ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Confessed serial killer Israel Keyes admitted he enjoyed killing people, but couldn't or wouldn't give investigators a more meaningful answer when quizzed why he did it.
"There were just times, a couple of times, where we would try to get a why," said Anchorage Police officer Jeff Bell, who helped interrogate Keyes for hours.
"He would have this term, he would say, 'A lot of people ask why, and I would be, like, why not?'" Bell said.
Keyes confessed to killing eight people across the United States, but alluded to additional murders, FBI Special Agent Jolene Goeden and Bell told The Associated Press.
"Based on some of the things he told us, and some of the conversations we had with him, we believe the number is less than 12," Goeden said. "We don't know for sure. He's the only one who could have ultimately answered that."
They may never know the true number.
Keyes slit his wrist and strangled himself with bedding Sunday at the Anchorage Correctional Facility. He was facing a March trial on federal murder charges in the kidnapping and death of an 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, who was abducted from an Anchorage coffee stand Feb. 1.
He also wasn't going to stop. Authorities said he have weapons caches or body disposal kits stashed across the country.
One such disposal kit was found north of Anchorage. It included a shovel, plastic bags and bottles of Drano, which he told authorities would speed the decomposition of bodies.
A murder kit found in upstate New York had weapon parts, a silencer, ligatures, ammunition and garbage bags.
Keyes said other murder kits are hidden in Washington state, Wyoming, Texas and, investigators believe, somewhere in the Southwest, possibly Arizona.
Goeden and Bell conducted up to 40 hours of interviews with Keyes after his March arrest in Texas. During that time, Keyes confessed to killing Koenig, along with Bill and Lorraine Currier in Vermont, and five other people — although details for those victims were scarce.
The interviews also revealed Keyes' motivation, which was simple, Goeden and Bell said.
"He enjoyed it. He liked what he was doing," Goeden said. "He talked about getting a rush out of it, the adrenalin, the excitement out of it."
Keyes also liked seeing coverage of his crimes in the media, and he appeared to get a thrill out of talking about some of them with investigators, Goeden and Bell said.
His crimes started small with burglaries and thefts — until the urge escalated to murder.
Bell said Keyes told investigators the first violent crime he committed was a sexual assault in Oregon, in which he let the victim go.
"He planned on killing her but didn't," Bell said.
Keyes said the rape occurred sometime between 1996 and 1998 along the Deshutes River near Maupin, Ore., after he got the girl away from her friends. The girl was between the ages of 14 and 18, and would be in her late 20s or 30s now. No police reports were filed, and the FBI is seeking more information on the crime.
Of the five other murders Keyes confessed to, four were in Washington state and one occurred on the East Coast, with the body disposed of in New York.