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Anchorage — Koenig’s case dominated local news, and supporters raised a reward fund, held candlelight vigils and gave self-defense lessons to coffee stand servers.
Keyes got a thrill from following the news coverage, so long as his name was not linked to the case, investigators said. When he was identified by a Vermont television station in the s u mmer as the suspect in the murder of the Curriers, he became so angry he stopped speaking to investigators for two months.
WHITE SUPREMACIST BACKGROUND
Keyes grew up in Washington state in a fundamentalist Christian family that, in the past, attended a white-supremacist, anti-Semitic church but later moved out of the region and became affiliated with other congregations, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center civil rights group.
Keyes served in the U.S. Army for three years, including a brief stint in Egypt, and was discharged from Fort Lewis Army Base in Washington state in 2001. In his interviews, he said he was anxious for his military service to end so that he could start murdering people, Feldis said.
He moved to Alaska in 2007 and lived with his daughter and a girlfriend in Anchorage’s Turnagain neighborhood, near many of the city’s most prominent citizens, top attorneys and law-enforcement officials, operating a one-man contracting business.
“He was well-known in Anchorage as a really good handyman,” said state Senator Hollis French, who lived around the corner from Keyes.
All the while, Keyes said in his interviews, he was “two different people.”
“There’s no one who knows me or who has ever known me, who knows anything about me, really,” Keyes said in one of the interviews.
Keyes told authorities he almost killed a young couple and an Anchorage police officer at a beach overlook, about a month before killing the Curriers in Vermont.
Keyes said he was hiding in the park with a gun and a silencer and ready to ambush his victims; he wanted to test the silencer that he would later bring to the East Coast on his trip to kill the Curriers. He stopped when a second police officer arrived on the scene.
“It could have got ugly, but fortunately for the cop guy, his backup showed up,” a chuckling Keyes said one interview. “I almost got myself into a lot of trouble on that one.”
The silencer wound up in a stockpile of murder supplies that Keyes stashed in upstate New York, near a home he owned there. Keyes admitted to placing several such caches around the country, investigators said.
Officials have found two so far – the New York stockpile and one in the Anchorage suburb of Eagle River that contained a shovel and bottles of liquid clog remover, material for concealing a body and speeding decomposition.
Until he was arrested, Keyes’ plan was to leave Alaska this year and work as an itinerant contractor making repairs in hurricane-struck areas of the United States, Feldis said.
“That would allow him to move from place to place and commit murders,” Feldis said.