Samantha Koenig eyelids

Estimated read time 4 min read

After 18-year-old Samantha Koenig disappeared from her roadside coffee stand in Anchorage, police focused on the man who had her. He braided her hair, applied makeup and sewed her eyelids open with a fishing line, according to Latin Times.

Serial killer Israel Keyes had murdered at least three and may have killed up to 11 more before his arrest. He was also responsible for a gruesome ransom photo.

What Happened to Samantha Koenig?

When Samantha Koenig was working at her Common Grounds drive-thru coffee stand, a stranger named Israel Keyes approached her. He told her he only wanted to hold her for ransom. He tied her hands and threw her into his pickup truck. Then he drove her to his house, where he tied her up in a tool shed.

After two weeks passed, Keyes sent her parents the ransom photo that he had sewed her eyelids open with a fishing line. The family paid the requested amount, which he deposited into her bank account connected to her debit card. This allowed officials to track the withdrawals and capture him.

Upon his arrest, Keyes was sentenced to life in prison. He attempted to escape from jail in May 2012 by breaking his leg irons, but authorities captured him soon after. He killed himself in December of that year by slitting his wrist with a razor blade hidden in his cell.

Israel Keyes

Israel Keyes was one of the 21st century’s most terrifying serial killers. He was a rapist, a bank robber and, according to investigators, he murdered at least 11 people.

He kidnapped Samantha Koenig from her coffee stand, telling her it was for ransom. She was raped, strangled and then left in a shed. Keyes photographed her for a ransom note and sent the photo to her parents. They deposited the money into her account, but it was a lie.

He then dismembered her body and dropped the pieces into a lake north of Anchorage. Keyes was arrested in 2012. Before he died in his jail cell from self-inflicted wrist cuts and strangulation, he confessed to the murder of Koenig and many others. He also drew chilling pictures of 11 skulls and a pentagram in his own blood. He may have killed more victims in America and abroad. He was a master of disguise and deception, a terrifying figure that authorities say would never have been caught without the help of TikTok.

The Murder

The murder of Samantha Koenig was a cold-blooded one. She was kidnapped from her drive-thru coffee stand on February 1, 2012. A man in a ski mask climbed into the kiosk window, grabbed her and forced her to turn off the lights. He then shackled her hands and took her to his home. At first, he claimed that he was only going to hold her for ransom. But once he got her debit card and her cell phone, he shifted her into his shed and tied her up. He even sewed her eyes open and posed her to make her look alive. He then sent this photo to her parents and demanded $30,000 for her release.

After he made the demand, he poured himself a glass of wine and began to tell her how he would rape her and strangle her. Then, he wrapped the rope around her neck and pulled it slowly. Israel Keyes was a serial killer with 11 confirmed kills. He later killed himself in a jail cell.

The Photo

When serial murderer Israel Keyes kidnapped 18-year-old Samantha Koenig from her job at Common Grounds drive-thru coffee shop in Anchorage, Alaska, he promised her parents that she would be returned unharmed if they paid him a ransom. To make that promise a reality, Keyes sewed her eyelids open with a fishing line, applied makeup and combed her hair, propped her up against the wall and took a “ransom photo.” He also wrote a letter to her family that included his demands.


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