MY RATING: 3 of 5 stars
I first heard about this case on 48 Hours or Dateline and it blew me away. Just when you think you have seen it all with serial killers, then there comes the arrest of Israel Keyes. No law enforcement agency was aware of this serial killer. Meaning that they had not connected Keyes’ victims to one predator. There was no looking for him. Often his murders weren’t even discovered. We know of three murdered victims, and one only because Keyes confessed. Keyes made a mistake in kidnapping, asking for ransom and then murdering Samatha Koeing. Once he was arrested, and his house searched, Keyes decided to confess. He was smart in that he confessed to what the police could easily pin on him, evidence wise. He was a rare serial killer in that he didn’t need to be in the spotlight and take credit for his victims. He didn’t taunt the police or read out to the press. He killed because he liked it and felt he needed to. He was cold, but also very meticulous. Had he not made errors with Koeing, he might still be out there stalking anyone in America. And, the worst part is the bodies would never be found.
Keyes would die by his own hand and take all his secrets with him. The F.B.I. continues to sift through to discover any evidence that could lead to them to the victims. It’s not just pinning or finding the number of victims, but bringing the victims home to loved ones and giving everyone peace. A few months ago I listened to the true crime podcast “True Crime Bullshit” which is entirely on Israel Keyes. It looks at Keyes but all the possible victims as well. They play tapes of the interrogations/confessions between Keyes and various law enforcement agencies. I enjoyed the well-researched and produced podcast, but it also let me a bit rattle and terrified.
I was excited to see a book on this case so I put a hold at the library (and was first in line). The first two chapters were great and then, for me, I found myself not getting into the writing. This has nothing to do with Callahan’s writing, but my own expectations. True Crime Bullshit just had so much information that this book felt like a brief summary to the case. It was hard to get a sense of Keyes, and his swarmy smugness and cold dead fell flat. If you are into true crime, and don’t know this case, start with this book. If you have heard of this case and know a fair amount, I would skip it and listen to the podcast.