A Bunker for One: Washington Murder Suspect’s Hideout Stocked with Weapons, Candy Bars

After allegedly killing his wife and daughter, survivalist Peter Keller was run to ground this weekend in a mountain lair it took him eight years to build.

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King County Sheriff's Office / Handout / Reuters

The exterior of a mountainside bunker is shown in this handout photo where King County Police found the body, thought to be that of suspect Peter Keller, after blasting a hole in the roof of the heavily fortified bunker near North Bend, Washington April 28, 2012.

The bunker Peter Keller carved out of a Washington state mountain was built for just one all along.

The North Bend, Wash., resident was accused murdering of his wife of 21 years, Lynnettee, and their teenage daughter, Kaylene, at their home on April 22 before burning down the house in an attempt to cover up his crime. The solar company employee then fled to the multi-level bunker he spent eight years hewing out of the bedrock in Rattlesnake Ridge, stocked with everything from an elaborate pulley system to weapons and ammunition to candy.

Using photos uncovered from his computer, which had survived the house fire, police were able to find Keller’s hideout and surrounded it over the weekend. After tossing a tear-gas grenade into the bunker (how does a survivalist not have a gas mask?) and waiting overnight, they moved inside — only to find what they believe is Keller’s body, dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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Investigators, reporters and Department of Natural Resources officials made the trek to Keller’s bunker this week to get a closer look at the spot where the man whom coworkers called a “survivalist” planned to ride out the apocalypse. Court documents paint Keller as someone who feared the “end of the world”, was prone to distrust authority and had a fascination with guns.

Inside they found a three-chambered bunker carved out of the earth. It had a single-bed sleeping loft and a storage area stocked with beans, barley, rice, and weapons. Keller also apparently had quite a sweet tooth: he had shelves stocked with Coca-Cola and “tons” of 100 Grand candy bars.

The site is located to a mountain stream for fresh drinking water, which included a pump that brought water straight into the shelter.

“He was definitely in it for the long haul,” King County Sheriff Department Sergeant Jesse Anderson told the Seattle Times, adding that he hadn’t made room for anyone but himself. The Times reported Keller used a road leading to a power station to bring in heavy equipment as close as 200 yards from the bunker.

Keller lived near the base of the mountain previously and scouted out his spot then. The painstaking process of building the bunker included holding up the earth with logs he chopped, striped and planed himself. The pulley system was in place, rigged in the trees, so he could transport the logs inside the bunker singlehandedly.

He used an old metal trash can as a woodstove and had a ventilation system to clear the air.

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