Israel KeyesSuspected serial killer Israel Keyes took the easy way out in Alaska over the weekend where he managed to kill himself in his jail cell while awaiting trial for the kidnapping and murder of 18-year-old barista Samantha Koenig. The case riveted Anchorage and broke the hearts of many when Koenig was found in an icy river days after her disappearance.

Keyes was also suspected of a number of other murders across the United States, including a couple in Vermont (to which he confessed), four people in Washington state, and a man in New York. Even more terrifying: al the murders appear to have been random. He did not know any of his suspected victims and there is not a single obvious motive.

It's just the most baffling, horrible kind of case.

 

The fact is, we all like a motive. It makes us feel better. It's sad to say, but very true.

Somehow when the killer can come up with a "reason," even one we find insane, we can separate ourselves from the victims. He liked blond-haired girls who walked alone at night. He dated the victim and was angry with her. He knew the guy and killed him for drugs. They were good friends who had a major falling out.

Any one of these is not a reason to kill. They are all horrific and disturbing and wrong. But at least when there is a motive, there is some explanation. There is some relief for outsiders who can say, "wow, that would never be me. I would not walk alone at night/have that kind of fight/do drugs."

Obviously, it is a false sense of security. Any one of us could be murdered for the most insane "motive" at any given moment. But if we walked around knowing and believing that, we might never DO anything. We could be too scared to even leave our homes.

The Currier couple in particular is disturbing. There is just no connection. Keyes is suspected of breaking into their home randomly and taking them away and killing them. Their bodies have never been found. Most of us would rather live in a world where that can't happen. When there is no "reason" it could happen to any one of us. It's a disturbing thought.

No one ever does anything to deserve murder. But at least motives set murders apart from other fates. Keyes' alleged spree could change that.

His suicide is no great loss, assuming he is guilty. But it does mean we may never know more about these murders and may have to assume that there are other people out there like him. There are people capable of random acts of violence that end another person's life just because. Personally, I find that more disturbing than any other kind of crime.

Do random crimes bother you more, too?

 

Image via Anchorage Police Department