Sunday, June 30, 2019

American Predator

American Predator by Maureen Callahan
Penguin Random House: 7/2/19
eBook review copy; 304 pages
ISBN-13: 9780525428640

American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan is the very highly recommended account of the serial killer Israel Keyes.

This is one truly frightening examination of a serial killer. "... Israel Keyes, one of the most ambitious and terrifying serial killers in modern history. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as "a force of pure evil," Keyes was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried "kill kits" - cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools - in remote locations across the country. Over the course of fourteen years, Keyes would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger's house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home to Alaska, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter." That description alone should give everyone pause, but reading about what he did and what he is suspected of doing is even more frightening.

In 2012 eighteen-year-old Samantha Koenig was abducted from the Anchorage, Alaska, coffee kiosk where she worked. The multi-jurisdictional investigation resulted in Keyes being arrested in Texas. If he hadn't made a few mistakes, Keyes would still likely be randomly finding new victims today.  Journalist Maureen Callahan follows closely the investigation by law enforcement officials, and includes information from classified FBI files, the questioning of him, interviews with officials, his psychological profile, and research into Keyes' life. Although he never confessed to all his victims, he is believed to have killed at least eleven people. This is a scary but compelling comprehensive account of a modern day serial killer.
American Predator is a fascinating but horrific exploration of the life of a modern day serial killer which should be on the reading list of everyone who reads true crime books. 

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.

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