American Predator The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial

American Predator The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERAn “Best Book of 2019”A Washington Post “10 Books To Read in July”A Los Angeles Times “Seven Highly Anticipated Books for Summer Reading”A USA Today “20 of the Season’s Hottest New Books”A New York Post “25 Best Beach Reads of 2019 You Need to Pre Order Now”A Bustle “The Best New True Crime Books You Can Read Right Now”“Maureen Callahan’s deft reporting and stylish writing have created one of the all time great serial killer books sensitive chilling and completely impossible to put down” —Ada Calhoun author of St Marks Is DeadTed Bundy John Wayne Gacy Jeffrey Dahmer The names of notorious serial killers are usually well known; they echo in the news and in public consciousness But most people have never heard of 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 uiet reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughterWhen journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012 she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist A killer who left a path of monstrous randomly committed crimes in his wake many of which remain unsolved to this dayAmerican Predator is the ambitious culmination of years of interviews with key figures in law enforcement and in Keyes's life and research uncovered from classified FBI files Callahan takes us on a journey into the chilling nightmarish mind of a relentless killer and to the limitations of traditional law enforcement

  • Hardcover
  • 285 pages
  • American Predator The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century
  • Maureen Callahan
  • English
  • 14 August 2016
  • 9780525428640

10 thoughts on “American Predator The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century

  1. says:

    Read This BookLiterally my face upon completionYou want to feel this way whilst reading a true crime don't you??? I mean don't you?uite honestly this is by far one of the most disturbing books that I have ever read American Predator is a nonfiction account of the capture and subseuent investigation of serial killer Israel Keyes Fortunately for the reader this is much than a droll portrayal of one monster's heinous crimes Callahan creates a compelling recounting of the investigation of his case beginning with his final kill and going backward through timeI thought this was a clever formatting choice by the author It made the story seem like you were part of the investigation versus starting at the beginning of his life and moving forward that wayReading about Israel was completely disturbing for me Here was a man a contemporary of mine born in the same year and to walk through his crimes was shocking The fact that he traveled extensively in the state where I was living at the time was the icing on the cakeHis level of arrogance yet ability to plan and to leave no evidence was bone chilling He used his knowledge of surveillance and technology to constantly fly under the radar Making this even disturbing was the seemingly random selection of his victims There's so much but I don't want to give anything awayIn short read this book

  2. says:

    American Predator The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan is a Viking publication When I first noticed this book the crime didn’t ring any bells for me As the blurb stated most of us had never heard of Israel Keyes As far I knew this was a true crime story I had heard nothing about But after reading several positive reviews from my Goodreads peers my curiosity was piued so I added it to the pile The book opens in Alaska with a harrowing scene in which a teenage girl is kidnapped her fate obviously precarious The girl’s father immediately swings into action collecting reward money for any information about his daughter However some of his actions raised a few eyebrows and he uickly became law enforcement's first person of interest Meanwhile Israel Keyes was moving far far away from Alaska Eventually he was pulled over by the cops in Texas leading to his arrest for murder It would soon come to light that Israel Keyes had a long history of rape and murder possibly dating back as far as 1996 Callahan follows the investigation from Alaska to Texas and back again Readers get to see what challenges law enforcement faced including jockeying for position jurisdiction issues and politics Not only that judging from the intense interrogations the investigation was far from pretty It was a very complex and complicated situation to be sure Despite that the monster was caught although it was mostly pure luck The story was definitely absorbing and Keyes’ background was truly shocking But as the manhunt transitioned to Texas I was stunned to learn that Keyes had planned his crime so carefully he had even created a cunning escape route through Texas well in advance Not only that one of the spots on this journey through Texas just happened to be in the town I reside in What? For the life of me I could not recall hearing anything about this So I uickly did a Google search and sure enough back in 2012 Keyes passed through my little town Not only that he made a pit stop at a state park about thirty miles away where he had nearly chosen his next victim The woman was walking a large dog and Keyes ultimately decided that disposing of both a dead body and a large dead dog was too much of a hassle In my defense this did happen eight years ago and I’ve slept since then However now I do vaguely remember hearing about a serial killer marking out our town on a map while planning his escape route While we may have been spared any of Keyes’ evil doings investigators are positive that Keyes probably did take someone while he was in Texas I guess you never know how close to true evil we are at any given time But I digress Overall this is a spine tingling true crime saga Although Keyes never became a household name like other serial killers of his caliber he was every bit as chilling and terrifying The man was an enigma a kind of hybrid serial killer who failed to fit into a neat profile He was cunning and as the title states meticulous Truly the stuff nightmares are made ofTrue Crime enthusiasts will not want to miss this one

  3. says:

    ”Payne and Bell recognized Keyes’ threat as the mind control of an experienced criminal Payne had learned it at uantico and heard variations in countless confessions‘You’ll regret it’ ‘I’ll hurt you’Neither is ‘I’ll kill you’ and that gives a victim hope The best criminals always leave that window open because it makes manipulating and controlling someone so much easier And victims often believe fatally that they’ll be let go” You are looking in the eyes of a stone cold killerIsrael Keyes is certainly the most terrifying serial killer that you have never heard of There are a lot of reasons why he has flown under the radar of the general public and most true crime fans One is the FBI never extracted a full confession from him Two the police screw up so many things regarding Keyes while keeping him in custody and while processing his crimes that no one is crowing about the Big Bad Monster that has been apprehended Through incompetance he is allowed to commit suicide before his victims can all be identified Jeffrey Epsteinesue ”He Keyes covered them; even in death he said his victims belonged to him” Keyes may have never revealed all of his victims but with adeuate handling he certainly would have most likely revealed than what will ever be known ”Not all psychopaths are serial killers but all serial killers are psychopaths” I can get lost down a long and winding rabbit hole discussing all the functioning psychopaths among us Some of you are married to them or have been married to them They make really successful ruthless businessmen lawyers and bankers They focus well on objectives and morality is something they find to be a laughable concept though on the surface they appear to be pillars of the community Keyes is a meticulous killer and operates without detection for fourteen years He maintains a family unit which is unusual He is self described as two people One is the man everyone expects him to be and the other takes pleasure in torturing raping and killing people This story starts at the end because that is where Keyes wants to begin He is willing to talk about the one that tripped him up and dangle the possibility of others As the story unfolds I keep thinking to myself that he makes some fundamental errors that are unlike him Has he let the need the desire to kill build up too much that it makes him break his own rules? He certainly doesn’t strike me as the typical serial killer who is bored at not being caught and finally wants to bask in the limelight of his notoriety like for instance the BTK Killer Dennis Rader Keyes even makes a point of wanting things kept out of the press for fear that his daughter will learn that her father is a monster Keyes lives in Alaska and is always careful to drive down to the lower 48 to relieve his need to kill The don’t shit where you live concept He leaves kill kits buried all over the country that consist of cash body disposal items and weapons I’m sure some of those are still out there awaiting a man who will never return Keyes’s parents are both religious nutters He even describes them as “cult shoppers” who moved all over the country trying to find that new sect of religion that better fit their own beliefs This criss crossing of the country may be why Keyes feels so comfortable travelling through multiple states looking for the perfect victims When his mother is uestioned for information she tells the authorities “‘Well’ Heidi said ‘if God wants that girl to be found she’ll be found’” sigh I can feel my whole body tensing when they finally pull over Israel Keyes in Texas for a routine traffic violation but really they have an inkling that he is a man most wanted in Alaska The description of the scene is so nerve wracking that I am muttering to myself “Don’t let him go Find a way to arrest him” They don’t want to give a judge any excuse to let this guy walk Maureen Callahan does an excellent job of making me forget that I know what I know in the moment I’m one of those readers though who can read about the assassination of Lincoln and still be rooting for someone anyone to step in the way of Booth’s unalterable bullet Alas Lincoln always dies and I will always still feel his passing acutely So why does Keyes do it? ”Why not?” is his answerThe frustrating part of the book and for the writer is all the unanswered uestions to which we will probably never know the answers His interrogation is handled with a high degree of ineptitude and he freuently makes his uestioners look stupid Keyes is uniue and doesn’t care about credited kills unlike most other serial killers who brag about their deeds This makes it much harder to deal with him or negotiate with him He keeps control He is the grand manipulator and constantly turns the tables on those trying to solicit any information from him All he is concerned about is when they will execute him When they can’t do that right he controls that as wellThis is a fascinating look into the criminal justice system and the inherent issues that need to be resolved It is truly amazing that the most dangerous criminals with any degree of intelligence are ever caughtIf you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  4. says:

    Wow what a book to start the year off with This was horrifying

  5. says:

    Billed as the most terrifying serial killer you’ve never heard of I first heard of Israel Keyes on the podcast Crime Junkie The why where and how he was caught and the hours of interrogation by investigators make up the bulk of this fascinating bookDespite multiple blunders by the police Keyes was arrested for the kidnapping of a teenage girl as the result of a fortuitous traffic stop Unfortunately she had been murdered and they soon discovered they had a serial murderer on their hands whose victims numbered in the double digits Details emerged that made him an aberration among serial killers Although he’d been killing for decades he didn’t fit the MO of a typical serial murderer nor did he have a ‘type” He avoided detection through meticulous planning and traveling off the grid Meanwhile Keyes maintained a ‘normal’ family and work life which is the most frightening fact of all Truly the stuff of nightmares His personal life and background were explored for clues to his psychological make upUnfortunately many of his secrets died with him and some case files are still closed to the public But the hope is the hours of investigation and interviews will help police and profilers understand and apprehend these killersThis is narrative non fiction at its best and was another fantastic buddy read with my friend Marialyce which inspired a great discussion We both highly recommend this book as one of the better books in the genre For our duo review of this and other books please visit

  6. says:

    “If he had been about five seconds slower getting out of his car and going into his apartment he would have been The One that night”When we talk about the most prolific and horrifying serial killers such as Ted Bundy John Wayne Gacy Jeffrey Dahmer etc we should be adding another name to the list Israel KeyesPrior to the hype around this book and seeing that Last Podcast on the Left had covered him across a few episodes I really had never heard of this guy before which baffles me Keyes was a true monster evil incarnate Some of the details of his crimes left me feeling sick to my stomach and incredibly uneasy before bedtimeWell written true crime books are hard to come by which is why I choose to mostly get my true crime fix through podcasts but American Predator is one of the best I’ve read It’s informative and detailed without becoming dry and tedious Callahan tells the story of Israel Keyes by starting at what is technically the end by kicking it off with his arrest And this works really well as the narrative is told in such a manner where you learn the crimes in a similar order to law enforcementSomething I found uite alarming was the control that Keyes had over the investigation as well as the stubbornness of prosecutor Kevin Feldis who forced his position as interrogator when really this should have been left to those who had experience But hey the criminal justice system be fucked up sometimesAll in all a fantastic true crime novel This junkie would recommend adding it to your TBR 5 stars

  7. says:

    American Predator is the story of Alaskan serial killer Israel Keyes his crimes and how he was capturedI was chatting with a friend when the subject of what I was currently reading came up I mentioned this book and I began thinking about why I’m always drawn to true crime – specifically serial killersmass murderers I certainly don’t admire them nor do I particularly care why they do what they do Then I realized that I like to see how they inevitably slip up; what is the tiny mistake they make that lands them in prison American Predator is one of those books that spotlights just such a mistake In fact it was a whole baker’s dozen of mistakesI received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest reviewIn late 2012 writer Maureen Callahan penned an article for the NY Post about a recently deceased killer who for years managed to fly under the radar of authorities travelling across the United States taking the lives of complete strangers Shortly after the story’s publication Maureen felt there was a deeper story that needed to be told After years of investigative research Callahan produces a comprehensive look at Israel KeyesThe book begins with what would be the downfall of Keyes the kidnapping of Samantha Koenig – a young woman in Anchorage Alaska What follows is an unbelievable series of errors on the part of Keyes that somehow goes undetected by authorities – it was almost like Keyes was hoping to be caught Once in police custody following a traffic stop in Texas a series of interrogations and negotiations with Keyes will uncover his web of death cast over the entirety of the United StatesPieced together through hundreds of hours of interviews with those who worked the case as well as those close to Keyes himself author Maureen Callahan tells the story of a meticulous murderer who somehow managed to go undetected for years As for how Keyes is portrayed he comes off as a man doing an impression of a serial killer I don’t mean to make light of the seriousness of his crimes but he comes across as such a loser He sits there and uotes lines from Hannibal Lecter movies idolises Ted Bundy and rubs himself through his pants while giving cryptic clues to a team of investigators desperate to uncover his many murders I’m not saying I’d prefer some sort of “honorable” slaughterer because such a thing doesn’t exist – it just seems fascinating to me how he managed to be so successful while coming off as such a total amateurSubject’s character aside I thought Callahan did a great job producing a compelling account of a modern day murderer and his ability to operate so smoothly in a post 911 world American Predator is a solid read that should satisfy true crime aficionados looking for insight into a relatively unknown subjectExpected release date July 2 2019

  8. says:

    This book could really give you nightmares thinking about this man randomly traveling the US with his buried ‘kill kits’ all over ready for him when the mood struck Maureen Callahan does a great job introducing us to a frightening killer whose true scope will never be known There was apparently some attempts to cover up his story by the government for a while when they caught up to him This was during a period that they were trying to negotiate for information from him He did give up bodies but due to time passing they were not recoverable This case is really one for the books and he was just an anomaly and that there aren’t others like him wandering around out there But I think that would be naive wishful thinking now A must read for for true crime loversAlso can be seen on my WordPress blog

  9. says:

    American Predator is by far one of the best true crime books I've read It has a fascinating format it starts with Israel Keyes' final victim and works backward It sounds like this could get sloppy but Maureen Callahan weaves it together so well I sometimes have trouble reading true crime because of how dry it can be but this book was addicting as hell and not dry at all The author tells a story and doesn't just shout facts at you I loved it and I highly recommend picking up this book if you need a new true crime book

  10. says:

    This read like fiction Which is good in terms of reading experience but really terrifying considering the subject matter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *