TUPPER LAKE - A nearly four-year mystery was solved this December when Tupper Lakers learned that their bank robber was none other than serial killer Israel Keyes.
Keyes, who owned property in northern Franklin County, was in jail in Anchorage, Alaska, for the murder of an 18-year-old coffee stand server when he admitted to a string of other murders, as well as to robbing a Tupper Lake bank in April 2009.
Keyes, 34, didn't want his crimes to become public knowledge because he was worried about his reputation, but when he killed himself by slitting his own wrist and smothering himself with a sheet in early December, the FBI released the list of his misdeeds, hoping to solve more crimes he had not fully divulged.
Serial killer Israel Keyes holds up Community Bank in Tupper Lake in 2009, as seen in this surveillance video shot.
FBI believe Keyes was the perpetrator in about 12 murders, including Bill and Lorraine Currier of Essex, Vt., who disappeared in June 2011. Keyes told authorities he shot Bill Currier and sexually assaulted and strangled Lorraine. The couple's bodies have not been found. The gun used to kill them, however, was found dismantled in a bucket near a reservoir in Parishville, in St. Lawrence County. The rest of it and another gun Keyes stole from the Currier's home were found later in the reservoir.
Keyes told FBI investigators that he funded his murderous jaunts around the country with contracting work and by robbing banks.
On a Friday in April 2009, Keyes entered the Hosley Avenue branch of the Community Bank wearing a hooded Carhartt jacket, sunglasses, jeans and what appeared to be a fake mustache and goatee. He brandished a silver handgun and demanded money, then told everyone to get on the floor.
He fled on foot in the direction of Saranac Lake and, despite a vast manhunt that ensued, was never found - until he was arrested in Texas for the Alaska teen's murder.
FBI said they have no reason to believe that Keyes would have lied in his admission to the crime, and that he had already been a suspect in it before he said he did it.
Keyes owned a 10-acre piece of property in Constable, in northern Franklin County along the Canada border. He had his tax bills sent to Anchorage, Alaska, and was paying those bills.
Locals reacted with shock to the news that Keyes was the bank robber. Many said they were glad nothing worse than a bank robbery happened in Tupper Lake.
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.