It all starts with a missing girl from Alaska. The Anchorage Police Department frantically search for Samantha, who was kidnapped from her coffee stand. They review surveillance video, search houses, interview her boyfriend, track vehicles, but Samantha is nowhere to be found. As the police put the clues together, their search is expanded to the southwest when her ATM card is used. A fortunate traffic stop gives the police, as well as the FBI, a man without a record named Israel Keyes. They have enough evidence to charge Israel with the abduction of Samantha, but what happened to her? Their interview with him reveals how calculated and ruthless Israel Keyes really is. His confession is the only way that the police would have ever found Samantha’s remains. But it doesn’t end there. The police know that Samantha could not have been his only victim; his crime was too perfect. They find out that Israel had stashed “kill kits” all over the country. Before his suicide in prison on December 1, 2012, Israel confesses to several murders in several states. He would fly out of Alaska, rent a car and drive to a “kill kit”, stalk and abduct a couple or a single person, and then dispose of their bodies in a place that no one would find them, such as a lake or a house fire. And no one had found them, until Israel confessed. However, he took some of his stories to the grave with him. Hopefully, the rest of his victims will be discovered and identified, giving their family members some closure.
This true crime thriller will keep you glued to the book to see what happens next. And then it will keep you awake at night, knowing that an evil predator like Israel Keyes really existed, like recently! Maureen Callahan does a great job putting together police interviews and a timeline of events so that the reader can understand what the agencies involved are trying to accomplish and be scared enough to think that it could have easily happened to them. The only error I found was that Callahan mistakenly states that Seattle is in Washington State’s easter federal district. Seattle is in Washington’s western district.
So, lock your doors, be aware of your surroundings, and start reading this book! American Predator will seriously unnerve you and make you wonder how a person can be so evil and kill so much without detection. Forget the ghost stories and haunted houses, this one will really scare you!