48 Hours on ID is investigating the crimes of Todd Kohlhepp, who murdered at least seven people in South Carolina between 2003 and 2016.
In August 2016, Kala Brown and her boyfriend, Charles David Carver, disappeared after visiting Kohlhepp’s extensive Spartanburg County, SC., property. The pair had been hired by the murderer to perform cleaning work for him.
Two months later, Brown was discovered chained up in a storage container on the property. She told the cops that Kohlhepp had shot Carver in the chest.
Kohlhepp was immediately arrested and confessed to murdering Carver and holding Brown captive. But, he didn’t stop there; he also confessed to killing husband and wife, Johnny Coxie, 29, and Meagan McCraw-Coxie, 26, and burying them on the property.
The couple had been missing since December 2015, and it later transpired that Kohlhepp had also hired the young couple to work on his property before shooting them both.
There were yet more confessions from the killer. He admitted to shooting four people at a motorbike store in Chesnee, South Carolina, in November 2003. The four victims, all employees of the store, were Scott Ponder, 30; Brian Lucas, 30; Chris Sherbert, 26; and Beverly Guy, 52. They had each been shot in the head.
The case had lain cold for over a decade until Kohlhepp made his confession. It’s thought that the four employees had made fun of the killer when he tried to return a motorcycle that he had previously bought, which led him to such a dreadful act of violence.
Todd Kohlhepp exhibited early signs he might become a killer
The signs that Kohlhepp might develop into a serial killer were there from early childhood. As a child, he had exhibited violence and cruelty towards animals and other children. When he was 15 years old, he kidnapped and raped a 14-year-old neighbor. He was sentenced to 15 years for that crime and was placed on the sex offenders register.
Despite his past crimes, Kohlhepp was able to gain a high standard of education and build up a prosperous estate agent company. According to the FBI, he also managed to illegally acquire a “staggering” amount of weaponry and ammunition, which he stored at his property.
Kohlhepp’s mother, Regina Tague, insisted after his arrest that he was not a serial killer because he hadn’t killed for pleasure, but because his victims had angered and upset him. She said: “Todd is not a monster. He’s not even close to it. He wasn’t doing it for enjoyment. He was doing it because he was mad and he was hurt.”
In May 2017, Kohlhepp pleaded guilty to seven counts of murder, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of criminal sexual assault. His guilty plea meant he avoided a death sentence, but he was given seven life sentences without the possibility of parole.
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48 Hours on ID airs at 11/10c on Investigation Discovery.