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Israel Keyes killed himself in his Alaska jail cell this past week, ending a reign of terror that is mostly untold. At the time of his death, he had admitted to killing eight victims from 2001 to 2012, though investigators suspect there are at least three more. Authorities believe that they know approximately half of the crimes Keyes committed during his 34 years of life.
Keyes both slit his wrists with a razor blade and strangled himself with his bed linens. He was discovered on Sunday, December 2, but it is not clear as of now which one of these actually killed him.
Keyes’ final crime, which led to his arrest, was the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of Samantha Koenig of Anchorage, Alaska. The 18-year-old girl was killed soon after she was abducted but the search continued for a month. The FBI based their search off of a hooded figure withdrawing money from an ATM in Texas in Koenig’s name, as well as driving her rented Ford Focus. When he was brought to the jail, he was facing federal murder and kidnapping charges, but investigators soon discovered much more.
The New York Times reports that law enforcement has “produced detailed timelines of Mr. Keyes’s extensive road trips — driving thousands of miles, by his own account, over the last decade — and [is] trying to match missing persons reports with his travels.” They are searching for bodies nationwide, in Washington, Texas, New York, Wyoming, and Vermont. Keyes admitted to the murders of Bill and Lorraine Currier in Vermont, an open-ended case from June 2011. The couple was supposedly randomly chosen, but Keyes had carefully planned the murder, and their bodies were never found. The details of the other murders are not precise.
FBI Special Agent Jolene Goeden told the Huffington Post that Keyes “enjoyed it. He liked what he was doing. He talked about getting a rush out of it, the adrenalin, the excitement out of it.” His only concern was how it would affect his girlfriend and daughter
Keyes was very good at covering up his tracks, leaving no trace of himself behind at the murder scenes. Investigators had no idea that his crimes were so extensive when he was brought in, with a list including rape, arson and armed robbery of banks. He was also a meticulous planner, stashing “murder kits” to use for hiding bodies. These kits included things like guns, ammunition, trash bags and bottles of Drano, according to USA Today.
Detective Sgt. Cliff Harrold of the Lane County, Ore. Sheriff’s Office, believes that two Oregon teachers, Steven Haugen and his girlfriend Jeanette Bauman, were part of Keyes’ campaign. He believes that their disappearance lines up with the timeline of one of Keyes’ cross-country treks. Harrold stated, “We’ll see if there’s anything that they’ve learned in their investigation that will link it to our open case.”
Keyes’ first crime was the rape of a teenage girl in Oregon, the only one of his victims that he did not kill. He admits to knowing the girl personally, unlike any of his other victims. The girl would be in her 20′s-30′s now.
The New York Times reports that authorities are rushing to uncover more information: “What makes the task even more chilling and urgent, the authorities said, is that every crime he spoke about in detail after his arrest was substantiated.”
It is believed that the continuing investigation will uncover only more horrors of Keyes’ past. He will be buried on Sunday in Washington.