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October 1, 2013 at 11:27 AM
ANCHORAGE — Investigators are following up on tips about an Alaska serial killer that were prompted by new information released to the public, an FBI official said.
The agency in August posted more than six hours of videotaped interviews with Israel Keyes conducted by agents, federal prosecutors and Anchorage police in the months before his suicide last December in an Anchorage jail.
The FBI also released an updated timeline of travels and crimes by Keyes in the hope that someone might be able to match his movements in the past 12 years to people missing before his arrest in Lufkin, Texas, in March 2012. Keyes was believed to have killed 11 people across the country, but investigators had exhausted all their leads and decided to seek the public’s help with the release of the interviews and the timeline.
Investigators received a few leads from outside Alaska after the new information was released, according to FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez. He declined to elaborate on the nature of the information.
“At this point, there’s nothing that we’re discussing publicly,” Gonzales said Monday.
Keyes said in interviews with authorities that he buried three victims in the state of Washington and submerged two others in a lake. But as with most of his other victims, Keyes refused to provide many more details about their whereabouts.
Keyes also voiced concerns about two knives that were missing from his girlfriend’s home in Anchorage, indicating that blood might be found inside one of them, a folding knife, and that it was associated with one of the Washington killings.
Keyes frequented prostitutes during his travels, according to the FBI. Authorities said he also robbed several banks to fund his travels along with money he made as a general contractor. He told investigators he broke into as many as 30 homes throughout the country and said he covered up a homicide through arson.
When he killed himself in jail, Keyes, 34, was awaiting a federal trial in the rape and strangulation murder of his last known victim, Samantha Koenig, 18. The teenager was abducted in February 2012 from the Anchorage coffee shop where she worked.
Koenig’s dismembered body was pulled from a lake north of Anchorage two months after she went missing.
The FBI has said that after Koenig’s death, Keyes may have been responsible for a homicide in Texas or a nearby state — a crime Keyes denied.
Keyes later confessed to the 2011 murders of Bill and Lorraine Currier of Essex, Vt., and indicated to authorities that there were victims in a total of 10 states.
Koenig and Curriers were the only victims named by Keyes because he knew authorities had tied him to their deaths. Keyes told investigators only one other victim’s body besides Koenig’s was ever recovered, but said that person’s death was ruled as accidental.
The bodies of the Curriers were never found.
Keyes moved to Anchorage in 2007, but continued to travel extensively outside the state.
September 3, 2013 at 1:07 PM
ANCHORAGE (AP) — A driver attempting a good deed wound up with a ticket Tuesday morning following an accident involving several vehicles.
The pileup happened just after 6 a.m. on the Glenn Highway northeast of Anchorage, said Anchorage police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro.
The driver, James Paul Crocker, said he saw sparks coming from under a truck in front of him. He passed the truck, parked in the left passing lane and tried to flag down the truck driver.
However, police say a third vehicle hit the truck, which then hit Crocker’s parked car.
And if that wasn’t enough, a man on a motorcycle had to ditch his bike to avoid the accident.
Castro says Crocker was cited for reckless driving and having no insurance.
July 1, 2013 at 7:49 AM
ANCHORAGE (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say a 6-year-old boy climbed on top of his parents’ minivan and rode it for three miles down a highway.
The boy fell off and suffered cuts and bruises Sunday but otherwise was not injured.
Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen tells the Anchorage Daily News the boy has apparently gone for roof rides before, hanging on to bars mounted on the minivan.
The boy told troopers he climbed on to the vehicle as it left his home at Mile 52 Parks Highway about 10 miles north of Wasilla. He lost his grip at Mile 49. The driver continued on.
Another motorist picked the boy up, drove him to a gas station and called 911.
Ipsen says no one has been charged with a traffic violation or crime.
May 28, 2013 at 1:37 PM
ANCHORAGE (AP) — An Anchorage poet will visit the ghost of a remote Alaska village where her Inupiat Eskimo ancestors once lived, thanks to funds she raised through crowdsourcing.
Joan Naviyuk Kane far surpassed her goal of $31,000 for a two-week visit for 20 descendants of people who once lived on King Island, a tiny island community built on stilts.
One benefactor alone donated $32,000 to Kane on United States Artists, a fundraising site. Altogether, Kane raised about $49,000 through the nonprofit’s USA Projects.
Kane, who is half Inupiat, says the money will pay for the July journey and a follow-up visit to King Island, which was abandoned decades ago.
USA program officer Armando Huipe says the $32,000 donation comes from a foundation that did not want to be publicly identified.
December 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM
This post was updated at 4:26 p.m:
The Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP)– An Alaska Airlines plane that was flying from Seattle to Anchorage was diverted to Juneau because of engine failure.
KTOO-FM (http://is.gd/YynnAt) reports that Flight 731 was diverted to Juneau International Airport late Sunday night. Alaska Airlines says the plane landed without incident after the crew declared an emergency for priority handling by air traffic controllers.
Airline spokeswoman Marianne Lindsey says 160 passengers and six crew members were on board the plane when one of the aircraft’s two engines shut down as it flew at cruise altitude over the Ketchikan area. Lindsey says the plane is designed to fly on one engine.
No one was injured.
Passengers were re-booked on Monday morning and afternoon flights to Anchorage.
Lindsey says aircraft technicians are investigating the cause of the engine shutdown.
JUNEAU, Alaska — An Alaska Airlines plane that was flying from Seattle to Anchorage was diverted to Juneau because of engine failure.
KTOO-FM reports that the plane with 167 passengers and crew on board was diverted to Juneau International Airport late Sunday night. The plane landed without incident.
Passengers aboard Flight 731 were re-booked on Monday morning flights to Anchorage.
May 10, 2012 at 6:43 PM
The Associated Press
UPDATE | ANCHORAGE — The Coast Guard says it has medevaced three crew members from the Seattle-based fishing vessel Alaska Juris, which had reported an ammonia leak.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant Devuyst said the trio from the 218-foot catcher-processor Alaska Juris are reported in good condition Thursday evening. He did not know their symptoms. He said a Coast Guard helicopter was flying them to Cold Bay and a commercial medevac would fly them to Anchorage.
The spokesman says no one else required evacuation. There were 49 people aboard the vessel.
EARLIER POST | ANCHORAGE — The Coast Guard says it is heading to a Seattle-based fishing vessel that reported an ammonia leak and crew members affected by exposure.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant Devuyst said the leak on board the 218-foot Alaska Juris was reported early Thursday afternoon. He says he doesn’t know how many fishing crew members are on board or the extent of exposure.
The vessel is 80 miles north of Alaska’s Cold Bay.
Devuyst says Coast Guard crews are heading to the site in two helicopters and a HC-130 Hercules plane.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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