The same day a missing Anderson woman was found “chained like a dog” inside a storage container on his property, Todd Kohlhepp told investigators who had come to arrest him that he was worried about who would care for the dogs at his home.
Videos showing the shocking events of Nov. 3, 2016, including the dramatic rescue of kidnapping victim Kala Brown and the arrest of Kohlhepp, who would eventually confess to seven murders, were among the case files released to media outlets Friday.
Also included are hundreds of crime scene photos and videos of Kohlhepp’s jailhouse interviews, and photos from the scene of the Superbike Motorsports killings. Bullet casings and other evidence at the scene was meticulously cataloged by deputies.
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Last month, Kohlhepp pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexually assaulting Brown and killing her boyfriend, Charlie Carver. He also pleaded guilty to killing four people at Superbike Motorsports in Chesnee in 2003, and killing Spartanburg couple Johnny and Meghan Coxie.
He was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences.
The video of Brown’s rescue begins with a crew of deputies and volunteers using an electric saw, sledgehammer and bolt cutters to break into the container where Brown is being held. It takes nearly nine minutes for them to get in.
“Are you OK? Do you have any weapons?” deputies can be heard calling into the dark, metal box. “What’s your name?”
“My neck’s attached to the wall, right here,” Brown says, pointing to the chain.
Around Brown, books, a juice bottle and a jar of peanut butter can be seen. She can be heard telling deputies what Kohlhepp has told her during her captivity.
“He shot him. Todd Kohlhepp shot Charlie Carver three times in the chest, wrapped him in a blue tarp, put him in the bucket of the tractor, locked me down here and I’ve never seen him again,” Brown says. “He says he’s dead and buried, he says there’s several bodies dead and buried out here and he says the dogs won’t find them if they go looking because of the red pepper.”
Brown says Kohlhepp told her he put red pepper around his Woodruff property to throw police dogs off the scent.
Not long after, video taken at Kohlhepp’s home in Moore shows deputies telling him they have a warrant to search his home, car and phone based on Anderson Police Department evidence showing Kohlhepp was the last person to see Brown and Carver.
“We have Kala,” an investigator tells Kohlhepp, shortly before officially placing him under arrest.
In another video, Brown recounts her captivity and interactions with the serial killer during a bumpy ambulance ride from the Woodruff property to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.
Brown tells an investigator she was introduced to Kohlhepp five or six years previously by a man she was dating at the time. Brown said she stayed in touch with Kohlhepp on Facebook.
Brown, soft spoken and sitting on a stretcher, tells the investigator what happened to Carver on Kohlhepp’s property.
“He had walked inside (a shipping container) and got hedge clippers and walked back outside,” Brown says. “Todd went back inside and said, ‘Hold on a second.’ Me and Charlie were standing side by side outside the building, facing the doorway waiting on Todd to come back out.”
Brown says Kohlhepp exited the container with a gun in his hand and shot Carver.
“I was completely in shock,” she tells the investigator through tears. “I looked down at him and that’s when (Kohlhepp) grabbed me from behind and took me inside (the container) and put me on the floor and handcuffed me.”
Brown says Kohlhepp told her he tried to throw off investigators by spray painting Carver’s car brown, leaving it under debris and filling it with dog food “so that animals would come and tear it up and not leave any evidence.”
Brown also tells the investigator Kohlhepp claimed to have been a military contractor, and often bragged about how many people he had killed. She says in the video Kohlhepp was targeting more people to kill.
No evidence has emerged yet to support any of those claims.
Brown tells the investigator Kohlhepp claimed to have killed four people at a bike shop years ago. Kohlhepp traced a stolen bike to the shop, where he walked in and shot everyone and walked back out, she says.
“He liked to brag that he was a serial killer and a mass murderer,” Brown says. “He said he was going to kill more people because he had dreams of his body count being in the three digits.”
While she was kept on the property, Brown says, Kohlhepp would visit her daily in the container.
“The first two weeks I was there in the (container), my ankles were cuffed, my hands were cuffed behind my back and I had a chain around my neck,” she tells the investigator.
Brown tells the investigator Kohlhepp told her law enforcement would take his word over hers, in part because he had money. She says Kohlhepp was prepared to pin Carver’s death on her.
“He liked to tell me he would never be in trouble for this, he would make sure it was my fault somehow,” she says. “He actually made me handle several of his guns. I know I held at least two of his pistols.”
Kohlhepp always unloaded the guns before handing them to her, she tells the investigator.
Staring straight ahead, Brown then shares a chilling detail.
“He was going to teach me to be like him,” she says. “He wanted me to kill people. And he wanted to be able to say I did it (killed Carver).”
As Brown starts to cry, the investigator assures her, “It’s OK to cry. You’ve been through hell.”
The night before her rescue, Brown says she was in a bad mood, snapping at Kohlhepp before he took her out and let her bathe.
“I told him I hated him, and he was like, ‘Oh, I take care of you,’” Brown says. “I wasn’t scared anymore. If he shot me it would be easier. I wasn’t going to be his ‘good kitten’ anymore, as he liked to call me.”
The in-ambulance footage cuts off as the investigator is trying to connect Brown with her mother, with whom she says she hasn’t been on speaking terms.