Anchorage Police Release Information on Koenig Murder
Israel Keyes confessed to killing Samantha Koenig soon after he was caught
ANCHORAGE - It turns out that Israel Keyes confessed to Samantha Koenig’s murder soon after he was caught.
That’s what police and federal prosecutors are saying in the wake of Keyes’ suicide Sunday morning.
It’s now known that Keyes had a gun when he abducted Samantha from the Common Grounds coffee stand on Tudor on February 1.
It also turns out that his original intent might have been simple robbery, but his plans changed when he cased the business and saw Samantha.
But the most stunning thing might be that he has been killing people for as much as 15 years.
"We believe there are other victims in other states,” said FBI Special Agent Mary Rook. “We are continuing our efforts to identify those victims. We have been analyzing financial records, travel records, any other records that are available to us over the last several years to try and identify the course of his travels. We do know he traveled extensively and he didn't always stay where he landed. He would land in one airport, rent a car and travel hundreds of miles."
Samantha Koenig might have been the last victim of Israel Keyes, although even that is not certain. But she was far from being the first.
Over the past nine months, Keyes admitted to killing her, a couple in Vermont, four unidentified people in Washington state, an unidentified person in New York and an unknown number of additional people.
At the U.S. Attorney's office, Kevin Feldis and Frank Russo said they've never seen anyone like Keyes.
"Mr. Keyes never showed any remorse for his actions,” Feldis said. “From Israel Keyes' mouth the things that he said were comments such as, you know, ‘It wasn't why but why not.’ This is something that he seemed to enjoy doing. He was methodical, organized about it. Careful about it. Planned it. And he got away with it for a lot of years."
“That's probably the scariest thing about him, that he was so competent, reasonable and it'd be just like talking to one of us across the table,” Russo said. “But it would be this person that had another side to him that enjoyed killing people."
Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said the people the department interviewed who knew Keyes had no idea he was capable of something like Samantha’s murder.
"The sense I get is hard-working, polite, talented carpenter that did good work and was always a pleasure to hire and to work around."
State and federal officials were tight-lipped for most of the past nine months in order to keep Keyes talking about his crimes, Mew said. "We needed to keep those lines of communication open. He was very, very, very sensitive to his reputation, as odd as that sounds. And we had to keep things extremely quiet in order to keep him talking with us."
Even though Keyes is dead, Mew said there are things he can't discuss, particularly about the night of Samantha’s abduction and murder. That’s out of sensitivity for the family's feelings as well as the fact that he has to coordinate with federal agencies.
But Mew said that while it's clear who killed Samantha, we're going to hear about Israel Keyes for a long time.
"The story is very young. You may think it's the end of the story. This is probably the beginning of the story or part way through the story."
Keyes mentioned eight murders specifically, but also said vaguely there were more, although he didn't give a number or any details.
He told the U.S. Attorneys that he liked to see people suffer, that it was a side of him no one else had known about.
And he even said he's sorry he didn't kill more people before he was caught.