America's Most Dangerous Serial Killer? | Israel Keyes

(Israel Keyes. Photo credit: gfycat.com

I spend a lot of my spare time researching true crime cases and reading up on various serial killers but every now and then, a case or a serial killer will be recommended to me that I haven't come across before. 

I was having a conversation with a friend/subscriber on Instagram about true crime cases and he'd asked me if I had heard of Israel Keyes and suggested that I cover the case, so here I am. I went into this case knowing nothing about it so I didn't know what to expect. Now that I have spent this week looking into this guy, I'm actually quite shocked that not many people know about him and that I hadn't heard of him up until recently. 

So this week I'm covering what could be America's most dangerous serial killer and I have to warn you that some of the details included will be distressing. 

Before I get started, I've been asked a few true crime related questions recently from my readers/subscribers, I've decided that I'm going to do a Q&A post so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below or pop them over to me on Instagram or Twitter 

Also, if you enjoy my weekly true crime posts, please consider buying me a coffee to help support my blog and research here 

Let's begin...

Israel Keyes was born in Richmond, Utah on the 7th of January 1978, he was brought up in a Mormon household and was homeschooled. As a child he wasn't sociable and if he wasn't with his parents, or playing by himself, he was attending church. He moved with his parents to the Aladdin Road area of Colville in Washington where he and his parents attended a church that held very strong anti-Semitic and racist views. At some point during his childhood, Israel began to torture animals as a way of gaining control, he enjoyed the power of having a vulnerable life in his hands. 

His parents became good friends with their neighbour Chevie Kehoe who was a white supremacist and later, a murderer having killed William Mueller and his family in 1996. He is currently in prison serving three consecutive life sentences, His accomplice received a death sentence and is scheduled to be executed in December of this year (2019).

Although he lacked social skills and was quite a loner who preferred his own company, he was intelligent and seemed to have no problem having relationships with girls. 

From what we know based on police interviews with Israel, he would enjoy stealing and committing petty crimes, sometimes taking things a step further and robbing banks. He loved the excitement and power that gave him, he thought he was so clever, trying to outsmart the police. 

In 1996, he encouraged a teenage girl away from her friends and once he had her alone, he sexually assaulted her. He had thoughts of killing her but decided to let her go. For whatever reasons, no charges were filed and Israel decided that he wanted to go that step further and kill someone. He had a thirst to kill but do it in ways that he would remain undetected, he admired Ted Bundy but unlike Ted (who would target young, attractive women with hair parted down the middle except for his last victim who was a 12 year old child) he wasn't bothered who he killed, they could be young, old, black, white, male, female, he didn't care, he just wanted to kill so badly.

He wanted to perfect his skills so he served in the U.S Army and apart from the fact that his colleagues found him to be quite quiet, a bit antisocial, there was nothing to raise any red flags. He did really well in the military and was a quick learner. He served from 1998 through to 2001 and was discharged with many awards under his belt which included, Army Achievement Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar, Expert Infantry Badge and Air Assault Badge.

Despite his achievements in the military, all Israel could think about was killing someone. He wanted to finish his military service as soon as possible so that he could plan the perfect killing and get away with it. 

By the year 2000, Israel was a trained killer. He'd planned what he wanted to do in his mind for years and went to the Army to learn the skills that he would need in order to be a successful killer who would not get caught. 

He later told investigators that he began to murder people around the year 2000. His whole approach to killing was like a military operation, he would bury ''murder kits'' at various locations in America such as Essex in Vermont, Texas, Washington State, New York and Wyoming with the possibility of kits hidden elsewhere.

The purpose of the ''murder kits'' was to save him time carrying weapons around whilst he was travelling. The kits included items such as guns, zip ties, knives, tape etc. 

Israel Keyes claimed to have been committing murders on and off for 14 years. He claimed that he was two people and it certainly looked that way as he managed to hold down relationships, have a child and operated his own business working as a handyman, contractor and construction worker. He lived in an affluent neighbourhood and was popular with the neighbours and the customers that he had worked for. 

The whole time he was living this double life and nobody knew. He would plan his murders, take a plane to whichever part of America he wanted to go, hire a car and pick up one of his ''Murder Kits'' and look for a random victim. The victims could be anyone, it could be someone on their own or a couple, If a person or persons happened to be in the same place as him as any given time, they would be his target.

Sometimes he would decide not to kill someone and just rob them instead. He would use the money he had stolen from his victims to fund his travel across America. This was a hobby for him, a form of enjoyment. He claimed to get a rush from killing. What makes him more dangerous is that he wasn't chasing a specific person, there was no way of knowing who would be next because he wanted to kill, it was all about the killing for him. 

When he was finally arrested, he toyed with the police and would often waste their time telling them that a murder kit was buried in a specific location when it wasn't. This would waste hours of investigators time and he would find the whole thing amusing. He would feed investigators bits of information but hold back on a lot of details. In the 40 hours of recorded interviews which the police later released to the media, you can see that he's enjoying the control he has, there's no remorse or regret about what he had done and he was enjoying playing games with the investigators.

Israel said that he wanted the death penalty and he wanted it quickly, the police did a deal with him. If he gave them some information they would see to it and Israel agreed.

I'm going to go into the murders that we know about and what led up to Israel Keyes arrest.

Israel was hungry to kill someone one afternoon and decided to go to a park where he hid in the bushes with a gun (with a silencer) watching people, he spotted a young couple sitting on a bench and he planned to pounce on them but a police officer appeared along with some other officers and Israel decided to leave.

A few months later on the 8th of June 2011, Israel was on a plane to Chicago, he was planning to find a victim or victims, whoever was unlucky enough to catch his eye. Once in Chicago he hired a car and drove to the town of Essex in Vermont. He drove to a random area and focused on a house, he had no idea who was inside and that didn't matter to him. He sat in the car until he saw the lights go out and about an hour later, he approached the property with a gun in his hand and some of his ''murder kit'' items (he had buried this kit near to this area, two years beforehand).

He could see that the owner or owners of the house did not have a dog or an alarm, he cut the phone and electricity wires and managed to break into the house without making a sound. Upstairs in this house were a middle aged couple called Lorraine and Bill Currier who were hard and fast asleep. Israel looked around the house for money and valuables. Sometimes he would be satisfied with whatever money and valuables he could steal from his victims and leave them alive but on this night he had decided that he was going to kidnap Bill and Lorraine and try to get a ransom.

Once he was in the couple's bedroom, he stood at the foot of the bed with the gun. It is not known what was said but Bill and Lorraine where ordered to get out of the bed and both were bound with zip ties and gagged (which was said to be his routine with all of his victims). Israel forced the two of them out of the house and into his car where he drove them to an abandoned farm that he'd discovered months earlier.

(On the left: Israel Keyes. Left: Bill and Lorraine Currier. Picture credit: dailymail.co.uk

He stopped the car outside of the barn and grabbed Bill first, pushing him into the barn and tying him to a stool. Israel looked out towards the car and could see that Lorraine had managed to break loose from the zip ties and was trying to run away. 

Israel ran after the 55 year old woman, got hold of her and dragged her into the barn. Bill had managed to break the stool and was trying to scream at Israel through the gag. Israel picked up a shovel and smashed Bill over the head with it before shooting him dead in front of Lorraine. It is hard to imagine the sheer horror and terror that Lorraine must have been going through to see her husband murdered in front of her for no reason. This couple had no ties to Israel, they didn't know each other, this was just evil and senseless. Lorraine's ordeal at the hands of Israel keyes continued, he sexually assaulted her as the deceased body of her husband lay just a few feet away, then strangled her to death. 

Israel then put the bodies of Bill and Lorraine in refuse bags and put them in the back of his car and drove hundreds of miles to New York where he disposed of the bodies in an unknown location. To this day the bodies of Bill and Lorraine Currier have never been found.

During police interviews, Israel admitted to the murder of a woman called Debbie Feldman who had gone missing in 2009 in New Jersey. Debbie, who was 48 years old, had fallen on hard times and was a known drug addict and sex worker who had been estranged from her family. Israel admitted to abducting her (police suspected that Israel frequently visited sex workers but he never admitted to doing so) and had driven thousands of miles with his murder kit in the car. He would not reveal the full details of what he had done to Debbie but investigators believe that he had beaten her, used his usual routine of using zip ties and a gag and she was most likely sexually assaulted. He drove to a place called Tupper Lake in New York and he was in desperate need of some money so he robbed a bank. It's unknown where Debbie was as this robbery was taking place but is believed that he may have left her barely conscious in a random wooded area or that he had already killed and disposed of her body. Debbie's body was never found.

Whilst Israel was travelling to and carrying out his murders that he carefully planned, he would always pay in cash when he travelled and took the battery out of his phone so that his mobile could not be traced. He would also live a nomadic lifestyle and stay in various cabins in out of reach, wooded areas.

His final killing which led to his arrest, was full of mistakes and not the carefully planned murders he had carried out in the past. 

Samantha Koenig was a pretty 18 year old girl who was working one of her usual shifts at a small road side coffee kiosk called ''Common Grounds'', it was getting late, almost closing time and the snow was heavy and thickly covered the roads and pavements (sidewalks) outside. Sat in a car watching people from across the way was Israel Keyes. This was his town where he lived and he knew it like the back of his hand, but on that night of the 1st of February 2012, he had the urge to do something, to rob someone or something and the coffee kiosk was very much in his sights, he didn't know who was in the kiosk but again, that didn't matter. 

It all became very quiet and there were no more customers around so Israel made his move, the gun in his pocket and holding an empty thermos cup. 

When he reached the customer window, he was greeted by Samantha and he placed the cup on the counter and ordered a drink. He scanned the kiosk and could see that she was on her own, he also looked around outside to see if anyone was around.

(Samantha Koenig. Picture credit: huffpost.com

Surveillance cameras captured Samantha and Israels' movements. Samantha turned to give Israel the coffee and was stunned to see him pointing a gun at her, she jumped back in shock but admirably under the circumstances she remained calm and followed his orders.

He told her to turn off the lights which she did. She told him that her Dad was coming to pick her up in 30 minutes but then quickly changed that to ''He'll be here any minute now.'' Israel asked her if she had pressed a panic button and that if she did, he would kill her. Samantha told him that she hadn't.

He told her to empty the cash register and then sit down on the floor. Surveillance footage shows Samantha continuing to follow his orders. At one point he tells her to put a jacket on and he climbs through the customer window.

He then binds her wrists with zip ties and gags her. He forces her to her feet and pushes her towards the back entrance of the kiosk. He tells her to do exactly as he says or he will kill her.

He puts Samantha in the back of his car and drives to his house where he takes her to a tool shed in his back yard. He realises that he accidentally left Samantha's phone and some zip ties back in the kiosk so he ties Samantha up and puts on some loud music before driving back to the kiosk.

(Left: Israel Keyes. Right: Surveillance footage of the coffee kiosk where Samantha Koenig was working. Samantha can be seen following orders from Israel and being abducted. Photo credit: Fox News

He used Samantha's phone to text her boyfriend to say that she was going away for the weekend because she had a bad day at work. He then took the battery out of Samantha's phone and returned to the shed. He told her to relax and that he was just kidnapping her for ransom money. He said that as soon as the money was paid he would let her go. 

Again, he didn't go into details about what he had done with Samantha but we do know that he sexually assaulted and strangled her. He left her body in the shed for two weeks whilst he went on a cruise with his family. 

One of Samantha's colleagues had turned up to work the morning after Israel had abducted Samantha and noticed that the cash register was empty and that something wasn't right. 

Samantha's family were frantically looking for her and posters and news reports were spotted by Israel on his return and he could see that a financial reward for information had been offered to any member of the public who knew where Samantha was.

Israel went back to the shed to where Samanthas' body was laid, he really wanted the reward money so he decided to prop Samanthas' body up in a sitting position but her eyes were closed. In another sickening act, he had sewn them open to make it look like she was still alive. He posed her next to a newspaper and took a photo which he then sent to her family demanding $30,000.

Samantha's parents didn't have that kind of money so they appealed to the public and managed to get the cash together to put through Samanthas' bank account as Israel had Samanthas' bank card.

Around about this time that the money had gone through, Israel dismembered Samanthas' body and disposed of her remains in Matanuska Lake, north of Anchorage.

The police had put a tracker on Samanthas' bank card and could see that Israel was withdrawing money from various locations. About a month later on the 13th of March 2012, they tracked Israel down in Texas. Inside his car he had a murder kit, Samanthas' phone, rolled up notes of cash and Samanthas' bank card. The game was up, there was to be no more killing at the hands of Israel Keyes.

When he was arrested, you would hope to think that it would be the end of the nightmare but it wasn't. Israel toyed with the police and was constantly sketchy about details, one thing was for sure though, he was very concerned about his name getting out into the public domain and what effect that would have on his daughter and family. 

On one occasion there was a news report that mentioned Israels' name and one of the murders he committed, he was so angry that he refused to speak to investigators for two months. 

He did eventually tell the police where Samanthas' body was and they managed to find her remains but he didn't tell them where Debbie, the Curriers or any of his other victims were buried.

(Israel Keyes toying with investigators as they try to find out more information about his victims. Photo credit: northcountrypublicradio.org

Israel admitted that he had committed numerous murders all over America as well as bank robberies and other crimes. He said that he had plans to kill more people and that if he had not been caught he would have carried on. 

Throughout the months of interviews by authorities, Israel Keyes did not show one ounce of remorse or regret for what he had done. 

The police eventually found two of his murder kits, one in New York and the other in the Anchorage suburb of Eagle River that contained a shovel, bottles of liquid clog remover and material for concealing a body and speeding up decomposition.

(One of Israel Keye's ''murder kits''. Picture credit: www.fbi.gov

The police believe that Israel keyes may have been responsible for as many as 8 or more murders. He was sketchy with information during interviews and on the 2nd of December 2012, he was found dead in his prison cell after slashing his wrists and hanging himself with a bed sheet. Israel Keyes would have one final act of control and take all of the answers the police and the public were looking for, to his grave. 

Underneath his body was a note which contained nothing about his victims or an apology for his crimes. It was a strange poem which read (it goes on a little bit, you have been warned): 

''Where will you go you clever little worm, if you bleed your host dry?

Back in your ride, the night is still young, streetlights push back the black in neat rows. Off to the right a graveyard appears, lines of stones, bodies moulder below. Turn away quick, bob your head to the seat, as straight through that stop sign you roll loaded truck with lights off slams into you broadside, your flesh smashed as metal explodes.

You may have been free, you loved living your life, fate had it's own scheme crushed like a bug you still die.

Soon, now, you'll join those ranks of dead or your ashes the wind will soon blow. Family and friends will shed a few tears, pretend it's off to heaven you go. But the reality is you were just bones and meat, and with your brain died also your soul.

Send the dying to wait for their death in the comfort of retirement homes, quietly/quickly say 'it's for the best' it's best for you so their fate you will not know. Turn a blind eye back to the screen, soak in your reality shows. Stand in front of your mirror and you preen, in a plastic castle you call home.

Land of the free, land of the lie, land of scheme Americanize! Consume what you don't need, stars you idolize, pursue what you admit is a dream, then it's American die. 

Get in your big car so you can get to work fast, on the roads made of dinosaur bones. Punch in on the clock and sit on your ass, playing stupid ass games on your phone. Paper on the wall says you got smarts. The test that you took told you so, but you would still crawl like the vermin you are, once your precious power grids blown.

Land of the free, land of the lie, land of the scheme, Americanize.

Now that I have you held tight I will tell you a story, speak soft in your ear so you know that it's true. You are my love at first sight and though you're scared to be near me, my words penetrate your thoughts now in an intimate prelude.

I looked in your eyes, they were so dark, warm and trusting, as though you had not a worry or care. The more guiless [sic] the game the better potential to fill up those pools with your fear.

Your face framed in dark curls like a portrait, the sun shone through highlights of red. What color I wonder, and how straight will it turn plastered back with the sweat of your blood. 

Your wet lips were a promise of a secret unspoken, nervous laugh as it burst like a pulse of blood from your throat. There will be no more laughter here.

I feel your body tense up, my hand now on your shoulder, your eyes...Forget the lady called luck she does not abide near me for her powers don't extend to those who are dead.

[illegible words] would that I could keep you, let you be the master of your own fate...knowing full well what's at stake? My pretty captive butterfly colourful wings my hand smears..I somehow repaint them with punishment and tears.

Violent metamorphosis, emerge my dark moth princess, I would come often and worship on the alter of your flesh...you shudder with revulstion [sic] and tru to shrink far from me. I'll have you tied down and begging to become my stockholm sweetie.

Okay, talk is over, words are placid and weak. Back it with action or it all comes off cheap.Watch close while I work now, feel the electric shock of my touch, open your trembling flower, or your petals I'll crush.'' - Israel Keyes 


My thoughts...

As I mentioned before, I had no idea of the background of this case before it was recommended to me and I had done my research. Israel Keyes was a frightening individual as all serial killers are but he was a different kind of evil, he just lived to kill had no intentions to stop. 

There's probably hundreds of people out there who are missing that may have come into contact with Israel Keyes and nobody will ever find out what happened to them because he was very careful in the beginning. 

Some people think that he was careless with Samanthas' bank card because he wanted to get caught, maybe he though he was just too invincible. In the interview room with investigators, he sits on his chair with his coffee cup and smirk on his face like he is the star of the show and everybody is hanging on every word he says. You could see that he enjoyed the power of knowing where the bodies were and having all of the information.

A lot of serial killers enjoy the notoriety and the nicknames they are given when their crimes are discovered, Israel didn't want that sort of attention, he wanted to carry on killing and wanted to enjoy the news reports of people wondering who could have committed these murders but he didn't want his name attached to the crimes. 

He enjoyed outsmarting the police and leaving everyone wondering who and why and where. It was like he got a kick out of it. 

I'm not against homeschooling because I know there's parents out there who do a wonderful job but you have to wonder what was going on behind closed doors with his parents. You can tell that the parents were not exactly upstanding members of the community when they are friends with a racist murderer and attending white supremacist meetings.

Not a lot is known about his childhood or the background of of the relationship with his parents but one thing's for sure, he was a very sick, evil and twister individual.

I read an interview that Bills' mother had done after she found out that Israel had committed suicide and she said that at least she and her family would not have to be put through a trial. 

I feel so sorry for these people who lost their lives and their families. I also feel sorry for those who have missing relatives that they believe could have died at the hands of Israel Keyes. There are so many missing people in America that would have vanished around the same time that he was killing people and families won't be able to get the proper closure and answers they need.

I think he was a coward, he claimed he wanted the death penalty quickly but before he could face the trial he took his own life. Maybe he couldn't face the relatives? Or maybe he knew that his face would be all over the media and his daughter and family would all know how evil he was. he did say in an interview that he didn't want people to know about the sexual things that he did to his victims. 

What are your thoughts on Israel Keyes? Let me know in the comments below or elsewhere on social media (see below for my links and previous true crime cases)

Thanks as always for reading and I'll catch you in the next case x 

RIP Samantha, Debbie, Bill, Lorraine and all of the other countless victims of Israel Keyes. 

Further reading and sources:



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Check out some of the true crime cases I have covered previously:

Someone Knows | The Caroline Glachan Case

The Fake Uber Driver | The Samantha Josephson Case

The McDonald's Massacre (1984) | James Huberty

Wicked Child | The Mary Bell Case

What Really Happened To India Chipchase?

The Sylvia Likens Case

The Tragic Life & Death of Marvin Gaye

The Camden Ripper: Anthony John Hardy

Deadly Obsession: The Ricardo Lopez Story

Targeted: The Kriss Donald Story

-Toxic Relationship: The Tracie Andrews Story

Stalked To Death: The Alissa Blanton Story

Rod Ferrell And The Kentucky Vampire Cult

What Happened To Dominique Dunne?




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2 comments:

  1. He was a very scary man. I happened to watch a documentary about him not too long ago. I can't remember if it was on TV or Netflix. It's awful to think there are so many people out there that have gone missing and the families will never know what happened to them. Another fab post ☺

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    1. Thank you hun for taking the time to to read and comment : ) x

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