Home - Carrie Hagen

Writer, researcher, consultant

Carrie Hagen is the author of we is got him (Overlook, 2011), a narrative nonfiction account of the first recorded ransom kidnapping in American history. She lives and writes in Philadelphia, where she works in historic preservation and facilitates student writing workshops. A former high school English teacher and journalist, Hagen served as a research assistant to Washington Post associate editor Steve Luxenberg on his book Annie’s Ghosts (Hyperion, 2009) and as a consultant to Dr. David Kessler, former head of the FDA, on Captured: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering (HarperCollins, 2016). Other credits include delivering the keynote address at an FBI federal training in 2016, and participating as an expert commentator on the Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College.

Check out more of her work on Smithsonian.com or in the pages of Mountain Home magazine.

  • “As sad and unsettling this tale is, Hagen tells it with the splendidly compelling narrative momentum of a contemporary true-crime writer….”

    The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • “That the two events actually overlap is a writer’s gift to Hagen, but more the result of her triple-threat skills as researcher, journalist and storyteller.”

    Minneapolis, St. Paul StarTribune
  • “Verdict: A must-read for those interested in true crime and law enforcement history.”

    Library Journal
  • “A slice of American crime history both instructive and tragically entertaining.”

    Kirkus Reviews
  • “Hagen’s We Is Got Him chronicles an equally horrific, more heartbreaking, and tragically more relevant 19th century story, with characters only Dostoevsky could invent.”

    Michael Capuzzo, New York Times best-selling author of The Murder Room