Woman Who Escaped Serial Killer Uses TikTok To Empower Others Dealing With Trauma
‘I went on to survive and thrive,’ Kara Robinson Chamberlain says of life after Richard Marc Edward Evonitz kidnapped her when she was 15.
A woman who as a teenager managed to escape a serial killer after he abducted her and held her captive has turned to the social media platform TikTok in order to use her traumatic experience to empower others.
In June 2020, Kara Robinson Chamberlain, 34, posted one of her first TikTok videos about cultivating survivor mentality. In the clip, she dances while revealing through pop-up text boxes that she was kidnapped years earlier and her captor would have killed her, but she was able to eventually get away. “I went on to SURVIVE and THRIVE. It’s why I am who I am,” she writes.
Eighteen years earlier, on June 24, 2002, Chamberlain was 15 years old and at a friend’s home in Lexington, South Carolina. While the teenager was alone in the front yard, Richard Marc Edward Evonitz, 38, pulled up in his sports car. Evonitz held a gun to Chamberlain’s neck and then forced her to crawl into a large plastic bin in the backseat of the vehicle.
The kidnapper drove Chamberlain back to the apartment he shared with his wife, who was out of town at the time, where he held her captive, drugged and repeatedly sexually assaulted her.
In one TikTok video, Chamberlain reveals Evonitz liked to collect trophies from his crimes, and he began asking her questions and then writing down the answers.
“Little did he know, I was gathering facts too,” she says on the video. She notes she was “taking things into account” so she could identify her captor when she escaped, which, Chamberlain says, she knew she would. “I prayed absolutely non-stop that I would find a way out and, boy, was that prayer answered.”
After 18 hours, Chamberlain was able to break free from her restraints while Evonitz slept and fled his home.
Days later, on June 27, 2002, authorities tracked Evonitz down to Sarasota, Florida, where he fatally shot himself when officers tried to apprehend him. After he died, investigators learned Evonitz had killed at least three other girls he abducted from outside their homes in Spotsylvania County, Virginia: Sofia Silva, 16, in September 1996, and the Lisk sisters Kristin,15, and Kati, 12, in May 1997.
Chamberlain was initially angry she wouldn’t be able to face Evonitz in court after his suicide, but she eventually realized it was the best thing that could have happened. “I don’t have to ever worry about him ever getting out of jail,” she says on TikTok.
The survivor, who used to work in law enforcement investigating child abuse and sexual assault cases, now uses her story to help others — ranging from advice on escaping restraints to talking to trauma victims and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“You never truly get over it, you just get through it,” Chamberlain says in a recent TikTok video, explaining she still at times struggles with the ramifications of the crimes committed against her but chooses not to be defined by the experience. “That traumatic event put you on the path to where you are today and made you who you are.”
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, we encourage you contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline online through their 24/7 confidential live chat or call 1-888-373-7888 ( TTY: 711)