How a Serial Killer Sews Dead Woman’s Eyes Open For a Ransom Photo

Estimated read time 4 min read

After raping and killing Samantha Koenig, serial killer Israel Keyes took her frozen body out of the shed, applied makeup and sewed her eyes open for a ransom photo. He then sent the photo to her parents, advising them to deposit money into her bank account.

Symposium attendees agreed that there is no single cause for the development of serial murderers. Many factors play a role, including heredity and upbringing.

The Crime

When a serial killer murders a victim, it is not simply a regular homicide. The victims of a serial killer are often selected because they are in the wrong place at the right time. They are also targeted because they evoke an emotional response from the perpetrator. Serial killers are opportunistic and are more likely to target people who have been stigmatized, devalued or marginalized in society.

After raping and killing Samantha Koenig, Israel Keyes took her frozen body out of his shed, applied makeup to give her a lifelike appearance, sewed her eyes open with fishing line and posed her with a recent newspaper in a ransom photo he sent to her family.

He was then arrested a few weeks later. This was a huge break for investigators, who had feared that Keyes would not be caught because he did not leave any evidence behind. He had also moved frequently to avoid being caught.

The Killer

Israel Keyes was a serial killer who had killed at least three people, and possibly as many as 11. He roamed the country murdering women, men, and children in the most brutal ways. He would select victims at random, bury “murder kits” for years, and commit many crimes in quick succession.

After raping and killing Samantha Koenig, Keyes took her frozen body to his shed, where he applied makeup, braided her hair, and sewn her eyelids open to create a fake “proof of life” photo. He then sent the photo to her family and demanded $30,000 in ransom.

Keyes’ audacious act was ultimately what brought him down. He used her debit card to make several withdrawals, and the pinging of her account helped authorities catch him. He later confessed to his crimes, and told police about sewing Samantha’s eyes open for the ransom photo. It is one of the most disturbing crimes in the history of serial killers.

The Evidence

A ransom photo is one of the most terrifying things a serial killer can do. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to run out and hand out flyers for your missing loved ones.

When Israel Keyes kidnapped and killed 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, he wanted to extort her family for her return. To do so, he took her frozen body out of his shed, applied makeup on her face and sewed her eyes open with fishing line to fake a proof of life photo. He then held up a recent issue of a local newspaper next to her face and snapped a grainy Polaroid.

He sent the picture to her family and demanded $30,000 in exchange for her safe return. That audacious act was also what ended up catching him. Israel Keyes had killed at least three and possibly up to 11 people before being caught for the murder of Samantha Koenig. This was his most high-profile killing.

The Final Words

When serial killer Israel Keyes kidnapped Samantha Koenig from her drive-thru coffee stand in Anchorage, he sipped wine while telling her exactly what he planned to do to her in a secluded tool shed on his property. He then raped and murdered her, and two weeks later, sewed her frozen and lifeless eyes open in a chilling ransom photo.

In the picture, he propped her against a wall and held up a current copy of the local newspaper. The gruesome photos spread worldwide, and Keyes would later confess to the crime and explain how he staged the ransom photograph.

The alleged murderer was not only a serial killer but also a bank robber, burglar, arsonist, and kidnapper. Despite the twisted nature of his crimes, investigators found no evidence that he suffered from mental illness. A psychological test revealed that he was intelligent and had no family history of trauma or abuse. He was a full-time worker with a wife and child.


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