Until this weekend, the only thing the public knew about Israel Keyes was that he was being held in jail in Alaska for the kidnapping and killing of 18 year-old barista Samantha Koenig. Now we learn that A) he was a confessed serial killer responsible for at least seven other deaths, and B) he committed suicide in his jail cell.
Confessed serial killer commits suicide in Alaskan jail cell
Israel Keyes confessed to at least seven murders before killing himself.
When 18 year-old barista Samantha Koenig went missing from a parking lot espresso stand last February, few could have guessed where she would eventually be found: in a frozen lake north of Anchorage in late April. Koenig was the final victim of serial killer Israel Keyes, who admitted to kidnapping and killing her, and led police to the location of her body. Koenig had cut a hole in the ice with a chainsaw in order to fit her body under the ice.
Keyes also admitted to killing several other people across the United States, although these deaths have yet to be verified. He claimed to have murdered William and Lorraine Currier in Vermont and left their bodies inside an abandoned house. When police went to investigate the location, they found that the house had been bulldozed. They were unable to find any evidence of bodies at the location. However, the FBI says that they were able to corroborate enough information about the Curriers (who went missing in June 2011) to believe that Keyes was indeed their killer.
Keyes was a self-employed carpenter and Army veteran who had been stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington State until 2007. According to Keyes' testimony, he killed four people in Washington state, and one in New York. But he was also a frequent traveler, and chose his victims at random. His M.O. was to "fly someplace, rent a car, then drive hundreds of miles away, the FBI said."
In the end, Keyes was caught because he started using Koenig's ATM card to withdraw money in Texas. Police were able to get a description of his rental car from the ATM photos, and were able to track his movements in nearly real time. A Texas police officer spotted Keyes' car on the highway and pulled him over to make the arrest.
Although Keyes leaves behind dozens of hours of confessions, it may not be enough to resolve all of his crimes. It's hard to be sad that such a horrible human being is dead, but it's too bad that it happened before the authorities could extract all of the information out of him that they needed.