While some people have a fascination with serial killers, there are certain individuals who take that obsession to an extreme. This is what Israel Keyes, a former member of the US Army, did. For years, the Anchorage, AK, citizen used his business, Keyes Construction, as a front for his true passion: murder.
After studying the behaviors of infamous serial killers like Ted Bundy, Keyes hatched a plan that involved planting "murder kits" throughout the US. Keyes murdered at least 11 people, who he admitted were random targets. He was ultimately apprehended, but Keyes was never fully convicted of his crimes; he died by suicide while incarcerated on December 1, 2012. Prior to taking his own life, Keyes wrote what can only be described as an "ode to murder." This last momento - like other letters from serial killers - is nothing short of chilling.
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There Is Video Footage Of His Last Victim, Samanta Koenig, Being Kidnapped
Samantha Koenig of Anchorage, AK, was working as a barista on the night of February 2, 2012. As she closed up the coffee shop, Israel Keyes entered the vicinity and kidnapped her. According to Keyes's conversations with law enforcement, he wanted to kidnap Koenig's boyfriend as well, but he decided to only take her.
Keyes took Koenig to his house in Anchorage, sexually assaulted her, and then killed her by strangulation before dumping her in his shed. Keyes went on a two-week cruise immediately after, returning to the shed to dismember Koenig before tossing her in Matanuska Lake.
He Left Behind A Bloody Note About His Love Of Killing
After Keyes committed suicide in his prison cell on the evening of December 1, 2012, investigators found a blood-covered suicide note under his body. It was written on a yellow legal pad in pencil and ink and required processing by the FBI in Virginia to decipher the smeared and illegible writing. They discovered it wasn't a suicide note, but an ode to murder.
Excerpts of the note included "Violent metamorphosis, emerge my dark moth princess, I would come often and worship on the altar of your flesh…" and a refrain of "Land of the free, land of the lie, land of the scheme, Americanize!"
He Was Never Fully Charged For The Murders
Keyes was interviewed by FBI agents for more than 40 hours, divulging information about a suspected 11 victims, a rape committed before his string of murders, and confessions to bank robbery and killings over several US states.
While awaiting trial, Keyes was held in an Anchorage jail under FBI custody. There was only one correctional officer on duty with the task of overseeing 15 prisoners. Keyes had been accidentally provided with a razor by another correctional officer and on December 1, 2012, he used it to slash his wrists before choking himself with a bed sheet. Keyes was dead before he could be officially sentenced for the crimes to which he confessed.
Murder Kits Were Buried All Over The Country To Evade Suspicion
In order to avoid being seen purchasing or traveling with weapons, rope, duct tape, or other murder-related items, Keyes buried or hid "murder kits" in various locations across the US. He chose a location, used the guise of a business trip to travel there, placed the murder kit, and then returned later to retrieve it and carry out a killing.
The kits included items like money, Drano, guns, ammunition, and silencers. They were found hidden under rock piles, garbage bags, and trees.
His Victims Were Chosen At Random
Keyes was meticulous. He stashed "murder kits" in various areas around the US, and he made sure never to travel too close to the areas in which he planned to murder. For example, Keyes flew from Alaska to Chicago, IL, rented a car, and then drove over 1,000 miles to Vermont, where he picked a random couple to be his victims.
What was interesting to the FBI was that Keyes didn't know any of the victims and could not provide their names when questioned about them. Keyes traveled to a chosen destination under the guise of a business trip and randomly zeroed in on a target. He looked for victims in remote locations or in homes with no car in the driveway, an attached garage, and no sign of dogs or children.
- Video: YouTube
Keyes Is Believed To Have Killed Over 10 People In A 15 Year Span
In speaking with FBI agents, Keyes stated he killed less than 12 people. Agents would then talk about his 11 victims and Keyes would not correct them, leading law enforcement to believe that was the accurate murder count. In an interview, Special Agent Jolene Goedon elaborated on the interrogation:
We believe there are 11 victims total, and that is based primarily on what Keyes told us. He was evasive... he was very evasive at times during interviews, and he told us when we tried to pin him down on a number that it was less than 12. But then there were things that he would say that led us to believe that by "less than 12," he simply meant 11, and so he was quick to correct us in interviews if we had something wrong.
He confessed to the murder of Samantha Koenig and Lorraine and Bill Currier but only provided information about the other suspected killings. Keyes confessed to killing four people in Washington state in three different encounters. He also gave clues about murders on the East Coast.