Irmo Branch Library - Booked for Murder discussion

American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century
This topic is about American Predator
Israel Keyes

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Holly (unicorncoupdetat) | 33 comments Mod
I am starting a discussion for those of you who are fast readers and already done. I just started part 2 and I won't ask any specific questions, but if you finish first and can't wait to get your thoughts out, please feel free to post here.

One thing I'll say is I am enjoying Maureen Callahan's writing.

message 2: by Jodie (new)

Jodie Flickinger | 14 comments I enjoyed the book. The language, pace, and layout of the book made it readable and engaging, even hard to put down. My only complaint is that the author did not chose to include photographs. I feel that pictures really help a book come alive. I found myself setting the book down, to google pictures of individuals involved and current articles about the case. Unfortunately, in doing so, I stumbled on the surprise ending of the book. That's all I can say, until we have permission to include spoilers in our comments.

Holly (unicorncoupdetat) | 33 comments Mod
Jodie-I couldn't agree more about the pictures! I'm sorry the ending was spoiled for you. I will post some pictures for the others who may be interested and haven't finished and don't want the ending spoiled. I also really liked the pacing of the book. I found this quote in a Kirkus review that I agreed with:

"Although the details of the book are by definition lurid, the author admirably avoids a descent into journalistic sensationalism. Instead, she offers fascinating context about law enforcement investigative techniques and revelations about how a murderer can strike again and again without being detected for more than a decade."

Something that stuck out to me was how Kevin Feldis was portrayed. He really derailed a lot of their attempts during interviews and did not appear to know what he was doing. His lack of experience and stubborn insistence on being included during interviews thwarted Monique Doll's attempts at building rapport. Why was that allowed to happen? I wish there were some type of repercussion for Feldis. Who knows what interviewers didn't learn because of him.

Here are a few questions for the group to answer:

1. Israel Keyes was ultimately caught because he reused Samantha Koenig's ATM card over and over Do you think he knew what the consequences would be? Do you think he wanted to be caught, or did he actually make a rookie mistake?

2. This serial killer stands out in many ways from others, two of the biggest ways being that he had lap-band surgery so he could go long periods of time without eating and that he created "kill kits" that he buried and somehow retained the knowledge of where they were when "hunting" for a kill. How long do you think Israel Keyes was an active serial killer?

3. What do you think of the FBI keeping knowledge of this serial killer under wraps for such a long time? Would your opinion change if he were a suspect in the killing of a loved one?

Holly (unicorncoupdetat) | 33 comments Mod
This video is an absolute bore until about 20 minutes in, but then it is interesting to see Israel Keyes actually speaking about his crimes. His laugh is atrocious. Check it out if interested:

Holly (unicorncoupdetat) | 33 comments Mod
Here are a few other links to pages that include photos:

This is more from the FBI's website with multiple interrogations films as well as photos not pictures on the murderpedia site. Also of interest is the section title, 'Map and Timeline of Israel Keyes’ Known Travels and Activity, 1997 - 2012':

Last one (for now): Has some photos not found on other pages of crime scenes, "kill kits," victims (while still living), pictures of victim's skulls that Keyes drew in his own blood (gross...and stupid, I think) Keyes in the military and of diving for remains.

message 6: by Jodie (new)

Jodie Flickinger | 14 comments Thanks, Holly, for the links - as for one of your questions - I think Keyes used the ATM card because he needed money - just like a junkie needs the next fix - no further thought than that - it was easy and immediate - poof, there is the money - he was 'smart' to take low amounts and time his withdrawals - also - I would like to think that the FBI was playing some 'long game' keeping information about Keyes under wraps, but after reading the author's scathing commentary on Feldis' behavior I'm worried that it was just another example of ineptness on their part. (It's hard to comment without spoilers - I may take a break until we are cleared for full commenting)

Holly (unicorncoupdetat) | 33 comments Mod
You can post spoilers now because it's been a month. Others who haven't read the book yet should steer clear now! Sorry I didn't make that clear yet.

FYI we will continue discussions past September for those who haven't finished yet. I will also post the next book soon and let those who are ready move on to the next one if they're ready. Thanks to everyone for participating!

message 8: by Jodie (new)

Jodie Flickinger | 14 comments (if you ever get permission from the library for Zoom - or a competitor - video meetings that might be better - it appears that book club is a lo-tech group and my experience with Zoom is that it's very easy to join a conversation - as opposed to 'getting and account' with a logon and password for Goodreads) Jodie

message 9: by Katrina (new) - added it

Katrina | 8 comments Am I reading the correct book? Mine is not called Israel Keyes; it is called American Predator.

message 10: by Jodie (new)

Jodie Flickinger | 14 comments Israel Keyes is the name of the predator - he is uber evil - rightly named predator. (and thanks for joining the chat) Jodie

message 11: by Katrina (new) - added it

Katrina | 8 comments Thanks. Just got my book yesterday.

message 12: by Jodie (new)

Jodie Flickinger | 14 comments A new title (book) is due out soon - per Holly - read the book if you find it enjoyable - my advice is look don't read about the pictures that Holly sent links for - when I looked for pictures while reading the book I happened on some spoilers that left me disappointed.

Darlene Essick | 1 comments The Crime Junkies podcast is where I first heard the name Israel Keyes. I also had watched the 48 Hours episode. Thought it strange that he married outside of his race. Not at all surprised he met his wife on the Internet. A powerless earlier childhood along with a faith that teaches White Supremacy filled him with rage. I think plotting ahead with kill kits, capturing random victims and then toying with the FBI for awhile made him feel special and unique.

Holly (unicorncoupdetat) | 33 comments Mod
I haven't seen the 48 hours episode, I will have to look for that. I agree that he had a need to feel superior to others and eventually couldn't go on without someone knowing all he had "accomplished."

message 15: by Jodie (new)

Jodie Flickinger | 14 comments I dunno - we are sitting here in our (mostly) normal and sane lives and are trying to find (without realizing it) mostly logical reasons for someone to commit suicide - but I wonder if the very act of most suicides is an illogical response to trauma - yes - Keyes was certainly 'crazy' or at least not mainstream (the rest of us do not have 'kill kits') - so I submit that his suicide was an incompletely thought out 'solution' to his fear of messing up his daughter's future. IOW, I don't try to find a reason for his suicide - he was messed up - done.

Holly (unicorncoupdetat) | 33 comments Mod
I am not looking for a reason for his suicide (that I do find a fruitless consideration); however, I always consider the reasoning for crime when reading this genre. It's part of what draws me to the subject. I don't purport to know or understand the "why" behind the crime, but I am compelled to wonder about it and dig up what I can find online and holistically consider the case. I also always find myself thinking of the victim's family's perspective, as it is usually uniquely horribly, and they are deserving of consideration as well. These are my own personal tendencies and everyone is different.

Thanks to everyone who has already shared about this topic and to those who still may, I'll come back for more chat with you on this whenever you like :)

Ashley Weisman | 3 comments I enjoyed reading this book until the end. I did not like the fact that he ended up killing himself. As the author spoke of the "razor blade" was possibly given to him for that purpose really irkes my nerves. If what I'll always wonder. If only he stayed alive how many more victims could have been recovered, found, and put to rest. We will never know. I enjoyed reading about how he grew up and although it was never a proven fact if his dad abused him in any way it was just speculation, it makes me wonder too if he was protected more, would he have grown up to be more civilized. I thought the upbringing by changing religions was crazy! Overall, I didn't even know about Israel Keyes, but I'm so glad I learned about him. Thanks, Holly!

Holly (unicorncoupdetat) | 33 comments Mod
Glad that you (mostly) enjoyed the book Ashley. There's definitely a lot to wonder about as a result of his suicide, which can understandably lead to reader dissatisfaction. Our next book is "A Serial Killer's Daughter" and BTK's daughter wrote it. Stop by the reference desk for a copy if you're interested!

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