Serial Killer Israel Keyes Offered Two Bodies for a Cigar

PHOTO: Israel Keyes

Serial killer Israel Keyes was willing to make a deal. He would give investigators the location of two bodies, a name and maybe, if he felt like it, a murder weapon. The price? A cigar, he said cheerfully.

In roughly 15 hours of newly released audio from jailhouse interviews with Keyes, the calculated killer discussed his motives, triggers and limits as he teased investigators with tidbits of information about up to a dozen other killings around the country.

He chuckled at the memory of his crimes and teased the cops about what he knew, but refused to give up the details unless they agreed to execute him within a year so his young daughter would not have to grow up with her father in prison. Without that promise he kept silent -- except for an occasional cigar.

The interviews with FBI agents, prosecutors and Anchorage police began after Keyes was arrested in March 2012 for the murder of Alaskan barista Samantha Koenig. His capture ended more than a decade of traveling around the country to kill as many as 12 people or to prepare for future crimes by burying murder kits of weapons, cash and body disposal tools.

The interviews with Keyes abruptly ended when his halting confessions leaked out and he committed suicide in his jail cell on Dec. 1, leaving police to fill in the blanks without his help. FBI Special Agent Eric Gonzalez told that investigators are still working on the case, but have not made any significant developments since Keyes' death.

Audio tapes of 13 of the interviews were released this week after the Alaska Dispatch filed a motion for them to be unsealed. The released interviews were conducted between April and July 2012.

A mostly jovial Keyes, 34, calmly and cavalierly chatted with investigators in the sessions, but made it abundantly clear throughout every conversation that he was in charge.

"I'm not a person that can be bullied and at this point I don't care," Keyes told investigators on April 2. "There's not anything they can threaten me with or say to me or take away from me or give me, except for what I want, that is going to make me do what they want. I'm happy to help, but it's on my terms."

His frequently repeated main desire was to do whatever could be done to "expedite" proceedings. He was determined to get an execution date within a year of the conversations.

"I want an execution date...I want this whole thing wrapped up and over with as soon as possible," he said on April 6. "I'll give you every single gory detail you want, but that's what I want because I want my kid to have a chance to grow up. She's in a safe place now. She's not going to see any of this. I want her to have a chance to grow up and not have all this hanging over her head."

Keyes taunted officials by telling them that with his computer they would slowly find things out and start to connect the dots, but that he could save them time and money if they abided by his demands.

"They're going to find things, but they're not going to find enough," Keyes said. "A few words out of my mouth can save them hundreds, if not thousands, of hours investigating. The reason I'm doing this is because I know...I always knew that I was playing for keeps and I knew that this was inevitable."

The investigators appeased Keyes at every turn, working hard to gain his trust in order to get information.

On April 6, authorities explained to Keyes again that they could not help him or work with him unless he gave them some concrete information to keep them on the investigation. At this point, they only knew specifically about the Koenig murder.

"Give me something to work with," one investigator said to Keyes. "Hold a bunch of your cards back, but give me a card."

After a very long pause, Keyes agreed.

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