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When police arrested Israel Keyes in March of 2012, it was for the murder of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, whom he had kidnapped from an Anchorage, Alaska, coffee kiosk a month prior. During questioning with the FBI, Keyes admitted to her murder along with a slew of other crimes that police had no idea he had committed.
"There is no one who knows me, or who has ever known me, who knows anything about me, really,” he told investigators. “They’re going to tell you something that does not line up with anything I tell you, because I’m two different people, basically.”
Over the next eight months, Keyes would sit down for more than 40 hours of interviews with law enforcement, giving them bits and pieces of information about his numerous crimes, including murders, bank robberies, rape and arson. The quest for the truth would end with Keyes' suicide on December 1, 2012. Though police would ultimately only be able to confirm three murder victims, they fear there are many more.
"We believe the number is less than 12,” FBI Special Agent Jolene Goeden said in an interview with the Associated Press. "We don't know for sure. He's the only one who could have ultimately answered that."
Here are the known and unknown victims of Israel Keyes, based on what he told investigators.
Unidentified Rape Victim (1997 or 1998)
Keyes claimed his first victim was a girl, between 14 and 18 years old, with sandy-blond hair, whom he raped during the summer of 1997 or 1998. He said he lured the girl away from her friends while she was inner tubing on the Deschutes River in Oregon, near the town of Maupin, where he lived at the time. Though he had intended to murder her, he decided to let her go after sexually assaulting her.
"I was too timid. I wasn't violent enough," he told investigators. "I made up my mind I was never going to let that happen again."
Keyes’ First Murder Victim (2001)
After serving in the US Army for several years, Keyes moved to the Makah Reservation in Neah Bay, Washington, with the mother of his infant daughter, who was a member of the tribe. He worked for the tribal authority, and it was there that the FBI believes he began murdering people.
When asked if his murders started after his discharge from the Army, Keyes cryptically replied, "Yeah, Neah Bay's a boring town."
Unidentified Couple (2001 to 2005)
In his interviews with the FBI, Keyes claimed to have murdered a couple while he was living in Washington, and alluded to them being “buried in a location near a valley.” However, he refused to disclose their age, relationship and whether they were residents of Washington, tourists or abducted from another state and then transported to Washington.
Other Washington Murders (2005 to 2006)
Keyes claimed he committed four murders in total while living in Washington State, from 2001 to 2007, but gave investigators only the slightest of clues. Besides the aforementioned “first kill” and “unknown couple,” he alluded to two separate murders in either 2005 or 2006.
“Keyes stated at least one of the bodies was disposed of in Crescent Lake in Washington, and he used anchors to submerge the body,” said the FBI.
Unidentified East Coast Woman (2009)
Keyes admitted to abducting a female victim on the East Coast in April 2009, who he said was taken across state lines and buried in Upstate New York. It is known that during that time period, Keyes robbed a bank in Tupper Lake, NY, approximately 70 miles south of property he owned in the town of Constable, but it is not believed his victim is buried there. Authorities suspect the victim may be 49-year-old Debra Feldman, who was last seen at her home in Hackensack, New Jersey, on April 8, 2009.
When shown a photograph of Feldman and questioned about her, Keyes reportedly paused for a long time before saying, "I'm not ready to talk about that one," according to FBI Special Agent Barbara Woodruff.
Bill and Lorraine Currier (2011)
In June 2011, Keyes flew from Alaska to Chicago and then rented a car to drive more than 900 miles to the small town of Essex, Vermont, where he murdered Bill Currier, 50, and his wife Lorraine, 55. On the night of June 8, Keyes broke into their home, subdued them and took them to another location where he shot Bill and sexually assaulted Lorraine before strangling her. Their disappearances remained a mystery until Keyes’ confession, and their bodies remain missing to this day.
Samantha Koenig (2012)
On February 1, 2012, Keyes kidnapped 18-year-old Samantha Koenig at gunpoint from the Common Grounds Espresso kiosk in Anchorage, Alaska, where he had been living since 2007. He then sexually assaulted her and strangled her in a shed on his property, before leaving town for several weeks. When he returned, he made it appear she was alive and demanded $30,000 be paid in ransom into her bank account, which he would access via her ATM card. Afterwards, he dismembered her body and disposed of it in Matanuska Lake, north of Anchorage. He then travelled to Arizona, through New Mexico, and into Texas, where he was apprehended after police tracked his movements from the withdrawals on Koenig’s ATM card.
Other Possible Victims
Keyes never gave law enforcement an exact number of people he murdered.
“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,” said FBI Special Agent Jolene Goeden.
In his various interviews with law enforcement, Keyes provided details about other victims, including a woman with pale skin, who possibly came from money. He also told investigators the body of another victim had already been recovered, but that he had made their death look like an accident.
Keyes had no victim type and went to great lengths to avoid any possible connection to him. He also traveled extensively, across America and overseas, and it's law enforcement’s fear that he claimed more victims on these trips. Unfortunately, Keyes took his secrets with him when he committed suicide in his jail cell on the night of December 1, 2012. The FBI continues to seek the public’s help in identifying any possible victims of Israel Keyes.
[Photo: "Method of a Serial Killer" Screengrab]
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