The Kill Jar: Obsession, Descent, and a Hunt for Detroit’s Most Notorious Serial Killer

Written by:
J. Reuben Appelman
Narrated by:
Joe Barrett

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
August 2018
7 hours 7 minutes
Four children were abducted and murdered outside of Detroit during the winters of 1976 and 1977, their bodies eventually dumped in snow banks around the city. J. Reuben Appelman was six years old at the time the murders began and had evaded an abduction attempt during that same period, fueling a lifelong obsession with what became known as the Oakland County Child Killings.

Autopsies showed the victims to have been fed while in captivity, reportedly held with care. And yet, with equal care, their bodies had allegedly been groomed post-mortem, scrubbed-free of evidence that might link to a killer. There were few credible leads, and equally few credible suspects. That's what the cops had passed down to the press, and that's what the city of Detroit, and J. Reuben Appelman, had come to believe.

When the abductions mysteriously stopped, a task force operating on one of the largest manhunt budgets in history shut down without an arrest. Although no more murders occurred, Detroit and its environs remained haunted. The killer had, presumably, not been caught.
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I was disappointed in this book. I was looking for something like "The Atlanta Child Murders" which this certainly is not. This book is really about a middle aged man trying to come to terms with his failed marriage, complicated family relationships, failing career and overall feelings of inadequacy and depression - with periodic discussion of the murders. Many chapters are spent discussing his food choices (hot dogs, diner breakfasts) and his wanderings around Detroit rather than offering much detail about the murders. The narrarator's voice is whiny and nasally. Interesting topic and theories about who may be the perpetrator, both of which should have been pursued in greater detail.

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Debra R.

Well, skip this story as it's has very, very little to do with the actual events and solving the case. I thought it was going to he more factual and in depth. but no, it's a very unnecessarily boring tale of someone who was almost abducted as a child and was trying to solve the case, I think. I gave it 2 hours and gave up.

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