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December 3, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Alleged serial killer’s claim of 4 Washington state victims is being investigated

Before killing himself in an Anchorage jail cell over the weekend, suspected murderer Israel Keyes claimed he had killed four people in Washington and others around the country.

Frank Harrill, the FBI’s senior supervisory agent in Spokane, said this morning that there is a “very active” investigation into Keyes’ statements to Anchorage authorities.

Drivers license and other data show Keyes, 34, had addresses in Colville in Stevens County and Neah Bay in Clallam County. A Neah Bay post-office box was in Keyes’ name as recently as 2008, according to records.

According to military records, Keyes served in the Army from July 1998 to July 2001. He was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord beginning in November 1998.

It doesn’t appear that Keyes had a felony record in Washington state, but was cited for driving with a suspended license in Thurston County in January 2002.

Harrill, however, said at this point the investigation has not focused on specific victims, but rather is looking at known homicides and missing persons and comparing them to the information Keyes has given investigators in Alaska.

“We are working very closely with Anchorage and with our local partners here,” said Harrill, who declined to offer specifics.

Ayn Dietrich, the spokeswoman for the FBI’s Seattle office, said agents here have been looking into information from Keyes “for the past several months.

“We are pursuing all leads on possible victims,” she said.

Keyes was to stand trial in March in Anchorage federal court for the slaying of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, who was abducted from a coffee kiosk in the city last February. He was later arrested in Texas after using the victim’s debit card.

Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said Keyes confessed to killing Koenig, as well as killing Bill and Lorraine Currier, of Essex, Vt.

The bodies of the Curriers have never been found. They were last seen leaving their jobs on June 8, 2011.

During a news conference this morning, authorities in Burlington, Vt., offered additional details in the slayings of the Curriers, according to the Burlington Free Press.

Keyes didn’t have a clear pattern in victims, who ranged widely in age, authorities said. Money appeared to be just a partial motive.

Authorities said they may never know the full extent of Keyes’ crimes because he parsed out only a little information at a time, withholding names and locations of most of his victims.

In addition to Vermont and Washington state, Keyes claimed to have killed someone in New York state.

— Times staff reporter Hal Bernton and news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report, which includes information from The Associated Press.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Alaska, FBI, homicide


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