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Addicted to Murder

Authorities say Israel Keyes killed himself while in custody.

Serial killer Israel Keyes (courtesy of CNN)

On December 2 in an Anchorage, Alaska jail cell, convicted serial killer Israel Keyes scrawled out a quick note, slit his wrists and strangled himself with his bedding.

Keyes had been arrested in March after kidnapping and murdering Samantha Koenig, an Anchorage coffee stand barista. He is suspected of crisscrossing the country and killing as many as seven people, although he could have killed many more. Police are still investigating his case and hope to know more soon.

According to authorities, Keyes was not impelled to kill because he was unbalanced or mentally ill. Instead, he killed because he enjoyed the hunt and was addicted to murder.

“Israel Keyes didn’t kidnap and kill people because he was crazy, he didn’t kidnap and kill people because his deity told him to or because he had a bad childhood,” explained Anchorage police detective Monique Doll. “Keyes did this because he got an immense amount of enjoyment out of it, much like an addict gets an immense amount of enjoyment out of drugs.”

On Monday, police released a disturbing tape of an interview with Keyes in which he speaks nonchalantly about murder. “Keyes never expressed in any way, shape or form that he was ashamed or regretted his actions,” Doll continued. “He knew what he was and he was fine with it.”

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Coffee barista and victim Samantha Koenig (courtesy of Facebook/Koenig family)

Keyes also researched other serial killers, like Ted Bundy, but made sure authorities knew that he didn’t pattern himself after any of them. It mattered to him that people knew that his plans were his own.

Personally, I find this extremely disturbing not only for the murders this man committed, but also because his actions can’t be discounted for mental reasons, childhood abuse or any other clear reason. This is a guy who simply loved to hunt, kidnap and kill people for pleasure, much like a hunter who waits anxiously for deer season to begin so he can start popping caps into Bambi.

We all know there are “psychos” in the world who murder for a variety of different reasons. But how do we protect ourselves from seemingly normal people who hide such blood lust deep inside them and then unleash it on an unsuspecting public? Can anyone truly be safe?

I don’t have any easy answers, but I do have an important tip that can be applied to every situation: watch your back. You just never know when a killer is lurking there, waiting to strike.

Confessions of the “Speed Freak” killer

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Speed Freak Killers (courtesy of AP and San Quentin)

In the 1980s and 1990s, the San Joaquin Valley of California was terrorized by the “Speed Freakserial killers, as methamphetamine freaks Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog came to be known. Together, their body count stands at 22, mostly young women and girls, but could rise to 70 or more once all is said and done.

The killers were finally caught in 2001 and convicted of multiple murders. Shermantine remains in prison, while Herzog served 11 years and then hung himself this past January. Unfortunately, anything Herzog knew about his victims’ burial places went with him to the grave. And until recently, Shermantine wasn’t talking.

Now it appears things have changed. A bounty hunter offered Shermantine some cash for information of his victims’ whereabouts and he took the deal. The scribbled maps he drew led authorities to the remains of five victims, finally bringing some closure for their grieving families.

Shermantine continues to map locations for authorities and has even visited some of the sites under armed guard. The results of these “probes” have yet to be released, but the families of still-undiscovered victims are hopeful.

“I want to get her out of wherever she is,” said Sue Kizer, the mother of 18-year-old victim Gayle Marks. “We’re tired of waiting.”

The wait may soon be over thanks to the very man responsible for these heinous crimes. Life is nothing if not ironic.

Son of Sam says end gun violence

The Son of Sam in 1977‘Son of Sam’ laments gun violence, prays for his victims | The Lookout – Yahoo! News.

In an unusual story that immediately grabbed my attention (I love the macabre and true crime), notorious serial killer David Berkowitz, also known as the “Son of Sam,” came out against gun violence and expressed regret for the 13 people he shot during his 13-month crime spree in late 1970s New York City.

“I would love to speak bluntly to those gangbanging teens and wanna-bes and tell them prison is nothing like what you think,” Berkowitz told the Daily News recently. “I continue to pray for the victims of my crimes. I do wish them the best in life. But I’m sure the pain will never end for them. I regret that.”

Considering the Son of Sam’s history with guns, as well as the fact he likely will never be released, I feel like he’s being sincere and honestly feels bad for what he did. Of course, put almost anyone in a cell for thirty years and I’m sure they will come around, at least in a superficial way. You’re not getting out unless you show remorse, as we all know.

Berkowitz in 2009

But thirty years is a long time. It doesn’t excuse Berkowitz’s crimes and he probably should stay in jail for life, but a part of me feels bad for him. No one can bring back his victims or heal the pain their loved ones feel, but maybe something positive can come from it. What if David becomes a social worker or “scared straight” like speaker against gun violence? Can he ever atone for his sins?

I’m not sure, but I am optimistic. And if Berkowitz is ever released, I have only one suggestion.

Please don’t let him get a dog.

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