Rogue and Wicked

Israel Keyes

November 04, 2022 Tiffany Season 1 Episode 2
Rogue and Wicked
Israel Keyes
Show Notes Transcript

The most calculated serial killer you've probably never heard about. This man was a meticulous serial killer who brought terror to Anchorage Alaska and sent the police on a multistate man hunt to find out who killed Samantha Koenig.

Trigger warning! This episode contains rape

To report tips about the Israel Keyes case, call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI, or submit them online at

American Predator by Maureen Callahan

I miss spoke during the episode and gave the wrong address to the website lol. 
my bad!

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Israel Keyes. 

Samantha Koenig, 18 years old, had been working as a barista at a local coffee kiosk. It was normal for the girls to work alone in this small box of a coffee shop.  the girls wore bikini’s when it was hot which some say sexualized the girls and didn’t make it easy to work there in the summer months.  It was teal with large windows so the girls could take payment and deliver the coffee to the customers. The large opening also made the girls vulnerable if someone was to ever rob them. It was rough living in Anchorage Alaska. The terrain was rugged, yet beautiful, but the winter nights were bitter and bone chilling. Samantha was on the job just one month when one night she just disappeared. 

She was reported missing the morning of Thursday, Feb. 2nd, 2012. The morning barista was coming in to relieve Samantha but noticed she was gone and the counters were dirty. Napkins were strewn out amongst the floor. That was unlike Samantha, she was a neat freak, which worried her father immensely. 

Samantha was a popular high school senior who sometimes cut class. Sources weren’t sure but thinks that she might have had a history with drugs. (which to me who the fuck cares if she did or not) She got along with everyone she knew but the two main people in her life were her boyfriend Duane and her father. She wanted to work with animals or become a nurse and join the navy. She worked a lot of dead end low paying jobs around Anchorage. She hung with some strays and misfits because she was very empathetical. She had two dogs she was obsessed with and a niece who she adored. She had Duane and he was saving up for a better life, working as a dishwasher at a seafood restaurant called Suite 100.

Initially on the scene the police found no signs of a struggle. (but if people knew her as a neat freak and saw napkins all over the floor and things strewn about, Id say that’s signs of a struggle but that’s just me) There was a panic button inside the kiosk that she hadn’t hit that night. Her cell phone showed she used it before and after she was missing. The texts included arguing with her boyfriend and she thought he was cheating on her. She also texted her father to bring her some dinner that night. 

The Anchorage police weren’t really equipped to deal with this type of crime but they put Detective Doll on the case, as she was highly recommended for her work as an undercover with the DEA.

The night she was abducted the weather was brutal. It was a little over 30 degrees and about 5ft of snow covering the ground. Detectives knew Samantha didn’t have her truck that night (her boyfriend had borrowed it ) Anchorage isn’t a walkable city so they knew she didn’t just wander off into the cold night on foot. Shitty police work made it even harder to contain the crime scene. They never taped it off  so the barista who came early in the morning ended up cleaning up any evidence that could have potentially helped catch the person who abducted her. 

Detective Doll finally looked at the surveillance footage after the owner, who lived 2500 miles away had obtained 8 hours earlier but lagged on getting it to investigators. Since the police were lagging on the investigation, Samantha’s father repeatedly called her cell phone until the cell went dead. He also waited outside the kiosk the next day hoping she would come back. He stood in the freezing cold for over 8 hours.

In the surveillance footage you see whoever was outside the kiosk kept out of view of the cameras. She was chatting with the customer and seemed very relaxed and at ease. Approx. 2 min into the video she suddenly turns the lights out. Samantha’s hands go up with a shadowy person pointing a gun at her. They determined the person holding her up had to be really tall because the window was low to the ground and the persons aim was very high. She turns around and backs up to the counter with her hands still up. She then gets onto her knees and stays in that position for over a minute. She then gets up and takes the money out of the cash register. The CCTV footage was so grainy they couldn’t tell if she put it on the counter or gave it to the man. Then again gets back down on her knees. At the 5 minute mark, he leans half way into the window and tries getting her arms behind her back. Two more minutes elapse, and no one sees him. This is located between a parking lot of a huge gym and a busy road. 

Seconds later, Detective Payne watches as the kidnapper jumps over the counter like a lion pouncing on its prey. He lands to her right side. Looks out the window, shuts it and seems to have a conversation with Samantha. He picks up her purse and shows it to her which looked like it was empty. At approx.. 9 minutes he is kneeling with his arm wrapped tight around Samantha. Detectives can see white lettering on the back of his jacket or hoodie but they cant read it. 

He gets her to her feet and moves her through the front door and shows him guiding her away from the cameras. His arm still wrapped around her and they walk off into the snow. 

APD didn’t want to go public with her kidnapping but 2 days after that decision, her father forced them to. 

Samantha’s father was very involved in her life. He was known around town to be somewhat of a badass. He hung with bikers and at strip clubs. He was rumored to be in the drug trade but that was never corroborated and could be hearsay. His knick name was Sonny and some of the towns people said he was a bad man. But regardless, he was a single dad and Samantha was his whole world. 

He started going around town handing out fliers to anyone who would take them. The fliers had Samantha’s face on them with big red lettering that said “kidnapped”. James talked to any reporter who would listen about his daughter. One reported quoted him as saying “ I called her cell phone until the battery died, and texted it and everything. It would ring until it just went to voice mail and then , noon yesterday, it just went to voice mail, strait out. “

Police thought she might know her kidnapper, Or that she was faking a kidnapping to run away. To them she could just be another girl who wandered off  or get lost on a dark trailhead or freeze to death in a snow bank. The Police started fixating on her father and Duane as suspects because they were closest to the victim and because they thought she knew her killer it seemed like the easy choice. 

Detective Doll interviewed both Duane and Sonny separately on Thursday morning. Hours after she disappeared. She instantly said Sonny was very strait forward and truthful. But she still wasn’t convinced of what they saw the night she disappeared. 

According to Duane , he said he drove over to common grounds in the pick up truck at about 8:30pm. He was running late for his job by like 10 minutes. When he pulled up to the kiosk the lights were all out. He got out of the truck and peered inside the window. No one was there. He noticed the napkins and general messiness of the place and confirmed that Samantha wouldn’t have left it that way. He said he was afraid to go inside because of the alarm and didn’t want the police to be called. 

He said he figured she caught a ride with someone else. Detective Doll wanted proof of his alibi so she asked to see his phone. She noticed the text messages of Duane and Samantha fighting. Duane said that it was going well but things were a bit rocky sometimes but they were past that. He admitted he was flirting with other girls though. He said he called her that night to talk it out because she accused him of cheating on her. She got angry and hung up on him. 

At 11:30pm she sent a text to Duane’s phone that read “FU asshole, I know what you did and im going to spend a couple of days with friends, need time to think. Plan acting weird, let my dad know”

Duane then said he went home to Sonny’s and waited up for her. Around 3am he suddenly needed to open the front door and go outside. He said he saw a man with a mask, about six ft away, going through the truck. They looked at each other and stood for a minute then he closed the door to the truck and walked away. He went back inside and told sonny about it. An hour later Sonny searched the truck to see what was missing and the man had taken Samantha’s drivers license. Then they went back into the house and went to bed until 9:30 am. 

He said he didn’t report it because he didn’t believe anyone would do anything if she wasn’t missing for more that 24 hours. Detectives sent officers to the house to ask a few more questions. Both duane and sonny were acting suspicious and wouldn’t let officers inside the house. They slipped in and out of the front door making sure it was pressed against them so the officers couldn’t peek in. 

Detectives ran the names and photos of more than 24 friends and acquaintances of Samanthas. Sams phone hadn’t been used since the night she disappeared. They had zero leads except the suspicion of Sonny and Duane. They went crazy when local gossipers told detectives that Sonny was involved with the Russian mafia, hells angels and dealing drugs. Someone said Samantha was stealing drugs from local dealers and reselling them. Also that Samantha had stolen 5 grand from her father the week before she went missing. 

Her body was not found but someone heard it was and the case was getting out of control. 

Sonny had collected 60,000 dollars of reward money using a go fund me. His facebook was generating tons of leads making investigators look incompetent. 

February 24th, Duane received a text from Samantha’s phone that read, “ conner park sign under pic of albert aint she perty.” APD, Sonny and Duane drove up Conner’s park. There was a zip lock bag under a missing poster of a dog named Albert. Inside the Ziplock bag was a rambling ransom note and a xeroxed copy of a polaroid of Samantha. She had silver duct tape covering her mouth and chin, she was wearing eyeliner and her hair was braided. Her head was being held up by a man but all you could see was his hand and arm. In the picture there was a newspaper dated February 13, 2012. 

The Ransom note asked for her father to put 30,000 dollars into Duane and Samantha’s account. If this was done that Samantha would be released in six months. At this point detectives knew they had to bring the FBI in which was a relief because again, they weren’t equipped for this type of case. Sonny was hesitant and didn’t want to deposit the money into the account because he thought it was a scam but APD wanted him to deposit at least 5000 of it so they could watch the ATM’s that the kidnapper was using her card at. 

Sonny spent most of the money on himself but put up a facebook post asking people to donate to the Denali Federal Credit union and listed her account number. They thought this was suspicious that he wouldn’t donate and was begging for money on facebook. So they obtained a search warrant and found a grow operation inside the home. (mary Jane) but found nothing else to link Sonny to the kidnapping of his daughter. Sonny finally came around and deposited the 5000 minimum into the account. The ATM card was used right after she went missing and before Sonny deposited any money. The kidnapper knew it was empty. Once the money was in the account it started pinging all over the place.

Forensic analyst, Chris Iber was brought in to look at the surveillance videos. He described the man as athletic, tall, with a dark hooded jacket that said CORPS. Which told investigators he was in the marines. He had on a light colored pair of eyeglasses and a gray facemask. Gray gloves, dark pants and a white shoes. 

3 weeks after her disappearance the APD finally asked for footage of the home depot that was facing the kiosk. What shitty police work. They saw a white chevy truck in the parking lot  with no license plate. He had gotten out of the truck alone and was coming back 20 min later with Samantha in tow. She broke away from him when they were trying to cross the street but he tackled her and stood her up. Then waited for shoppers to get into their cars before putting her into the truck and pulling away. 

The ATM card now pinged in the lower 48, in Wilcox, Arizona. Then again in Lordsburg, New Mexico. They put a BOLO on the vehicle he was driving. He was no longer driving the chevy but was now driving a Ford Focus rental car. The BOLO went out to LA, San Diego, Pheonix, Albequerque and El Paso.

The Card kept pinging and the Texas rangers received the BOLO and determined that he had to take Luftkin, which sat off of Routh 59. It was a highway connection and the next nearest city was Humble. Pings were happening in closer and closer proximity and they knew he was nesting in that area. They knew they were relying on dumb luck at this point because a ford focus was a very common car at the time. A good way to blend in. 

Deb Gannaway had gotten the BOLO and decided to come to come by to talk to Detective Rayburn in Texas. A local police officer said he was driving around local hotel parking lots and spotted a white ford focus. Gannaway and Rayburn headed over to the Quality Inn to check out the car. They looked inside but seen nothing of substance. He wasn’t staying at the quality inn. But there were neighboring hotels all around the parking lot. The police spotted him on the upper floor and kept eyes on him. He went down and calmy entered the ford focus. They pulled him over for speeding 2 miles over the speed limit. 

He had a story for where he was going, what he was doing, and why he was doing it. It seemed like he was giving too much information to police. His drivers license showed he was from Anchorage Alaska and that His name was Israel Keyes. He said he was in town for his sister’s wedding. He had a knife tucked in his front pocket and another in the rear. He had no record, warrants or priors. He was sweating profusely, and rangers noted that. Rayburn peered into the passenger side of the car and saw the white sneakers sticking out under the front seat. He told officers no when they asked to search his wallet. In Texas if rangers think you are part of a crime they do not need probable cause to search your vehicle. So they did. 

They found A pink backpack, pornographic DVDS, Airline tickets from Alaska to Washington traveling with his daughter, An ATM receipt, rolls of cash, a gray cloth mask, gloves, Samanthas phone, a hand gun, binoculars, a ski mask, a head lamp and Duane’s ATM card. Israel Keyes was arrested and taken to the station. 

Back in anchorage, Det. Doll wrote up a search warrant for keye’s address and searched the home, hoping to find Samantha Alive. His truck matched the truck in the Anchorage surveillance video from the Home Depot. He had taken the lumber rack off and reattached it after the fact. The FBI contacted Keyes’s wife and found out he had a daughter also. She said he was with her all night the night Samantha went missing. The next morning they took a flight to take a Cruise. She met up with them two days later and enjoyed their vacation. 

Keyes’s backstory was kinda chaotic but necessary to tell because it kinda explained some of his behaviors. So Keyes, was born in Richmond, Utah in 1978 to Heidi and John Keyes. Heidi and John were non denominational eveangelical mormon’s. They belonged to the church called “The Ark”. It was a church that was very anti-semetic and even had pamphlets that taught a “them against us” mentality. They had an irrational distrust for the government and modern medicine, so Heidi had given birth to all 10 of her children at home. With no medical care. The family lived off the grid, with no electricity or running water. Keye’s and his siblings were all homeschooled and all followed the Mormon way. The family was completely isolated from society. 

The family moved to Colville, Washington because John and Heidi left the Mormon faith. But soon after, joined a fundamental Christian sector that was also practicing white supremacy. Keye’s developed interest in hunting and guns at a young age. He stole guns from neighbors and tortured animals. What was interesting is that Chevie Kehoe was a neighbor of his. Chevie was convicted of three murders in 1996. Being that the two were friends at one point, I kind of wonder if Chevie ever had any kind of influence over Keyes. 

One day Keye’s came out as an atheist in his teens. His parents found his gun stash that he had stolen from the neighbors, and they told him he had to move out. He joined the military and became a decorated marksman. He never had gotten into any trouble during his stent in the army except a driving while intoxicated once but was honorably discharged 4 years later. Being a marksman, I think, maybe had something to do with a lot of his kill behaviors. Staking out spots in the wilderness, being prepared with kill kits, knowing locations and finding them, using tracking systems and fish finders to try to keep track of a body, and hunting down unsuspecting victims. We will get more into why I think this way but lets keep on keeping on… 

SO Back in Texas keye’s was very relaxed and grandiose while talking with detectives. He gave short smug answers and refused to answer any questions about anything pertaining to Samantha’s disappearance. Detective doll and detective bell flew in from Anchorage to take a crack at questioning Keyes. As soon as they arrived there was an active shooter outside the courthouse that was unrelated to keyes. 2 hours later it was safe to enter. 

When detectives asked him about samantha’s belongings being in his car he finally started talking. He said someone threw a zip lock bag into his open truck window. He found it on the seat and kept it, thinking it was payment for services of keyes construction. After he was arraigned bell spotted Keyes’s mother outside of the courthouse. Bell pleaded with her to talk her son into telling them where they could find Samantha. Her response tells you a lot about his family. She said and I quote “ I cant help you. Well, if god wants that girl found. She will be found” WTF! That made me crazy when I read that. 

After he was extradited, two weeks later, to Anchorage Alaska, his mother finally gave police information about his whereabouts during the time of the abduction. Heidi (keyes’s mother) told police. March 8th Keyes and his daughter arrived at Heidi’s at 10pm. He had flown from Anchorage to Seattle and then to Las Vagas. In vegas he rented a car and drove to Texas. She said something struck her as odd when keyes snuck out of the house sometime early in the morning. He left a note, “gone to fix my window and find a place to hide my guns.” He never returned to his mothers. 

In the family group chat Keyes texted back to them the next day that he was parked in a shopping center in Cleburne. The family drove to pick him up but he wasn’t there, so they stayed all night and slept in their cars. They found him the next day on the other side of the building disheveled and incoherent. Driving a blue Kia Soul. He was covered in mud. He told them he ran out of gas, his credit cards weren’t working, he had no cash and didn’t sleep for two days. 

And by the way, at the time, he was estranged from his family. Ever since he was a teenager and came out as an Atheist his family really didn’t want much to do with him. His sister’s wedding came up as a surprise and he decided to visit with his family all of a sudden after a pretty lengthy amount of time that they were apart. The family welcomed him but they said something interesting later on. They mentioned that he was acting really weird at the wedding, drinking a lot, talking to himself and starting fights with guests at the wedding. Which I think he was unravelling, mentally, he was making mistakes and I think his mental state had a lot to do with how he had gotten caught. 

Keyes made bond and lawyered up but came back into the station to make a deal with detectives for information. The deal was that if they kept his name out of the papers and brought him coffee and cigars, he would tell them what they wanted to know. He told authorities that he kidnapped Samantha and took her to his shed, on the side of his house. He started drinking profusely and after he was intoxicated, he turned the music up in the shed. He then repeatedly raped Samantha into the early morning. He then strangled Samantha and put her into a box to cover her up and left for a cruise where he met his wife two days later. He then realized it was a good opportunity to make some money off of the kidnapping and when he returned, he took her body out of the box. It was frozen because it was still in the 30’s two weeks after she died. The cold preserved the body and slowed decomposition, so he thawed her out with space heaters. He then did her makeup and braided her hair “just like he did, his daughters”. He sewed her eyes open and held her head up for the polaroid photo so she would look alive. Then he wrote the ransom note and took it to the park. 

He disposed of her body in Manatusca Lake by cutting a hole in the ice and dumping her body in there. 

After asking for promises to give him the death penalty to avoid going to trial he told them about his first attempted kill. In Maupin Oregon he was watching a group of rafters floating down the river. One girl had gotten separated from the group and came to the shore. He grabbed her and took her to an outhouse where he raped her and tied her up. He said she knew he was going to kill her so she pleaded for her life. She started asking him personal questions and telling him he was handsome. That if he wanted to go out with her he should have just asked her. Telling him he didn’t need to do this… after a while she talked him into setting her free. He threatened her and said he would find her and kill her if she ever told. He said that was the first time and last time he would ever let a victim go. 

Keyes traded additional information for more jail house perks and gave up the names of Bill and Lorraine Currier. In 2009, he buried a kill kit in Burlington Vermont. In 2011 he came back to dig it up and stalk a new victim. He chose Bill and Lorraine because their house looked like an older couples house, he could tell by the way the yard was kept. He didn’t see any evidence of a dog or children. Bill and Lorraine went missing June 9th 2011 when they never had shown up to work. Both of them were very reliable so coworkers became concerned. They were reported missing by their co workers but when police searched the house there was no sign of a struggle other than a broken window. It remained unsolved until 2012.

Keyes said he staked out the house Bill and Lorraine lived in. He took a fan out of the window climbed inside and broke another window to get into the main house. He cut the phone line and then he waited until the whole neighborhood fell asleep. He then blitz attacked them in their bedroom. He took them captive with a hand gun and took them in their own car to an abandoned farmhouse near by. He took bill down-stairs and cable tied his hands. His wife escaped from the car outside. Keyes followed pursuit and tackled her in the dirt. He then tied her back up and took her into the room next to Bills. He sexually assaulted her so that bill could hear him through the wall. Bill struggled to get out of the cables and fought as hard as he could to get to his wife. Keyes shot Bill dead and then strangled Lorraine to death. He told detectives he put their bodies in bags and left them in the basement of the farm house. The house had been demolished the next year and Authorities in Vermont sifted through 13000 cubic yards of trash, at a local landfill, to see if they could find Bill and Lorraine. They came up empty. So they brought cadaver dogs to the spot where the abandoned farmhouse used to be and they alerted authorities that there had been in fact a body, or bodies, decomposing in the spot the house was located.  

Someone leaked information to the media and all the work police were doing to get keyes to confess backfired when they ran a story featuring keyes as the person responsible for the disappearance of Lorraine and Bill currier. Then investigators had to regain his trust all over again. Police tried to urge him to at least tell them how many victims he had killed. He said less than a dozen and then stopped talking about it. 

 because of the media breach he only gives information in small segments at this time. He indicated that his first murder was in 2001 when he moved to Neah Bay Washington. He moved to be with his pregnant girlfriend at the time. but investigators had no idea who the victim was or exactly where it had happened. Soon after Keyes said that he killed his second and third victims in Olympic National Park. They believe the second and third victims were a couple hiking through the National Park. That he killed the female first and then killed the male with a shovel strike to the head. He presented himself, at the time, as a doting new father and a contractor who did good meticulous work. He seemed, on the outside, to be living a very normal life. He told investigators he never targeted children after his daughter was born. (which to me sounds odd. Did he target any children prior to his daughter being born?)

He did everything to keep his family in the dark about his crimes. He would make up elaborate stories about visiting friends and family to explain his small vacations in other states. 

He gives the APD two more murders but wont divulge who they are. Lake cresent, Washington was one of those places. He said he disposed of a victim there. Keys shut down because he wasn’t given a date for his execution yet. 

While still in Washington His girlfriend was drinking a lot and keyes determined she was an unfit mother so he moved to Anchorage Alaska where he started a new family. The family traveled to NJ on a family vacation and murdered Debra Feldman. She was a sex worker who was estranged from her family. When she disappeared her family and friends assumed she ran off. There wasn’t a lot of media attention on her disappearance. Keyes refused to give any more information about Debra Feldman or tell them where she was but she was tied to him because he was in the area when she went missing on April 9th. April 11th he robbed a bank nearby and was caught on surveillance video. 

In mid 2011 he started stalking prey close to his home in Anchorage. Near earthquake park, he stalked a couple with intent to kill, he had a gun on both of them and was ready to shoot them when two police patrol cars pulled into the parking lot. He decided it was too risky, turned around and went home. 

The police at this point wanted to use a drone and a map to find his cache spots to find where some of his kills occurs. Police were excited about this because it would give some families closure. Unfortunately right before they were able to execute this, Israel Keyes took a shaving razor and attached it to a pencil. He slit his wrists and hung himself in his jail cell. Correctional officers would not say how he had gotten the razor. He left a cryptic suicide note. 

Investigators still don’t know how many victims he had but believe there were 11 because they found 11 drawings of skulls that he had drawn with his own blood. The drawings were found under his prison bed. They are hoping more people come forward with more information because they believe there are 7 more victims out there. 

It was never confirmed but they believe Julie Harris, 12 years old, was abducted in 1996 by keyes. She was waiting for the bus to go to church and was special needs. Friends of julie’s remember Keyes talking to Julie the local pool, she swam in often. Friends said she gave him her phone number and address. Her prosthetic feet were found at the mouth of Colville River and her skeletal remains were discovered a year later. Keyes was 18 years old at the time so it was likely it could have been one of his first kills. It may also be why he said once his daughter was born he wouldn’t ever target children. 

Its ashame there are so many families of victims who may never get closure on their loved ones but Im hoping maybe theres something out there… a tip, a witness… a person who may have heard something that comes forth with some new information to solve these cold case files. 

And that’s the story of Israel Keyes

To report tips about the Israel Keyes case, call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI, or submit them online at