Pete Earley

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Pete Earley
Pete Earley May 2016.jpg
BornSeptember 5, 1951
Douglas, Arizona

Pete Earley (born September 5, 1951 in Douglas, Arizona)[1] is an American journalist and writer of non-fiction books and novels.


A former Washington Post reporter, he is the author of books about the Aldrich Ames and John Walker espionage cases. His book Circumstantial Evidence: Death, Life, and Justice in a Southern Town won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Fact Crime Book in 1996.[2] His book about the John Walker spy ring, Family of Spies, was a New York Times bestseller and was made into a CBS miniseries starring Powers Boothe and Lesley Ann Warren. In 2007, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for his book Crazy.[3]

His 2008 book, Comrade J, is about Russian SVR defector Sergei Tretyakov.[4]


Pete's sister, Alice Lee Earley, was killed at the age of 17 on June 14, 1966 when she got hit by a car while riding Pete's scooter.[5] (Pete himself was 14 years old and at church camp when Alice was killed.)[5] Pete subsequently wrote about Alice's death (including interviewing the woman who drove the car that hit and killed Alice) and about the effect that Alice's death had on him in a 1985 Washington Post article called "To Find a Sister."[5]



  • Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring, Bantam (October 1, 1988), ISBN 978-0-5530-5283-1
  • Prophet of Death: The Mormon Blood Atonement Killings, William Morrow & Co (October 1991), ISBN 978-0-6881-0584-6
  • The Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison, Bantam (February 1, 1992), ISBN 978-0-5530-7573-1
  • Circumstantial Evidence: Death, Life, and Justice in a Southern Town, Bantam (August 1, 1995), ISBN 978-0-5530-9501-2
  • Confessions of A Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames, Putnam (February 10, 1997), ISBN 978-0-3991-4188-1
  • Super Casino: Inside the "New" Las Vegas, Bantam (January 4, 2000), ISBN 978-0-5530-9502-9
  • WITSEC: Inside The Federal Witness Protection Program, Bantam (January 29, 2002), ISBN 978-0-5538-0145-3
  • Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness, Berkley (April 3, 2007), ISBN 0-425-21389-7
  • Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America After the End of the Cold War, Putnam (January 24, 2008), ISBN 978-0-399-15439-3
  • The Serial Killer Whisperer: How One Man's Tragedy Helped Unlock the Deadliest Secrets of the World's Most Terrifying Killers, Touchstone (January 10, 2012), ISBN 978-1-4391-9902-2
  • Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness by Jessie Close and Pete Earley, Grand Central Publishing, (January 13, 2015), ISBN 978-1-4555-3022-9



  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Pete Earley (2009-12-04). "Pete Earley | Authors | Macmillan". Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  3. ^ "2007 finalists". Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2008-04-30.,,
  5. ^ a b c Earley, Pete (1985-03-31). "To Find a Sister". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-04.

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