A somber and hard-hitting nonfiction book, Virginia Tech: Make Sure It doesn’t Get Out takes a closer look at the April 16, 2007, shootings at Virginia Tech that claimed 33 lives, said Cariens, of Northumberland County.
The book, which was published in February, takes readers through the shooting, aftermath, investigations and court cases that have sprung from the tragedy.
It calls into question decisions made by people who led the emergency response and investigations and a Governor’s Review Panel Report on the shootings, he said.
“I hope it opens people’s eyes,” he said. “In order to deal with these school shootings and try and prevent them, we need to have very hard-hitting, candid analysis of what went on. We haven’t had that.”
Cariens’ family lost the mother of his oldest granddaughter in January 2002 at a shooting at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va. From that he wrote, A Question of Accountability: The Murder of Angela Dales.
He offered his research on school shootings to the families at Virginia Tech and from that sprang relationships that led to the writing of the book.
Once he covers his expenses, proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the victims’ families that helped with it, which is what he did with his other book, he said.
“I am not taking any money for this. I believe you do not get rich from the murder of people’s children, he said.
Cariens is a retired CIA officer who currently teaches intelligence analysis and writing in the United States and abroad.