The mother of an alleged South Carolina serial killer says her son is not a monster. She said her son Todd Kohlhepp wasn’t killing for enjoyment, he was doing it because he was mad and hurt.
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Authorities said that investigators discovered a third body on the property of Todd Kohlhepp, who is now linked to seven deaths and the kidnapping of a woman who was recently found chained up in a storage container near the man’s house.
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Todd Kohlhepp, a Moore, South Carolina, resident was arrested on Thursday, after a woman was found chained inside a large storage container on his property in Woodruff, South Carolina. (Nov. 4)
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The South Carolina realtor is charged in multiple murders as well as kidnapping a woman and chaining her up in a storage shed. His criminal past goes way beyond that.
USA TODAY NETWORK
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Todd Kohlhepp faces four counts of murder in the killings more than a decade ago at Superbike Motorsports in Chesnee, South Carolina. Investigators say Kohlhepp has confessed to killing four people at a motorcycle shop in 2003. (Nov. 6)
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A South Carolina man arrested after a woman was found chained inside a large storage container on his rural property went before a judge Friday. (Nov. 4)
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A South Carolina woman has been found alive after being held captive inside a metal storage container at a property in Woodruff, South Carolina, local authorities confirmed on Thursday.
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Mom of alleged S.C. serial killer speaks
Third body found near South Carolina killer’s home
Neighbor of man in woman-in-chains case speaks
The criminal history of Todd Kohlhepp
Judge Denies Bond of S.C. Murder Suspect
Man accused of chaining woman appears in court
Missing South Carolina woman found alive, ‘chained like a dog’
Newly released records from the Arizona Department of Corrections reveal details about alleged South Carolina killer Todd Kohlhepp’s 14 years in Arizona prison, including his fights, disciplinary actions and jobs.
Kohlhepp, 45, was arrested last year after police discovered a woman “chained up like a dog” inside a storage container on his Spartanburg County, S.C., property, triggering a massive law-enforcement search.
The chained woman, Kala Brown of Anderson, S.C., told officials that other missing people may be found on the 95-acre property. Ultimately, three bodies were discovered.
Since then, Kohlhepp has confessed to shooting Brown’s boyfriend as well as sexually assaulting her. He also confessed to a quadruple shooting murder at a motorsports shop in South Carolina more than a decade ago. Kohlhepp’s mother said her son also confessed to killing another couple.
Kohlhepp had served time in an Arizona prison after being accused of raping a Tempe girl when he was 15.
The Arizona DOC disciplinary file
He was admitted to prison in Arizona on Oct. 29, 1987, and was released 14 years later on Nov. 24, 2001, according to records on the Arizona Department of Corrections website. His 307-page prison record, which was released after a public information request by The Arizona Republic, was heavily redacted, with several pages blacked out.
The information provided showed that in his first years inside, Kohlhepp fought with other inmates, disrespected guards and worked multiple jobs.
Three years after he was admitted to prison, Kohlhepp asked for a commutation of his sentence and detailed his reasoning.
“I feel I have shown that I can change,” Kohlhepp said in the letter. “All I want is one chance. The chance to become a productive and responsible member of society.”
He cited certificates he received during his time as a dishwasher, one of which was a “Role Model” certificate. In a review of Kohlhepp’s work as a dishwasher, the unit coordinator called him a “great asset” to the program.
“I am confident he will be a positive influence to his future, family and society upon release,” the coordinator wrote. Kohlhepp’s request to commute his sentence was denied.
Kohlhepp’s record also shows several disciplinary actions against him.
In March 1991, Kohlhepp “thumbed his finger” at a guard while a group of nearby inmates laughed.
Later that year, Kohlhepp was not at his cell during roll call. He was seen running away from the yard and a lockdown was put in place. Additional details on the incident were heavily redacted, as was the extent of disciplinary actions.
In 1993, he was accused of attempting to steal a screwdriver from another inmate. The report states Kohlhepp and another inmate were “horse playing” when Kohlhepp attempted to grab the screwdriver out of the other inmate’s pocket.
The inmate had been issued a screwdriver for work and said he prevented Kohlhepp from taking it. Another inmate told officials they had heard Kohlhepp say he intended to “stick someone.”
Asked about the incident, he denied it happened.
“I go to work and lift weights,” Kohlhepp told the official. “The only thing I’ve done the past few days was that.”
Kohlhepp also destroyed and stole prison property.
The majority of his violations were “minor” except for one “major” violation for striking a person, said Andrew Wilder, DOC spokesman.
After his initial years in prison, Kohlhepp seemed to have quieted down. He didn’t have another disciplinary action or investigation for the rest of his time inside.
Multiple letters of protest
Although disciplinary issues abated, Kohlhepp remained vocal while he was inside. In 2001, Kohlhepp wrote multiple letters appealing the denial of some of his reading materials.
Kohlhepp had been receiving the popular men’s magazine Maxim while he was inside but one issue was kept from him for “security reasons.” The issue in question contained instructions on how to brew your own alcohol. Reading material with this sort of information is prohibited in Arizona prisons.
“Just because we read some things doesn’t mean we are going to do it,” Kohlhepp said in a letter addressed to the warden. “I think your censorship of our reading material is getting to be a bit overzealous.”
Later that year, Kohlhepp petitioned to receive a copy of a knife catalog he had ordered. The prison ultimately decided against Kohlhepp in both cases.
Around this time, the record showed, Kohlhepp earned a certificate in microcomputer operating and a certificate in microcomputer applied specialties from Central Arizona College.
Kidnapping, rape of 14-year-old girl
Kolhepp had come to the Phoenix area after his mother sent him to live with his father in 1985 while she “worked on herself,” according to court documents.
He drew the attention of Arizona law enforcement at age 15 after he was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in a Tempe neighborhood in 1986, according to court records obtained by The Republic.
Kohlhepp attempted to coerce a neighbor girl to come with him four times, and on the fifth time, he brought a .22-caliber handgun, held it to her head and told her to go with him, police records showed.
Kohlhepp continued to hold the gun to her head, even cocking it at one point to dissuade her from resisting, as the two walked toward Kohlhepp’s house nearby. Once at his house, he tied her hands behind her back and put duct tape over her mouth before raping her, according to police and court records.
He told her that if she called the police, he would kill her and her two younger siblings, ages 6 and 3 at the time. Kohlhepp walked her back to her home, where she later called Tempe police.
When officers arrived to interview Kohlhepp, he answered the door with a .22-caliber handgun pointed at the ceiling, according to police documents. Asked about the accusations levied against him, he said, according to police documents, “How much time am I going to get for this?” before confessing to the rape and kidnapping.
Kohlhepp accepted a plea deal on Oct. 16, 1987, in which he pleaded guilty to kidnapping under the condition that the sexual-assault charge was dropped.
Kohlhepp could face death penalty
Kohlhepp is awaiting trail in South Carolina on the murders there, and he could face the death penalty.
Brown’s family, along with the families of other victims of his alleged crimes, also plan to bring civil lawsuits against Kohlhepp.
In an exclusive interview with Greenville Online, Kohlhepp’s mother, Regina Tague, said her son told her he killed Charlie Carver, who was Brown’s boyfriend; Johnny and Meagan Coxie, residents of Spartanburg, S.C.; and Scott Ponder, Beverly Guy, Brian Lucas and Chris Sherbert, slain in 2003 at Superbike Motorsports in South Carolina.
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