On Saturday, 22 October 2011, IWP’s Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies hosted a lecture by Mr. Edward P. Ciesielski, Jr. Mr. Ciesielski discussed his first book, a murder mystery novel entitled In Sheep’s Clothing: A Story of Mystery, Suspense, and Extreme Murder (Somerville, ME: All Things That Matter Press, 2011).
This compelling story begins on June 6, 1944 when Corporal Paul Pinski of the 101st Airborne Division is killed in action after he covers a hand grenade with his body during the D-Day Invasion. Corporal Pinski was just one of many Americans of Polish ancestry fighting with the ranks of the US military during the Second World War (in addition to Polish forces engaged in combat against the Axis on all fronts). At the same time, in Highlandtown, the blue-collar section of east Baltimore, Paul’s wife Lucy gives birth to their first child, who learns at an early age the benefits associated with limited competition. This page-turner of a criminal novel offers a veritable roller-coaster culminating eventually in the logical tying up of all loose ends as the proverbial chickens return home to roost, thereby sealing the antagonist’s fate. In fact, the masterful murder mystery is quite closely based upon the author’s real life experiences.
About the Author
Mr. Edward P. Ciesielski, Jr. was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Whilst a descendant of Polish immigrants, Mr. Ciesielski grew up in a Greek neighborhood and many of his interactions were with the local Italian community. He presently resides in Bowie, Maryland.
After graduating from the Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School in Baltimore, Mr. Ciesielski enlisted in the United States Army: he attended basic infantry training in Fort Jackson, SC, and was stationed at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico after completing nineteen weeks of training in meteorological observation at the United States Army Signal Center and School, Fort Monmouth, NJ. He attained the rank of specialist five, and was honorably discharged after three years of service.
Mr. Ciesielski joined the Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Department in June of 1970, and retired in July of 1990 at the rank of sergeant. Uniformed positions within the department included service as a beat patrolman, patrol-squad supervisor, and member of the Special Operations Division, where Mr. Ciesielski assisted in the apprehension of Arthur H. Bremer in Laurel, Maryland on May 15, 1972, immediately after the latter shot Alabama Governor George C. Wallace and several bystanders during a presidential-campaign rally. As an investigator, Mr. Ciesielski was assigned to the juvenile section, homicide unit and retired from the Internal Affairs Section.
As a homicide investigator, Mr. Ciesielski was responsible for the successful completion of over 400 death investigations that were of an accidental, unattended, suicidal or criminal nature. Of those investigations, fifty-nine were homicides, and only three remain unsolved; included, was one of the murders committed by the Freeway Phantom, a serial killer responsible for the deaths of six young African-American females in the Washington, DC area between April, 1971 and September, 1972. George Pelecanos’ novel, The Night Gardener, is loosely based on the Freeway Phantom murders.
Mr. Ciesielski presently serves as an FBI Special Investigator, and is charged with conducting background examinations of persons applying for employment within the federal government for positions requiring a security clearance. Such investigations are directed at verifying the information furnished by the applicants, and uncovering unreported acts of misconduct or those of a derogatory nature. Upon completion of the investigation, an in-depth written report is prepared and forwarded to case adjudicators at FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC. It is noted that the written documents must adhere to strict regulations that require the proper use of grammar, correct spelling, sentence structuring, and apposite punctuation.
Mr. Ciesielski has attended numerous classes on creative writing while a student at the University of Maryland, as well as those offered through other learning institutions and local government. His past writing experience includes the preparation of hundreds of manuscripts and formal reporting documents for courtroom presentation. Mr. Ciesielski also assisted in the writing of the published text, The History of the Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Department.