Some of the critics of Cruise Law News say that I unnecessarily include sensationalist information in my blog. My response is that it’s hard to report on developments in the world of cruising and not sound sensational when cruise ships are on fire, sinking and being chased by pirates.

But today, I read a few articles about a cruise which are about as sensationalist as you can get. A Fox news station in New Orleans published an article this morning entitled "FBI: Confessed Serial Killer Boarded Cruise Ship in New Orleans." It is now trending on Twitter. The article is about serial killer Israel Keyes who abducted, robbed, raped, and strangled a young woman to death in Alaska. It turns out that he was involved in a number of similar crimes across the country. He was finally arrested and placed in a jail in Anchorage where he recently committed suicide.

For reasons not clear to me, the FBI just disclosed a number of rather horrific facts involving the diabolical crime (as mentioned above) including the fact that he dismembered the young woman’s body before disposing of it. Included in the gratuitous information released by the FBI was the odd fact that following the crime serial killer Keyes went on a two week cruise out of New Orleans.

So what is the connection between these grisly circumstances and cruising?  Absolutely none. But the dubious connection to cruising was not just made by the Fox News people.  It seems that many of the media outlets covering the story are making exploitative references to the fact that the sociopath ended his crime spree with a cruise.  ABC News proclaimed "Serial Killer’s Methodical Plan to Rape and Strangle Teen, Then Go on a Cruise" and included a video of the story which you can watch below.

The video has no reference to the fact that the killer subsequently sailed out of New Orleans on a cruise ship. The headline’s reference to a cruise was just a hook to pull you into reading the articles and watching the video.

I suppose that the only point to be learned is that when you cruise, you never know who you’re cruising with.  A few thousand people did in fact sail out of New Orleans with a serial killer with fresh blood on his hands. If you cruise will a serial killer be aboard?  Seems unlikely to me. But not so far fetched to prevent me from wondering whether the FBI checked with the unidentified cruise line to determine if there were any unexplained deaths or disappearances during the cruise. 

December 6, 2012 Update: we have been contacted by passengers who sailed out of New Orleans who want to know which cruise ship Israel cruised on. We don’t know. It is our understanding that he left Alaska on February 2, 2012 for a cruise from New Orleans. The cruise ships leaving New Orleans around this time were the Voyager Of The Seas (February 4th) and the Carnival Conquest & Norwegian Spirit (both leaving on February 5th). Anyone who which ship he was on?×221&freeWheel.siteSectionId=nws_offsite&closedCaptionActive=true&addThis.playerSize=392×221&closedCaptionsOverPlayer.fontsize=12