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Funeral held for admitted serial killer

By Ian Cull, KXLY4 Multimedia Journalist, ianc@kxly.com
Published On: Dec 09 2012 09:29:51 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 10 2012 12:55:11 PM CST
Funeral held for admitted serial killer
DEER PARK, Wash. -

The funeral for Israel Keyes, who said he killed four people in Washington and four others across the country, was held Sunday.

Keyes' family and their pastor drove to the funeral home from east Texas, but no one else attended.

Before he killed himself in his Alaska jail cell, Keyes admitted to investigators he murdered a couple in Vermont last year. He also raped and murdered an Anchorage barista and dismembered her body in February.

Keyes' mother, four sisters, and their husbands attended his funeral Sunday. His five other siblings and former Colville neighbors never made it.

"I'm sure just the infamy surrounding the whole event would greatly discourage those that want to come," family pastor Jake Gardner said.

Gardner never met Keyes, but has known the family for three years. They organized the service in Deer Park because Keyes spent 14 years of his life near here.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Keyes was starting to give detectives details of who he killed in Washington state before he committed suicide. Investigators, locally and nationally, are now digging up unsolved murder cases to see if there's a link to Keyes. 

Gardner said the family did not know of Keyes' crimes, but one sister tried to "save" him spiritually when he visited in March.

"She said even he was holding back tears, tears welling up and (Israel) said, 'You don't know what I've done. You don't know the depths of darkness I've gone to, you don't know what I've done'," Gardner said.

Keyes committed suicide Dec. 2 in his jail cell, and his body has been released to his mother and sisters. The pastor says the family is religious and forgiving, but doesn't have hope for Keyes' soul.

"He's not in a better place, we do not believe that," Gardner said.

Keyes' body was not present for the funeral, but he will be laid to rest sometime this week in Washington -- an action Keyes denied many of his victims and their families.

Detectives believe Keyes may be responsible for close to a dozen murders. The FBI is asking people who may have seen Keyes in the past to contact them as they try and determine how many more victims he may have had.

The media was not invited into the funeral.

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