The Truth About Israel Keyes' Final Known Victim, Samantha Koenig

It's believed that serial killer Israel Keyes had at least 11 victims, according to Oxygen. One of these confirmed kills was Samantha Koenig, an 18-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska. As The Brag Media explains, Keyes was not your run-of-the-mill serial killer. He went to great lengths and took various precautions to avoid being detected. This included traveling around the country, burying "murder kits," and paying for everything in cash. Additionally, he chose his victims randomly and later told authorities he killed because "Why not?" (per USA Today). Koenig, however, would be his downfall.

On February 1, 2012, Keyes kidnapped the teen from a coffee stand and told her that he was taking her for ransom money. Per Alaska Public Radio, Koenig attempted to flee but was instead forced into Keyes' vehicle. As he drove off, Keyes realized that Koenig did not have her cell phone or debit card on her. He needed both to procure the ransom. Keyes returned to the coffee stand, found Koenig's phone, and sent her friends and family texts to avert suspicion.

He then placed Koenig in a shed at his home. The Brag Media writes that Koenig informed Keyes that her debit card was inside her boyfriend's truck. Keyes drove to her boyfriend's residence and stole the card out of the vehicle. Koenig's boyfriend actually witnessed the theft but was unable to prevent Keyes from fleeing the scene. He was also unaware of the connection that this burglary had with his girlfriend. 

He stored her body in a shed for weeks

Once Keyes knew he had access to Samantha Koenig's card, he returned to the shed to sexually assault and strangle her, as Alaska Public Radio writes. Hours after the murder he and his family left for New Orleans to go on a cruise, according to All That's Interesting. Meanwhile, Koenig's parents reported their daughter as missing. Per The Brag Media, Keyes returned from his vacation on February 17. He had left Koenig's frozen body inside of the shed for that entire duration (via Oxygen). Although Koenig had been dead for weeks, Keyes figured he could still get a ransom from her family.

The Cinemaholic explains that Keyes took Koenig's body and attempted to make her look alive. He sewed her eyes open and put makeup on her face (via The Brag Media). In addition, he took a Polaroid of her holding a recent newspaper as proof of life. According to Alaska Public Radio, Keyes took the photo, typed a $30,000 ransom on the back, and placed it at a local park. He then used Koenig's phone to text her boyfriend to provide instructions on what to do next. Oxygen states that soon after Keyes dismembered Koenig's body and dumped it in Matanuska Lake, Alaska.

Samantha Koenig led to his capture

Around the same time, Samantha Koenig's father, James, had gathered the $30,000 and had deposited the funds into his daughter's account, as Alaska Public Radio reports. Authorities then decided to track the debit card as they assumed that the individual making any withdrawals had to be Koenig's kidnapper. According to All That's Interesting, withdrawals were made in Anchorage, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas by a perpetrator in a white Ford Focus. On March 13, 2012, State Troopers in Texas stopped a vehicle with a similar description (per Oxygen).

Inside the vehicle was Keyes, along with Koenig's debit card and cell phone. The Brag Media writes that Keyes was arrested. He subsequently confessed to several crimes, including Koenig's abduction and murder and the unsolved murder of Bill and Lorraine Currier, a couple from Vermont. Days later, Koenig's remains were found in Matanuska Lake (via a different article from Oxygen).

In December 2012, Israel Keyes took his own life while in prison (via All That's Interesting). Prior to this, CNN states that Keyes was interviewed by local authorities and the FBI. They concluded that he felt no remorse for what he did and killed because he "got an immense amount of enjoyment out of it." Keyes, however, did admit, that Koenig's murder was careless and blamed it for his demise.