Israel Keyes: General Discussion

dub

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to add on - i do kind of have some doubts about him misremembering though. it's true that regardless of IQ level, everyone at some point in their life has likely misremembered so it's not impossible that he truly mixed some facts around. but generally i do not believe Keyes was stupid and even for psychopaths, torturing and killing people is a big deal event(s) in their life so i'm skeptical that he would've forgotten a lot of it. JMO but overall i think he was either telling the truth or deliberately lying/omitting certain things, with maybe a limited few facts being truly misremembered.

I definitely agree that Keyes wasn't stupid, I actually think in general he was really smart. His IQ tested high-average (114 I think?) but I suspect he was probably at least a little smarter than that. I'd be very interested to see how his testing broke down in different areas; my guess would be that he was very strong in particular areas, below average in a couple, and around average in the remainder, but for the most part I'm not sure of which areas those would be.

But memory and intelligence aren't the same thing, and I've always thought his memory was likewise stronger in certain areas than others. His geographic memory seems to have been off the scale; him not being able to direct LE to the Green River cache I'm sure was BS. But I don't think his memory was great with names. I can easily believe that he misremembered the actual names of places he'd been (in Texas for example), and possibly too that he had victims whose names and details he wasn't completely certain of.

Unfortunately, if true, this does make it very hard to parse out which statements are lies and which are legit cases of forgetting. I agree with you that it was probably majority lies, but I'd guess it was around like 70/30. But that could be way off in either direction. The only thing I'm very sure of is he knows geographically exactly where his victims and caches are.
 

MesquiteO21

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I definitely agree that Keyes wasn't stupid, I actually think in general he was really smart. His IQ tested high-average (114 I think?) but I suspect he was probably at least a little smarter than that. I'd be very interested to see how his testing broke down in different areas; my guess would be that he was very strong in particular areas, below average in a couple, and around average in the remainder, but for the most part I'm not sure of which areas those would be.

But memory and intelligence aren't the same thing, and I've always thought his memory was likewise stronger in certain areas than others. His geographic memory seems to have been off the scale; him not being able to direct LE to the Green River cache I'm sure was BS. But I don't think his memory was great with names. I can easily believe that he misremembered the actual names of places he'd been (in Texas for example), and possibly too that he had victims whose names and details he wasn't completely certain of.

Unfortunately, if true, this does make it very hard to parse out which statements are lies and which are legit cases of forgetting. I agree with you that it was probably majority lies, but I'd guess it was around like 70/30. But that could be way off in either direction. The only thing I'm very sure of is he knows geographically exactly where his victims and caches are.

this is true, although memory is a facet of overall intelligence e.g., how well someone can retain and recall information.

i think the important thing with Keyes is that he was very unlike the bravado killers such as the Zodiac. you get the impression from his interviews that there were certain things he always wanted to keep just for himself. whereas someone like the Zodiac wanted to brag by putting it all out there, IK wanted to feel smug in being the only one who truly knew certain things. i don't believe, for instance, that his count is 11. He was cagey when asked how many victims and when the agent kept pressing and offered up "less than a dozen?" his reaction came across as very "yeah great sure, we'll go with that" (or how did the agent word it? did he ask if it was "a dozen?" and IK said "no"? either way, i still don't believe it's 11)

if i really had to bet on it, i would probably guess he was more truthful in the beginning, when he thought he really could get what he wanted (a fast-track execution.) as it went on and the agents couldn't promise that, he probably didn't put as much effort in recalling details, since giving up his secrets wasn't yielding him any rewards.
 

dub

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this is true, although memory is a facet of overall intelligence e.g., how well someone can retain and recall information.

i think the important thing with Keyes is that he was very unlike the bravado killers such as the Zodiac. you get the impression from his interviews that there were certain things he always wanted to keep just for himself. whereas someone like the Zodiac wanted to brag by putting it all out there, IK wanted to feel smug in being the only one who truly knew certain things. i don't believe, for instance, that his count is 11. He was cagey when asked how many victims and when the agent kept pressing and offered up "less than a dozen?" his reaction came across as very "yeah great sure, we'll go with that" (or how did the agent word it? did he ask if it was "a dozen?" and IK said "no"? either way, i still don't believe it's 11)

if i really had to bet on it, i would probably guess he was more truthful in the beginning, when he thought he really could get what he wanted (a fast-track execution.) as it went on and the agents couldn't promise that, he probably didn't put as much effort in recalling details, since giving up his secrets wasn't yielding him any rewards.

Great post, a lot to unpack there.

BBM 1: Right, it's a correlation but not causation thing.

BBM 2: I'm sure there was a degree of being smug about it, being the keeper of the details, no doubt. But I also think once he was caught he did have real feelings about how people really close to him (especially his daughter) would feel about learning of both his crimes and his true nature that they had somehow completely missed. It's a weird level of humanization to put on someone who was at the core a monster, but I do genuinely believe that was part of it.

ETA
: I mention that because I think it's really important to Keyes' psychology, although obviously it may or may not be true, that's just how I see it.

BBM 3: 100%. The way you worded it is very close to what I recall off hand, and yeah the FBI screwed that one up badly. And I agree yeah no way it's 11. I think at least double that, and 30 wouldn't surprise me.

BBM 4: That is a super interesting concept, the progression of his truthfulness through the interviews and the motivations surrounding that. I'm almost mad that I never once thought about that before haha
 

cujenn81

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this is true, although memory is a facet of overall intelligence e.g., how well someone can retain and recall information.

i think the important thing with Keyes is that he was very unlike the bravado killers such as the Zodiac. you get the impression from his interviews that there were certain things he always wanted to keep just for himself. whereas someone like the Zodiac wanted to brag by putting it all out there, IK wanted to feel smug in being the only one who truly knew certain things. i don't believe, for instance, that his count is 11. He was cagey when asked how many victims and when the agent kept pressing and offered up "less than a dozen?" his reaction came across as very "yeah great sure, we'll go with that" (or how did the agent word it? did he ask if it was "a dozen?" and IK said "no"? either way, i still don't believe it's 11)

if i really had to bet on it, i would probably guess he was more truthful in the beginning, when he thought he really could get what he wanted (a fast-track execution.) as it went on and the agents couldn't promise that, he probably didn't put as much effort in recalling details, since giving up his secrets wasn't yielding him any rewards.
I totally agree with you. I believe Keyes just agreed with whatever assumptions and/or theories the agents tossed out there more often than not. And those agents offered up A LOT of assumptions to spin whichever way he wanted. They constantly asked and answered their own questions, and Keyes would either agree with them or respond with a vague “yeah, something like that”. I think his manipulation tactics went unnoticed in that regard.

Keyes is such an anomaly in the world of serial killers, IMO. He wasn’t charismatic. He killed men and women, young and old. He didn’t have a preferred type of victim because he wasn’t driven by hatred or feelings of insecurity (like Bundy). Nor did he crave attention or feel the need to take credit for his crimes (like Gary Ridgeway, the Zodiac, and so many others). And — the biggest anomaly of them all — I truly believe he loved his daughter. He even showed genuine concern about how much his arrest had disrupted his ex-girlfriend’s life. Because I’m a Patreon supporter of the TCBS podcast, I have access to some of the FOIA files that Josh has received from the FBI. His psych evaluation (which was ordered to determine his competency in the event he chose to represent himself) has been the most revealing document I’ve read, BY FAR.

I had always wondered why Keyes went against his usual routine of fly and drive with Samantha Koenig when he’d gone to such great lengths to conceal his crimes for so many years. During his psych eval, he said he always knew he’d be caught someday. He just never imagined that he’d be in his current position — constantly being asked to answer questions about his crimes. He always envisioned himself dying in a shootout with police. He said they caught him at the worst possible time because he didn’t have a gun on him. Now, he was where he was. He knew he would never leave, and he knew the FBI would never stop digging or asking him questions. He said the details of his crimes would eventually be found out if he couldn’t speed up the process and he really didn’t want that to happen.

There’s a lot of good stuff in that eval report. I’m still working on my notes to share with you guys, BTW.
 

dub

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I totally agree with you. I believe Keyes just agreed with whatever assumptions and/or theories the agents tossed out there more often than not. And those agents offered up A LOT of assumptions to spin whichever way he wanted. They constantly asked and answered their own questions, and Keyes would either agree with them or respond with a vague “yeah, something like that”. I think his manipulation tactics went unnoticed in that regard.

Keyes is such an anomaly in the world of serial killers, IMO. He wasn’t charismatic. He killed men and women, young and old. He didn’t have a preferred type of victim because he wasn’t driven by hatred or feelings of insecurity (like Bundy). Nor did he crave attention or feel the need to take credit for his crimes (like Gary Ridgeway, the Zodiac, and so many others). And — the biggest anomaly of them all — I truly believe he loved his daughter. He even showed genuine concern about how much his arrest had disrupted his ex-girlfriend’s life. Because I’m a Patreon supporter of the TCBS podcast, I have access to some of the FOIA files that Josh has received from the FBI. His psych evaluation (which was ordered to determine his competency in the event he chose to represent himself) has been the most revealing document I’ve read, BY FAR.

I had always wondered why Keyes went against his usual routine of fly and drive with Samantha Koenig when he’d gone to such great lengths to conceal his crimes for so many years. During his psych eval, he said he always knew he’d be caught someday. He just never imagined that he’d be in his current position — constantly being asked to answer questions about his crimes. He always envisioned himself dying in a shootout with police. He said they caught him at the worst possible time because he didn’t have a gun on him. Now, he was where he was. He knew he would never leave, and he knew the FBI would never stop digging or asking him questions. He said the details of his crimes would eventually be found out if he couldn’t speed up the process and he really didn’t want that to happen.

There’s a lot of good stuff in that eval report. I’m still working on my notes to share with you guys, BTW.

Thank you, pretty wild we posted those at almost the same time, great observations.

BBM: I'm especially glad I'm not crazy on the genuine care/love/whatever for Keyes' daughter and girlfriend and others.

I had no idea there were documents of his actual psych eval out there publicly, for sure going to look into that!
 

MesquiteO21

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I totally agree with you. I believe Keyes just agreed with whatever assumptions and/or theories the agents tossed out there more often than not. And those agents offered up A LOT of assumptions to spin whichever way he wanted. They constantly asked and answered their own questions, and Keyes would either agree with them or respond with a vague “yeah, something like that”. I think his manipulation tactics went unnoticed in that regard.

Keyes is such an anomaly in the world of serial killers, IMO. He wasn’t charismatic. He killed men and women, young and old. He didn’t have a preferred type of victim because he wasn’t driven by hatred or feelings of insecurity (like Bundy). Nor did he crave attention or feel the need to take credit for his crimes (like Gary Ridgeway, the Zodiac, and so many others). And — the biggest anomaly of them all — I truly believe he loved his daughter. He even showed genuine concern about how much his arrest had disrupted his ex-girlfriend’s life. Because I’m a Patreon supporter of the TCBS podcast, I have access to some of the FOIA files that Josh has received from the FBI. His psych evaluation (which was ordered to determine his competency in the event he chose to represent himself) has been the most revealing document I’ve read, BY FAR.

I had always wondered why Keyes went against his usual routine of fly and drive with Samantha Koenig when he’d gone to such great lengths to conceal his crimes for so many years. During his psych eval, he said he always knew he’d be caught someday. He just never imagined that he’d be in his current position — constantly being asked to answer questions about his crimes. He always envisioned himself dying in a shootout with police. He said they caught him at the worst possible time because he didn’t have a gun on him. Now, he was where he was. He knew he would never leave, and he knew the FBI would never stop digging or asking him questions. He said the details of his crimes would eventually be found out if he couldn’t speed up the process and he really didn’t want that to happen.

There’s a lot of good stuff in that eval report. I’m still working on my notes to share with you guys, BTW.


i think the agents did their best, given that he wasn't a talker to begin with and was only giving info for what he'd get in return (the coffees at first and then trying to get an execution date). but yeah ultimately they weren't able to work in a lot of open-ended questions so had to resort to yes/no and assumptions which is frustrating.

oh that's interesting, i didn't know that he thought he'd die in a shoot out with cops. for someone who was so careful about being private/under the radar/evasive that would be a rather uncharacteristically ostentatious way to go o_O he worked hard to be stealthy so i'm wondering what scenario he envisioned being caught up in a shoot out...guessing a bank robbery?

thank you for doing that, i can't wait!
 

MesquiteO21

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Thank you, pretty wild we posted those at almost the same time, great observations.

BBM: I'm especially glad I'm not crazy on the genuine care/love/whatever for Keyes' daughter and girlfriend and others.

I had no idea there were documents of his actual psych eval out there publicly, for sure going to look into that!

somewhat related to the topic of his certain genuine care/love in some areas, one of the things that has haunted me for years and probably always will is when he was asked about a certain victim (i *believe* it was Debra Feldman and they had put her picture in front of him? i might be getting that wrong) and he said "i don't want to talk about that" or "i'm not ready to talk about that"...was that real? like had he actually been shaken by that particular crime? and if so, what in god's name would have happened? when he laughed in so many parts of his interviews and nonchalantly talked about incredibly horrific details, it's extremely upsetting to think of a scenario that would rattle even him. But maybe it was more that he just didn't want to give up the details and there wasn't an emotional component to it idk. that will always bug me though.
 
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dub

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You're exactly right, it was Debra Feldman. I dunno, when I heard that I didn't think his reaction was because of something exceptionally bad that happened, I just took it as he was caught off guard that they figured that out.

Everything that he DID talk about seemed as if he had given a lot of thought in advance about exactly what he was and was not going to tell the FBI (Curriers being the best example), and in that instance I felt like he just wasn't ready. As sociopaths go, Keyes really wasn't a very good liar, or at least not a very natural one. But I may be totally wrong, or maybe we're both correct.

But his reaction there was definitely a stark contrast to cases like the one in Colville that he almost certainly had nothing to do with that when asked about he was real nonchalant like "oh, I remember that now that you mention it, yeah that was pretty crazy huh".

He also had a similar reaction to the Debra Feldman picture/question when they asked him about Lauren Spierer, make of that what you will, but it is super interesting.
 
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dub

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In the most recent TCBS episode, Josh makes mention of a case in the Vegas/Riverside/Phoenix triangle that has "a very pronounced connection to the Namus 44 person with the most hits on Keyes' computer".

It sounds like they're going to discuss this in the next episode (2/10), so it's kinda neither here nor there, but in the meantime, anyone have ideas as to who the Namus person in question is and/or which MP case from the triangle is being referred to?

The only thing I can think of is it's referring to Susan Powell (Namus 44) and Steven Koecher (MP), but as far as I can tell a connection between them was just investigated, not thoroughly pursued, and I definitely wouldn't call their connection "very pronounced".

Thoughts?
 

cujenn81

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In the most recent TCBS episode, Josh makes mention of a case in the Vegas/Riverside/Phoenix triangle that has "a very pronounced connection to the Namus 44 person with the most hits on Keyes' computer".

It sounds like they're going to discuss this in the next episode (2/10), so it's kinda neither here nor there, but in the meantime, anyone have ideas as to who the Namus person in question is and/or which MP case from the triangle is being referred to?

The only thing I can think of is it's referring to Susan Powell (Namus 44) and Steven Koecher (MP), but as far as I can tell a connection between them was just investigated, not thoroughly pursued, and I definitely wouldn't call their connection "very pronounced".

Thoughts?
The NAMUS 44 within that triangle include:
Susan Powell - Salt Lake County, Utah
Kristine Hamilton - Moreno Valley, California
Kristen Modafferi - San Francisco, California
Kristen Smart - San Luis Obispo, California

I think Susan Powell and Kristen Smart can pretty much be ruled out, though.
 

dub

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The NAMUS 44 within that triangle include:
Susan Powell - Salt Lake County, Utah
Kristine Hamilton - Moreno Valley, California
Kristen Modafferi - San Francisco, California
Kristen Smart - San Luis Obispo, California

I think Susan Powell and Kristen Smart can pretty much be ruled out, though.

The way I took Josh's statement, the NAMUS person in question was not necessarily from within the triangle, nor were they necessarily a Keyes victim.

In other words, if I heard it right, someone from the NAMUS 44 that could have been from anywhere was connected in some way to an entirely separate potential Keyes victim who disappeared from within the triangle, but was not on the NAMUS 44.

I agree Susan Powell and Kristen Smart can be ruled out as actual Keyes victims, for sure.
 

cujenn81

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The way I took Josh's statement, the NAMUS person in question was not necessarily from within the triangle, nor were they necessarily a Keyes victim.

In other words, if I heard it right, someone from the NAMUS 44 that could have been from anywhere was connected in some way to an entirely separate potential Keyes victim who disappeared from within the triangle, but was not on the NAMUS 44.

I agree Susan Powell and Kristen Smart can be ruled out as actual Keyes victims, for sure.
Ohhhh, okay… gotcha. That could be just about anyone I guess, but I’m interested to find out!
 

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I've read the two books and I'm also following the TCBS podcast, which is one of the best true crime podcasts I've followed until now.

Ironically IK created a mystery about himself, although this is exactly the opposite, what he wanted.

Although I'm following the progress of the TCBS investigation, I'm more interested in the psychological aspect than sleuthing, who could be another victim.
Honestly I've lost a bit the overview of the possible victims and in the upcoming season there will be presented up to 10 more possible victims. I think, that there was a list on WS with the possible victims. Would be interesting to have it updated.

Thanks to TCBS we know now that the Courrier and SK murder was premeditated and not just opportunity murders as IK always presented them.
Why do you think IK wanted the FBI to believe, that these murders weren't planned beforehand?

Just started looking into IK. I get the impression that he was strongly motivated by the desire to control. He wanted to outsmart the police. He didn’t want them to figure out anything that he wasn’t willing to disclose. Killing himself ensured that he would die satisfied in the knowledge that he would keep control of his unknown victims forever.

I think he was dishonest about his motives and everything else. He was a manipulative liar IMO and the police shouldn’t blindly trust a word he says.

He panicked when the police mentioned Diane Feldman and Lauren Spierer IMO because he killed them, and was unprepared for the police to have figured it out for themselves.

I suspect that he killed far more than 11 people, but no one outside of the USA “counts” in his head.

I think he also think his crimes were more sexually motivated than he lets on. There may have been some depraved aspects that he really, really didn’t want anyone to know. Even his hero Ted Bundy was too ashamed to discuss his necrophilia.

He seemed motivated by rebelling against his parents, by having non-white girlfriends (he was brought up as a kind of Christian white supremacist), and by embracing atheism and then Satanism. It wouldn’t surprise me if he had Satanist friends who sometimes joined him, and he kept his secrets to protect his fellow Satanist murderers for religious reasons. This is just wild speculation on my part.

I think he was lying about his qualms about killing kids or parents. He was probably trying to deflect from any child victims, possibly give himself an easier time in jail, and maybe make himself look less dishonourable to his daughter.

I also doubt he truly loved his daughter, people like him cannot experience love. They can only experience a kind of positive egotistical attachment. He was very possessive (as shown by his desire to possess his victims), and she would have been his prized possession. Maybe in his mind, that was what love was.
 

Flyrian

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Some of your statements are not correct.

IK admitted to his sexual crimes and described them in detail, but left out some acts of torture in his descriptions.

It was analyzed several times in the TCBS podcast, that Keyes wasn't lying all the time, but was very hesistant to give out certain information.
He was very manipulative, that's true and only gave out information, when he was expecting something in return.
In case of the Curriers, he expected to get ahead with the death penalty and was sure, that they would connect him to the crime anyway.

I think, that he was honest about not killing children, after his daughter was born.
It's hard to say, if people with an antisocial disorder can experience love. I guess, they can to some point.

It is expected, that he commited around 20-30 murders or even more.
It's very odd, that he was never on the radar of LE.
Because of his upbringing he developed a certain skill set, but how did he manage to cover all his crimes.
At least the first crimes couldn't be that perfect.

Let's see what else will be discovered by TCBS.
To go forward with the case, it would help a lot to find some of his caches.
 

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Keyes is such an anomaly in the world of serial killers, IMO. He wasn’t charismatic.
IMO he wasn't. There is nothing to him, and neither it was to any else. They are trash and he was trash.
I wonder what the mother of his kid would have to say about him. Cause his at-the-time gf wasn't her biological mother as far as I recall. Was she unable or unwilling to take care of her and fell into his fake facade, or like way too many others, sushed up and ignored every time she tried to notify people that guy is creepy and dangerous?

It stunned me with Bundy, and women around him (I don't mean his victims, but those who survived and had unfortunate chance to knew him) - all white women, all pretty privilleged. They kept reporting him, repeatedly, as suspected serial killer, cause he was this creepy, this sleazy, this mental and dangerous in their eyes.
And I get it, at the time LE didn't have computers, communication wasn't that great, they were flooded with tips, reports and mostly useless info - okay, they were unable to figure it out sooner.
But what about people now? Everybody knows who he was and how he was. Only his lying, politically engaged buddies and men who met him AFTER he was found out to be a serial killer ever called him charismatic. There are proofs that his girlfriend and at least few other women who knew him were repeatedly reporting him. His MO was to guilttrip young women into helping weak, injured, hopeless student - knowing damn well, that they were taught that since they were born: not to care about their own safety, but to help, no matter how sketchy the situation looks like.
Then he was hitting them with a crowbar cause they wouldn't go, or drive anywhere with him if they were conscious, but whatever, he still gets a pass for being "charismatic".

I wonder id IK interest in Native women wasn't by any chance driven by awareness that they are much likely to not be treated fairly by LE in case that he'll slip or they'll get suspicious with his behaviour, or terrified by him - or that they won't even try knowing that it usually doesn't work.
He killed men and women, young and old. He didn’t have a preferred type of victim because he wasn’t driven by hatred or feelings of insecurity (like Bundy).
Really? Killing people for pleasure but no hatred and insecurity? That's what a malaria infected mosquito could do, not a serial killer.
He was a big guy, fit, strong. He had a good fighting chance to win even if he'd attack equally big and fit male in his prime. So he was confident enough to attack a couple.
Bundy was too physically weak to have any other prefference than hitting a teenage girl in back of her head with a crowbar.
It's awfully coincidental that there is not that many, if any short, phisically weak serial killers who would attack big guys, or even big, tall, fit women. They're always very careful to make sure that the victim is much weaker, and smaller, also prefferably surprised, drugged, trapped and tricked. Awfully coincidental that their "type" is almost always someone, who belongs to the group that's easiest to prey on, and the easiest to access.
Nor did he crave attention or feel the need to take credit for his crimes (like Gary Ridgeway, the Zodiac, and so many others).
There are different ways to get attention, not going same route doesn't meant that goal isn't the same.
During his psych eval, he said he always knew he’d be caught someday. He just never imagined that he’d be in his current position — constantly being asked to answer questions about his crimes. He always envisioned himself dying in a shootout with police. He said they caught him at the worst possible time because he didn’t have a gun on him.
Yeah, living legend that doesn't cry for attention at all.
But why would he think that?
How many serial killers died in shootout with police? Not that many. He was aware of that. Most of them ends up in same position as him, answering questions and coming up with whatever bs they figured would fly best to explain themselves and sell a narrative that others will carry, cause apparently they deserve all the attention.
I had always wondered why Keyes went against his usual routine of fly and drive with Samantha Koenig when he’d gone to such great lengths to conceal his crimes for so many years.
Likely with same exact reason why any other offender escalated, ever - cause they got away with things.
 

cujenn81

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I wonder what the mother of his kid would have to say about him. Cause his at-the-time gf wasn't her biological mother as far as I recall. Was she unable or unwilling to take care of her and fell into his fake facade, or like way too many others, sushed up and ignored every time she tried to notify people that guy is creepy and dangerous?
You can read what she has to say in the FBI case files.

Israel Keyes
 

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SPOILER***

In the recent TCB episode at the very end the psychologist Josh was interviewing recommended to him that he take a serious look into the case of Jennifer Kesse as a potential Keyes victim, something Josh had early on dismissed.
Just wondering what everyone thoughts on this are? For me I am not really sure, they are definitely aspects of the case that could be connected to Keyes but these aspects are some of the most broad IMO.
Never found.
 

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New to the IK case and just about caught up with the most recent episodes of TCBS.
My question is about the Burger King guy, who was apparently a friend of Keyes’s from TX (?) who had come to Anchorage to work for K on construction projects. What happened to BKG? I can’t find follow up discussion of him on TCBS.
 

dub

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New to the IK case and just about caught up with the most recent episodes of TCBS.
My question is about the Burger King guy, who was apparently a friend of Keyes’s from TX (?) who had come to Anchorage to work for K on construction projects. What happened to BKG? I can’t find follow up discussion of him on TCBS.

They hadn’t mentioned anything about him for a while on TCBS, but he did come up briefly in the roundtable discussion.

It sounds like they still don’t know exactly who he is, so there’s not much for them to report.
 
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