OTR Interviews

'Confessions of a Serial Killer': The random, horrific killing of a Vt. couple revisited

'Confessions of a Serial Killer': Why did Israel Keyes kill Bill and Lorraine Currier?


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 6, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: On June 8th, 2011, Bill and Lorraine Currier vanished from their Essex, Vermont, home. Their bodies were never recovered. And then thousands of miles away, to Alaska. In February 2012, Samantha Koenig, an 18-year-old barista, was kidnapped, raped, murdered and dismembered, the cruel crime in Israel Keyes's hometown of Anchorage. Koenig's remains were found in a lake just north of Anchorage.

Keyes more than just a cold-blooded killer. Surveillance cameras show him robbing numerous banks across the country to support his hobby of killing. He burglarized homes, committed arson in Texas and raped many of his victims.

He was a planner. Keyes even stashed murder kits in locations as he planned future crimes. But he made mistakes in the end and began using his last victim's ATM card, which led to his capture 4,000 miles from Alaska, all the way in Lufkin, Texas.

Now the FBI is releasing new clues and new evidence. You have not seen this, and tonight you will. First, "On the Record" hits the ground in quiet Essex, Vermont, where Bill and Lorraine Currier, a well-liked couple in a sleepy town vanished without a trace.


VAN SUSTEREN: When did you first learn that they had disappeared or that people couldn't find them?.

LT. GEORGE MURTIE, ESSEX, VT, POLICE DEPARTMENT: At 10:00 o'clock in the morning on June 8th, we received a call from the family that Bill and Lorraine hadn't gone to work. They had both been in their jobs for over 20 years, and it was very unusual. So Lorraine worked with her sister-in-law. Her sister-in-law went over to the house and saw that the car was gone and called the police.

VAN SUSTEREN: The garage is attached to the house, or part of the house. That's significant in this whole investigation, isn't it.

MURTIE: Yes, it is.


MURTIE: Well, because the Curriers' car was in the garage on the night of June 8th. And one of the first things that the sister-in-law noticed was that the car was gone. And there was also a broken window from a door leading from the garage into the house.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you been inside that house?

MURTIE: Yes, several times.

VAN SUSTEREN: And how soon after the report that they had vanished were you inside the house?

MURTIE: It was later that evening. The other officers from the patrol unit had been in the house. After going to the house and seeing that the window was broken, they went through the house. Nothing looked disturbed, but Bill and Lorraine weren't there. The only thing that was out of the ordinary was the broken glass. And later, family members told us that a gun was missing. And then later, A little after that, we discovered that phone line to the house had been cut.

VAN SUSTEREN: We're on upper Main Street in Essex, Vermont. And if you notice, this sort of an old driveway. This is actually the driveway to the home where the most nightmarish thing happened. A couple was literally executed by a serial killer the night of June 8th to June 9th, 2011.

This is where Israel Keyes brought the Currier couple (INAUDIBLE) about a mile away from their home to this area, to where there was a home. It's now been demolished. And this is where he killed, shot Bill in the basement, and strangled Mrs. Currier.

What happened inside?

MURTIE: Well, he tied Bill and Lorraine up and drove them in their own vehicle here and concealed it in the back of the house.

He brought Bill Currier into the basement and tied him to a stool. When he came out of the basement, I think he assumed that Lorraine would still be tied up inside the car, but she had gotten partially free. She was standing outside the car when he came out of the basement.

When they saw each other, Lorraine began to run. And he chased her down and dragged her in through the front of the house and brought her upstairs and tied her up. There was a sexual assault of Lorraine sometime during the course of that.

Bill manages to get partially free and starts to make his way upstairs to try and rescue his wife. And he hears the disturbance downstairs, grabs the gun that he had brought with him from Alaska and shoots Bill several times and kills him.

And then he goes back upstairs and finishes whatever it is he's decided to do with Lorraine. He strangles her nearly to the point of unconsciousness upstairs, but then he brings her downstairs into the basement and strangles her to death.

VAN SUSTEREN: What did he do then with the two bodies?

MURTIE: He brought some trash bags with him. He put their bodies each separately with trash bag from the bottom up and one from the top down. He poured Drano on the bodies to speed decomposition, and then he dragged them over into the corner of the basement, where he put more debris on top of them.

VAN SUSTEREN: And they were never discovered or anything? Someone came in at some point and bulldozed the -- coincidentally -- or the house down, right?

MURTIE: Yes, that's correct. They demolished the house, carried all the stuff away in dump trucks from there. It eventually ended up in a landfill about two hours from here, in a place called Coventry, Vermont.

The people who did the demolition started to go into the basement and said there was a very, very strong odor of decomposition. They were familiar with what decomposing bodies smelled like, I believe, more from hunting and being out in the woods. But they decided not to go down there because the smell was too bad, and they just collapsed the house into the basement and then dug it out and took it away.


VAN SUSTEREN: Before his arrest and confession in an Alaskan jail, Israel Keyes was not someone who the authorities in Vermont were looking at in the disappearance and murder of Bill and Lorraine Currier. And the most chilling discovery -- the Curriers had been picked totally at random.

Mary Morrissey is a Vermont prosecutor who worked the case.


VAN SUSTEREN: Let me ask you about Israel Keyes. What is the first time you ever heard his name?

MARY MORRISSEY, CHITTENDEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR: The first time I heard his name was, I believe, on April 7th of 2012. I'd been contacted by the chief of police in Essex because we had had -- Bill and Lorraine Currier had gone missing approximately a year before that, and I had gotten a call from Chief Larose saying that a man named Israel Keyes had been arrested and was actually in custody in Alaska. And he had told authorities there that he was responsible for the murder of Bill and Lorraine Currier here in Essex Junction, Vermont.

KEYES: Only person I ever shot was Bill Currier.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody else was strangled.


VAN SUSTEREN: Had you ever heard of the disappearance of the Curriers? Was that well known all over the state?

MORRISSEY: It was. I was heavily involved in the investigation up to that point. They had been reported missing by family members on June 9th of 2011. They had last been seen the day before, and when they failed to show up for work the next day, their family members reported them missing.

I had been contacted that night by members of the Essex Police Department to notify me that this was happening, that there was an investigation under way. There was very little information at that point about the Curriers and what may have happened to them. But after that point, I was very involved in the investigation right up through the time when Israel Keyes killed himself in an Alaska jail.

VAN SUSTEREN: This was totally random?

MORRISSEY: Totally random.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any idea why Israel Keyes would have picked them out, just absolutely -- or just completely random?

MORRISSEY: My understanding is that the reason he picked out -- he didn't pick them out. I think he picked out their residence. He had -- when he came to Vermont, he knew that there were certain things in terms of the residence that he was looking for that would make it easier for him to accomplish his crime.

He wanted a house that -- where he thought there were no kids and no dogs. He wanted a house that had a predictable layout, so that he, when he got into the house, would be able to predict where the couple would be sleeping. He wanted it to have an attached garage and he wanted the car to be in the garage, I -- one would assume to make it easier when he did have them subdued to get them into the car to move from the residence.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you talk to him?


VAN SUSTEREN: Over the phone or in person?

MORRISSEY: It was over the phone. That was set up through the U.S. attorney's office and the FBI in Alaska. Myself and Lieutenant George Murtie had a conversation with him on June 1st of 2012.

VAN SUSTEREN: What was it like?

MORRISSEY: The reason we had the conversation was we really wanted to close out any loose ends that we thought might exist. And again, based on what I said before, we were looking for very specific details on him that would confirm for us that he had been in the residence.

So the conversation itself, I think, was based on questions like, Tell us what you saw in the garage. What was the back yard looking like? What did the Curriers personally tell you about themselves, information that wasn't released publicly. So that was the question in the interview generally, was based on those types of details being elicited from him.


VAN SUSTEREN: Israel Keyes may have picked his victims at random, but his planning and execution was thorough and meticulous. Long before he killed his prey, Keyes would often stash kill kits or murder kits in an area where he intended to carry out a murder.

The areas were stocked with guns, supplies, cash and tools to dispose of bodies. "On the Record" hits the ground, taking you to one storage area used more than two years prior to the bloody murders of Bill and Lorraine Currier.


VAN SUSTEREN: Lieutenant, where are we?

LT. GEORGE MURTIE, ESSEX, VT, POLICE DEPARTMENT: We're at an area called 68 Acres. It's a local park that was given to the town by the federal government.

VAN SUSTEREN: About how far is this by driving to the home of the Curriers?

MURTIE: It's about a mile.

VAN SUSTEREN: And from the hotel where Israel Keyes was staying?

MURTIE: Slightly less than a mile.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the murder scene where the home was demolished?

MURTIE: This is probably a few miles up route 15 from there.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, what's significant about this is, apparently, Israel Keyes was here prior to the murder, sometime before the murder, to this park?

MURTIE: Yes, he was here in April of 2009.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which is about two years and two months before the murders.

MURTIE: Yes. That's right.

VAN SUSTEREN: What was he doing here?

MURTIE: A part -- well, I know what he did here. He came here with a wooden box that had a gun in it and some cable ties and some other items, maybe some rope. And he buried it here in this park.

VAN SUSTEREN: And to unbury it when?

MURTIE: He came here on June 8th of 2011, the day of -- he abducted Bill and Lorraine Currier.

VAN SUSTEREN: I imagine it's somewhat different two years and two months later, with all the trees -- the tree growth and -- unless you have some sort of markers where you bury something. I guess you could bury it a short part off a path, but...

MURTIE: It was at an intersection of two trails where he did it. So I can understand how he could find it. But yes, we have heavy winters, a lot of snow. We have flooding most springs. And so, you know, he told us he found it and so...

VAN SUSTEREN: And obviously, he didn't leave part of it behind. I mean, once he...

MURTIE: He did.

VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, he did?

MURTIE: He actually did. But you know, it was over a year, and Hurricane Irene came through, too, before we knew that something was here. So we did come back in the summer of 2012, trying to find anything that would corroborate his story. And we weren't able to.

VAN SUSTEREN: So the fact that he buried something, that's his story and there's no way to confirm that, right?

MURTIE: That's correct.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. So maybe he was -- but he knew enough to tell you about the area.

MURTIE: He did, and he also told us what he did with the murder weapon. He told us what he did with Bill and Lorraine's gun that -- and they were exactly where he said he put them, in New York state.