Home » Case Study » Todd Kohlhepp Serial Killer Case Study: #Victim, Pattern, Motive, Signature

Todd Kohlhepp Serial Killer Case Study: #Victim, Pattern, Motive, Signature

Todd Kohlhepp Serial Killer Case Study and his Victim, Pattern, Motive, Signature
Full NameTodd Christopher Kohlhepp, born as Sampsell
Alias NameSerial Killing Salesman, Spartanburg sc
Number of Victims7 known murders, 1 kidnapping, and 1 r*pe 
Span of Crimes1 reported r*pe in 1986, murders from 2003-2016
Type of CrimeAbduction, sexual offense, r*pe, murder 
MOShot his victims in a fit of rage or revenge
SignatureUsually one bullet to the head
TraitsSexual offender, serial killer, kidnapper
Conviction StatusImprisoned for life

Why was Todd Kohlhepp is Called a Serial Killer?

Todd Kohlhepp was apprehended in 2016 when a woman, Kala Brown, was found chained and tied up in one of his properties. When questioned about the kidnapping, he admitted to killing her boyfriend, Charles Carver.

He further confessed to being responsible for the 2003 cold case of Superbike murders, which resulted in four deaths at day time.

Also, Kala told police that when she was being held captive for two months, Todd showed her graves on his property that appeared to be humans, as a threat.

This led to an investigation of his properties where two more bodies were discovered: Meaghan McCraw Coxie and Johnny Coxie, a married couple who worked for Todd on his property.

How did Todd Choose his Victims (Spartanburg sc serial killer)?

Todd Kohlhepp, described as a psychopath, didn’t have a fixed pattern of killing. However, his victims were mainly persons who had offended him in some way.

His known profession was a real estate which gave him a number of choices to carry on his killings.

First Victim Couple: Meaghan and Johnny Coxie

In the year 2015, a couple, Meaghan and Johnny Coxie were working on his property. One day, Johnny pulled a knife on Todd.

To take revenge, Todd shot Johnny with a .40 Glock gun. Meaghan was held in a container for a few days and later shot dead. He buried the couple on his property.

Second Victim Couples: Kala Brown and Charles Carver

Kala Brown and her boyfriend, Charles Carver, both were working on his property. Charles had a running mouth and may have offended Todd, prompting him to shoot dead on the spot.

Kala was abducted and locked away in a metal storage container for two months as a consequence of being the only witness.

Superbike Motor Shop Incident: A Confession to His Mother

Kohlhepp also confessed to his mother that he shot the four persons who ran the Superbike Motor Shop in revenge.

Story: Todd always wanted a bike. One day, he went to the Superbike Motor Shop but failed to ride one and was humiliated by the jokes of the staff. When asked for a refund, the shop denied which fuel his anger that resulted in the quadruple murder in the daytime.

List of Victims of Todd Christopher Kohlhepp

Victim NameDate of CrimeType of Crime
Not RevealedNovember 25, 1986R*pe (teenager)
Chris SherbetNovember 6, 2003Murder (Superbike murder case)
Scott PonderNovember 6, 2003Murder (Superbike murder case)
Brian LucasNovember 6, 2003Murder (Superbike murder case)
Beverly GuyNovember 6, 2003Murder (Superbike murder case)
Meaghan McCraw Coxie2015Abduction and murder
Johnny Coxie2015Murder
Kala BrownSeptember-November, 2016Abduction and sexual abuse
Charles CarverSeptember 5, 2016Murder

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The Pattern in Killing (Modus Operandi)

The Pattern in Killing and Modus Operandi MO

Following are the pattern or MO that is seen in Todd Kohlhepp’s Serial Killer.

I. A Wild Collector

From Todd’s property, police seized tons of firearms. It was big enough to be labeled as an arsenal. The number was big enough that makes authorities wonder, how he managed to collect that many firearms.

II. Scary Metal Container

In both cases of Meaghan and Johnny Coxie, and Kala Brown and Charles Carver, he killed the males and abduct females.

Todd detained women in a metal container on his property. He feeds them and takes them outside for sunlight and fresh air.

Kara was located in that storage container by authorities after her friends filed a missing person report.

III. Not Planned But Abusive

Kala has been sexually abused but there have been no such reports about Meaghan. He mentioned to Kala that he was breaking his rules and that he did not plan on kidnapping.

Meaghan’s case was a similar too where he didn’t know what to do with her but couldn’t let her go.

He also debated how to handle them, and if he should sell them off. But he did not get a chance to in either case.

IV. Love to Shoot: No Other Way

In his confession, Todd stated that his favorite gun was Glock .40 which he used on Johnny, Meaghan, and Charles. Meaghan was shot dead from the back when he was unable to control her.

What was the Motive for Killing?

Todd Kohlhepp was diagnosed as a psychopath having narcissism and anger management issues. Most of his crimes were a reaction to rage or humiliation.

Superbike Motor Shop Mass murder: Todd felt humiliated by the staff members and intended to exact revenge on them after being refused a refund.

The Couples: Similarly, he attacked Johnny Coxie and Charles Carver because they were being smart to him despite Todd hiring them as housekeepers. He wants to feel superior and may be thought that how they dare to outsmart him.

Abduction: Though he confessed that he did not plan to abduct Meaghan or Kala but had to in order to cover up the murders of their partners, there is no remorse in his actions when caught.

Playing God!

He also admitted to buying any food or entertainment, such as coloring books, when requested by his prisoners.

Psychologists have suggested that it was a way of playing God for his female prisoners.

And as admitted by Todd himself, he did have an intention to “SAVE” Meaghan from an ill fate at the beginning. This also highlights his narcissism.

Note: It is still not clear why he r*ped his classmate as a teenager. But studying his behavior prior to the incident and the events leading up to it, it can be assumed she too did something that triggered his anger issues. 

Forensic Evidence Against Todd Kohlhepp

  • The main forensic evidence against Todd Kohlhepp is the bodies recovered from shallow graves on his property.
  • The bodies of Meaghan and Johnny Coxie had to be recognized using forensic anthropology techniques as it was recovered about a year of their murder.
  • The Glock .40 was recovered from his house after the arrest.
  • The bullets of the gun matched to that were found in the bodies recovered.
  • Confession by Todd and testimony by Kala. 

How his Childhood or early life changed him to be a Serial Killer?

Todd Kohlhepp was known to be a troubled child. His parents were divorced, and he was raised by his mother. He had anger issues and his mother had a hard time controlling him.

Later, he wanted to live with his father in Arizona and his mother agreed. In Arizona too, there were complaints about Todd physically bullying neighborhood kids and torturing stray dogs.

All lines crossed on November 26th, 1986.

When a young boy called the police to file a missing report for his sister. Todd lured that young girl who was also his classmate, outside her home and led her to his bedroom with a gun to her head.

He r*ped her in his bedroom and then let her go back. Todd knew the police were coming. He only asked for how long he will be gone. He got convicted for 14 years.

A New Life after 14 Year Conviction

When Todd was released, he returned to South Carolina, where his mother set up everything for him and he began his new life as a real estate agent.

Nevertheless, he causally joked about being a sex offender. Even after being apprehended, Todd joked about how that little stunt will help him boost the business.

A psychologist diagnosed him to be an impulsive psychopath with traits of a narcist. But his mother had always seen the good in her son and expected the best of him, even after he confessed to his serial killings to her.

Todd Kohlhepp Associates

As per reports, Todd Kohlhepp had no associates. There have been theories and rumors about the different cases in which Todd is involved, but none have been confirmed by Todd himself.

The only other person convicted in the case was Duston Lawson, who bought guns and silencers for Todd, despite knowing that he is a convicted felon. He was sentenced to eight years and three months of jail time, with an expected release date in 2024.

What Happens to Todd Kohlhepp?

Todd was convicted of sexual abuse and mass murder. He was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences for murdering seven people. Todd is currently serving his life imprisonment in South Carolina.

References

  • Who is Todd Kohlhepp accusedSouth Carolina, the serial killer? [Link]
  • Todd Kohlhepp case: Confessions of a suspected serial killer [Link]
  • Serial Killing Salesman: The True Story of Todd Kohlhepp [Book]
  • True Crime Stories of Upstate South Carolina [Book]

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