Did Notorious Serial Killer Murder Missing Jewish New Jersey Woman?

Debra Feldman Believed Slain by Israel Keyes, FBi Says

By Reuters

Published November 14, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A New Jersey Jewish woman who disappeared nearly five years ago might have been murdered by a confessed serial killer who committed suicide in jail before authorities could locate all of his victims, the FBI said on Wednesday.

Debra Feldman, 48, was last seen at her home in Hackensack, in northern New Jersey, on April 8, 2009, and there has been scant information about her possible whereabouts, police said.

Israel Keyes
Israel Keyes

Feldman has been listed on the state missing persons database for nearly five years, and now investigators believe she might have been killed and her body buried in upstate New York by Israel Keyes, a confessed serial killer from Alaska who murdered as many as 11 people across the country from 2001 to 2012.

Seeking to shed light on the case and the trail of unnamed victims possibly left behind by Keyes, the FBI asked on Wednesday for tips from “anyone who knew Ms. Feldman and may have information about her activities around the time of her disappearance.”

It remains unclear how Feldman might have met Keyes, an U.S. Army veteran who worked as a traveling handyman, a profession that allowed him to target victims in about 10 states, authorities said.

Keyes was arrested in March 2012 for the kidnapping and murder of an 18-year-old coffee stand server in Anchorage, Alaska, after he was caught using her debit card in Texas. That victim, Samantha Koenig, had been sexually assaulted before her death and her body was dismembered and dumped in an icy Alaska lake.

Following his arrest, Keyes told homicide investigators he had carried out a string of murders, targeting many of his victims during long road trips for work. He confessed to other crimes, including bank robberies, and said he had plans for other murders, law enforcement officials said.

Keyes, 34, killed himself in jail in December as he was awaiting trial for Koenig’s murder.

Keyes apparently did not know his victims and in some cases did not know or remember their names, leaving authorities with the task of trying to match descriptions of murders with missing persons cases around the country.

During his confession, Keyes “admitted that on April 9, 2009, he abducted a female victim from a state on the East Coast and transported that person over multiple state lines into New York,” the FBI said.

The FBI said that victim was murdered and buried in upstate New York near Tupper Lake, not far from where Keyes owned a property.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.