A dramatic video has been released by South Carolina officials showing the rescue of kidnap victim Kala Brown who had been chained inside a metal crate by serial killer Todd Kohlhepp.
“My neck’s attached to the wall,” Brown, 30, can be heard telling Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office deputies after they used a blow torch and crowbar to break into the crate last November. “We’re getting the bolt cutters, honey,” says one of the officers. “You’re okay, we’re here,” says another.
Brown had the presence of mind to quickly tell police that Kohlhepp, a real estate agent in the area, had fatally shot her boyfriend when the couple arrived for a job last August on Kohlhepp’s rural property in Woodruff.
“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,” she said. “I’ve never seen him again. He says he’s dead and buried. He says there are several bodies dead and buried out here.”
Brown’s cramped, dark metal prison consisted of a mattress, water bottles, a few books and scores of storage boxes. She was kept chained in the crate for two months until police, acting on information gleaned from an investigation to find the missing Anderson couple, searched Kohlhepp’s property, The Independent Mail reported. They heard Brown screaming and pounding on the walls of the crate.
The video was released Friday by the 7th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office, two weeks after Kohlhepp, 46, confessed in court to killing seven people. Videos of Kohlhepp’s interrogations, hundreds of case documents and crime-scene photos were also released Friday.
The videos and records were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request by media outlets, including The Independent Mail and The Greenville News.
In the interrogation videos, Kohlhepp is disturbingly matter-of-fact about the killings, and expresses no remorse.
“Once I engage, I engage,” he explained, referring to his decisions to kill his victims. “It was almost like a video game.”
He confessed to killing Carver, a married couple whom he had also lured to his Woodruff property with an offer of work in 2015, and four people at the family-owned Superbike Motorsports shop in Chesnee in 2003.
“That was one big building. I cleared that building in under 30 seconds,” Kohlhepp told investigators about the motorcycle shop as the videotape rolled. “I’m sorry, but you guys would have been proud.”
Brown appears to be his only surviving victim. The woman of the married couple he had lured to his property in 2015 — 26-year-old Leigh McCraw-Coxie — was held by Kohlhepp for six days in a similar metal shipping container until he fatally shot her.
Brown talked about her ordeal in a interview on the “Dr. Phil” TV program in February. She said she had been Facebook friends with Kohlhepp for years.
Kohlhepp confessed as part of a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. He’ll spend life in prison. He was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms plus an additional 60 years.
Below are videos of Kohlhepp’s interrogations in which he discusses the murders.