Four weeks into Gallaudet University’s fall semester of 2000, a freshman smelled something funny coming from his friend, Eric Plunkett’s dorm room across the hall. Eric’s bloodied, broken, and battered body lie in the middle of the floor. Fear seized the close-knit, insulated world of Gallaudet’s deaf community, and the language barrier created chaos between police, media, and the Gallaudet community.

By the end of the semester, the investigation continued with no arrest. When students returned to campus in January 2001, they brought a premature sense of renewal and hope. One morning early in the semester, someone pulled a fire alarm in Cogswell Hall dormitory. The alarm strobed bright, powerful lights designed to wake the sleeping deaf students. A resident adviser found the mutilated body of freshman Ben Varner. The Washington, D.C. chief of police brought his top homicide investigators into the case, determined to stop the serial killer no matter what it takes.

Death Space is the true story of the murders of two deaf first-year college students at Gallaudet University and its effects on the deaf population worldwide. The book chronicles the discovery of the bodies, the victim’s friends’ reactions, the police investigations, court convictions, and the present-day life of the murderer in prison from an interview with one of Gallaudet University’s staff members, Dr. Teresa Crowe.

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