5 Things To Know About 'Devil Unchained' Serial Killer Todd Kohlhepp
The South Carolina real estate agent turned out to have a long history of disturbing behavior and to have murdered seven people.
SPARTANBURG, SC — On November 3, 2016, registered sex offender and real estate agent Todd Kohlhepp was arrested after investigators from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office found a missing woman being held captive on his property in rural South Carolina. But this was only the beginning, and investigators soon realized that Kohlhepp was hiding many more dark secrets.
The life and horrific crimes of convicted serial killer Todd Kohlhepp are the subject of a new Investigation Discovery limited series entitled Serial Killer: The Devil Unchained.
On the outside, he was a successful real estate agent — one who was hiding a terrifying double life as a serial killer. After Kala Brown's rescue, Kohlhepp was arrested. He ended up pleading guilty to killing seven people. He was tried and sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences in prison, plus 60 more years for other crimes including the kidnapping and sexual assault of Brown.
Here are five things to know about the South Carolina serial killer.
1. Kohlhepp’s crimes were uncovered after police found a missing woman “chained like a dog” in a shipping container on his property.
A video released by police showed Kohlhepp's victim, Kala Brown, chained by her neck, being rescued from a metal shipping container. The footage shocked the world. She told investigators that Kohlhepp had fatally shot her boyfriend, Charles Carver, in front of her. According to Brown, Kohlhepp then trapped her inside the metal container — where he raped her daily until the day she was rescued, according to the New York Post.
2. Kohlhepp raped a classmate when he was just 15 years old.
Kohlhepp exhibited disturbing behavior from the time he was a child. As a teen, Kohlhepp was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison for abducting and raping a 14-year-old classmate.
According to The Greenville News and The Anderson Independent Mail, when Kohlhepp was in preschool, his mother said that he would sit in a corner and could only interact with other children in "an angry manner." Court records cited by the newspaper also state that when he was a child, he poured bleach into a goldfish bowl to kill the fish.
The Daily Beast reported that, according to testimony from his 1986 case, Kohlhepp had vowed to murder his mother in order to move in with his divorced father, and he locked a young boy in a dog crate before rolling the cage over until the child was in tears.
Kohlhepp's behavior as a youth prompted a neighbor to nickname the young man a “devil on a chain.”
3. He confessed to the "Superbike murders."
After he was taken into custody, Kohlhepp confessed to his role in several more murders. He told police that on November 6, 2003, he shot and killed four victims at the Superbike Motorsports shop. Until then, the Superbike murders were considered part of one of the most notorious cold cases in South Carolina.
Investigators later determined that Kohlhepp was a Superbike Motorsports customer, but he was never interviewed or questioned in connection with the case until 13 years later. According to records obtained by The Greenville News, Kohlhepp's mother told police that he'd tried to return a bike that he had purchased at the shop, but employees laughed at him and refused to give him the money back.
4. Brown and her boyfriend were the second couple had Kohlhepp killed — and buried — on his property.
After Brown was discovered, Kohlhepp led investigators to another shallow grave on his property. There, investigators found the remains of Meagan Leigh McCraw Coxie, 25, and her husband, Johnny Joe Coxie, 29. The Coxies had been reported missing in December 2015, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office. The coroner later determined that she had been shot in the head, and that he was shot in the torso.
5. There may be more victims out there.
“I’m positive that there are more victims out there,” former FBI special agent and criminal profiler John Douglas told CrimeFeed. “He was telling us about his plans to meet other guys at the Mexican border to hunt women.”
In the Investigation Discovery series, filmmaker and investigative journalist Maria Awes teams up with Douglas in an attempt to uncover the truth about Kohlhepp.
They confront lingering questions about the Superbike killings, rumors that Kohlhepp could have had a possible accomplice — and the strong possibility that Kohlhepp could have committed even more crimes.
Serial Killer: The Devil Unchained premieres Monday, July 22 at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery!