Who Cares if Samantha Koenig’s Killer Was an Atheist?

Filed in Gather News Channel by on December 7, 2012 0 Comments

Samantha Koenig’s killer was reportedly an atheist, but there are news sources that are using this details as some sort of negative detail about the man. By doing so, The Kansas City Star is seeming to draw a connection between his psychopathy and crimes to his lack of belief in deities—and that is a deep insult to other atheists who may be following this case; especially those who have covered this case and want Samantha and his other victims to get the justice they deserve.

 This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Israel Keyes. Keyes committed suicide in an Alaska jailhouse Sunday, leaving behind an incomplete picture of a loner who traveled the country for more than a decade, picking victims at random and methodically killing them.

Titled ‘Israel Keyes Rejected Religion, says Pastor who will Speak at his Funeral,’ the news source makes a story out of the mere lack of belief in gods and mythology—mentioning that he had “ranted and cried” that he didn’t believe in “God” (notice the capital letters used by the above cited source) at his sister’s wedding in Texas. This seems like an example of biased reporting that doesn’t share any facts to set off the example of atheism they made of Israel Keyes.

Fact: In 2005, The Kripke Center detailed a study called the “Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies.” This study found that in predominantly secular countries the rates of lethal crimes are lower than the alternative.

Fact: In 1997, prison numbers of inmates who identified as religious far surpassed those who did not believe in deities. In fact, the number of offenders in U.S. prisons who identified as being atheist only reached about 0.209% of the entire prison population. Judeo-Christian offenders make up about 83.761% of the prison population—take that for what it’s worth.

Samantha Koenig’s killer may or may not have truly believed in deities; who knows? His so called “rant” at his sister’s wedding in Texas was just days before he was arrested for the kidnapping/murder of the missing Anchorage barista. So maybe he was in the throes of a mental meltdown and was spouting nonsense. Maybe he truly didn’t believe in “God”. What matters is that this guy is dead after confessing to killing so many people—many that he refused to name. He was a cold blooded murderer who stole the lives of innocent people, and he was a monster. The idea that he was an atheist has nothing to do with his crimes or his criminal mentality—as statistics have clearly shown.


Crime analyst, profiler & future criminologist Chelsea Hoffman can be found on Huffington Post or Chelsea Hoffman: Case to Case. You can follow her on Twitter @TheRealChelseaH or contact her via her personal blog. Fan the Facebook page for updates on missing persons cases, issues in civil rights and details on Chelsea’s fiction works.


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