

Deadly Charm: The Story of a Deaf Serial Killer

McCay Vernon, Marie Vernon, . . Gallaudet Univ., $14.95 (244pp) ISBN 978-1-56368-443-2

Florida-based forensic psychologist McCay Vernon and journalist Marie Vernon (coauthors of Deadly Lust ) present a striking portrait of Patrick McCullough, “[s]o far as can be determined... the first and only deaf man ever to be identified as a serial killer.” McCay Vernon's personal encounters with him both in and out of prison add an authoritative tone to this psychological probe of a man with a volcanic anger and an inability to accept rejection. Despite his IQ of 120, McCullough's relatively late diagnosis of deafness impeded his development of language skills and “trapped [him] in a silent world.” Already unmanageable as a three-year-old, McCullough went on to spend time in mental institutions and seven years in prison for two murders committed in the 1980s. His tragic life ended in 2001 with a bloody murder-suicide. But the authors argue, unlike most serial killers, McCullough did not kill for sexual pleasure but because of his rage (caused possibly by neurological damage) and inability to accept rejection. Drawing on a range of sources from court records to interviews with McCullough's friends, the authors provide a disturbing portrait of an atypical serial murderer. (May 31)