Killing Keiko

The True Story of "Free Willly's" Return to the Wild


Until now, the true story of Keiko, the world’s most famous killer whale, and his release to Icelandic waters, has gone untold. Indeed, millions of “Free Willy” movie enthusiasts have been led to believe that Keiko’s return to the wild was a triumph of storybook proportions. But according to Mark Simmons, author and director of the Keiko animal behavior team, this fantasy couldn’t be further from the truth.

Set in The Land of Fire and ice, the victories and setbacks involved in the often heart-wrenching process of “letting go,” are described in riveting detail. The story also unveils the evolution and shocking collapse of Keiko’s rehabilitation as he travels across the North Atlantic to Halsa, Norway in search of what he needs to survive.

Revealing a novel perspective on the bond between animals and people, Simmons shares lessons we should not forget. Killing Keiko is an eye opening, emotional account of what it took to study, care for and say goodbye to a most unforgettable whale.