When a young man sits in a police interrogation and admits to killing multiple people, one of the questions naturally raised from such a confession is – Why? The search for this answer is what drives criminal psychologists to further their research. This simple, three-letter word drives a lot of my personal study and forms the basis for my novels.
Maybe we want some reassurance. If we can pinpoint the reasons that violent predators murder time and again and not see those characteristics in ourselves or those we love, perhaps we can say . . . we aren’t like them. There also is the hope that if we recognize the factors that create a serial killer, such as abuse in his own childhood or an abnormality in brain development, we can stop these crimes before they happen. Finally, we just need to admit that these disturbed personalities fascinate us.
According to Anchorage, Alaska police detective Monique Doll, confessed serial killer Israel Keyes did not fit into some of the assumed factors that groom a murderer. Instead, Keyes just loved what he did and craved more of what made him feel good, much like an addiction.
Keyes admitted to killing eight people and offered matter-of-fact details about how his plans to kill a couple in Alaska were thwarted by the arrival of two police officers. In the interview, he seems pleased with his planning and wanted to be known for the ideas he crafted in targeting his victims. It was when he broke his own rules and used the ATM card of his victim Samantha Koenig, an 18-year-old coffee shop worker in Anchorage, that he finally was arrested and brought to justice.
Maybe Keyes thought he was regaining control of the situation when he slit his own wrists and hung himself with bedding. His final act of violence, on his own terms. From behind bars, perhaps turning the violence on yourself is the only way to feed that twisted addiction.
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