Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murders of David and Carol Keeffe: Suspect and Arrest

Search Warrant

During the course of their probe, investigators learned that John DeSisti was an avid hunter and trapper with considerable experience. He was known to dispatch animals caught in his traps with a single shot to the head using a .22-caliber firearm. He was also known to hunt small game and water fowl with 12 gauge shotguns and was said to be proficient in their use. Police were told that DiSisti sometimes hunted on the Keeffe property and that he was quite familiar with it.

On December 11, 2006, both prior to and during the execution of a search warrant at John DeSisti's home, the prime suspect acknowledged to PSP investigators that he killed trapped animals by shooting them in the head with a .22-caliber rifle. He stated that he did not own a handgun, and later denied owning a handgun in response to police questioning. As the search of his home got underway, he was again asked where he kept his handguns and again he stated that he did not have any. When confronted with information that investigators possessed records that indicated otherwise, that he had at one time purchased a Smith & Wesson .22- caliber handgun, DeSisti agreed that he had owned such a weapon but that it had been stolen from his truck 30 years earlier and had never been recovered.

Similar Smith & Wesson .22-caliber handgun
Similar Smith & Wesson .22-caliber handgun

During the execution of the search warrant on DeSisti's property, investigators discovered 12 gauge shotgun ammunition, .22-caliber ammunition, and a loaded 12 gauge shotgun in a closet inside the master bedroom. They also recovered a loaded .22-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver along with a single .22-caliber round on the top shelf of a cabinet inside the master bedroom. Five 12 gauge shotguns, eight .22-caliber rifles, and several boxes of ammunition, both 12 gauge and .22-caliber, were recovered from a gun closet located in the basement. They also found a Browning Medalist .22-caliber automatic pistol hanging on the wall inside the gun closet, along with its owner's manual.

Other items seized during the search included a pair of Cabela's Outfitter Series boots, size 10 ½ EE, which were being worn by the suspect; five additional pairs of the same type and size of boots located in the basement; .38-caliber and .22-caliber rounds in a container kept in a closet in another bedroom; another 12 gauge shotgun, two .22-caliber rifles, boxes of .22-caliber rounds, a variety of shotgun shells including the type of Winchester rounds found at the crime scene, and latex gloves inside of a hunting vest pocket, all from a garage on the property that was also used as a workshop.

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