Your audiobook is waiting…

The Kill Jar

Obsession, Descent, and a Hunt for Detroit’s Most Notorious Serial Killer
Narrated by: Joe Barrett
Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Four children were abducted and murdered outside of Detroit during the winters of 1976 and 1977; their bodies eventually dumped in snow banks around the city. J. Reuben Appelman was six years old at the time the murders began and had evaded an abduction attempt during that same period, fueling a lifelong obsession with what became known as the Oakland County Child Killings.

Autopsies showed the victims to have been fed while in captivity, reportedly held with care. And yet, with equal care, their bodies had allegedly been groomed post-mortem, scrubbed-free of evidence that might link to a killer. There were few credible leads and equally few credible suspects. That's what the cops had passed down to the press, and that's what the city of Detroit and J. Reuben Appelman had come to believe.

When the abductions mysteriously stopped, a task force operating on one of the largest manhunt budgets in history shut down without an arrest. Although no more murders occurred, Detroit and its environs remained haunted. The killer had, presumably, not been caught.

©2018 J. Reuben Appelman (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting story but too much focus in the author

I liked the narrative and the story but was too focus un the life of the writer. I prefer less focus on that and more in the actual facts

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting

Enjoyed this book. Interesting theories behind OCK case. Stream of consciousness layout for the narration

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

really enjoyed the listen<br />

I'm from Michigan, and I'd heard about this scandal on the Already Gone podcast. so intriguing!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

True True Crime

I just finished listening, and I am in awe. The author writes about a most heinous crime spree against children from his own memories of the incidents, from the narrative of his own life journey and sometimes descent. Although the story of these crimes is difficult to bare on the heart and psyche, the information is delivered in a respectful way - honoring the spirits of the children, and shedding light into the years of buried truths about their deaths. After listening, and without giving away the thorough investigations done by the author, I can say that it leaves me wanting to hold my own child closer, on to my own relationships tighter, and to use my voice to hold those in powerful positions accountable to their corruption, exploitation and unscrupulous ways of dodging basic human decency.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Buries the Lead and way too Self Centered

While the author is capable of solid research and interesting content he is incapable of presenting the story in a logical way. While the personal narrative was kind of endearing at first later in the book it becomes incredibly annoying and distracting. It’s not till over half way through that you find out about the cover up regarding the crime scene and physical evidence surrounding the first victim. This could have been a great book had there been a capable editor.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Author ruins an otherwise great story

The real story seemed to be a subplot to the authors constant focus on his horrible life. The narrator speed reads, but not sure there was anything he could have done to save the story. Shame that he uncovers this amazingly awful conspiracy and new details, but can’t bother to stop talking about himself long enough to put the pieces together.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

hard to follow<br />

the story itself was good. I did have trouble though paying attention well enough due to the readers mostly monotone delivery.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Renamed: My autobiography plus a little about the OCCK

Way too much emphasis on the authors personal life to make this a good true crime book. There are already so many characters in the OCCK case that adding more from the authors life that has zero connection to the case made this book very jumbled and confused. The description was VERY misleading of how much of the case was covered, I feel I know more about the author than the OCCK case.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptional work of true crime with personal touch

J. Reuben Appelman does an incredible job of tying together the exhaustive and complex pieces of evidence he personally gathered in relation to one of the biggest unsolved criminal mysteries in Michigan history. His dogged determination to uncover and unravel this mystery is truly remarkable. After years of research and interviews, Mr. Appleman is able to do what teams of investigators could not do or chose not to do in over 40 years of trying. Hopefully, the authorities will utilize the work done in this book in order to finally bring closure to the families of the victims of the OCCK.

One of the really interesting things about this book is how the author uses his investigative tools not only to look at the OCCK case, but also to look at the sordid details of his life and his own childhood. This is what sets this book apart from a typical true crime novel. This book is more than just a look at the OCCK case, it is an investigation into the author's past. I highly recommend this book!!!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Very hard to follow

This was A very difficult book to keep up with! Way too many names thrown in and I found myself lost most of the time! I had to see it through, but I do not feel like I truly even understand what all has happened.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful