On January 7, 1978, American serial killer Israel Keyes was born. He was the second eldest of ten children welcomed into the world by Heidi and John Jeffrey Keyes– parents who did not believe in modern medicine, public schools, or government interference.
During Israel’s younger years, he grew up in Cove, Utah. Then, by the time he reached toddlerhood, he and his family moved to Colville, Washington, in hopes of living in wooded isolation. There, Israel did not have any electricity or heat.
It was also in Washington where Heidi and John decided to leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and instead joined a white supremacist church.
Afterward, the Keyes family relocated again– this time settling near an Amish community in the state of Maine.
As a child, Israel showed a proclivity for violence and crime. He would break into his neighbors’ houses to steal guns and apparently loved hunting.
When it came time to hunt, though, Israel would actually torture the animals– a tendency that has since been linked to psychopathy.
“I’ve known since I was fourteen that there were things that I thought were normal and that were okay that nobody else seemed to think were normal or okay,” he later said after being taken into custody in 2012.
Once Israel reached teenhood and told his parents that he did not share their faith anymore, though, his father cut ties, and he embarked on his own journey.
By July 1998, Israel had joined the U.S. Army and actually did quite well as a soldier. He spent time in Egypt, at Fort Lewis in Washington, and at Fort Hood, located in Texas.