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

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

by J. Reuben Appelman


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An enthralling and haunting look into the investigation for the Oakland County Child Killer who murdered four children and terrified suburban Detroit forty years ago. With a foreword by Catherine Broad, the sister of victim Timothy King.

During 1976 and 1977 the people of suburban Detroit were distraught over a killer on the loose. Four children were abducted and murdered by a perpetrator still unknown to this day. At the time, the case was one of the largest murder investigations in the history of the United States.

Part family saga and part thriller, this is the culminating effort of J. Reuben Appelman’s ten-year investigation on the Oakland County Child Killer. Overlaid with Appelman’s own, decades-old history with violence, 37 Winters tells the gripping story of the police cover-ups, con-men, child pornography rings, and high-level corruption that went on throughout the investigation, and that is still going on today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781507204023
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 08/14/2018
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 367,404
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

J. Reuben Appelman is a screenwriter, author, film director, and radio personality. He is a five-time grant recipient from the Idaho Commission on the Arts and has twice received the prestigious State of Idaho Writing Fellowship for Literature. His writing projects and research, focused on issues related to commercial sexual exploitation, child endangerment, and criminality and law enforcement, have earned him an ongoing spot as special lecturer on the issue of Human Trafficking for the Honor’s College at Boise State University. Appelman’s projects include the feature documentary Playground; Cha-Cha-Cha!, a political satire which he wrote in collaboration with director Michael Hoffman; a children’s adventure film, The Five; Person of Interest, a political conspiracy thriller; the award-winning documentary, Jens Pulver: Driven, and You’re What I Want Wrong with Me. He is the radio host of the weekly broadcast The Writer’s Block and the author of 37 Winters.

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The Kill Jar: Obsession, Descent, and a Hunt for Detroit's Most Notorious Serial Killer 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
ody 7 months ago
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 Michigan, in the Detroit area and was intimately familiar with the areas he discusses in the book. He still has family there and made efforts to reconnect with them as he did his work on the case. This book has a ton of great information about the cases, about the suspects, and about new suspects never heard of and what’s happened in the intervening years. Appelman connects the dots and lets you decide based on some rather shocking details. This is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the Oakland County Child Murders case of 1976 and 1977 or true crime fans.
SL22268 More than 1 year ago
Give this book a chance! Our book club had the privilege of Skyping with the author. While reading the book, it took some turns that I didn't quite understand how it came into play, but after chatting with the author, it made a lot more sense on where he was coming from and his state of mind while writing this book. Even though I have been a MI resident my whole life, I didn't know about the case. The author does a very good job at unveiling truths and information to shed new light on this unsolved mystery. Looking forward to the docuseries and his upcoming podcast!
litpixie More than 1 year ago
Again, I made it to page 15 before deciding I don't want this in my head. A book that should be about 4 child killings in the 1970s should exclude a grown man's kink with pain. As he begins to describe this feelings about self - harm, after describing the way the four children were killed and found it began to feel a bit like porn. I almost feel as if I need brain bleach.
besu More than 1 year ago
This is a true crime story about four children who were abducted and murdered in Detroit in the 70’s. This book is meticulously written and the author has certainly done his research. Although a chilling story, I enjoyed reading about the evidence and suspects and was disappointed that this case still hasn’t been resolved. Than being said, it took me a long time before I became used to the writers style. Because the writer mixes in a lot of imagery and metaphoric inuendos, it was confusing at first and I found the writing to be a bit obtuse. I found the case fascinating but was distracted by the intermittent addition of the authors tragic life story a little distracting. Self-described as a trip down the rabbit hole, I did feel like the author was in a slow spiral to a very dark place reminiscent of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. This is a memoir and a deep look into the murders and possible suspects but I feel like the author was writing two separate books and they shouldn’t have been combined. I enjoyed reading about the criminal investigation but reading about the authors childhood home-life, his almost abduction, his failed marriage, his unfortunate friendships, etc., was very depressing and should have been edited out in my opinion. I received a complementary ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.