Walking through the woods on Rattle Snake Ridge near North Bend, Peter Keller is seen in videos talking about his plot to kill his wife and daughter and then hide out in a remote underground bunker he spent nearly 10 years building.
“A while ago I used to sit here and think this whole thing is crazy at times,” Keller said. “And then I’d think about it and it would make sense. This is what I've gotta do.”
(The full, excerpted video released by the King County Sheriff's Office on Thursday can be viewed at bottom of story.)
Keller shot to death his wife, Lynnettee Rocha Keller, 41, and his daughter, Kaylene Keller, 19, on April 22 in the family home in North Bend, set the house on fire and then disappeared. Police were able to locate him in the mountains, where he had built and armed an underground bunker. Police surrounded his bunker, where Keller shot and killed himself on April 28.
In his video diary, Keller seems confident no one will find his hideout, but what he didn't know is that evidence that led police directly to his bunker survived the fire Keller set in his home. Detectives found blueprints of the bunker in an open safe in Keller's bedroom as well as photos that helped them pinpoint his location.
“I don't think anyone knows where I am,but if they put it together I have to take that chance,” said Keller in the video. “I do have my escape and it's death. I will shoot myself and I'm ok with that.”
That's just what Keller did.
“He certainly for weeks, months, even years had planned to murder his wife and daughter in their home,” said King County Sheriff Steve Strachan. “It’s almost incomprehensible and to think about the fact he gets up and has breakfast with them and has a day-to-day life knowing that this was how it was going to end is breathtaking in its evil.”
Keller explains that in the months leading up to the murders, he carried 100 pound packs of supplies up to the bunker bi-weekly and that he had enough supplies to survive for months.
As far as a motive to the killings, that much is still unclear. In one of the last segments, Keller talks about his inability to function in his everyday life.
“I'm getting to the point where I’m just trying to live and pay bills and live as a civilian and it just freaks me out,” said Keller. “It’s more comfortable thinking about me living out here, robbing banks and pharmacies, getting what I want for as long as I can. At least it will be exciting. It won’t be boring and I don’t have to worry about Lynnettee or Kaylene and everything will be taken care of. It will just be me.”
Member of the victims’ family have set up a scholarship fund in Kaylene’s name. The Rocha family has established the Kaylene Keller Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Seattle Foundation to help students who, like Kaylene, want to pursue their dream of entering the field of digital game development. Kaylene wanted to attend DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Wash.
If anyone wishes to donate, click on this link.