Murder suspect may be behind chilling Amazon reviews

The same month that Todd Kohlhepp acquired 95 secluded acres near Woodruff in May 2014, an Amazon user named "me" with a wish list linked to "Todd Kohlhepp" began to leave chilling reviews for products the user said he had purchased.

The reviews have caught the attention of Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office investigators who are looking into Kohlhepp’s online interactions as part of their investigation into the man Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright has said is likely a serial killer and has been linked to as many as seven deaths.

The Amazon user posted reviews for padlocks, tactical gear, targets, knives and gun accessories, often writing batches of reviews at various time in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The user posted a number of reviews just days before Anderson residents Kala Brown and Charlie Carver went missing in August.

Kohlhepp has been charged with kidnapping Brown, 30, of Anderson and keeping her chained by the neck and ankles for two months inside a metal storage shed on his property. Carver's body was exhumed last week from the property and the coroner said he was shot multiple times. Sunday, Kohlhepp was charged  with four counts of murder  in connection with a quadruple homicide that took place 13 years ago.

In one review about a padlock, the Amazon user wrote, “solid locks.. have 5 on a shipping container.. wont stop them.. but sure will slow them down til they are too old to care. (sic)”

On a review of a knife posted on Sept. 13, 2014, he said, “havnet (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...”

For a shovel with a folding handle, the user posted a review suggesting, “keep in 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.”

Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Bobo said investigators were aware of the Amazon reviews. With the current focus of investigators on the ongoing search of Kohlhepp’s property, Bobo called the posts secondary to the investigation at this point.

Bobo said he didn’t know whether investigators had linked the reviews as coming from Kohlhepp.

Asked whether Anderson Police are reviewing the Amazon reviews, Anderson Police Lt. Tony Tilley said, "I don't have that information at this time, but it would be safe to say that our investigations division is following up on every lead possible."

The reviewer’s “wish list” page is listed as Todd Kohlhepp and he discusses dogs, his girlfriend, guns and “agents” with whom he works. Kohlhepp was a broker in charge of a real estate company in Spartanburg, S.C.The reviews left by the Amazon user show similarity to the language and style Kohlhepp used on his Facebook profile, which was taken down this week after he was linked to the deaths of up to seven people.

The most recent postings were on Aug. 24 when the user posted five reviews for a tactical pouch, heater power adapter, voltmeter, tactical bag and magazine pouch.

The Amazon user posted 140 reviews in all with the bulk coming between May and September 2014 in the months after Kohlhepp purchased the 95 acres of wooded property where Brown was found alive. The reviews spoke about products he'd purchased, including tactical vests, carabiners, gun magazine pouches, weapon mounts and emergency medical kits as well as books about rappelling, snipers and emergency war surgery. Other reviews were for electronics, dog toys, music and DVDs of The Walking Dead.

On one review posted on Jan. 14, 2015, for another set of padlocks, the user said “now my locks have locks... place is hotel california now..”

The last line of The Eagles hit track says, “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.’”

The reference to Hotel California is similar to a post made on Carver’s Facebook profile on Oct. 1, more than a month after the couple went missing. That Facebook post, which the family believed at the time was not made by Carver, included the lyrics from the final lines of The Eagles song.

“Last thing I remember, I was running for the door. I had to find the passage back to the place I was before. ‘Relax,’ said the night man. ‘We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.’”

Follow reporter Nathaniel Cary on Twitter and Facebook

The Greenville (S.C.) News


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