The Victims of Todd Kohlhepp
1986 – November 3, 2016
Rape, Kidnapping & Murder
Spartanburg County, South Carolina
45 when apprehended
Todd Kohlhepp was born in Florida on March 7, 1971. By the age of 15, he had already committed his first crime, when he was convicted of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. He served 15 years in prison for that crime.
In November 2016, Kohlhepp was arrested in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, after authorities discovered a woman, Kala Brown, chained up in a shipping container on his property. Brown told investigators that she and her boyfriend, Charles David Carver, had been kidnapped by Kohlhepp. Carver's remains were later found on the property, and Kohlhepp eventually confessed to killing a total of seven people in the Spartanburg and Anderson County areas.
Kohlhepp's crimes shocked and horrified the community. He was known as a successful real estate agent and seemed to lead a normal life. However, as the investigation into his crimes continued, more and more disturbing details emerged about his past and his behavior. In addition to the 1986 kidnapping and sexual assault conviction, authorities discovered that Kohlhepp had a history of angry outbursts and a fascination with guns. He had even threatened to kill people in the past.
At his trial, Kohlhepp pleaded guilty to seven counts of murder, two counts of kidnapping, and various other charges related to his crimes. He was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 60 years for other charges. The judge in the case called Kohlhepp "the most prolific serial killer in South Carolina history."
In the aftermath of his arrest and conviction, many people struggled to understand how someone like Kohlhepp could have lived among them for so long without anyone suspecting his true nature. Some have suggested that his successful career and seemingly normal life were a cover for his violent tendencies, while others have pointed to the fact that he received a relatively light sentence for his 1986 conviction as evidence of a flawed justice system. Regardless of the reasons behind his crimes, Kohlhepp's case remains a chilling reminder of the capacity for evil that can exist in even the most ordinary-seeming people.
Homicide | November 6, 2003