Thursday, December 06, 2012

Serial Killer Israel Keyes Extremist Past Overshadowed by His Trail of Violence and Murder

Serial killer Israel Keyes
While there was certainly no shortage of national media coverage of the Sunday December 2nd suicide of confessed kidnapper and serial killer Israel Keyes in an Alaskan jail cell, few of the stories I've read online devote much analysis or even mention his indoctrination into the white supremacist movement in rural Washington state.

Some might argue that the heinous acts of murder committed by the 34 year-old Keyes (he confessed to 8 murders but the FBI suspects that he's responsible for many more unsolved killings across the United States) are more important than any religious or political beliefs he might have had, but I'm not one of them. Those beliefs are the root of the problem.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch Website offers the most insight into Keyes upbringing in a remote community where anti-Semitic and racist beliefs were the norm. Hatewatch is one of the few Websites that notes that Keyes was a childhood neighbor and close friend who lived just up the road from Chevie and Cheyne Kehoe, two violent white supremacist brothers who garnered world wide media attention in 1997 attention after their shootout with two Ohio State Troopers following a traffic stop was captured on videotape; both were later convicted of the kidnapping, torture and murder of gun dealer William Mueller and his family.

Personally the mainstream media needs to be shining a brighter spotlight onto the secluded kinds of communities like the one where the Keyes and the Kehoes were raised. According to Hatewatch all three were home-schooled as kids by parents with strong anti-government and supremacist beliefs and attended The Ark; a Christian Identity church that is part of the small but influential nationwide network of followers who's origins stretch back to 19th century Europe.

Keyes violent tendencies were directly nurtured by Christian Identity ideas; and any serious examination of his death must include more public education about the community in which he was raised and the beliefs he was exposed to from an early age.

How many more Israel Keyes and Chevie and Cheyne Kehoes are out there? And how seriously does law enforcement take the threat they represent?

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