Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Update: Police Release Dead Serial Killer’s Account of Murder of Samantha Koenig

Samantha Koenig

Samantha Koenig

Suspected, and now dead, serial killer Israel Keyes was arrested March 2012 in Texas in connection with the February 1 abduction of missing Alaskan barista Samantha Koenig, 18. By April he had confessed to killing the teen, and had led investigators to the belief that he had killed seven other people as well, including a Vermont couple. Those cases are still under investigation. Due to the ongoing investigation, police released few details, but since Keyes was found dead of an apparent suicide in his cell on December 2, more information on the case is being made public.

The FBI released the surveillance video of Koenig’s abduction, as well as details of her death. The video shows Koenig taking an order, putting up her hands, turning off the lights, and exiting the kiosk with her hands bound. Another camera picks her up outside the kiosk walking away with her abductor. Keyes is seen later returning and taking her cell phone.

According to FBI investigators Keyes sexually assaulted Koenig and then strangled her, before leaving her corpse in a shed while he left town to enjoy a two-week cruise in New Orleans. He then tied her up, posed the body to look alive, and took a photo of it with a newspaper dated February 13, 2012. Keyes texted Koenig’s boyfriend with directions to a ransom note. The ransom note, which was written on the back of a photocopy of the photo, demanded $30,000. Keyes dismembered Koenig, went to Matanuska Lake, which is north of Anchorage, cut a hole in the ice with a chain saw and dumped her remains. In April Keyes told authorities where to look for her.

Searching the lake where Koenig's remains were found.

Searching the lake where Koenig's remains were found.

Keyes has property in New York, which has been extensively searched by FBI, and has confessed to killing people both there and in Washington State, where he lived at one time. It seems that, for about ten years, Keyes travelled all over the U.S. choosing victims at random, and methodically killing them and disposing of their remains. Koenig’s murder, however, was committed close to home, “He broke his own rule,” said Anchorage homicide Detective Monique Doll.

Slideshow: Snatched by a Stranger

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