It’s difficult to imagine the level of evil serial killer/kidnapper/rapist Todd Kohlhepp of Spartanburg County, South Carolina had to reach to have kidnapped and then locked up 30-year-old Kala Brown inside a shipping container on his property; repeatedly raping her after he had killed her boyfriend.
On November 3, 2016, investigators searching for Brown and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Charles David Carter, were led to Kohlhepp’s 95-acre property after the two had been missing for two months, because cellphone records showed that she might have been in the area when she vanished.
Police discovered three bodies on the property before they heard Brown screaming from the inside of a large metal shipping container. Using tools to pry the heavy doors open, South Carolina sheriff’s deputies rescued the terrified woman, who was found shackled inside.
On the way to the hospital, Brown told police that Kohlhepp had confessed to killing a married couple before she was captured, and had also talked about killing four people at a Spartanburg County motorcycle shop 13 years prior to that.
Brown and Carter came to Kohlhepp’s property ostensibly for a cleaning job. But instead, he shot Carter to death and locked up Brown, chained and gagged, inside the storage container, where he raped her nearly every day.
Carter’s body was found in a shallow grave, along with the remains of two other victims.
When Brown was first found by police, she told them, “Todd Kohlhepp shot Charlie Carver three times in the chest, wrapped him in a blue tarp, put him in the bucket of the tractor, locked me down here. I’ve never seen him again. He says he’s dead and buried. He says there are several bodies dead and buried out here.”
Kohlhepp also lured 29-year-old Johnny Coxie and 26-year-old Leigh McCraw-Coxie to his property in December 2015, promising them work. Police say he killed Coxie immediately and tried to keep McCraw-Coxie locked up, but he admitted to having had to kill her after several days, because she tried to start a fire in the container after he gave her cigarettes.
Kohlhepp, 46, took a plea deal last month which spares him from the death penalty, but he will not be eligible for parole and agreed not to appeal. He was sentenced to serve seven consecutive life terms plus 60 years on kidnapping, sexual assault and other charges.
Kohlhepp’s life of crime began when he was only 15 years old and reportedly forced a 14-year-old neighbor into to his home at gunpoint, where he tied her up and raped her. He served 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping. He later lied about the felony conviction in order to get his real estate license in South Carolina.
Friends and co-workers at the killer’s real estate business said he was a hard worker, but he did strange things, like watching porn at work.
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