The Kill Jar

Children of the Snow

J. Reuben Appelman * on-camera investigator * Executive Producer * now on Hulu 

Jens Pulver: Driven 

J. Reuben Appelman * Writer * Producer * Now on AmaZon

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You're What I Want Wrong With Me

J. Reuben Appelman * Writer * Producer * Director 

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Appelman’s pathos is visceral and cathartic… his investigative work into this dark, twisted case is remarkably thorough and perceptive.

Publishers Weekly

"The Kill Jar is a must-read…Appelman is an amazing writer who speaks with an eye so jaundiced that the pages are yellow by proxy. There is gutter poetry in this book."

New York Journal of Books

“A horrifying and haunting tale.”

Thanks to the investigative work of author J. Reuben Appelman, the horrific crimes of the Oakland Child County Killer, who was never caught, won't be forgotten… the result is a book that not only provides compelling theories about what happened to these children, but an intriguing look into the author’s own history with violence.


“Suspenseful and emotionally riveting, this is a true crime memoir mashup Serial fans will love.”

J. Reuben Appelman spent what seems like a lifetime digging into the unsolved case of the Oakland County Child Killer…(the result) was worth it.

The New York Times Book Review

 “The Kill Jar is a powerful true crime memoir. Appelman is unrelenting both in his search for the truth about the Oakland County murders, and in his exploration of his own experiences with violence, abuse, and near abduction."

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J. Reuben Appelman onDon't Talk To Strangers
J. Reuben Appelman onTrue Murder
J. Reuben Appelman onTrue Crime Garage
J. Reuben Appelman onBoise State Public Radio

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J. Reuben Appelman’s true-crime memoir, The Kill Jar, was published by Simon & Schuster in hardcover, trade paperback, eBook, audio, and big print editions (2018-2019). The Kill Jar was the inspiration for the Investigation Discovery television series, “Children of the Snow,” with Appelman serving as on-camera investigator and Executive Producer (Hulu, 2019).


Appelman has written, produced, and story edited documentary films including Jens Pulver | Driven (Amazon and Netflix), and Playground (Netflix), produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh. Additional screenwriting work includes the films Cha-Cha-Cha!,a political satire which he wrote in collaboration with director Michael Hoffman (The Last Station), and a children’s adventure drama, The Five, starring Dan Lauria (The Wonders Years) and Madisen Beaty (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). Most recently, Appelman completed the documentary, You’re What I Want Wrong with Me, which he wrote, produced, and directed. 

As radio host of the weekly broadcast, The Writer's Block with J. Reuben Appelman, Appelman scripted, produced, and conducted hour-long, in-depth interviews with film and literary talents such as cinematographer, David Klein (Homeland, True Blood), actor Dylan Bruno (CSI Miami, Numb3rs, Grey's Anatomy), screenwriter and actor, Will McCormack (Elf, Celeste and Jesse Forever), and Pulitzer prize-winning author, Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See).


Appelman's true-crime podcast series, "You Know They Know: The Oakland County Child Killer," launched in 2019. 


J. Reuben Appelman is a two-time State of Idaho Literature Fellow, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Idaho Commission on the Arts. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Boise State University and has published two book length collections of poems, Woodsmoke (Boise City) and Make Loneliness(Otis Books). He is a native of Detroit, Michigan. 

Representation: Philip and Anne-Lise Spitzer

@ the Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency