Author of the true crime memoir, The Kill Jar


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Campfire Stories

Campfire Stories is a monthly reading series featuring local and national fiction and nonfiction writers, poets, playwrights, and comedians. Campfire Stories offers an exemplary and diverse cast of storytellers, every 2nd Monday of the summer months around the patio campfires. 

Readings from Matthew R. K. Haynes and J. Rueben Appelman, featuring pieces from their respective memoirs. 

In 1977, a man fitting the description of a suspected serial killer tried to abduct Appelman from a shopping mall outside of Detroit. He fled and told no one. In his late thirties, the memory of that near abduction sent him on a five-year mission to solve a decades-old cold case whose police files told the story of ongoing cover-ups, moneyed confidence men, child pornography rings, and high-level corruption. He worked with surviving family members, original task force cops from the 1970s, and a variety of anonymous sources who came out of the shadows. The deeper he dug into the case, the closer it hit to home. At some point, he looked around the casket of a failed marriage and there was nothing left on its walls but the photos of four dead kids nobody but Appelman seemed to be thinking about anymore. 37 Winters is the story of his hunt for their killer.