Sunday, December 02, 2012

Burden Of Guilt Proves Too Much For Israel Keyes To Bear As He Commits Suicide In The Anchorage Correctional Complex

Note: All posts on Israel Keyes can be displayed simultaneously HERE in inverse chronological order.

Apparently, the burden of guilt for his crimes became too much for Israel Keyes to bear as he committed suicide at the Anchorage Correctional Complex on December 2nd, 2012. Keyes was found dead in a cell and Alaska State Troopers were notified around 6:30 A.M. Although troopers determined it to be an apparent suicide, they found him alone in his cell, and don't suspect foul play. KTVA Channel 11 also has a story, in which they also provide a brief summary of his crime against Samantha Koenig.

Even though Keyes was officially presumed innocent until proven guilty, Alaska Dispatch reports that law enforcement disclosed that Keyes specifically confessed a number of crimes to investigators:

-- Keyes admitted to killing a Vermont couple, Bill and Lorraine Currier, who disappeared in June 2011.

-- Keyes confessed to two bank robberies, one in New York state and another one in Texas.

-- Keyes confessed to the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's Office and Anchorage Police that he'd killed Samantha Koenig.

In addition, authorities believe from dozens of hours of interviews with Keyes that he also killed four people in Washington State and one person in New York, although the identities of the victims were not disclosed. KTVA Channel 11 reports that Keyes actually confessed to these five additional murders. Officials also believe that there may have been additional victims in other states, and that these murders have been occurring for the last 10 years. Including Samantha Koenig, the number of Keyes' victims could total eight altogether, although no other Alaskans are believed to have been victims. Authorities also believe that Keyes was responsible for additional robberies across the U.S., which could have occurred anywhere he traveled to; they also say that Keyes' death won't end the investigation into his crimes.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis also disclosed that Keyes was highly organized and methodical, and that he never showed any remorse for his actions. He was thorough in his disposal of the bodies, and was not interested in giving families any closure. One of the reasons why there was such a close hold on the investigation was because Alaska authorities said it was necessary to keep much of its work secret in order to keep Keyes talking.

Pertinent media reports from other affected locations have been published by KING Channel 5 in Washington and the Burlington Free Press in Vermont (flexible pay wall -- only 10 free reads per 30 days). WCAX Channel 3 in Vermont also has a story, and provides numerous links to the Currier case.

Update December 3rd: Vermont authorities held their own press conference on this day. Tristram Coffin, the U.S. Attorney for Vermont, said Israel Keyes was a serial killer who traveled from Alaska to Vermont for the specific purpose of kidnapping and murdering, and who chose his victims there for no reason other than the layout of their home. He described Keyes as a force of pure evil acting at random. Coffin also disclosed that the murder in New York happened in 2009.

Reaction from the family of Samantha Koenig was forthcoming. Michelle Tasker, a spokeswoman for the Koenig family, said that news of Keyes' apparent suicide was not the outcome they wanted. "We would've obviously liked for him to have gone in front of a jury of his peers and answer for what he's been accused of doing," said Tasker. "He did an injustice again to Samantha." In Vermont, Marilyn Chates, the mother of Bill Currier, said there are mixed emotions surrounding Keyes’ suicide, writing in an e-mail that “So many thoughts have swirled through my mind, but at this moment I’m feeling that this probably is the best thing that could have happened. He will kill no more, and we all will be saved from months, if not years, of trials and appeals.”

All of this implies that we can throw the customary presumption of innocence out the window and consider Keyes' suicide an admission of guilt. While this short-circuits the possibility of closure for any remaining victims, their families and friends, it saves us the cost of a trial and lifetime imprisonment (assuming that he wouldn't have received the death penalty).

1 comment:

  1. "... said Tasker. "He did an injustice again to Samantha."

    Very restrained. Lame, really.