The Kill Jar by J. Reuben Appelman

The Kill Jar

Enthralling. Gripping. Cinematic. Raw. A cold case murder investigation paced like a podcast, as visually stunning as a film, and as brave and personal as our darkest memoirs. J. Reuben Appelman cracks open one of America’s most notorious murder sprees while simultaneously banging the gavel on his own history with violence. A deftly-crafted true crime story with grit, set amid the decaying sprawl of Detroit and its outliers.With a foreword by C...

Details The Kill Jar

TitleThe Kill Jar
Release DateAug 14th, 2018
PublisherGallery Books
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery

Reviews The Kill Jar

  • Valerity (Val)
    Having grown up in Oakland County, Michigan I first became interested in these murders after reading about them in other books. I was very eager to read this book which promised the results of the author’s ten-year investigation of buried leads and police cover-ups of evidence, con-men, child porn rings, and high-level corruption. It certainly delivered on that and on being also part memoir, as the author J. Reuben Appelman also grew up in Mich...
  • Paul
    I think many will align this book with the recent popular true crime shows Serial, S Town, and Making of a Murderer. I don’t think they are wrong, but Appelman takes a much more personal and raw path in telling his story. His motivations whether altruistic or demon-driven are always on display as his own professed unbalance is juxtaposed with the corruption of the case. The Kill Jar is an addicting read, one that will have you Googling the case...
  • Tricia Bentley
    Although a fast read, this was a hard read. The subject matter is tough and the enormity of what the writer uncovers is a lot to digest. I think it is an important read..One that will stay with me for a long time.
  • Videoclimber(AKA)MTsLilSis
    This is really hard for me to review. There are a lot of suggestions for who the killer or killers was or were, but no definitive answer. I found some of the book confusing with the repetitive forays into the author's childhood and more unanswered questions. I am still confused even after finishing. Not one of my favorite true crime reads.*Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book ...
  • Carol Custer
    I usually find true crime stories fascinating and though much of this was also interesting, I found it distracting that the author talked so much about himself, being 'almost abducted', his sketchy life and girlfriend, etc. I think the book would have been better served to keep more to the facts of the cases. When the focus was on the cases themselves, the research and facts showed.
  • Conni
    This is a true crime novel. The author writes this book in first person. The book is a comprehensive look into the Oakland County Child Killer (OCCK) Case back in 1976-1977. The Book was written in 2010, thirty six years after the crimes. The author was there during the original murders. He lived there in the same city, 15 minutes away from one of the sites as a young lad. He also had a run in with a man posing as a security guard who, as he look...
  • Bill Sleeman
    The Kill Jar: obsession, descent and a hunt for Detroit’s most notorious serial killer by J. Reuben Appleman is a fascinating and horrifying review of the Oakland County Child Killings. Appleman does an excellent job exploring all of the characters and dead ends in his and earlier investigations but like others before him Appleman is not able to point a determinative finger at any one individual or group of individuals who committed these crime...
  • Denise
    With the recent events in the Golden State Killer case and popularity of docu-series like Making a Murderer and The Staircase, interest in true crime seems to be increasing. This book introduced facts and theories regarding the unsolved disappearance and murder of 4 children in the Detroit area in 1976 and 1977. The author, J. Reuben Appelman, attempted to create a story that was both an informational text about the murders and a memoir of his pe...
  • Sonia
    If you enjoy true crime you need to add this to your read list. It is an investigation of a cold case from the late 70s but also a memoir. Appelman spends a lot of time on himself and his past and combines it with his 10 year journey of this case. It’s hard to review as I felt the unsolved, speculation, laying out of evidence and so many unanswered questions still loomed in my head. Nonetheless it’s an interesting read.I was provided with a c...
  • AnnMarie
    This book was a wild ride. Part true crime and part memoir, it reminded me of I’ll Be Gone In The Dark. Appelman goes down the rabbit hole of investigating who was the Oakland County Child Killer who killed 4 kids between ‘76-‘77. Appelman uncovers a pedophilia ring that involves wealthy & powerful men, local cops & suspicious suicides. He also shares his own experiences of violence, abuse, and addiction. I hope this leads to a suspect like...
  • Elena
    A disturbing and fascinating look at a web of atrocious crimes, and the conspiracy to protect the monsters who committed them. Appelman also blends his own life story and describes a series of unusual occurrences that he has experienced. Dark and disturbing with strong writing. Definitely a good recommendation for those who obsessed over I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara.
  • Abby Rubin
    Between 1976 and 1977 four children were kidnapped and killed in Oakland County. The perpetrator was named the Oakland County Child Killer and was never caught. Appelman remembers growing up in the area at the time. He tells his own story about diving deep into this cold case, digging through corruption, cover ups, and decades of buried evidence to determine who devastated these metro Detroit families in the 70s and why they were never brought cl...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    4 chilling stars to The Kill Jar! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ A serial killer in the Detroit, Michigan area abducted and murdered four children in 1976 and 1977. The author was six-years-old when the murders occurred, and someone dressed as a security guard attempted to abduct him during that same timeframe. After, J. Reuben Appleman says he became obsessed with the Oakland County Murders. The narrative reviews the available evidence in true crime fashion, a...