Serial killer Todd Kohlhepp confessed to having killed seven people in South Carolina between 2003 and 2016.
Kala Brown, one of the victims, was found alive and chained inside a container in 46-year-old Kohlhepp’s property. They taped the rescue in a 10-minute video. Kohlhepp’s confession was also taped.
A serial killer’s rampage finally comes to an end
In 2016, investigators were looking for more clues on the disappearance of 32-year-old Charles David Carver and his girlfriend 30-year-old Kala Brown. Carver and Brown were reported missing after they had gone cleaning one of Kohlhepp’s properties.
Authorities started tracking the pair’s cellphone signals and three months later managed to trace them back to a container in Kohlhepp’s property.
When they got near, they heard a woman screaming inside. Using pliers, they cut the chains that locked the container and rescued Brown, who was seen clothed and chained to one of the walls. They asked her about her boyfriend and told the investigators that Kohlhepp had shot him three times in the chest and buried him. Brown also revealed that there should have been “several bodies dead and buried” within Kohlhepp’s property. They managed to find three corpses and Brown confessed to being raped by the killer.
“I didn’t know what to do with her. She didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t want to hurt her,” Kohlhepp confessed to his mother. Kohlhepp fed Brown once a day and he threatened her that if she escaped, she would be killed just like the others.
The other bodies were that of 26-year-old Meagan Leigh McCraw-Coxie, and 29-year-old Johnny Joe Coxie reported missing in December 2015.
After finding Kala Brown, officers arrested Kohlhepp for the second time. He was first registered as a sex offender in 1987 and was jailed after that, only to be released 14 years later. The killer confessed to the murders and also to Brown’s kidnapping. There were different types of handguns and rifles on his property.
Being sued and charged with kidnapping, weapon possession, and murder, he finally pleaded guilty to seven counts of murder, two counts of kidnapping, and one criminal sexual assault. He was charged with seven life sentences without the possibility of parole, although he was spared a death sentence.
Kohlhepp: A smart and troubled man
Todd Kohlhepp has had a long history of violent acts, which could be perhaps explained by how he lived his early life. His parents divorced when he was little and was described to be aggressive most of the time. Court documents revealed that he shot a dog with a BB gun and killed a goldfish with Clorox. Eventually, he was committed for three months to a mental hospital in Georgia.
His first crime was as serious at it could get. In 1986, he kidnapped a 14-year-old girl in Arizona and threatened her with a revolver, then proceeding to tie, gag, and rape her. Later, he threatened the girl by promising to kill her family if she confessed.
The judge who gave him his sentence said that he was “brilliant,” but that it was useless to try and rehabilitate him.
“He has not changed. He has been unabatedly aggressive to others and destructive of property since nursery school. He destroys his own clothing, personal possessions and pets apparently on whim and caprice,” stated the judge.
He was released from prison in 2001, after which he enrolled at Central Arizona College and graduated with a bachelor of computer science. He kept studying and managed to get a real estate license on 2006 after lying on his application. Kohlhepp funded a company with several employees. It was closed down after the arrest following Brown’s rescue. Apparently, Kohlhepp was not checked for a criminal background because it had not been a requirement when he applied for his license.
The first series of murders occurred in Chesnee, as he killed Chris Sherbert, Brian Lucas, and Scott Ponder and his mother. It transcurred in Superbike Motorsports, a store where Kohlhepp first went to try out a motorcycle and failed to return it, as the tenants would laugh at him and refuse to pay him back. The crime went unresolved until Kala Brown’s rescue from inside the container.
Brown told her story in an interview with Dr. Phil. She had been working with her boyfriend for some time to clean houses before her kidnapping. Kohlhepp hired them and had them clean about five houses in a period of three months. He eventually told them to visit one of his properties to clean the garage.
“I lost 70 pounds. My emotions are running from joy to crying, even feeling sorry for the family [of Kohlhepp] I feel for them. The gentleman has to pay for what he did,” stated Terry Guy, Scott Ponder’s stepfather, who attended a bond hearing for Kohlhepp. He confessed to having suffered from severe depression after the Superbike Motorsports murders.
Source: Greenville Online