Washington’s Evilest Serial Killer is One You’ve Never Heard Of
Unfortunately, Washington and serial killers go together like Washington and rain. Ted Bundy, Gary Ridgway, and Robert Lee Yates. These notorious murderers all came from Washington. But you already knew those names and probably quite well. There is one name you don't know, but you should. That's because he may be more monstrous than Bundy, Yates, and the Green River Killer.
Israel Keyes may be Washington's most brutal serial killer.
Israel Keyes moved to Washington when he was five years old. Like many serial killers, he had a difficult upbringing and gave the other kids an uncomfortable feeling whenever he was around. Not much is known about Keyes' early crimes outside of a 1997/1998 sexual assault of a young teenage girl who had been inner-tubing the Deschutes River in Oregon.
He enlisted in the United States Army in 1998 and was stationed at Fort Hood. After his 2001 honorable discharge, Keyes moved back to Washington, this time living on the Makah Reservation. In 2001, Keyes' daughter was born.
Keyes is suspected to have killed more than eleven people, possibly close to forty.
Israel Keyes is one of the hardest serial killers to understand. Unlike most killers, he didn't have a type. His selection process was random. Rather than decide who to kill, Keyes pre-meditated where to kill. Because of his meticulous planning and preparation, an exact timeline or the number of victims is difficult to determine. He's linked to murders in Washington, with investigators believing he started killing shortly after leaving the army.
Israel Keyes buried "kill kits" in the states he wanted to murder in.
After moving to Alaska in 2007, Keyes owned his own construction business. Between 2007 and 2012, Keyes is believed to have taken over 30 trips, many of them flights, to prepare for and commit his crimes across the country. In one such instance, he flew from Alaska to Chicago to drive to Vermont so he couldn't be tracked easily. Keyes would put together kill kits filled with various tools for murder, including a gun, garbage bags, and more. He would bury these caches in the states he knew he wanted to kill in, and then return to Alaska. Keyes would wait as long as two years to return to that state, dig up his kit, and find a victim. After his capture, Keyes confessed to eleven murders, including four in Washington. Investigators believe the number is substantially higher. This map and timeline paint a good picture of all the crimes Keyes committed or was linked to.
While he confessed to numerous crimes, Israel Keyes took many more secrets to the grave.
In 2012, Keyes kidnapped 18-year-old barista, Samantha Koenig, right out of the espresso drive-thru stand she was working in. It's one of the most horrifying CCTV videos I've ever seen. After he killed the poor girl, he went on a cruise. That's insane! Because it was February in Alaska, she froze while he was on the cruise. He returned two weeks later to find she had frozen. I'm glossing over what he did next, but he took a photo of Samantha's body (he did her hair and make-up and other preparations) and sent it to her family for ransom. It's very upsetting stuff.
While Keyes did undergo lengthy interviews with investigators, he took more secrets to the grave than he shared. Israel Keyes killed himself in December 2012 while in prison.