Press-Republican

December 9, 2012

Israel Keyes wasn't seen in Constable

By KIM SMITH DEDAM
Press-Republican

---- — CONSTABLE — A quiet border town in northernmost New York is unsettled somewhat by dubious association.

Serial killer Israel Keyes bought a house at 511 Poplar St. on 10 acres here in 1997. 

He apparently never actually lived there.

Only 3 miles from the Canadian border, the property is surrounded by woods, according to Mike Shea, Constable town supervisor. 

“It’s dirt road by that house. We paved it this summer, but the pavement ends just before there.”

Neighbors near the place live mostly in mobile homes.

“There’s a lot of woods between that place and the next house south of it. Even if he was there, no one would have seen anything. I’m just thankful that nothing happened here,” Shea added.

PAID HIS TAXES

The house sits on 9.9 acres, the supervisor said.

“Years ago, there used to be a barn there, too. Now it’s just a house.”

The taxes have been paid.

“’Course, if he was robbing banks, that’s probably how he paid for it. This guy was just all over the country,” Shea said.

”Hard to believe.”

Keyes admitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he robbed the Community Bank in Tupper Lake in April 2009.

According to the Burlington Free Press, Keyes had planned to rob a bank in Johnson, Vt., when he was in that state in 2011.

That plan was never completed.

ADRENALINE RUSH

The stealth with which Keyes, 34, moved from one state to another without notice has left many here unnerved.

“I kind of wish now he hadn’t bought anything here,” Constable’s supervisor said.

Paul Holstein, FBI media coordinator in Albany, said agents searched Keyes’s house and grounds on Oct. 23 and 24.

“Nothing of significance was located,” he said in a statement to the Press-Republican.

Keyes was arrested in Texas last March in connection with the death of a young woman abducted and killed in Anchorage, Alaska.

He also had a house near Anchorage and ran a construction company there. 

Once he was held in an Alaskan jail, Keyes’s killing stopped, and the talking started. Unfortunately, the conversations didn’t get to all of the victims’ names.

The FBI learned he had killed at least eight people.

“He liked what he was doing,” FBI Special Agent Jolene Goeden said on “Good Morning America.”

“He talked about the rush he got out of it, the adrenaline and kind of the high from it.”

CRIMES AS TEEN

Keyes confessed to the murders of Bill and Lorraine Currier in Essex Junction, Vt. Those took place in June 2011, less than nine months before he killed Samantha Koenig in Alaska.

FBI agents told news reporters in Alaska that Keyes’s earliest crimes were committed while he was a teenager, between 1996 and 1998.

Last Sunday, he took his own life in an Anchorage correctional facility, slashing one of his wrists and using bedding material to strangle himself.

Crumpled up, blood-soaked papers with writing on them also were found in the cell and turned over to the FBI, Associated Press reports said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center unearthed background information showing Keyes was home-schooled and participated in a Christian Identity church called The Ark.

The center’s research linked Keyes to U.S. terrorists and Aryan Nation members Chevie and Cheyne Kehoe, who were childhood neighbors in Stevens County, Wash.

The Kehoes are in prison for murder.

Keyes was born in Utah, according Law Center research, to Mormon parents, and served in the U.S. Army from 1998 until 2000. 

’TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE’

The FBI released a chilling 30-second audio clip of one interview session with Keyes.

“There is no one who knows me or who has ever known me who knows anything about me, really,” he told an investigator.

“They know — they’re gonna tell you something that does not line up with anything I tell you because I’m two different people, basically. And the only person who knows about what I’m telling you, the kind of things I’m telling you, is me.”

“How long have you been two different people?” the investigator asked.

Keyes can be heard laughing. 

“A long time. Fourteen years,” he answered.

The FBI is asking anyone with information about Keyes to call 1(800) CALLFBI.

Eric Gonzalez, FBI spokesman in Alaska, told the Associated Press that tips were coming in from around the country about possible victims and sightings.

Email Kim Smith Dedam: kdedam@pressrepublican.com