Alaska officials are admitting that the disposable razor confessed serial killer Israel Keyes used to kill himself was mistakenly issued to him by a prison employee. Keyes, who told investigators he was responsible for at least eight murders over the past decade, was found dead after an apparent suicide on Dec. 2.
Keyes, a 34-year-old contractor, was suspected in more than the eight murders he claimed. Before he was found dead in his Anchorage prison cell, detectives hoped he would eventually come forward with information about still-unsolved crimes. Keyes slashed his wrists with a razor and hanged himself with bedding materials, according to Reuters.
“It was learned that a razor had been mistakenly issued to Keyes and it appears that razor was not retrieved,” stated the Alaska Department of Corrections.
Keyes was awaiting trial for the murder of 18-year-old barista Samantha Koenig, who was last seen working at a coffee shop before her dismembered body was found frozen in an Alaska lake. Detectives determined she was kidnapped at gunpoint just before closing time and was raped and strangled. Keyes stored Koenig’s corpse in a shed behind his house for two weeks while he went on a cruise.
The killer, who had used Koenig’s debit card, was arrested in Texas while seeking a ransom payment.
Under questioning, Keyes also admitted the abduction and murder of Bill and Lorraine Currier, who were found dead near their Vermont home in June 2011. He later told a cellmate he had travelled to Vermont with the sole intention of terrorizing as many people as he could without getting caught.
Keyes entered the Curriers' home as they slept, rousing them awake and forcing them in to a farmhouse behind their house. He then tied them up, shooting Bill Currier when he tried to resist. NECN reported that at one point Lorraine escaped, only to be sexually assaulted and murdered by Keyes later in the night. He hid their corpses underneath a pile of debris in the farmhouse.
"Though confronted with death, Bill and Lorraine Currier showed extraordinary bravery and courage, and extreme dedication and love to each other," said Vermont State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan. "They fought to the end."
As heinous as Keyes’ crimes were, law enforcement officials across the country were stymied when he committed suicide last year. They would not reveal which other crimes he’s suspected in to avoid hindering any live investigation. In part because Keyes buried any further information with him, Vermont federal prosecutor Tris Coffin called him “a force of pure evil acting at random.
"He isn't in justice in our system, that's true, but the biggest concern I have is all the families that are out there that may have loved ones who disappeared who aren't going to get closure,” Coffin said.