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Israel Keyes, confessed serial killer who committed suicide, mistakenly given razor, says Alaska report

This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Israel Keyes. Keyes committed suicide in an Alaska jailhouse Sunday, leaving behind an incomplete picture of a loner who traveled the country for more than a decade, picking victims at random and methodically killing them. (AP Photo/FBI) uncredited

Undated photo of Israel Keyes
AP Photo/FBI
(AP) ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Confessed serial killer Israel Keyes was mistakenly issued a razor before he committed suicide, according to a report released Wednesday by the Alaska Department of Corrections that also said "it appears that razor was not retrieved."

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The security lapse occurred when Keyes was the focus of heightened security after earlier being found with a makeshift handcuff key, the report states. He also was segregated from other inmates.

Keyes' body was found in his jail cell Dec. 2, months before he was to have gone on trial for the 2012 slaying of 18-year-old Anchorage barista Samantha Koenig. Keyes, 34, slit his left wrist

with a razor blade and tied a noose around his neck and right foot, according to the report, which says the exact cause of death is unknown although it has been classified as a suicide.

Koenig's father has criticized the Corrections Department over the death, which he says robbed his family of their day in court. James Koenig said Wednesday he doesn't believe the official version released by the agency.

"I don't think it was mistaken at all," he said. "How do you mistakenly give someone in segregation a real razor blade?"

The state had previously denied an open records request from The Associated Press for details of events surrounding Keyes' death. Corrections spokeswoman Kaci Schroeder told the AP that officials later decided to take another look at the case and see what could be released publicly.

Schroeder said officials are not discussing what disciplinary actions, if any, were taken, over the lapse. However, she said because of this, any restrictions for inmates are being posted on the cell doors in addition to being noted in a prisoner log.

Before he died, Keyes told investigators he had killed Koenig and at least seven other people across the country, including Bill and Lorraine Currier of Essex, Vt. Investigators believe there could be more victims, but Koenig and the Curriers were the only victims named by Keyes.

Keyes, 34, was set for a March trial in federal court in the abduction and killing of Koenig. He was arrested in March in Lufkin, Texas. Three weeks later, Koenig's dismembered body was found in a frozen lake north of Anchorage.

Keyes was in state custody in Anchorage because there are no federal prisons in Alaska.

The corrections report says Keyes was last seen alive at 10:13 p.m. Dec. 1. At 5:57 a.m., Dec. 2, an official found what appeared to be blood along Keyes' bunk and floor. Medical personnel were called, and Keyes was declared dead at 6:13 a.m.

On Sept. 11, 2012, the report says, a disciplinary board found Keyes found guilty of possessing an object which had been modified as a handcuff key. He had to serve 60 days - with 45 days suspended - in punitive segregation.

That sentence began Nov. 28, and his access to personal property was restricted.

Complete coverage of Israel Keyes on Crimesider

  • Stephanie Slifer

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