Confessed Killer Israel Keyes Dead, According to DOC
Keyes admitted murdering at least 8 people
To view a portion of the joint press conference regarding Keyes' death, click the thumbnail to the left.
UPDATED 4:55 p.m.
ANCHORAGE - Investigators with the FBI, Anchorage Police Department, and U.S. Attorney’s office say Israel Keyes is a self-confessed serial killer who admitted killing at least 8 people. His crimes span a more than 10-year period.
That announcement came at press conference at the US Attorney’s office Sunday afternoon after the 34-year-old Keyes apparently committed suicide Sunday morning at the Anchorage Correctional Complex.
Keyes was being held there after being charged with “kidnapping resulting in death” of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, and until today everyone involved in the case had been tight-lipped on the details of Koenig’s death and the possibility Keyes was involved in other crimes.
During Sunday’s press conference Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said Keyes, who did not know Koenig, confessed to kidnapping the teen from her job at Common Grounds Espresso stand at gunpoint on the night of February 1, 2012.
Police said Keyes then admitted he took her to a truck she shared with her boyfriend to get her ATM card, and killed her that night. Mew said Keyes then used a chainsaw to cut a hole in the ice at Matanuska Lake and disposed of Koenig’s body.
Mew said Keyes then left the state, where he began using the ATM card. It was through those transactions Anchorage Police and the FBI were able to track his movements and identify the vehicle he was driving, but they admitted they didn’t know the suspect’s name until his arrest.
Keyes was eventually pulled over in Lufkin, Texas on March 13. Police said Koenig’s ATM card and pieces of her cell phone were found in the vehicle.
Investigators didn’t say when they were able to get the confession of Koenig’s murder, but on March 30 teams were searching Keyes’ Turnagain home. They were seen taking away a shed. Investigators wouldn’t say what, if any, evidence was found inside.
Anchorage Police said the confession also led them to Koenig’s body. It was pulled from the Matanuska Lake in early April.
Out of respect for the Koenig family, who just received the news of Keyes’ suicide Sunday morning, Mew would not say how Koenig died or if she was sexually assaulted.
Mary Rook, the FBI special agent in charge of the Anchorage office, said investigators believe Koenig is Keyes’ only victim here in Alaska, but Keyes also confessed to the June 2011 murders of Lorraine and William Currier in Vermont.
Keyes told them he killed the couple and disposed of their bodies in an abandoned house, which has since been torn down. The bodies of the Curriers have never been recovered.
In addition to the deaths of Koenig and the Curriers, during dozens of hours of interviews Keyes also told investigators he was responsible for four murders in Washington State and one murder in New York. Investigators said he did not provide them with any names of his victims. The FBI is working with law enforcement agencies around the country to try and identify them.
Authorities wouldn’t speculate on motive for the murders, just that Keyes told them it wasn’t financial. Investigators also wouldn’t say how Keyes said he killed any of his victims, but did say they range broadly in age, and were all strangers to him.
They also said he showed no remorse for any of his crimes during interviews.
In addition to the 8 murders Keyes confessed to, he also told investigators he was responsible for at least two bank robberies, one in New York and one in Texas.
The FBI is also looking at other murders, and missing persons cases around the country to see if Keyes may be involved in them. They said Keyes traveled throughout the Lower 48 extensively and would often fly to one location, rent a car, and drive hundreds of miles.
U.S. Attorneys prosecuting the case believe because of the suicide there may never be an answer to just how many victims or how many other crimes Keyes committed.
Keyes’ suicide is now under investigation by Alaska State Troopers and the Department of Corrections.
For full coverage of Israel Keyes and the Samantha Koenig case, click here.