Skulls Of Victims Drawn In Serial Killer Israel Keyes' Blood
It's believed serial killer Israel Keyes painted the skulls of 11 victims in his own blood, disturbing new information shows.
Warning: Distressing Content
The FBI revealed the never-before-released details to CBS true-crime program 48 Hours.
One by one, FBI Special Agents Jolene Goeden and Katherine Nelson began placing sheets of paper before the reporting team.
Each sheet featured a haunting, hand-painted image of a human skull.
The artist? Israel Keyes. The paint he used? His own blood.
"He drew a series of 11 skulls," Goeden said.
"These skulls are drawn in blood and these were found underneath his bed in his jail cell. And one of them says, "We are one" ... We believe that 11 is the total number of victims."
Keyes secretly painted the skulls in his jail cell. They were discovered before he died by suicide in that same cell, in December 2012.
The FBI believes Keyes' killing spree stretched from Vermont to Alaska, likely between 2001 and 2012.
In recorded interviews, Keyes said he chose people to murder completely at random.
"Once I started, you know, there was nothing else like it," he told an interrogator.
"It was very disturbing, but also very saddening to know that many people were victims to his crimes," Special Agent Nelson said.
"I think he took pleasure in doing it."
The FBI has described Keyes as one of the most meticulous serial killers in American history.
He buried or hid large plastic containers that he called "kill caches" in at least four U.S. states.
The 48 Hours reporting team was the first news operation to be shown the contents of one of Keyes' caches.
Among the things inside was a handgun, a homemade silencer, ammunition and zip ties.
"He needed all of this to do what he wanted to do. And that was ultimately to sexually assault and to kill," Goeden said.
One person that Keyes admitted abducting and killing was Samantha Koenig, 18, of Anchorage, Alaska.
On the night of February 1, 2012, investigators claim Keyes dove through an open window of a roadside espresso stand where Samantha worked. The dramatic leap was captured on security camera video.
Keyes fled and began a long road trip to Texas. Along the way, Keyes used Samantha's ATM card, which was being closely monitored by police.
A picture from an ATM camera showed his rental car in the background. That mistake helped authorities track him down in Texas, where he was arrested in March of 2012 and extradited back to Alaska, where Keyes owned his own construction business. Over the next seven months, Keyes teased investigators, giving out some details of three other murders.
"The information that I still have could come in handy," Keyes chuckled in one interview.
It's been seven and a half years since Keyes died. The FBI is hoping the 48 Hours report will encourage people to come forward and help them solve other cases.
"All the victims that we don't have identified. That what this case is all about," Goeden said.
Special Agent Katherine Nelson said the case remains open.
"It won't be easy by any means," Nelson said. "And it may take a long time. But I'll never give up trying."
With the public's help, the FBI hopes to one day attach a name to each of the skulls that Keyes painted.
- Reporting by 48 Hours Peter Van Sant and Chris O'Connell. Read the full story here.