High Park crime writer draws attention of television network
By Margie Stanislaw
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The A&E Biography channel has just added High Park native Christian Cipollini to its roster of “experts.”
Cipollini has a background in media, sales and public relations, but his true love is writing and he is extremely interested in the true crime genre.
The combination of his interest in true crime and his love of writing came to fruition this year when he published his first book, a nonfiction true crime book called “Diary of a Motor City Hit Man: The Chester Wheeler Campbell Story.”
“I've been a freelance journalist (for newspapers) and a lot of magazines over the past 10 years,” said Cipollini.
“This (book) was a destiny — everything else was leading to it.”
As for his involvement with the A&E television channel, Cipollini said, “They found me through a colleague. When I got the tweet, I thought it was a joke. It wasn't until they mentioned the name of my colleague that I knew it was for real.”
It was because of his book and his extensive research and interest in true crime, specifically the world of organized crime, that A&E flew Cipollini to Washington, DC where they filmed him giving his opinions as an expert in organized crime, for the third season of “Gangsters: America's Most Evil.”
“My daughter saw me on a commercial. I am really excited about that,” said Cipollini.
For more than 20 years Cipollini has been reading anything he can get his hands on about organized crime. He also started blogging and writing on websites about that subject and collecting original organized crime photos.
One of those photos was of Chester Wheeler and inspired him to write this book.
“I got an original photo and I never heard of him,” said Cipollini. “No one had ever written about him.”
Through a friend who is an attorney in Detroit, Cipollini was able to get access to a lot of old evidence files that started his research. After that “a lot of people in Detroit jumped on board,” said Cipollini.
The book was published this year by Strategic Media Books, a publisher of mostly nonfiction crime stories and books. Cipollini is in the process of developing a true-crime anthology.
Cipollini is a graduate of Hempfield Area High School and Seton Hill University. Cipollini's degree is in corporate communications and he works for Pitt Industrial Diamonds in sales and media.
He and wife Jennifer live in High Park and have two daughters, Natasha, who helped to illustrate the book and Kylie Sieber.
To learn more about true crime, writing or having a book published, get to know neighbor Christian Cipollini.
Editor's note: Meet Your Neighbors is a recurring feature in The Jeannette Spirit. If you know of a neighbor with an interesting life story to tell, someone who deserves some recognition for volunteer work, a resident with a special talent or an avid collector who would like to be featured, call the Spirit at 724-838-5154 or send an email to email@example.com.
Margie Stanislaw is a contributing writer.
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