American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have no idea how I had never heard of Israel Keyes before, but that was the situation. I enjoy reading true crime, and I got this at a bargain price on my device, so I couldn't pass it up.
Israel Keyes killed people all over the United States then went home to Alaska to his "normal" life as a single father. He buried "kill kits" throughout the states, and some of them are probably still hidden in their secret spots today. He was so scary because he didn't have a type, couples, men, women, etc. or just one MO. His killings appeared to be totally random. His methods for hiding evidence were extreme and varied, until he got a little sloppy. He was caught completely by chance.
Once caught, he toyed with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies by promising them information he never gave. In fact, it made me angry that law enforcement basically kowtowed to him, one prosecutor in particular, until he finally figured out they weren't going to give him what he wanted, a quick death sentence. Then he clammed up and would not reveal information about other crimes. Keyes wanted to be notorious, but even though his crimes lasted about a decade, he is not as well known as names like Bundy, Manson, or Gacy. We should all be glad for that.
This book is written in a slightly unusual way. Instead of beginning at the beginning of Keyes' crime spree, it begins with his last victim, basically beginning at the end. It then goes back to tell the stories of some of his other crimes and some backstory of his character. In one way, I thought that was clever, but in another way, it became repetitive. His life doesn't completely instill sympathy, either. Yes, he had some unusual hardships, but he was just evil. He committed suicide while in custody facing trial, something he never wanted to happen.
As true crime writing goes, this was, thankfully, not as dry as some I've read, yet it was based on actual interrogations and chock full of facts. It just became extremely repetitive. Overall, it was a good book.
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