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FBI: Keyes admitted to Tupper Lake heist


A man who was suspected of being a serial killer confessed to an unsolved Tupper Lake bank robbery before his apparent suicide Sunday in his Alaska jail cell, according to the FBI.

Israel Keyes, 34, admitted robbing the Community Bank branch in Tupper Lake on April 13, 2009, said FBI spokesman Paul Holstein.

The culprit, reportedly armed with a handgun, walked into the branch at 314 Hosley Ave. about noon that day, demanded money from a teller and forced customers to the floor, authorities said. He fled with an unspecified amount of currency.

Mr. Holstein said Keyes admitted to multiple bank robberies, but it was unknown whether he was responsible for other heists in the north country. Keyes gave specific information regarding only the Tupper Lake robbery, Mr. Holstein said.

Keyes also told authorities that he robbed several banks to pay for his travel and also used money he made as a general contractor.

Keyes was in prison in Anchorage, awaiting trial for the February 2012 kidnapping and murder of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, whom he was accused of abducting as she left work at an Anchorage coffee shop. He also admitted to the 2011 murders of Bill and Lorraine Currier, Essex, Vt. Their bodies have not been found.

During his incarceration, Keyes gradually began confessing that he had killed others, including four people in Washington state. He also buried one of his victims in New York state, but investigators don’t know the location or the victim’s identity, the FBI said this week.

Vermont U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin said Keyes told investigators that he hid the gun used to kill Bill Currier at Blake Reservoir in Parishville. Coffin said Keyes threw parts of the weapon into the reservoir. He buried the rest near the reservoir, along with a separate firearm he stole from the Curriers.

In interviews with investigators, Keyes detailed extensive planning, including burying caches of weapons at various points across the United States. The FBI says they found a similar site in Eagle River, Alaska.

Keyes owned property with an abandoned, decrepit cabin at 511 Poplar St., Constable, that was searched by the FBI in late October, but nothing was reported to have been found.

Ayn Dietrich, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Seattle, said agents are reviewing unsolved murders across the state to determine whether Keyes might have been responsible.

The FBI consulted with behavior specialists to develop insight into Keyes’s personality.

Their analysis is incomplete, but they know he was a loner and didn’t have a clear pattern in selecting victims, who varied in gender and age.

Keyes told investigators that he was “two different people.”

“The only person who knows about what I’m telling you, the kind of things I’m telling you, is me,” he said, according to a March 30 police recording released by the FBI on Monday.

On Monday, officials at a news conference in Vermont said Keyes described details of the Curriers’ killings that had not been released publicly.

Authorities said Keyes flew from Alaska to Chicago, drove to Vermont and picked the Curriers, a couple in their 50s.

Keyes told investigators he chose the Curriers’ home because it had an attached garage, no evidence of children or a dog, and the style of the house clued him in to the probable location of the master bedroom.

Authorities described Keyes as methodical, in the Currier case taking days to find the perfect victim. He also was thorough in disposing of victims’ bodies. Only Ms. Koenig’s body has been recovered.

The FBI believes Keyes killed Ms. Koenig less than a day after she was kidnapped.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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