Saturday, August 14, 2021

American Predator by Maureen Callahan

 
Eighteen-year-old Samantha Koenig went missing from her job working as a barista at a coffee kiosk in Anchorage, Alaska on February 1, 2012. Was she kidnapped? Or did she just run away? The Anchorage Police Department and the local FBI agents had differing opinions, but their joint investigation eventually led to a man named Israel Keyes...and the chilling realization that Samantha was not his first victim.

Maureen Callahan has written a fascinating and unputdownable book about the investigation that uncovered a serial killer "likely responsible for the greatest string of unsolved disappearances and murders in modern American history." So why have we never heard of Israel Keyes? Probably because most of his crimes have never been connected or proven, his victims never found. But what he does so matter-of-factly confess to the FBI after he's caught is downright disturbing.
"The Bureau's top criminal profilers were at a loss. The only thing they could tell the team was that Keyes was one of the most terrifying subjects they had ever encountered. There was no precedent for a serial killer with this MO: no victim type, no fixed location for hunting, killing, and burying, putting thousands of miles between himself and his victims; caches (of killing kits) buried all over the United States. He avoided detection through travel. Travel!"
Are you supposed to rave about a book written about a serial killer? Because this true crime narrative is amazing. It's so well-written, and so compelling; I could not put it down. Keyes is one scary psychopath. It's too bad so much of his life and heinous acts remain unknown and untold.  I feel bad for the families of all his victims who may never know the truth about what happened to their loved ones. That's the heartbreaking part of this book. His victims. But what a story Callahan has written! American Predator is definitely one of the best nonfiction books I've read this year. 

Happy Reading!

32 comments:

  1. I've wondered from time to time what would happen if a serial killer operated in that manner. How could be ever be caught or all his crimes tracked down? Seems someone thought of doing it! I think this would interest me so will look it up in minute.

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    1. It's a very compelling read. I read it in a weekend.

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  2. I don't generally read nonfiction of this sort, although I have to admit I enjoyed the "Dexter" tv series about a serial killer. It is interesting though that a good writer is able to present this horrible story in a way that a reader wonders if she should "rave" about it!

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    1. It's such a compelling read, even though the subject matter is so dark. But I still feel weird raving about a book about a serial killer.

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  3. Usually, I only read true crime about historical crimes, but this does sound interesting. When I read crime fiction, I often think the plot or characters are unrealistic, but when I read the news, I admit...maybe not so unrealistic.

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    1. Sometimes the truth is much more disturbing than fiction. Historical crime fiction is always interesting to read about, too.

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  4. I used to read a lot of true crime, but I've found that I just don't have the stomach for it anymore. I started reading I'LL BE GONE IN THE DARK because a friend raved about it and I just...couldn't. I'll pass along your recommendation of this one to my friend, though - she'd probably love it.

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    1. If your friend likes true crime, this is a really good one!

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  5. I might have to give this one a chance because it sounds really good. I do like this kind of book at times.

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    1. It's very well written! I think you'd like it. :)

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  6. I don't read many books like this, but you've got me so intrigued. This sounds truly compelling.

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    1. I got caught up in it and couldn't put it down.

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  7. Oh my this is so scary that these kind of people are out in the world eesh.

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    1. It is totally scary! Keyes was so devoid of any remorse when he was caught...it gave me the shivers that sociopaths like him even exist.

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  8. This sounds super intense. As for serial killer NF, I recently read The Babysitter but, that seemed mild compared to the sound of this one.

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    1. I haven't heard of The Babysitter; I'll have to look it up.

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  9. Years ago I read The Stranger Beside Me by Anne Rule. It was about Ted Bundy and a part of me felt, should I be reading this but it really was such a well written book and Ann Rule really held my interest. American Predator sounds fascinating too. It's scary to think there are serial killers out there who possibly never get caught but my guess it happens more than we know.

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    1. I read a few books by Anne Rule back in the day, including The Stranger Beside Me. It was a fascinating, if disturbing, read.

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  10. I can't read True Crime. It freaks me out too much!

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    1. I can totally see why! I used to read more True Crime years ago, but I don't read it very much now. But I heard so many good things about this particular book I couldn't resist picking it up.

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  11. I read this one earlier this year and it was intense, as far as true crime goes. I was on a true crime kick for a few months, after listening to true crime podcasts. Now I'm so over them, lol. Ones where the book is about the sleuthing by detectives to track someone down interested me more than sensational ones.

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    1. I also like the more historical true crime fiction, where authors delve into cases that took place back in the 1800s or 1900s. Those can be very interesting. Thanks for commenting! :)

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  12. I am fascinated by true crime which is why I love Forensic Files so much, but wow this is a sad story! I hope they're able to connect him to some of the missing. At least he's behind bars now. I hope it's an entirely unpleasant experience for him.

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    1. Sadly, Keyes never made it to prison; he committed suicide while in custody, which means he didn't ever have to suffer for his crimes, and they'll probably never know all that he did...or ever find all of his victims.

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  13. I often wonder, after hearing about another serial killer, what percentage of them we really catch or even figure out to the point of recognizing that a connected string of killings is happening. I'm a bit of a natural cynic anyway, but I'm betting that we catch way less than 50% of the ones out there.

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    1. After reading this book, I would have to agree with you!

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  14. This sounds fascinating and like a book that I would love to read in October. True stories are the scariest of all.

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    1. True stories are the scariest! And this would be an excellent October read. :)

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  15. I don't read much true crime but this one is so tempting. It sounds like a riveting read.

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  16. This sounds so good and intriguing! Will add this book to my wishlist.

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    1. Callahan does such a good job telling this story. It's better than a lot of fiction books I've read.

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