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12:3 Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Different Kind of Killer

Read About the First Deaf Person Who Fit the Serial Profile

Gallaudet University Press announces its first true crime title Deadly Charm: The Story of a Deaf Serial Killer by McCay and Marie Vernon. The Vernons note: “So far as can be determined, Patrick McCullough was the first and only deaf man ever to be identified as a serial killer. Ironically, one of the most intriguing aspects of Patrick’s personality was that, in spite of his deafness, his lack of education, and his limited prospects, he exerted a magnetic appeal for women of all types. But beneath this man’s engaging surface there lurked a darker, more dangerous side, a volcanic anger that would erupt without warning. As a result, Patrick left behind a trail of violence, arson, stalking, and, ultimately, three brutal murders.”

The Vernons point out that many serial killers achieved sexual pleasure from torturing and killing their victims. Patrick McCullough does not fit that sadistic mold: “his killings sprang not from lust, but from his uncontrollable anger and his total inability to accept rejection. Whereas narratives focusing on the lives of serial killers usually evoke only horror and revulsion in the minds of readers, Patrick McCullough’s story, while it contains extremely disturbing elements, will also elicit feelings of empathy and compassion for a young man who spent his entire life fighting to overcome his inner demons. Patrick committed the crimes described in this book, but he was also a victim in many respects, stricken at birth with profound deafness and possible neurological damage that later precipitated severe mental and emotional problems.”

Deadly Charm depicts a deaf serial killer driven by frustration and violence and leaves much to consider. Did McCullough’s deafness exacerbate his lethally violent nature? Perhaps his vicious impulses could have been constrained if his time in mental institutions had been more productive than his time in prison.

Read more about McCullough’s story in chapter three, “July 1979 to February 1980: Man About Town”, and order Deadly Charm now for a 20% savings off the regular price. For online orders, type “MAR2010” in the box labeled “use promo code” located next to the “checkout” button, or you can order by mail.


The American deaf community is celebrating Edmund Booth’s 200th birthday this year. Booth was a student and teaching colleague of Laurent Clerc and Thomas H. Gallaudet at the American School for the Deaf. He was also one of the three co-founders of the National Association of the Deaf in 1880. Library groups in the deaf community recently endorsed the book, Edmund Booth: Deaf Pioneer, written by Harry G. Lang, for Deaf America Reads. An initiative of the National Literary Society of the Deaf promotes deaf culture, books, and literacy through library programs and exhibits, particularly at public libraries. In Edmund Booth: Deaf Pioneer, Lang follows the amazing career of Edmund Booth and his equally amazing wife, Mary Ann Walworth Booth, in fascinating detail. Learn more about this American original and the pioneer days as seen through Deaf eyes in chapter five, “The Making of a Forty-Niner”, and order Edmund Booth.


In its current issue, the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education gives high marks to Carolyn E. Williamson’s Black Deaf Students: A Model for Educational Success: “Although this book focuses on African-American deaf [or] hard-of-hearing students’ successful academic achievement, the content is applicable and beneficial to all students. This is a great read for all educators, school personnel, community stakeholders, parents, and anyone involved in the education and mental health preparation programs. It also has potential application for future researchers.” In Black Deaf Students, Williamson interviews nine successful deaf and hard of hearing African Americans to create a formula for success for other black, deaf students. Learn more about this fascinating study in chapter nine, “A Resilience Program Model”, and order your copy today.


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