The Story Of Israel Keyes: America's Psychopath Cross Country Serial Killer

Israel Keyes stashed murder kits around the country and raped and murdered victims at random before his suicide in December 2012 before facing trial.

Israel Keyes Serial Killer
Israel Keyes is believed to have been responsible for at least 11 murders between 2001 and 2012

The sickening story of Israel Keyes begins with a man who looked as though he was going to have an all-American life. Keyes previously served his country in Egypt and at Fort Hood as an infantryman in the United States army. When he left the military he had a daughter and even started up his own construction company in Alaska.

Unbeknown to everyone around Israel Keyes, hiding behind his respectable image of a great American citizen was a man with a heart of pure evil. The FBI claims that Keyes is responsible for the murder of at least 11 people, but before he could face any form of justice he committed suicide.

This is the harrowing true story of Israel Keyes, who was one of the most prolific rapists and serial killers of the early 21st century.

The Early Signs That Israel Keyes Would Become A Killer:

There are very few details that can be verified about the early life of Israel Keyes. After he was arrested for the rape, kidnapping, and murder of 18-year-old coffee barista Samantha Koenig, Keyes spoke about what he called "a version" of his life story.

Israel Keyes said in his own statement that he was born in Cove, UT, to a devout Mormon family and that he was the second born in a family of 10 children. Keyes claimed that he was homeschooled and when he was 3 or 4 years old, his family had moved to a remote part of Washington state and disavowed the Mormon faith.

When you look back into his childhood, he showed signs of a potential psychopath from an early age, he would frequently torture animals as well as break into the homes of his neighbours and steal their firearms.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre painted a sinister picture of Israel Keyes and his early associations. The organisation said that the Keyes family were faithful parishioners of a Christian identity church, the Ark, whose minister, a man by the name of Dan Henry, preached a white supremacist Gospel that also included plenty of anti-semitisms.

The Keyes family were also known associates of the Keho family, whose sons Chevie and Cheyne were members of the Aryan People's Republic and who are both serving long prison sentences for a number of hate-crime attacks and murders, including the murder of a family of three in Arkansas.

Authorities believe that the connection to the Kehoes played a part in Isreal Keyes getting the motivation to carry out his own murder spree, but it would be several years before Keyes actually started his cross-country campaign of murder.

The Horrifying Murders of Israel Keyes:

Israel Keyes confessed that his first real crime was committed in 1998, not long after he enlisted in the US Army. The details of the crime are still unclear, however, people who served alongside him recalled how he was frequently drunk and often withdrawn during his service.

In 2001, Keyes told authorities that he began his murder spree in earnest. He explained how his victims were just chosen at random and said how they were more "victims of opportunity", meaning he targeted people at random and had no real premeditated plan.

Keyes believed that by killing at random he would avoid detection as the authorities wouldn't be able to pick up on any particular routine. He would stash his so-called "murder kits" in different places around the country containing all the tools he needed to carry out his brutal killings. He would take the battery out of his mobile phone whilst he was driving in a bid to avoid being tracked and would always pay in cash wherever he went to ensure he left no digital trail behind him.

The only rule that Israel Keyes said he had when selecting his victims was that he wouldn't target children or parents because he had a daughter of his own.

Although only 3 were confirmed it is believed that once his killing spree started Israel Keyes would go on to kill as many as 11 people between 2001 and 2012.

His first confirmed murder was a couple from Vermont called Lorraine and Bill Currier, whose bodies were never found. Keyes is said to have broken into the couple's home after collecting weapons from one of his "murder kits". He confessed to the FBI that he had killed another four people in Washington state, but refused to give details of who they were or how he killed them.

The most documented murder committed by Israel Keyes was actually his last kill, and it was that of Samantha Koenig in 2012.

It was February 1, 2012, when Keyes kidnapped the 18-year-old from the coffee shop where she worked. He stole her debit card, raped her, and imprisoned her before murdering her the next day.

After killing her, Keyes hid her body in a shed and went on a cruise holiday with his family. When he returned he removed the body of Samantha Koenig from the shed, put makeup on her face, and sewed her eyes open using a fishing line. He then went on to demand a $30,000 ransom before dismembering her corpse and throwing it into a lake outside of Anchorage, Alaska.

The Downfall Of Israel Keyes:

It was the ransom demand from Israel Keyes that gave the authorities the information they needed to track him down, after he received the payment the police were able to track the withdrawals that were made from the account, following him across various states. Israel Keyes was finally arrested on March 13, 2012, in Lufkin, Texas, after he was caught speeding.

After he was extradited to Alaska, Israel Keyes quickly confessed to the murder and even started telling the authorities about all the other crimes he claimed to have committed that they weren't aware of. Authorities said that he took pleasure in sharing the sickening details of his crimes.

"I’ll tell you everything you want to know,” Keyes reportedly told authorities. “I’ll give it blow by blow if you want. I have lots more stories to tell."

In May 2012, during a routine hearing, Keyes attempted to escape from the courtroom after breaking his leg irons, it was an unsuccessful attempt and authorities quickly managed to restrain him.

Blood drawings Israel Keyes
The drawings that Israel Keyes made using his own blood that were found in his jail cell

On December 2, 2012, Isreal Keyes had hidden a razor blade in his jail cell at the Anchorage Correctional Complex in Alaska, he used this blade to commit suicide, before his death he also left a note which offered no insight as to his additional victims.

The death of Israel Keyes was not an end to his story. In 2020, Alaskan authorities released 11 drawings of skulls and one pentagram, which they said he drew with his own blood, they said that these drawings were left with his suicide note under his bed.

A note, which again was written in his own blood on one of the drawings, was captioned with three words: "WE ARE ONE", the FBI claim that this is an acknowledgment by Isreal Keyes of the 11 murders he committed whilst showing no remorse.

Now you have read the story about Israel Keyes make sure you check out the story of Edmund Kemper, the Co-Ed Killer.


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