Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murders of David and Carol Keeffe: Preliminary Investigation

No Trespassing

Sign for Moore Road
Sign for Moore Road

After speaking with area residents, Lohr drove up Sayre Hill to get a glimpse of the David and Carol's house. Whether it out of a desire for privacy or simple coincidence, most people on Moore Road do not have a street number or name on their mailbox. So, for someone not familiar with the area, it is difficult to find one's way around. Once one does manage to locate the correct address the length of the driveway usually makes it impossible to see the house. "No Trespassing" signs are also posted to discourage any unauthorized access.

Drive leading to houses
Drive leading to houses

While the house remains hidden from the road, it can be seen in satellite images, which give a clearer picture of where the house is located. The driveway stretches back into the woods for about a mile, where a large steel gate bars entry to unauthorized persons. Beyond the gate there are three houses, one belonging to David and Carol Keeffe, another to Carol's parents, Michael and Ann DeSisti, and a third to Carol's sister and brother-in-law, Michelle and Thomas Witmer.

Aerial view of houses
Aerial view of houses

Several sources have said there are motion detectors along the driveway, so even if someone were to get past the gate, the person would most likely trip a motion sensor. The area surrounding the compound is pretty rugged terrain, so if someone wanted to approach from a direction other than the driveway, an all-terrain vehicle would almost certainly be needed. While it is possible a person could hike up to the family compound, one would be hard pressed to find a parking spot for their vehicle, as there are no pull offs in close proximity. Hence, whoever committed the murders was probably very familiar with the layout.

While it may not directly relate to the case at hand, Lohr did uncover an interesting tidbit during a visit to the Sayre Public Library. Someone had mentioned the unusual death of an attorney twenty years earlier, who was a former associate of David Keeffe's at the family law firm.

Sign: The law firm of DeSisti and Keeffe
Sign: The law firm of DeSisti and Keeffe

According to an Aug. 23, 1982, edition of The Evening Times, Michael Rosh, 29, had worked for DeSisti and Keeffe, before opening his own practice in Sayre. Rosh died that month, apparently from hitting his head while cleaning his swimming pool. The incident was ruled an accident; however several area residents, including one former police officer, believe Rosh may have died as a result of foul play.

Newspaper article about Rosh's death
Newspaper article about Rosh's death

It is also interesting to note that Michael's mother, Sophia Nikolay, suddenly disappeared three years later. A massive search was launched, and her body was found near the Chemung River. According to published reports, her death resulted from drowning. Why she would have gone into the river is unknown and Michael's relatives refused to comment for this story. The cases of Rosh and his mother probably have no demonstrable connection to the Keeffe murders, however the coincidences are interesting.

Rosh's obituary
Rosh's obituary

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