Why Did Peter Keller Kill His Family?

Pop Culture Crime
3 min readFeb 10, 2019
Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

On April 22, 2012, a North Bend resident spotted a house on fire in their Washington neighborhood. A call to 911 prompted authorities to respond to the blaze, a clear arson considering the barricaded front door and variety of gas cans at the scene.

The Disturbing Discovery

Inside the home, authorities discovered the bodies of 41-year-old Lynettee Keller and her 19-year-old daughter, Kaylene. They’d both been shot in their bedrooms before the perpetrator set the house on the fire.

Kaylene was a young woman with a bright future. She wanted to study video game design. Lynettee was a homemaker, and she had also borrowed money from family members to make ends meet, in spite of the fact that her husband worked. Her brother, Gene, is reported as saying that no signs pointed to the fact that something like this could ever happen.

Nobody saw this coming.

Inside the burned home, authorities found an unlocked safe containing photos of a bunker in the woods. Investigators had found their suspect: Peter Keller, the patriarch of the family.

The Search for Peter Keller

Police spent about a week searching for Peter Keller, a 41-year-old survivalist who worked in computer refurbishing. While awaiting the end of the world, Keller spent eight years planning and building a bunker on Rattlesnake Ridge. He sought out a space with dense vegetation, so dense that SWAT had to use helicopters to get to the hillside structure. They were also suspicious that the bunker had been booby-trapped, so they approached cautiously.

In the midst of a 22-hour stand-off with SWAT, Peter killed himself inside the bunker. SWAT members aren’t exactly sure when that happened.

Inside the bunker, authorities found 13 guns, shelves of ammunition, a stove, and PVC pipe. In spite of the fact that Lynettee had been in need of money, Peter had been hoarding thousands of dollars inside the bunker, next to explosives, bulletproof vests, and other weapons.

Additionally, authorities found video diaries Peter kept. He’d admitted to killing his wife and daughter. On video, Peter stated, “I’m getting to the point where just trying to live and pay bills and…



Pop Culture Crime

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