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Hosted Event  |  ABSOLUTE MADNESS Book Launch

Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 6 pm

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium  

ABSOLUTE MADNESS tells the disturbing true story of Joseph Christopher, a white serial killer who targeted black males and struck fear into the residents of New York in a spree that began in Buffalo in 1980. Dubbed both the .22 Caliber Killer and the Midtown Slasher, Christopher claimed more than a dozen victims during a savage four-month spree across the state.

The investigation, aided by famed FBI profiler John Douglas, drew national attention and biting criticism from Jesse Jackson and other civil rights leaders. The killer, when at last he was unmasked, seemed an unlikely candidate to have held New York in a grip of terror.

His capture was neither the end of the story nor the end of the racial strife, which flared anew during circuitous prosecutions and judicial rulings that prompted cries of a double standard in the justice system. Both a wrenching true crime story and an incisive portait of dangerously discordant race relations in America, ABSOLUTE MADNESS also chronicles a lonely, vulnerable man's tragic descent into madness and the failure of the American mental health system that refused his pleas for help.

"A gripping account of a complex and controversial case." -John Douglas, former unit chief of the FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime

"A superior work of investigatie journalism." -Detective Garry McFadden, I Am Homicide

"A real-life police procedural and a distinguished addition to modern case studies of serial killers." -Larry Harnisch, L.A. Daily Mirror

Free and open to the public. Books available for purchase.

In honor of the author's father, the late Salvatore J. Pelonero (Buffalo police department, 1968-2002), police officers from all law enforcement agencies, active or retired, receive a 15% discount on the purchase of books at the launch. Show your badge to receive the discount!