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Israel Keyes: The Horrific Serial Killer You've Probably Never Even Heard Of

Israel Keyes: The Horrific Serial Killer You've Probably Never Even Heard Of

Serial killer Israel Keyes committed a string of brutal murders, rapes and robberies during a 14-year period in the US, but despite this most people have never heard of him.

He managed to evade the FBI until 2012, by travelling across the US and seemingly following no set pattern with his kills, targeting both males and females of different ages. He stashed 'kill kits' around the country and was always careful to ensure he left no DNA evidence.

Despite his horrendous crime spree, author and journalist Maureen Callahan says the FBI has kept very quiet about Keyes.

In a chilling book, Callahan takes a deep, dark look at Keyes, his crimes, the victims and the case the FBI pulled up against him.

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Credit: American Predator/Maureen Callahan
Credit: American Predator/Maureen Callahan

Speaking to the Refinery 29 about her book American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century, Callahan said she first became interested in the case after spotting a small news article in the paper in December 2012.

"It ended with what I thought was a bombshell," Callahan said. "Which was that the FBI and the federal government had Israel Keyes in custody for nearly a year and had kept his existence a secret even though he'd been killing all over the United States for the past 14 years."

Serial killer Israel Keyes said he evaded the FBI by learning their methods. Credit: FBI
Serial killer Israel Keyes said he evaded the FBI by learning their methods. Credit: FBI
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Callahan was so intrigued by the case she set about researching Keyes, who was caught in February 2012 after killing 18-year-old Samantha Koenig in Alaska.

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Once in custody, Keyes confessed to at least three other murders. He told police he had learnt their methods to avoid being caught, revealing that he read the book Mind Hunter while he was just 14 and watched CSI.

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Authorities have said they believe he killed 11 people.

However others, including Callahan, think the real number could be much higher and we may never know the true figure, because Keyes killed himself while awaiting trial for the murder of Koenig in 2012.

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As Callahan continued to research her book, she came up with a number of dead ends when trying to find out about Keyes's background and upbringing and says there was no 'record or documentation' about the earlier part of his life, including time spent in the military.

"I became very determined to know more about what the FBI was hiding," she told the news outlet.

"And so, I wound up suing the federal prosecutor in Alaska to the tune of like $30,000 to get interrogations with Keyes that they had been hiding, 13 hours' worth."

Well, that's one way of doing it.

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Callahan believes that Keyes could be responsible for many more crimes and that a number of cold cases could be closed.

She is also hopeful that this unique case could help better inform police in future, adding: "I think that there's a lot that law enforcement can learn from this case. I think there's a lot that the criminal profilers in this case are still learning."

Featured Image Credit: FBI

Topics: US News, crime

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Claire Reid

Claire is a journalist at LADbible who, after dossing around for a few years, went to Liverpool John Moores University. She graduated with a degree in Journalism and a whole load of debt. When not writing words in exchange for money she is usually at home watching serial killer documentaries surrounded by cats. You can contact Claire at [email protected]