Arrow-right Camera
News >  Region

Killer’s death investigated

Troopers: Keyes cut wrist, strangled self

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A man who confessed to killing an Alaska barista and multiple other people across the country died in his jail cell after slashing one of his wrists and using bedding material to strangle himself, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.

The state medical examiner hasn’t determined which of the injuries was the primary cause of Israel Keyes’ death.

Keyes, who was found dead in his Anchorage cell Sunday morning, had cut his left wrist with a blade from a disposable razor that was imbedded in a pencil. He also used a rolled-up sheet to strangle himself, troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said.

“It was not a hanging,” she said. There was no sign that anyone else was involved in the Anchorage man’s death.

Crumpled, blood-soaked papers that appeared to have writing on them also were found in Keyes’ cell and have been turned over to the FBI. Eric Gonzalez, an FBI spokesman, said the papers have been sent to the agency’s lab at Quantico, Va., for analysis.

The writing on the papers was illegible because of the blood, according to Ipsen, who said a pen or pencil was used.

Kaci Schroeder with the state Department of Corrections declined to say whether Keyes was allowed to have a disposable razor, or how he might have obtained one, noting the death was under investigation by her agency. Schroeder did say Keyes had been segregated from other inmates but was not on a suicide watch.

Keyes was awaiting a March trial in the death of Samantha Koenig, 18.

Authorities say he abducted Koenig in February from the Anchorage coffee stand where she worked, then sexually assaulted and strangled her. Keyes then left Koenig’s body in a shed outside his house while he went on a cruise. He dismembered the body when he returned two weeks later, authorities said.

Those details and others released Tuesday by the FBI provided the most comprehensive account yet of Koenig’s death at the hands of a man who confessed to the slaying and told authorities he had killed at least seven other people in the past decade.