Amazon reviews and Facebook craziness lead police to serial killer


If you are a serial killer maybe you shouldn’t be leaving a trail on the internet, just saying.

“How to Commit the Perfect Murder” was an old game in heaven. I always chose the icicle: the weapon melts away.” – Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

From the WTF Files

Two years ago, AOL reported on a serial killer who was eluding captivity in South Carolina. His days of freedom were becoming numbered due to a critical lapse in judgment. He reviewed products on Amazon! As unbelievably stupid as it sounds, it’s true.

Todd Kohlhepp was a successful real estate broker. Outwardly, he looked like he had his act together. Responsible tax paying and law-abiding citizen —  or so everyone thought.

However, he was harboring a deadly secret. In his spare time, he killed people. For a while he was able to live on the down low. Until he made two critical mistakes. One involved kidnapping Kala Brown and her boyfriend Charles Carver. The other involved social media activity that was traceable.

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Apparently, prior to the abduction, Kohlhepp communicated with the couple via Facebook. The pretense was hiring them to do some yardwork for pay on his acreage in rural Spartanburg. After Kala and Charles went missing, their friends and relatives became suspicious.

According to Independent Mail, Carver’s mother filed a missing persons report. Brown’s friend did the same thing. While this was happening, Facebook friends of Charles started receiving bizarre communications from his account. Allegedly, he was telling people he had a drug problem and he needed money to get clean.

The police began looking into these allegations, leading them to the cellphone records of Kala and Charles. Using triangulation, they were able to pinpoint the area where their last calls were made. It just so happened that they were traced back to Kohlhepp’s property.

This tale gets even weirder. When law enforcement came to his home to inquire on the whereabouts of Brown and Carver, he told them that the couple had been there but left early due to the heat. He then stated that he found Brown to be “unreliable.”

Storage Lockers and Chains

Of course, obtaining search warrants and the necessary documents, the police combed Kohlhepp’s property for clues. What they found was shocking. When they came upon a storage locker, they heard someone crying out for help.

Kohlhepp Storage Locker – Courtesy of CBS News

Opening the container, they found Kala Brown chained like a dog. Her tale was harrowing. Testifying against Kohlhepp in court, she recounted how he was obsessed with her and forced her to perform certain sexual acts.

Charles Carver’s body was found nearby in a shallow grave right next to an open one that was clearly meant for Brown. Over a decade, Kohlhepp killed seven people. Currently, he is serving seven consecutive life sentences.

Amazon Woes

While the police were performing the Facebook and cellphone investigations, they also found that Todd had an Amazon account. The reason why they managed to track it down was because he left reviews on several products.

One was a knife, an SOG Pentagon Fixed Blade. He gave it four stars and the following review:

“haven’t [sic] stabbed anyone yet… yet… but I am keeping the dream alive and when I do, it will be with a quality tool like this…”

The next item was a five-star critique on an SOG Entrenching Tool (shovel):

“keep in the car for when you have to hide the bodies and you left the full-size shovel at home…does not come with a midget, which would have been nice.”

Padlocks apparently were a purchase for Kohlhepp as well:

“now my locks have locks…place is hotel California now.”

It is interesting how this entire unfortunate episode began with and concluded with social media usage. I guess the old adage, “the end justifies the means,” is befitting of this particular case.

Next: Urban Legend or True Story: Reflection in the window

Have you heard of Todd Kohlhepp? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. We want to hear from you.