48 Hours on ID is investigating the serial killer Israel Hayes, who the FBI believes is responsible for at least 11 murders between 1997 and 2012. He is also suspected of carrying out numerous rapes, burglaries, and bank robberies.
In February 2012, Keyes abducted 18-year-old Samantha Koenig from a coffee stand in Anchorage, Alaska, where she was an employee. He robbed her debit card and sexually assaulted her before killing her the following day.
After the murder, he left for a vacation in the Caribbean, but on his return, he tried to extort a ransom from Samantha’s family by pretending she was still alive. The family deposited some money in his account, unaware that she had been dead for some time.
Keyes made the mistake of using Samantha’s debit card, which allowed the police to track his movements. He continued to use the debit card to make his way through New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. He was eventually arrested in March 2012 by a Texas Ranger.
The serial killer confessed to the murder of Samantha Koenig when he was returned to Alaska. Incredibly, during subsequent interviews, he admitted to killing at least 11 more people. The first murder occurred in Oregon in either 1997 or 1998.
It would then transpire that Keyes’s carelessness in the Samatha Koenig case was an unusual anomaly as he generally exercised extreme caution to evade capture.
Keyes seemingly chose his victims randomly; he often just waited for someone to cross his path, and he didn’t care about his victim’s age or gender. He later told investigators that he sometimes used cemeteries or parks or campgrounds, where he said he had less choice of victim, but fewer witnesses.
Serial killer Israel Keyes owned ‘murder kits’
Keyes was meticulous in planning his murders; he kept a so-called “murder kit” hidden in various secluded locations around the United States.
In 2011, he flew from Alaska to Chicago, where he rented a car and drove 1000 miles to Vermont. In Vermont, he randomly selected middle-aged couple Bill and Lorraine Currier for murder. He broke into the Currier’s home and abducted them. He killed them both after sexually assaulting Lorraine. Their bodies have never been found.
Keyes specifically traveled the country in order to perform murders, and it is his careful planning, such as in the Currier case, that seems to have allowed him to get away with it so long. When he traveled, he was careful not to leave a trail; he would switch off his cellphone and only pay for items in cash.
Federal agents are still working on the case; they believe that Keyes murdered at least eleven people in the USA, and they also suspect he may have killed while abroad.
Unfortunately, Keyes managed to escape justice when he slit his wrists while in his jail cell in Anchorage in December 2012. However, the FBI remains committed to uncovering his victims.
More from 48 Hours on ID
Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on 48 Hours on ID.
Erika Sandoval hid in the home of her police officer, ex-husband Daniel Greene in Exeter, California. When he returned home, she shot him repeatedly while he was using the bathroom. Sandoval had had a history of aggressive and violent behavior towards her former partner.
Dr. Teresa Sievers was found brutally beaten to death on the floor of her kitchen in Bonita Springs, Florida. Her husband, Mark Sievers, was out of town on vacation; however, the cops subsequently learned that he had persuaded his friend to kill his wife while he was away.
48 Hours on ID airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.