Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murders of David and Carol Keeffe: Suspect and Arrest

Logging Issues

Investigators from the various law enforcement agencies involved eventually learned that Carol Keeffe had retained the services of a logger prior to her murder, in September 2006, to begin clearing portions of her land in New York. John DeSisti, however, purportedly obstructed the logger's progress by making access to Carol's land difficult. John apparently stored materials and placed other objects on Carol's land, forcing the logger to find alternate access. The logger persisted, though, and throughout October and November 2006 he continued clearing her land.

Carol Keeffe
Carol Keeffe

In October 2006, the logger made a mistake. He crossed over the property line onto DeSisti's land and in error cut down several of DeSisti's trees. The mistake resulted in DeSisti painting a boundary line, which the logger believed was inaccurate. The logger believed that DeSisti was claiming more land than actually belonged to him, according to a later grand jury's fact-finding report. The logger pointed out the boundary error to DeSisti, who reportedly replied that he knew where the boundary line was. Carol Keeffe, upon hearing of the problems between DeSisti and the logger, told the logger to "be careful," explaining that her cousin was trouble and "real sneaky."

On November 9, 2006, Keeffe had a surveyor commence a survey of her land, according to arrangements she had made two months earlier. Four days later, on November 13, 2006, after the preliminary boundary flagging had been completed, the surveyor noted that several of his flags had been removed. Carol and David Keeffe were murdered four days later. As a result of the crime and the ensuing investigation, the surveyor stopped work on the project until January 2008, at which time he was contracted by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) to complete the survey. The survey showed that the property line painted by DeSisti was not accurate and that two of his buildings were in fact on Carol's property, just as she had suspected. By the time that PSP ordered the survey completed, investigators already had DeSisti in their crosshairs as the prime suspect. By 2008 they were merely tying up loose ends.