The Truth About Israel Keyes' Final Known Victim, Samantha Koenig - Grunge (2024)

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ByLeslie Veliz/

It's believed that serial killer Israel Keyes had at least 11 victims, according to Oxygen. One of these confirmed kills was Samantha Koenig, an 18-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska. As The Brag Media explains, Keyes was not your run-of-the-mill serial killer. He went to great lengths and took various precautions to avoid being detected. This included traveling around the country, burying "murder kits," and paying for everything in cash. Additionally, he chose his victims randomly and later told authorities he killed because "Why not?" (per USA Today). Koenig, however, would be his downfall.

On February 1, 2012, Keyes kidnapped the teen from a coffee stand and told her that he was taking her for ransom money. Per Alaska Public Radio, Koenig attempted to flee but was instead forced into Keyes' vehicle. As he drove off, Keyes realized that Koenig did not have her cell phone or debit card on her. He needed both to procure the ransom. Keyes returned to the coffee stand, found Koenig's phone, and sent her friends and family texts to avert suspicion.

He then placed Koenig in a shed at his home. The Brag Media writes that Koenig informed Keyes that her debit card was inside her boyfriend's truck. Keyes drove to her boyfriend's residence and stole the card out of the vehicle. Koenig's boyfriend actually witnessed the theft but was unable to prevent Keyes from fleeing the scene. He was also unaware of the connection that this burglary had with his girlfriend.

He stored her body in a shed for weeks

The Truth About Israel Keyes' Final Known Victim, Samantha Koenig - Grunge (5)


Once Keyes knew he had access to Samantha Koenig's card, he returned to the shed to sexually assault and strangle her, asAlaska Public Radio writes. Hours after the murderhe and his family left for New Orleans to go on a cruise, according toAll That's Interesting. Meanwhile, Koenig's parents reported their daughter as missing. Per The Brag Media, Keyes returned from his vacation on February 17. He had left Koenig's frozen body inside of the shed for that entire duration (via Oxygen). Although Koenig had been dead for weeks, Keyes figured he could still get a ransom from her family.

The Cinemaholic explains that Keyes took Koenig's body and attempted to make her look alive. He sewed her eyes open and put makeup on her face (via The Brag Media). In addition, he took a Polaroid of her holding a recent newspaper as proof of life. According to Alaska Public Radio, Keyes took the photo, typed a $30,000 ransom on the back, and placed it at a local park. He then used Koenig's phone to text her boyfriend to provide instructions on what to do next.Oxygen states that soon after Keyes dismembered Koenig's body and dumped it in MatanuskaLake, Alaska.

Samantha Koenig led to his capture

The Truth About Israel Keyes' Final Known Victim, Samantha Koenig - Grunge (6)


Around the same time, Samantha Koenig's father, James, had gathered the $30,000 and had deposited the funds into his daughter's account, asAlaska Public Radio reports. Authorities then decided to track the debit card as they assumed that the individual making any withdrawals had to be Koenig's kidnapper. According to All That's Interesting, withdrawals were made in Anchorage, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas by a perpetrator in a white Ford Focus. On March 13, 2012, State Troopers in Texas stopped a vehicle with a similar description (per Oxygen).

Inside the vehicle was Keyes, along with Koenig's debit card and cell phone. The Brag Media writes that Keyes was arrested. He subsequently confessed to several crimes, including Koenig's abduction and murder and the unsolved murder of Bill and Lorraine Currier, a couple from Vermont. Days later, Koenig's remains were found in Matanuska Lake (via a different article from Oxygen).

In December 2012, Israel Keyes took his own life while in prison (via All That's Interesting). Prior to this,CNNstates that Keyes was interviewed by local authorities and the FBI. They concluded that he felt no remorse for what he did and killed because he "got an immense amount of enjoyment out of it." Keyes, however, did admit, that Koenig's murder was careless and blamed it for his demise.


The Truth About Israel Keyes' Final Known Victim, Samantha Koenig - Grunge (2024)


How did Keyes get caught? ›

How did Keyes get caught? Keyes was arrested in 2012 when authorities were investigating the disappearance of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig from Anchorage, Alaska. Keyes posted a ransom note and used Koenig's ATM card, which led police to Lufkin, Texas, where he was arrested.

Did Israel Keyes have children? ›

Daughter. In 2000, Keyes became involved with a woman living on the Washington Makah Reservation. The next year, their daughter, whose name hasn't been made public, was born. In July 2001, Keyes went to live with the mother of his child after being honorably discharged from the Army.

What did Israel Keyes do to Samantha? ›

Keyes' last confirmed victim was 18-year-old Samantha Tessla Koenig, a coffee booth employee in Anchorage, Alaska. Keyes kidnapped Koenig from her workplace on February 1, 2012, took her debit card and other property, sexually assaulted her, then killed her the following day.

Who is the serial killer Ezra? ›

Paul Ezra Rhoades (January 18, 1957 – November 18, 2011) was an American spree killer and suspected serial killer convicted of three murders committed in Idaho during a three-week crime spree in 1987.

How many victims did Keyes have? ›

Keyes was a serial killer from Alaska. He confessed to murdering eight people, though authorities believe he is responsible for 11 killings between 2001 and 2012.

How tall was Israel Keyes? ›

In 2012, Israel Keyes was 34 years old and described as 6'2” tall and 190 pounds.

Is there a movie on Israel Keyes? ›

What did the Flood do to Keyes? ›

Unfortunately for the Captain, however, the Flood caught up to him. Keyes was unable to hold off the onslaught and was promptly captured, infected and turned into a Proto-Gravemind.

What happened to Commander Keyes? ›

His demise comes after an ill-fated encounter with the Flood on Installation 04, otherwise known as Halo. Like many of the parasitic horde's victims, Keyes becomes part of the Flood itself – but with a uniquely grisly twist. Instead of transforming into a zombie-like combat unit, Keyes turns into a Proto-Gravemind.

How did Captain Keyes survive? ›

TBC... Keyes was taken aboard the Covenant CCS-class battlecruiser, the Truth and Reconciliation. There, he was interrogated, tortured, and held prisoner in a holding chamber until John-117 and the ODSTs were able to rescue him with the help of Cortana.

How did Israel Keyes tie up Lorraine? ›

Then he stood behind Lorraine and strangled her with a rope. Even after he felt the life go out of her, he needed to make sure; this couple was tougher than Keyes could have imagined. He wrapped a zip tie around Lorraine's neck and pulled. Nothing.

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