Posted: 11:53 a.m. Thursday, July 12, 2012

Killer who fled to hidden hillside bunker recorded video of plans

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Peter Keller video diary
Peter Keller video diary

SEATTLE —

The King County Sheriff's Office has released video diaries made by a man who spent years planning the slayings of his wife and daughter -- and years building the hideout where he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

 

"At this point, I don’t know what’s gonna happen," said Peter Keller, who investigators said killed his wife, Lynnettee Keller, and their 18-year-old daughter, Kaylene Keller. "I may get caught right away.   Basically, if I get caught, I’m just gonna shoot myself, so I could basically be dead in two weeks, or three weeks, I don’t know.  It’s all up to chance at this point …  it’s just going to be a point of go as far as I can, but I do have my escape, and that’s death (chuckles)."

 

This video, called "Peter Keller diary video," was one of several videos the sheriff's office uploaded to YouTube.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aodgtiB7ShE

 

More videos of Keller posted by the King County Sheriff's Office

 

The videos were released after a news conference in which King County Sheriff Steve Strachan revealed intriguing new details about how detectives tracked down Keller's bunker, hidden in the Cascades.

 

Strachan, in a news conference Thursday afternoon, gave this account of the investigation:

On April 22, Keller set a fire to a home in North Bend, intending for all the evidence to be burned.  But because neighbors reported the fire quickly, and firefighters responded quickly, it was knocked down before everything was destroyed.

Firefighters found the bodies of Lynnettee Keller and Kaylene Keller, who were later determined to have been fatally shot.

A pipe bomb was found in a safe whose door was left open, apparently intended for destruction in the fire.

Computer CDs were recovered that contained files of drawings of a bunker. Schematics included a mention of chambers for labs to work on viruses and nanobots.

The CDs included photos from 2004 showing pipe, tools and signs of work in a wooded spot where the bunker project was under way.

By 2007, photos showed a rope and pulley system was in place, and a plastic-covered hatch is seen. 

By 2008, photos showed excavations were deeper. Walls were up.  Wood was brought in to reinforce the bunker.

Photos taken in 2010 showed a concrete foundation in place.

By 2011, a wood-burning stove and much more equipment was in place in a bunker with multiple levels.

One blurry 2004 photo showed a view out to a valley with a vague outline of a ridge in the distance.  Analyzing the photo, power lines could be seen, giving a key clue about where the bunker was.

Witnesses hearing media reports about Keller's pickup truck told the sheriff's office they had seen the pickup at the trailhead at Rattlesnake Ridge.

Detectives narrowed down the location to the north face of Rattlesnake Ridge.

Trackers posing as hikers found signs someone recently had traveled under power lines in the area.

Investigators looked at a map of streams in the area.

SWAT teams were divided into three teams, and each followed a stream toward the ridge over steep, difficult terrain.

At some point, smoke was seen -- and evidence of a freshly cut tree.

The team found a well-camouflaged bunker.

SWAT team surrounded bunker.  Suspect ordered from bunker. There was no response.

Hours later, gas was deployed and a pop was heard. 

The next day, SWAT team was able to see blood and a gun.

Explosives were used to blow open the bunker.  A SWAT team entered, and found Keller dead.

Weapons, body armor found inside was removed.

 

"Why someone would be planning for years to kill his wife and his daughter … there's no good answer to that," Strachan said.

 

The victims' family is setting up a scholarship fund in memory of Lynnettee Keller and Kaylene Keller, funded in part by tens of thousands of dollars found in the bunker.

 

Details and donation information for the Kaylene Keller Memorial Scholarship is available at SeattleFoundation.org.

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