By Rachel D)ro Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — 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 there. 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.
This August, the FBI all but ruled out Keyes as being responsible for the unsolved murder of a Seattle mother and her daughter who were hiking on the flanks of Mount Pilchuck in 2006.
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, the 34-year-old Keyes was awaiting a federal trial in the rape and strangulation murder of his last known victim, 18-year-old Samantha Koenig. The teenager was abducted 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.