John Edward Robinson
(born December 27, 1943) is an American serial killer who was convicted
in 2003 of the murders of three women during a fifteen-year period. He
subsequently admitted responsibility for five additional murders during
that time. Because he made contact with most of his post-1993 victims
via on-line chat rooms, he is sometimes referred to as "the Internet's
first serial killer".
Robinson was born in Cicero, Illinois, the third of
five children of an alcoholic father and a disciplinarian mother. In
1957 he became an Eagle Scout, and reportedly traveled to London with a
group of Scouts who performed before Queen Elizabeth II. Later that year
he enrolled at Quigley Preparatory Seminary, in Chicago, a private boys'
school for aspiring priests, but dropped out after one year due to
In 1961 he enrolled at Morton Junior College in
Cicero to become a medical X-ray technician, but dropped out after 2
years. In 1964 he moved to Kansas City and married Nancy Jo Lynch, who
bore their first child, John Jr., in 1965, and fraternal twins
Christopher and Christine in 1971.
Robinson was arrested for the first time in Kansas
City in 1969, after embezzling $33,000 from the medical practice of Dr.
Wallace Graham, where he worked as an X-ray technician, a job he
obtained using forged credentials. He was sentenced to 3 years'
In 1970 Robinson violated probation by moving back to
Chicago without his probation officer's permission (or knowledge), and
took a job as an insurance salesman at R.B. Jones Company. In 1971 he
was arrested once again for embezzlement from that firm, and ordered
back to Kansas City, where his probation was extended. In 1975 it was
extended again after another arrest, this time on charges of securities
fraud and mail fraud in connection with a phony "medical consulting"
company he had formed in Kansas City.
During this period, Robinson cultivated and
maintained the outward appearance of a personable, community-minded
citizen and family man; he became a Scoutmaster, a baseball coach, and a
Sunday school teacher. In 1977 he talked his way onto the board of
directors of a local charitable organization and forged a series of
letters from its executive director to the mayor of Kansas City, and
from the mayor to other civic leaders, commending his generous volunteer
efforts and generally singing his praises. Eventually he had himself
named the organization's “Man of the Year", and threw a festive awards
luncheon in his own honor.
In 1979, Robinson finally completed probation, but by
1980 was under arrest again on multiple charges, including embezzlement
and check forgery, for which he served 60 days in jail in 1982. He
formed a bogus hydroponics business and swindled a friend out of $25,000
who had hoped to receive a fast investment return to pay for his dying
wife's health care. At this time he reportedly began sexually
propositioning many of his neighbors’ wives, triggering a fistfight with
one of the husbands. He also joined a secret sadomasochism cult called
the International Council of Masters and became its “Slavemaster”, whose
duties included luring victims to gatherings to be tortured and raped by
In 1984, having started two more fraudulent shell
companies (Equi-Plus and Equi-2), Robinson hired Paula Godfrey, 19,
ostensibly to work as a sales representative. Godfrey told friends and
family that Robinson was sending her away for training. After hearing
nothing further from her, Godfrey's parents filed a missing persons
report. Police questioned Robinson, who denied any knowledge of her
whereabouts. Several days later they received a typewritten letter with
Godfrey's signature at the bottom, stating that she was thankful for
Robinson's help, that she was "OK", and that she did not want to see her
family. The investigation was terminated, as Godfrey was of legal age
and there was no evidence of wrongdoing. No trace of Paula Godfrey has
ever been found.
In 1985 Robinson, using the name John Osborne, met
Lisa Stasi and her 4-month-old daughter, Tiffany, at a battered women’s
shelter in Kansas City. He promised her a job in Chicago, an apartment,
and daycare for her baby, and asked her to sign several sheets of blank
stationery. A few days later, Robinson contacted his brother and sister-in-law,
who had been unable to adopt a baby through traditional channels, and
informed them that he knew of a baby whose mother had committed suicide.
For a $5,500 fee to an imaginary lawyer, Don and Helen Robinson received
Tiffany Stasi (whose identity was confirmed by DNA testing in 2000) and
a set of authentic-appearing adoption papers with the forged signatures
of two lawyers and a judge. Lisa Stasi was never heard from again.
In 1987 Catherine Clampitt, 27, left her child with
her parents in Wichita Falls, Texas and moved to Kansas City to find
employment. She was hired by Robinson, who reportedly promised her
extensive traveling and a new wardrobe. She vanished in June of that
year. Her missing persons case remains open.
From 1987-1993 Robinson was incarcerated, first in
Kansas (1987-91) on multiple fraud convictions, and thereafter in
Missouri for another fraud conviction and parole violations. At Western
Missouri Correctional Facility he met and ingratiated himself with 49-year-old
Beverly Bonner, the prison librarian, who upon his release left her
husband and moved to Kansas to work for him. After Robinson arranged for
Bonner's alimony checks to be forwarded to a Kansas post office box, her
family never heard from her again. For several years Bonner's mother
continued forwarding her checks, and Robinson continued cashing them.
By now Robinson had discovered the Internet, and
roamed various social networking sites using the name "Slavemaster",
looking for women who enjoyed playing the submissive partner role during
sex. The first victim he met online was Sheila Faith, 45, whose 15-year-old
daughter Debbie was confined to a wheelchair due to spina bifida. He
portrayed himself as a wealthy man who would support them, pay for
Debbie's therapy, and give Sheila a job. In 1994 they moved from
Fullerton, California to Kansas City and immediately disappeared.
Robinson cashed Faith's pension checks for the next seven years.
Gradually, Robinson became well-known in the
increasingly popular BDSM online chat rooms. In 1999 he offered Izabela
Lewicka, a 21-year-old Polish immigrant living in Indiana, a job and a
bondage relationship. When she moved to Kansas City, the still-married
Robinson gave her an engagement ring and brought her to the county
registrar where they paid for a marriage license that was never picked
up. It is unclear whether Lewicka believed she and Robinson were married;
she told her parents she had married, but never told them her husband's
name. She did sign a 115-item slave contract that gave Robinson almost
total control over every aspect of her life, including her bank accounts.
During the summer of 1999 she disappeared. Robinson told a Web designer
he employed that she had been caught smoking marijuana and deported.
About the time Lewicka disappeared, Robinson
convinced a lonely licensed practical nurse by day and submissive slave
by night named Suzette Trouten to move from Michigan to Kansas so they
could travel the world together. Trouten's mother received several typed
letters, purportedly mailed while the couple was abroad, although the
envelopes were stamped with Kansas City postmarks, and the letters were,
her mother said, uncharacteristically mistake-free. Later, Robinson told
Trouten's mother she had run off with an acquaintance after stealing
money from him.
Like many other serial killers, Robinson became
increasingly careless over time, and did a progressively poorer job of
covering his tracks. By 1999 he had attracted the attention of
authorities in both Kansas and Missouri as his name cropped up in more
and more missing persons investigations.
Robinson was arrested in June, 2000 at his farm near
La Cygne, Kansas after two women filed sexual battery complaints against
him. A task force searching the premises found the decaying bodies of
two women, later identified as Izabela Lewicka and Suzette Trouten, in
two 85-pound chemical drums.
Across the state line in Missouri, other members of
the task force, searching a storage facility where Robinson rented two
garages, found three similar chemical drums containing corpses
subsequently identified as Beverly Bonner and Sheila and Debbie Faith.
All five women were killed in the same way, by one or two blows to the
In 2002 Robinson was sentenced to death in Kansas for
the murders of Trouten and Lewicka, and life imprisonment for killing
Stasi (because she had been murdered before Kansas reinstated the death
penalty). Robinson could become the first convict executed by lethal
injection in the state of Kansas.
Robinson simultaneously faced a complex legal dilemma
in Missouri, where prosecutors were actively pursuing additional murder
charges based on the evidence discovered in that state. Robinson's
attorneys opposed his extradition because Missouri is far more
aggressive in capital punishment than Kansas, which has yet to execute
anyone since reinstating its death penalty statute. However, Chris
Koster, the Missouri prosecutor, insisted as a condition of any plea
bargain that Robinson lead authorities to the bodies of Lisa Stasi,
Paula Godfrey, and Catherine Clampitt. Since doing so would have
constituted a tacit admission of guilt, which could have been used
against him in Kansas, Robinson refused. Koster, on the other hand,
faced pressure to make a deal because his case was not technically
airtight. (Among other issues, there was no unequivocal evidence that
any of the murders had actually been committed within Koster's
When it became clear that the women's remains would
never be found without Robinson's cooperation, a compromise of sorts was
reached: In a carefully scripted plea in October, 2003, Robinson
acknowledged only that Koster had enough evidence to convict him of
capital murder for the deaths of Godfrey, Clampitt, Bonner, and the
Faiths. Though his statement was technically a guilty plea, and was
accepted as such by the Missouri court, it was notably devoid of any
contrition or specific acceptance of responsibility.
Robinson currently remains on death row in Kansas.
In 2005 Nancy Robinson filed for divorce after 41
years of marriage, citing incompatibility and irreconcilable differences.
In 2006 Lisa Stasi's daughter (known since her "adoption"
as Heather Robinson) filed a civil suit against Truman Medical Center in
Kansas City and social worker Karen Gaddis, contending that Gaddis told
John Robinson about Stasi and her newborn daughter in 1984, after he
told her he was looking for women for his fictional home for "unwed
mothers of white babies." In 2007 Heather Robinson and the hospital
reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum, which Robinson said she
would split with her biological grandmother, Patricia Sylvester.
In popular culture
In 2001, a book about him and his victims,
Internet Slave Master, was released, covering his life up to the
trial. A second book about Robinson, called Anyone You Want Me to Be:
A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internet, was written by John
Douglas and Stephen Singular. The book Depraved by John Glatt was
released in 2001, mostly detailing the lives of those affected by
Robinson's life was documented on A&E's show Cold
The trial also spawned a number of e-mail and now
SecondLife hoaxes, with web users warned first against the usernames
SlaveMaster, SweetCaliGuy4evr, imahustlababay,
Free_mumia911, Monkeyman935, Rockhard abs, and most
The email usually looked something like this:
Subject: FROM THE STATE POLICE: NOT A JOKE
PLEASE READ THIS: State Police Warning for
WARNING FROM THE STATE POLICE . . USA (Not a
State police warning for online: Please read
this "very carefully"..then send it out to all the people online that
Something like this is nothing to be taken
casually; this is something you DO want to pay attention to. Think of
it as a bit of advice too.
If a person with the screen-name of Monkeyman935
contacts you, do not reply.
DO not talk to this person; do not answer any of
his/her instant Messages or e-mail. Whoever this person may be, he/she
is a suspect for murder in the death of 56 women (so far) contacted
through the Internet.
Please send this to all the women on your buddy
list and ask them to pass this on, as well. This screen-name was seen
on Yahoo, AOL, AIM, and Excite so far.
This is not a joke! Please
send this to men too...just in case! Send to everyone you know! Ladies,
this is serious.
10.15am on Friday 2nd June 2000 at #36 Monterrey Lane, Santa
Barbara Estates, Kansas, two police officers knocked on the door of John
Robinson Snr and told him he was under arrest. He would be later charged
with the aggravated sexual battery of two women. His wife, Nancy, would
be bought in for questioning but had nothing to offer the investigation.
next day a team of detectives and forensic investigators set up base on
Robinson’s farm in La Cygne. Five large metal barrels would be quickly
found with the use of cadaver dogs. When opened, the first barrel would
uncover a naked, blindfolded and decomposing body lying face down in the
fetal position. A second barrel was opened where another decomposing
body would be found. The bodies are removed from the scene and taken to
Dr Donald Pojman for autopsy.
Over the weekend,
search warrants would be signed approving a search of two storage
lockers owned by Robinson in Raymore. Monday June 5th the
task force moved in and opened locker #E2 finding inside 3 barrels each
marked “Rendered Pork Fat”. Kevin Winer (Kansas City PD Crime Lab) opens
the first barrel, in which he finds amongst other items a shoe, which
when picked up has a leg attached to it. Immediately the barrel is
resealed. All 3 barrels are taken away for autopsy to Dr Thomas Young in
That afternoon John
Robinson made his first appearance since the discoveries on his
property. Wearing standard issue prison orange, Robinson was in Johnson
County Courthouse where he would here that his bond was being raised to
$5 million. Tuesday afternoon at another press conference DA Chris
Koster would announce that each of the 3 barrels found in the storage
locker would contain a female body. Wednesday morning and one of the
bodies would be named as Suzette Trouten who has been missing since
March 1st 2000. On June 12th Beverley Bonner would
be named as the first of the three bodies found in the storage locker
The next day, June 13th,
John Robinson was charged with 5 counts of first degree murder for the
bodies found in Kansas and Missouri, the death penalty would be sought
by both states. In Johnson County District Court, Kansas, Robinson is
formally charged with 2 counts of murder for the deaths of Suzette
Trouten and Izabela Lewicka in addition to the kidnapping (aggravated)
of Suzette. In Cass County he was charged with the murders of Beverly
Bonner and the 2 still unidentified women found in the storage locker.
They would be identified in late June via their dental records as Sheila
Faith and her disabled daughter Debbie.
John Edward Robinson
was born in the Chicago suburb of Cicero on December 27th
1943, born the third of five children to his parents Henry and Alberta.
At twelve years old, encouraged by his father, he joined the Boy Scouts
(pack 259), by 1957 he was named eagle scout. He was chosen as the sole
American representative to lead 120 boy scouts at the Royal Command
Performance in London in front of Queen Elizabeth II. At age 21 he
married Nancy Lynch, but soon left Chicago after being accused of
embezzling money from the hospital where he worked ending up in Kansas.
In 1969, Robinson was
arrested for embezzling over $100,00 from his latest employer, Fountain
Plaza X-Ray Laboratory. In August he was found guilty of embezzling
$33,000 receiving a suspended sentence and placed on probation for 3
years. In 1971 and several more cases of theft from employers, Robinson
set up his own business but would continue forging documents to pay for
his growing family.
This would peak in
1975 when Robinson was caught forging signatures and letters attempting
to claim thousands of dollars via a shares scam. But an investigation
into Robinson’s company by the US Securities and Exchange Commission led
to a 4 count indictment for securities fraud, mail fraud and false
representation. Robinson was fined $2,500 and placed on 3 years
In 1977, in an effort
to raise his public profile Robinson invented a new award, which he
claimed in its first year, he was now Kansas City “Man of the Year”. An
award he tricked state senator, Mary Gant, into presenting him with a
plaque. The Kansas City Star ran a story about the luncheon in its next
edition, however, the paper received numerous protests about the false
story resulting in a reporter, Mack Edwards, being sent to investigate
the claims. Embarrassed, the Star ran another story exposing Robinson’s
criminal history and his guilt in the embezzlement charges.
1980 and Robinson was fired from another job, Employee Relation Manager
at Guy’s Foods in Liberty – Missouri. In June the following year
Robinson was charged with Felony Theft. He was eventually ordered to pay
back $50,000 to Guy’s Foods. December 31st and Robinson
pleaded guilty to stealing a cheque worth $6,000 facing 7 years in jail,
Robinson made a deal with the prosecutor and received 60 days in jail
with 5 years probation, his jail time was served from May 8th
1982 before being released in July.
Summer 1984 and
Robinson advertised for a sales representative for his company, Equi-II.
Paula Godfrey, a 19 year old graduate, applied for the job and was
successful, with Robinson even promising a trip to San Antonio for
training. Excited about her prospects Paula would tell her parents about
the job and her employer. September 1st 1984 Robinson turns
up at the Godfrey house to pick up Paula for her San Antonio trip, it
was the last time Paula would be seen by her family. With no contact
from his daughter after 4 days Bill Godfrey would fly to San Antonio
himself, there he discovered that Paula hadn’t booked into the hotel
where she was supposed to be staying. Returning back home Bill
confronted Robinson at his offices and demanded that his daughter
contact him within 3 days. After 2 days a handwritten letter appeared
with a Kansas postmark on it. The letter supposedly written by Paula
stated that she was safe. Bill Godfrey dismissed the letter as written
by his daughter and took it directly to the police.
A second handwritten
letter would be posted to the Overland Park police department again
reportedly written by Paula, this letter again posted in Kansas stated
that she was OK, thanking john Robinson for all his help, also stating
that she did not want to see her family again. Again Paula’s family
dismissed the letter, however the police took the letter as genuine and
removed Paula from the list of missing persons
January 1985 and
Robinson was again allegedly involved in the disappearance of another
woman. Lisa Stasi a 19 year old mother of a daughter, Tiffany, separated
from her husband after a short but violent marriage was staying at Hope
House (a shelter for battered women), in Kansas. Her social worker Cathy
Stackpole met Lisa to give her good news of a charity organisation
willing to help her by offering her a job - with training and a home –
rent free as part of their program. Lisa went to her sister-in-laws
house (Kathy Klinginsmith) to await collection by the group. John
Robinson soon arrived to pick up Lisa and her baby, Tiffany, and drove
away, Lisa promising to return soon to collect the remainder of her
things. A few days later after staying at the Overland Park Rodeway Inn,
the threesome booked out on January 10th 1985, Lisa would not
be seen again. Fifteen years later Tiffany would resurface as the
adopted niece of John Robinson. On Friday January 11th 1985
Robinson met his brother Donald (and his wife Helen) at Kansas City
International Airport with their newly adopted daughter informing them
that the mother had unfortunately committed suicide recently. Donald and
Helen were unaware of the true story.
On January 13th,
Cathy Stackpole received a typed letter from ‘Lisa Stasi’ dated January
10th, stating how grateful she was for their help. Lisa’s
mother-in-law Betty Stasi would receive a similar letter, but Betty knew
that Lisa could not type. A few days later Robinson would make phone
calls asking if anyone had heard from Lisa, claiming that she and her
daughter had disappeared from the Inn. At this time Robinson’s probation
officer, Steve Haymes, was becoming suspicious of his business dealings
after hearing rumours of illegal activities and begins an investigation
into their dealings.
Irv Blattner an
assistant (and fellow parolee) to Robinson walked into the Secret
Service office in Kansas City on March 19th and offered to
turn government witness into Robinsons activities. The previous week the
Secret Service had questioned Robinson about a $741 check which had been
illegally cashed by a friend of Robinson, the check was meant for a
student named James Hargrove. Blattner believed that Robinson was
setting him up to be a fall guy. Special Agent John Guerber asked
Blattner about any involvement Robinson had in an organization assisting
young women with babies. Blattner would tell the agent of a plan to help
pregnant women give birth, then put the babies up for adoption (Blattner
refused to be involved in the idea). At the end of the interview
Blattner would sign a statement giving details of Robinson’s illegal
activities, March 21st at 11.55 am Robinson was arrested . He
would later post a $50,000 bond and be released from custody.
The FBI were involved
in the investigation into Robinson and were interviewing women at the
outreach program. Agent Levin had gained evidence that a building used
by Robinson’s Equi II business was being used as a brothel. March 26th
saw Robinson and his attorney, Bruce Houdek, present at a parole
violation meeting held at Missouri State Probation Office. Robinson had
to answer counts of parole violation of forgery (illegally cashing the
cheque) and consorting with someone with a criminal record (Irv
Blatter). Robinson denied both charges, claiming it was Blattner who was
responsible for the cheque and also that he was unaware the Blattner was
on probation. Steve Haymes was frustrated that it was proving difficult
to pin Robinson down with any crimes.
The FBI continued to
keep Robinson’s business at Troost Avenue under surveillance. On June
12, while Robinson was away, they moved in. In the apartments they found
Theresa Williams, she thanked them for saving her from Robinson, Theresa
began to relate her story to the agents. Befriended by Robinson in April
1985 Robinson led Theresa into prostitution, she also agreed to allow
Robinson to become her pimp. As the relationship continued, Robinson
began to assault Theresa regularly and soon was able to persuade her
into a plot to frame Irv Blattner. Robinson instructed Theresa to write
a diary with dialogue that he gave her, this diary was to culminate in
her apparent murder by Irv Blattner on June 15. Robinson told Theresa
that she would actually be going to the Bahamas. While the FBI were able
to take Theresa away from Robinson, probably saving her life, they did
not make any move on Robinson himself. For three weeks following
Theresa’s apparent disappearance from Troost Avenue, with the aid of the
FBI, Robinson employed a private investigator, Charles Lane, to search
for Theresa. On July 10 1985 she was found. Robinson instructed Charles
to monitor the house where she was living to find out the cause of her
walking away. However Lane was interviewed by the FBI and Theresa was
again moved, this time well away from Robinson.
On July 29 1985
Robinson returned to the courthouse in Clay County to find that he was
guilty of breaking the conditions of his parole on 3 counts. On August
21 Judge Hutcherson ordered that Robinson’s probation be revoked,
thereby forcing Robinson to serve the remainder of his 7 year sentence
behind bars. An appeal was lodged which allowed Robinson to remain on
bail ($250,000) during the appeal process. In May 1986 at the appeal
hearing, Robinson came away with a satisfactory conclusion. The decision
was overturned, this allowed Robinson to stay out of jail albeit on
But it didn’t last
long, In January 1986 while on bail pending his appeal hearing Robinson
was in court defending a charge of felony theft. Robinson’s company
Equi-II had been commissioned by Back Care Systems International to
market their range of products. The plan included publishing brochures
to advertise the company. Back Care Systems International became
suspicious that the requested work was not being carried out. Robinson
forced Irv Blattner to forge invoices, but the trick failed landing
Robinson in court.
The three day trial
ended on January 30 1986 and resulted in Robinson being found guilty of
felony theft to the tune of $3600. The District Attorney for Johnson
County, Steve Obermeier, observed Robinson’s criminal past and persuaded
the judge to take it into account when sentencing. Judge Herbert Walton
agreed with the D.A. and sentenced Robinson to 5-14 years in addition to
a fine of $5000. Defense lawyers tried top appeal the decision, but they
On July 10 1986 Robinson was charged again, this time on
four counts of attempted fraud on a business deal with Gerhard Kuti.
Robinson offered Gerhard part ownership on a land agreement, to which he
paid Robinson $150,000 for the opportunity, which he later discovered
that Robinson had fraudulently modified the sales agreement to read
$100,000 and pocketed the remainder.
additional charges, Robinson was still out of custody and continued to
run his business. In January 1987 he employed Catherine Clampitt as his
secretary. The job required Catherine to travel across the country on
business on behalf of Robinson. Catherine’s family were mildly
suspicious of this opportunity and warned her to be careful. In Spring
1987, Catherine disappeared, she was declared a missing person on June
15. Robinson was questioned, but with no clear evidence the case was
On May 16 1987,
Robinson gave himself in to the Johnson County Jail, the sentence was a
minimum of 5 years, he was soon transferred to the Kansas State
Penitentiary in Hutchinson as prisoner #45690. During his stay at the
facility, Robinson suffered a series of strokes, which resulted in the
right side of his face partially paralysed.
On January 23 1991,
Robinson had now served the minimum time at Kansas and with his good
behaviour he was granted parole. However, Robinson was immediately
handed over to Missouri prison officials to serve the remainder of his
original sentence after breaking his parole terms. Due to his ill health
after the series of strokes, Robinson’s sentence would be carried out at
Moberly Correctional Facility as inmate #177866. He was soon transferred
again this time to Western Missouri Correctional Centre in Cameron. Here
he would serve the remainder of his sentence before being released in
the spring of 1993.
Beverley Bonner met
John Robinson during his time at the Missouri prison, she was
responsible for the library in the facility and Robinson was made her
assistant. The two became friends (she and Robinson had actually met 20
years earlier, having worked at the same company in Kansas City). Once
Robinson was released from prison, he offered Beverley the job of
running his company Hydro-Glo (which sold organic vegetables), Beverly
agreed. Robinson set up a home in Florida, Beverley divorced her
husband, Dr William Bonner, after he found out her affair with Robinson
during his prison sentence, and she moved to Florida to be with Robinson
(he was still married). Beverley’s family never saw her again. Her ex
husband would receive the occasional typed letter bearing her signature,
telling him that the company was sending her on various assignments
around the world, travelling to Australia and across Europe. William
never doubted the authenticity of the letters. However he did think it
very odd that in December 1995 Beverley failed to attend the funeral of
their eldest son Randy. He assumed that she must have been on some
important company business.
In 1994 Sheila Faith
(nee Howell) was 46 when she became smitten by Robinson who she first
encountered on the internet. She had been depressed since her first
husband, John, died in 1991. Sheila was left to raise her 15 year old
disabled daughter, Debbie, on her own. Sheila fell deeply in love with
her knight in shining armour such that she announced to her friends that
she and Debbie were to move in with him at his home in Kansas. Her
friends were shocked by this sudden decision and warned her that it
sounded to good to be true, but Sheila would not listen. In the summer
of 1994, Robinson arrived at Sheila’s door to help them move home, they
were not seen again.
Shortly after they
left for Kansas, Sheila’s brother William Howell received the first of
many typed letters signed by Sheila, telling him what a wonderful time
she was having. But William was suspicious and asked the social security
to track down his sister and niece via the social security cheques they
were receiving for Debbie’s disability. However the administrator
refused to divulge such information as it was considered private. In
Autumn of 1994 the social securities administration received a typed
letter signed by Dr William Bonner informing them that Debbie was now
completely disabled and required full time care, this in turn made an
increase in the cheques payable to Sheila Faith.
Born in Poland,
Izabela Lewicka emigrated to America in November 1993 with her family
when she was 15. At nineteen Izabela became involved in the BDSM scene
where in 1997 she made contact with Robinson over the internet. Within 9
months of the initial contact Izabela moved away from the family home in
Indiana to be near Robinson in Kansas City, where she offered herself as
a permanent sex slave. During their time together Izabela would proudly
tell people that Robinson was her husband, whereas he would say that she
was his cousin. Izabela often visited Robert Meyers bookstore in
Overland Park, she had gone to the store on many occasions previously
and could be considered a regular. She and Robert would chat about the
books she was purchasing. On July 18 1999 Izabela made one of her visits
to the bookstore this time she was accompanied by Robinson whom she
announced as her husband as he purchased some books for her. The pair
were about to leave when Izabela mentioned to Robert that she was moving
away. That was the last time Robert saw Izabela. Her parents would
receive typed letters from ‘Izabela’ telling them of her adventures
around the world.
Suzette Trouten had
experienced the BDSM scene for several years, particularly in the Gorean
practices, becoming the slave to several masters and using the internet
to find willing partners. In 1999 Suzette ‘met’ a man in an internet
chat room who went by the name of JR (Robinson) who described himself as
a wealthy businessman from Kansas City. After several months of contact
by email, JR made a job offer to Suzette to nurse for his diabetic
father on a round the world trip. Suzette was very tempted by the offer,
but suggested that she spent some time in Kansas meeting both JR and his
father before making a decision.
In October 1999 Suzette and JR met,
Robinson managed to persuade some colleagues to pose as various members
of his family to entrap Suzette. At the end of the 5 days that she was
in Kansas, Suzette agreed to the job offer and on February 14 2000 she
moved to Kansas to begin her new life. For the next 2 weeks Suzette
rented an apartment on Robinson’s credit card, he would visit regularly
explaining that he had some business deals to conclude before she could
begin her new career. The pair had regular sex taking photographs of the
moments, which Suzette would email to her friend Crystal Ferguson. The
emails between the two friends would continue long after March 1, when
Suzette disappeared. The tact of the emails suddenly changed after that
date. Suzette no longer talked about past friendships or events in her
life. All correspondence would talk of how good her life is and how
happy her boss and new master made her. All the emails were signed ‘Suz’
a nickname she never used.
Crystal continued to
receive emails from ‘Suz’, she explained that because her new master was
treating her so well, she wanted Crystal to experience a relationship
similar to hers. Crystal was highly suspicious that it was not her
friend sending the emails, and so to expose the author Crystal decided
to play along. A man named JT who advertised himself as a stern but fair
master soon contacted her. Crystal noticed that the email style was very
similar to those from ‘Suz’ and hence suspected that they were from the
same person. After a few weeks of playing along with her master JT,
Crystal began receiving phone calls from him, and then a new contact
began emailing her. A second male named Tom began emailing and offering
to be Crystal’s master, but again she was suspicious. Tom gave Crystal a
series of phone numbers with which he could be contacted at any time.
Using a police friend, Crystal had the numbers traced – each of them led
back to John Robinson.
At the end of March
John Robinson called the Trouten household and spoke to Suzette’s
mother, Carolyn. He complained that her daughter had let him down, she
had run away from him and her job with a man she had only just met and
that he hadn’t seen her since. Carolyn’s other daughter, Dawn, contacted
Overland police to give her the story and found that Robinson was
already under investigation.
Oblivious to any
investigation into his businesses, Robinson in his many guises continued
with his emails to Crystal, attempting to persuade her to visit him in
Kansas. On March 29 Crystal was contacted by Detective Jack Boyer of the
Lenaxa Police department, he contacted her because of her friendship
with Suzette. The detective explained that he was part of a task force
investigating the disappearance of her friend. After discussing the case
with Crystal, she mentioned the emails she was receiving from ‘Suz’ and
the new contacts JT, JR and Tom and her suspicions. Detective Boyer
agreed with her thoughts and requested Crystal to continue emailing them
but pass copies onto him, Crystal said she would.
Robinson was known to
stay at the Extended Stay America hotel in Kansas, in March he stayed
for a few days with an unnamed woman. During their stay at the hotel the
woman was only seen once asking for photocopies of a document. He desk
clerk witnessed the document and was horrified to read that it was a
slave contract. Kansas law requires the all hotels provide a list of
long stay guests to police. The hotel was sure to notify police as to
the document and the owner of it. The visiting detective left
instructions to inform police immediately should Robinson return.
In the search for
Suzette Trouten, detectives discovered that she and Robinson stayed at
the Guesthouse motel in February. Here forensic tests discovered blood
stains in the room they rented, but were unable to determine the source.
Back at the Extended Stay America hotel an unnamed woman, from Dallas,
booked in. Her stay was paid for by Robinson, who soon joined her in
room 120 on April 23. The FBI were staking out the hotel gathering
evidence against their suspect.
After 5 days Robinson ordered his slave
back to Dallas and be ready to move to Kansas. Robinson promised to help
her with the move, but he never turned up. She tried calling Robinson
but he was not contactable, he had taken a number of photographs of his
slave in various bondage poses and she wanted them back, unable to reach
Robinson, she called the police. Two officers from Lenaxa interviewed
the woman having been contacted by officers in Dallas. After listening
to her story, the detectives talked to the FBI, where for the first time
they learnt of the FBI file on Robinson that included suspicion of
prostitution and white slavery.
On May 19 2000
Robinson was again the subject in a complaint from another unnamed
slave. Again Robinson used room 120 at the Extended Stay America. She
told detectives that during her stay Robinson repeatedly overstepped the
‘safe’ mark, as with the previous women he beat her and took several
photographs. When she complained, Robinson quickly left. The Lenaxa task
force followed by the FBI interviewed the woman to gain important
information about Robinson.
The task force decided
that Robinson was becoming too dangerous and so the decision was made to
arrest him. District Attorney Paul Morris approved the arrest warrant
and so on June 2 2000 detectives moved in.
The charges against
Robinson were increased on July 28th 2000 when he was charged
with the murder of Lisa Stasi, who had disappeared in 1985, and the
aggravated interference with parental custody in the case of Robinson’s
‘niece’ who is believed to be Lisa’s daughter Tiffany.
In late January 2001
Missouri prosecutor Chris Koster, backed up the 3 murder charges with 56
counts of forgery, Robinson was accused of forging the social security
checks intended for Sheila and Debbie Faith. Robinson, if found guilty,
of the forgery charges could face a 382 year sentence.
Despite a last minute
appeal by the defense team citing slow release of prosecution evidence,
the trial of John Edward Robinson Snr began on September 16th
2002 in the Olathe courtroom of Judge John Anderson III. Robinson’s case
was the first in the state to potentially end with a death sentence. All
previous cases the defendant had negotiated a plea bargain in order to
avoid the death sentence.
The prosecution, headed by District Attorney
Paul J Morrison, had charged Robinson with 8 counts including the
murders of Suzette Trouten; Izabel Lewicka and Lisa Stasi. Morrison had
also successfully argued, prior to the trial, that although Robinson was
to be tried separately for the murders of Beverly Bonner and Sheila &
Debbie Faith in Missouri, they were so crucial to Robinson’s activities
that they can be included as evidence of an ongoing pattern.
On October 8th,
testimony began. Outside, in a radio station stunt, t-shirts were being
sold with the phrase ‘Roll Out the Barrels’ emblazoned on them. For two
weeks, and 100 witnesses, DA Paul Morrison presented his case to the
jury. Robinson’s wife, Nancy, testified that she knew that her husband
used the alias James Turner and that he was having affairs with other
women. She also admitted that Robinson enjoyed a BDSM lifestyle.
Coroner Donald Pojman described how each woman was killed having
received heavy blows to the left hand side of their skull. Each would be
instantly killed. However Izabel Lewicka did not, she somehow survived
for a short period of time before succumbing to the injury.
The defense argued
that the prosecution case was entirely based on circumstantial evidence.
They admitted that evidence presented did link Robinson to the five
women, but not to their deaths, hence the case was not proven. Patrick
Berrigan, for the defense, pointed out that no other potential suspects
were investigated, Robinson was the sole focus for the police
investigation. Despite the fact that other unknown persons had ample
opportunities to have committed the murders, these potential suspects
On October 28th
2002, the testimony ended and the jury filled out to begin their
deliberations. The following day at 3pm, after 11 hours of discussion,
they returned with a guilty verdict on all charges. Robinson gave no
reaction to the verdict.
Three days later and the penalty phase of the trial began. Under Kansas
State Law the options were simple, a life sentence or death by lethal
injection. To be sentenced to death the jury must be unanimous in their
decision. The defense pleaded for a life sentence, using members of the
Robinson family to request mercy. Nancy Robinson once again took the
stand. When questioned she accepted that her husband was guilty because
the jury had found him so. The jury however rejected the pleas and
announced their decision of death by lethal injection. Once again
Robinson stood to hear the verdict and offered no response. He was taken
back to his cell at Johnson County Jail and placed on suicide watch
until he received his formal sentencing. Meanwhile his defense lawyers
filed an appeal against the verdict. The appeal was rejected when on
January 21st 2003, Judge John Anderson III formally gave
Robinson a death sentence and a life sentence for the murder of Lisa
Stasi, who’s body has never been found.
March 2003 Robinson agreed to be extradited to Missouri to face 3 murder
charges, those of Beverly Bonner, Sheila Faith and her daughter Debbie
Faith. On April 24th 2003 Robinson pleaded not guilty to the
3 murder charges. Judge Joseph Dandurand set a trial date of March 8th
On October 16th 2003, Robinson returned to court to announce,
via his lawyers, a change in his plea. Robinson had negotiated with
prosecutor Chris Koster to give a guilty plea for the three Missouri
murders. In exchange for this plea, Robinson received a life sentence.
However as part of the plea Robinson confessed to two further murders
that he was not charged with. These two additional victims were
identified as 19 year old Paula Godfrey, who disappeared from Olathe in
1984, and 27 year old Catherine Clampitt who vanished in 1987.
By Martin Smith
murderer' had victim's daughter adopted
30 July, 2000
suspected serial killer who allegedly lured women using sado-masochistic
internet chatrooms has been accused of putting one of his victims'
children out for adoption.
Robinson Sr, 56, was charged with five murders last month after police
in Kansas found several women's bodies stuffed into barrels at his home
and in a rented lock-up.
have now added a sixth murder charge against Mr Robinson - that of
teenage mother Lisa Stasi, who disappeared in Kansas City in 1985.
body has not been found but Johnson County District Attorney Paul
Morrison said her daughter, Tiffany, had been found living in the
Midwest with a family who adopted the girl, apparently unaware that the
adoption was illegal.
Robinson has also been charged with illegally setting up the adoption.
family that adopted the girl paid fees that eventually reached Mr
Robinson, though Mr Morrison said the family was under the impression
the adoption was legal.
said the girl, now a teenager, lives in another state and is aware of
Robinson also faces two counts of capital murder in Kansas and three
counts of first-degree murder in Missouri in the deaths of five women
found in barrels in June.
bodies were found on Mr Robinson's property in La Cygne, Kansas, and
three were found in barrels in a Missouri storage locker.
three of the victims have been identified. They were Beverly Bonner, 49,
Izabela Lewicka, 22, and Suzette Trouten, 28.
say Ms Bonner disappeared six years ago after going into business with
Mr Robinson, and Ms Lewicka, a Polish immigrant, vanished last autumn
after dating him.
Robinson also has been linked to the disappearances of at least two
other women who vanished in the mid-1980s.
have said he trawled the internet for sex under the name "Slavemaster"
and may have found some of his victims through sado-masochistic
Robinson is being held on a bond of $5m.
link to barrel murders
8 June, 2000
Kansas pond is being checked for more bodies
man who looked for sadomasochistic sex over the internet is the prime
suspect in the deaths of five women, whose bodies were found stuffed in
the arrest of John Edward Robinson, 56, last week the police found two
bodies at his home in La Cygne, Kansas.
more bodies were found in barrels on Monday at a storage unit rented by
him about 30 miles (50 km) away, in Raymore, Missouri.
Robinson, 56, appeared in court the same day and was charged with
sexually assaulting two women.
20 investigators are continuing to search a pond on his property at La
hope there are no more bodies," said Chris Koster, a county
prosecutor from the state of Missouri.
post-mortem on one victim showed an attack to the head, and post-mortems
on the others are expected to show similar injuries, Mr Koster said.
task of identifying the women is proving very difficult.
is thought some of them have been dead for months, even years.
the case has been complicated by the fact that the suspect found many of
his sexual partners through anonymous internet chat rooms when he used
the screen name "slave master".
prosecutor Paul Morrison said he did not think any more bodies would be
he confirmed that investigators are also looking at the possibility the
arrested man was involved in the 1985 disappearance of 19-year-old Lisa
Stasi and her 5-month-old daughter Tiffany. Ms
Stasi was last seen at a motel in Olathe, Kansas, where John Edward
Robinson had arranged to meet her.
charged with 'barrel murders'
13 June, 2000
man who allegedly looked for sadomasochistic sex over the internet has
been charged with murdering five women whose bodies were found stuffed
say they will seek the death penalty for John Edward Robinson, 56. His
lawyer says he is innocent.
bodies were found at his home in La Cygne, Kansas. Police found three
more bodies in a storage locker he rented in Missouri. All had head
three of the victims have been identified. They were Beverly Bonner, 49,
Izabela Lewicka, 22, and Suzette Trouten, 28.
say Ms Bonner disappeared six years ago after going into business with
Mr Robinson, and Ms Lewicka, a Polish immigrant, vanished last autumn
after dating him.
Trouten is also said to have worked for Mr Robinson.
Robinson's lawyer has said his client is innocent, and his family issued
a statement describing him as a good father and husband who lived
of the prosecutors involved in the case, Chris Koster, has notified Mr
Robinson that he will be seeking the death penalty.
E. Robinson committed the offence of murder in the first degree in a
manner outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it
involved torture or depravity of mind," Mr Koster said, quoting
from his letter to Mr Robinson.
Robinson had earlier been charged with aggravated sexual battery and
theft involving two women he allegedly met over the internet for
believe he sought out women in chatrooms using the name "slavemaster".
officials believe Mr Robinson also made contact with other women by
posing as a businessman and philanthropist who wanted to help them find
task of identifying the remaining two bodies is proving very difficult.
Police believe they may have been dead for months, even years.
say Mr Robinson also had links with a woman who disappeared in 1985, 19-year-old
Lisa Stasi. Her five-month-old daughter Tiffany also vanished.
Stasi was last seen at a motel in Olathe, Kansas, where Mr Robinson had
arranged to meet her. Two
other disappearances are also being linked to the inquiry.
Man accused in barrel bodies
case faces sixth murder charge
By John Milburn, Associated Press,
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP)
Prosecutors added a sixth murder charge against a Kansas man already
accused of killing five women whose bodies were found last month stuffed
John Edward Robinson Sr., 56, was
charged Friday with the death of a teen-age mother and the disappearance
of her infant daughter more than 15 years ago.
Lisa Stasi's body has not been
found, but prosecutors said she was last seen with Robinson around the
time of her disappearance from the Kansas City area in 1985.
Johnson County District Attorney
Paul Morrison said Stasi's daughter was found living in the Midwest with
an adoptive family, who may have unknowingly adopted the girl illegally.
Robinson also was charged Friday
with illegally setting up the adoption. The family that adopted the girl
paid fees that eventually reached Robinson, though Morrison stressed
that the family was under the impression the adoption was legal.
Officials said the girl, now a
teen-ager, lives in another state and is aware of the investigation.
Robinson's attorneys, death
penalty specialists with the Kansas public defenders office, did not
immediately return messages seeking comment Friday.
Robinson also faces two counts of
capital murder in Kansas and three counts of first-degree murder in
Missouri in the deaths of five women found in barrels in June. Two
bodies were found on Robinson's property in Kansas, and three were found
in barrels in a Missouri storage locker.
Morrison would not elaborate on
the evidence of Stasi's death, but said he did not expect to find her
body before the case went to trial.
Robinson also has been linked to
the disappearances of at least two other women who vanished in the mid-1980s.
Authorities have said he trolled
the Internet for sex under the name ''slavemaster,'' where he may have
met some of his victims, though officials have also suggested financial
motives were involved.
Robinson is being held on $5
million bond. Missouri prosecutors are seeking the death penalty; Kansas
prosecutors have not yet decided whether to pursue the same sentence.
check Florida connection in barrel murders
By Associated Press, 11 june 2000
Kan. (AP) The search for evidence in the case of five women's bodies
found in barrels in Kansas and Missouri has expanded to Florida.
Miami Herald reported Sunday that investigators have asked the Monroe
County, Fla., authorities to help them determine any link between the
case and Florida property owned by John Edward Robinson Sr.
show Robinson and his wife Nancy owned property in Big Pine Key from
December 1995 to January 1999.
Missouri law enforcement task force that is working on the Robinson case
has contacted us,'' said Monroe County Sheriff spokesman Greg Artman.
56, is being held on charges of aggravated sexual battery and felony
theft following complaints from two women he reportedly encountered for
sadomasochistic sex after meeting online.
have said Robinson trolled the Internet for sex under the name ''slavemaster''
and may be connected to the deaths or disappearance of at least nine
people, including five women who were bludgeoned to death and stuffed in
lawyer has said his client is innocent. Sgt.
Joe Reed with the Missing Persons Joint Task Force, based in Lenexa, Kan.,
would not confirm the Florida investigation, citing a court order
limiting his comments about the case.
49, of Cameron, Missouri. Bonner allegedly met Robinson when as a
librarian for the Missouri Department of Corrections at the department's
Cameron facility where Robinson was serving a fraud conviction. Bonner
dropped out of sight in 1996 after going into business with Robinson. At
the time of her dissapearence she was listed as the president of Hydro-Gro
Inc., a company operated in Kansas and Missouri by James Turner, an
alias used by Robinson in Internet chat rooms. Bonner was identified
through the use of dental records. Her body was found in a barrel in a
Raymore, Missouri, storage facility rented by Robinson.
21, a Polish immigrant who moved to the United States a few years ago.
She graduated from high school in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1996. She
then attended Purdue University for two semesters as a fine arts student.
Lewicka then moved to Kansas City and went to Johnson County Community
College in the fall of 1998 under the name Izabela Lewicka-Robinson.
Police believe Lewicka was romantically linked with Robinson and,
according to newspaper reports, was planning to marry him. She was not
heard since the fall of 1999. Like the other bodies found, Lewicka died
from a blow to the head. She was found buried in a barrel in a 16.5 acre
La Cygne property owned by Robinson.
28, moved to suburban Kansas City in March 2000 from Monroe, Michigan.
Her family said she was lured through an Internet chat room on the
promise of $62,000 to care for "an elderly father." Records
from the Missouri secretary of state show she was listed as the
registered agent in the articles of incorporation for Hydro-Gro Inc. She
was found in a barrel buried in the La Cygne property.
who would be 51 now, left California in 1994 to move to Colorado, just
one year after John Faith, Sheila's husband and Debbie's father, died.
According to family members, the two women then moved to the
Kansas/Kansas area after living in Colorado for only a few months.
Family members lost contact with them after they met a man called John.
Police, tipped by the owner of a commercial mail center in Olathe,
Kansas, determined that Robinson had been picking up their monthly
government checks until his arrest. On June 28 authorities confirmed
that Sheila was one of the bodies found in the Raymore strorage facility.
The third body at the site is believed to be Sheila's wheelchair-bound
daughter, Debbie Lynn Faith, who would be 21, but authorites have
yet been able to confirm it.
27, missing since June of 1987. A one-time drug user seeking to
rehabilitation, Cahterine moved from Wichita Falls, Texas, to Overland
Park. She lost contact with her family once she found work at Equi-II, a
management consulting firm created by Robinson.
19, missing since September of 1984. The first to vanish, Paula
disappearance and relationship to Robinson is least understood by
investigators. Robinson's probation officer, Steve Haymes, who had
become suspicious of his activities, noted in a report: "Robinson
had allegedly hired her to be a sales representative. Overland Park
Police Department later received a letter from this girl stating that
she was thankful for John Robinson's help and that she was o.k."
19, and her five-month-old daughter Tiffany, missing since 1985.
Lisa was in a shelter for battered women when she met Robinson in 1985.
Robinson allegedly recruited her for his fraudulent "Outreach"
program for young single mothers, pledging to train her in Texas as a
silkscreen printer, land her an $800-a-month stipend, set her up with
baby-sitting and give her an apartment. On January 8, 1985, she and her
baby were at an Overland Park Rodeway Inn, where a "John Osborne"
had checked her in. Her room was paid for with a credit card issued to
Equi-II, a consulting company set up by Robinson. She checked out two
days later, and her family has not heard from her since.
have now located her daughter, Tiffany, alive and living with Robinson's
older brother in Hammond, Indiana. Robinson arranged the fake adoption
of Tiffany soon after she and her mother dissappeared. Unaware that the
adoption was not legal or that the girl's mother was presumably killed
by Robinson, his brother raised the little girl in a seemingly normal
fashion. According to authorities the brother never suspected any
foulplay and had been given fake legal documents concerning the adoption.
According to authorities Tiffany is now a teenager in her last year in
high school. She has now been made aware of the true identity of her
mother and is preparing to meet her biological father.
October 25, 2002
- More than two years after the gruesome discovery of women's bodies
stuffed into barrels on a rural Kansas property, the defense rested in
the trial of John E. Robinson. Prosecutors are seeking the death
penalty, alleging that Robinson killed at least six women -- three of
them in Kansas -- in a scheme that included sadomasochistic sex with
some of the victims and the adoption of the infant daughter of one. He
also faces charges in Missouri in the deaths of three of the women. The
Kansas trial involves the deaths of Suzette Trouten and Izabela Lewicka,
21, ; and the 1985 disappearance of Lisa Stasi. The bodies of Trouten
and Lewicka were found in barrels on Robinson's rural property in Linn
County, about 60 miles south of Kansas City. Stasi has never been found.
October 14, 2002
- Jurors in the trial of 58-year-old John E. Robinson watched a video of
a sadomasochistic sex session between an alleged victim and the
self-proclaimed Internet Slavemaster. The 40-minute video showed
Robinson in a hotel room with Suzette Trouten, who performs sex acts and
professes her allegiance to Robinson. Early in the video, Trouten sits
on the edge of the bed, looks into the camera and says to Robinson:
"This is what you wanted me to tell you: I'm your slave. ...
Everything is yours." Several jurors covered their eyes at least
briefly as the tape played. "The most important thing in life you
are is my slave," Robinson later tells Trouten.
July 11, 2000 - An old letter, obtained
this week by The Kansas City Star, was purportedly written by Paula
Godfrey -- the first missing woman linked to Robinson -- about the time
she vanished in September 1984. Her father, Bill Godfrey, is convinced
it is a forgery designed to fool people into thinking that his 19-year-old
daughter was alive and well at the time. The undated letter turned up
years ago, neatly folded in the bottom of a briefcase belonging to a
deceased business associate of Robinson. A relative of that associate,
who died from cancer in the early 1990s, thinks the letter relates to
the missing woman.
one-page "Paula" note, a photocopy, was found with an original
letter from Robinson addressed to the associate. That letter was in an
"Equi-II" business envelope. Equi-II was an Overland Park
corporation run by Robinson, who at the time described himself as a
consultant in medical, agricultural and even charitable ventures. The
second letter complained that the business associate had betrayed
Robinson in a bad-check investigation. The business associate thought
Robinson was dangerous, according to the relative, and even told others
to contact a federal agent if something happened to him. That might have
been a reason for the associate to hold the old letters.
the time you read this I'll be long gone..." the letter states.
"I haven't decided on cleveland, chicago or denver, oh well."
With its careless typing and cursive signature, the letter bears an
eerie resemblance to a similar note supposedly written a few months
later by Lisa Stasi, the second woman to disappear after meeting
letters apparently signed by Stasi in January 1985 indicated that she
had "decided to get away from this area and try to make a good life"
for herself and her newborn daughter, Tiffany. Shortly after Stasi and
Tiffany disappeared, one letter was addressed to a battered women's
shelter, where they had recently stayed, and another was to area in-laws.
Stasi's relatives, however, were immediately suspicious of the letters.
They told investigators at the time that Robinson, who was purported to
be trying to help Stasi find work and housing, had her sign four blank
sheets of paper before she vanished.
July 7, 2000 - Cass County Prosecutor
Chris Koster and Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison both
want to try John E. Robinson Sr. for murder. Koster said that he wants
to bring the alleged serial killer across the state line from Kansas as
soon as possible to begin Missouri's case against him. When Morrison
heard about the plan to arraign Robinson in Missouri and then return him
to Kansas, he said it probably wouldn't work and might jeopardize the
cases. "My understanding is there are serious legal problems with
bringing a prisoner back and forth over state lines while there's a
charge against him," Morrison said. "We're not going to inject
any legal difficulties into this case."
July 6, 2000 - Authorities also believe
that Tiffany Stasi, the daughter of Lisa Staci, a woman who was at one
time connected with John Robinson, may still be alive. If so, she would
be nearly 16 years old. According to recent news reports, Tiffany may
have been adopted by a family member of Robinson. An age progressed
photo of Tiffany closely matched that of a girl named Sherrie Lynn
Robinson of Hammond, Indiana who has been missing since October.
July 5, 2000 - Suspected S&M cyber-sex
serial killer John Robinson allegedly agreed to pay an associate $50,000
to recruit women for an elite escort service. The man, who wants to
remain anonymous, said he recruited women in topless clubs and gave them
Robinson's phone number. One of the recruits was Paula Godfrey who
dissappeared once she got in touch with Robinson. The associate said
Godfrey was a good friend of his and he now blames himself for her
disappearance. He also claimed that Robinson threatened to kill him when
he tried to collect his referral money. Since then, 15 years ago, he
severed all ties with the alleged Slavemaster.
June 26, 2000 - Authorities confirmed that
Sheila Faith is one of the victims found in the Raymore storage locker.
But they have yet to confirm if the remaining body is that of her
June 21, 2000 - A former acquaintance said
John Edward Robinson may have been member of a cult involving bondage,
rape and torture. According to the informant Robinson's job in their
cult was to recruit women. These women were then raped and tortured. The
witness -- who remains unnamed -- saw Robinson partipate in three Kansas
City area rituals where no one was killed. But the women were tortured
extensively, sometimes even carving the face and abdomen of the victims
and the cutting off body parts.
June 20, 2000 - Although investigators
working on the John E. Robinson Sr. serial murder case thought they
identified the last two women found in a Cass County storage locker as
Sheila Dale Faith and her daughter, Debbie Lynn Faith, dental records
and X-rays have not matched up. Police are now using the expertise of
Michael Finnegan, a professor of anthropology at Kansas State University,
to identify the victims. "We're just trying to get basic
information, such as the age of women and the time period in which they
have been dead," Cass County Prosecutor Chris Koster said. Using
skeletal remains, Finnegan said, he can determine a person's age, sex,
stature and race or ancestry which then police can compare to profiles
of missing people.
June 18, 2000 - Investigators have linked
John Edward Robinson Sr. to a missing mother and daughter from Fullerton,
California who had moved to Colorado. The two Sheila Dale Faith, who
would be 51 now, and her wheelchair-bound daughter, Debbie Lynn Faith,
who would be 21, left California in 1994 to move to Colorado, just one
year after John Faith, Sheila's husband and Debbie's father, died.
According to family members, the two women then moved to the
Kansas/Kansas area after living in Colorado for only a few months.
Family members lost contact with them after they met a man called John.
Police, tipped by the owner of a commercial mail center in Olathe,
Kansas, discovered that Robinson had been picking up their monthly
government checks until his arrest.
owner of the mail center recognized Robinson -- whom he knew as Jim
Turner -- from TV and told police about the mailbox where the June
checks would be arriving. Besides the Faiths, police are looking for
three other women and a 4-month-old baby who disappeared as early as
1984 and had connections with Robinson. One of the victims that has been
identified, Beverly J. Bonner, also received mail in another box at the
same mail center. According to her ex-husband he sent her monthly checks
as part of a property settlement. Robinson started picking up her mail
after she disappeared in 1996.
June 15, 2000 - Prosecutors in Kansas and
Missouri filed separate murder charges against suspected serial killer
and internet Slavemaster John E. Robinson. "John E. Robinson
committed the offence of murder in the first degree in a manner
outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved
torture or depravity of mind," Cass County prosecutor Chris Koster
said, reading from a letter notifying Robinson that if he is found
guilty the state of Missouri will seek the death penalty. Koster filed
three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of armed criminal
action against Robinson, alleging Robinson used a hammer or similar
instrument to beat the women to death.
Kansas, Johnson County prosecutor Paul Morrison filed two counts of
first-degree murder against Robinson as well as one count of kidnapping.
The other of the Kansas bodies was identified as that of Izabela Lewicka,
22, a Kansas City-area woman who immigrated from Poland and had not been
seen since last fall. Lewicka was believed to have been dating Robinson
and possibly working for him as well. Like the other bodies found,
Lewicka died from a blow to the head and her murder appeared to be part
of a premeditated financial scam.
June 13, 2000 - Authorities have identified
two of the five women whose bodies were found in barrels. The latest
victim to be identified was identified was Beverly Bonner, 49, of
Cameron, Missouri, who as a former librarian at the Missouri prison. She
was one of three victims found last week in a Missouri storage locker.
The other two have yet to be identified. Bonner allegedly met Robinson
when she was working as a librarian in a Missouri prison where Robinson
was serving a sentence for fraud. Bonner dropped out of sight six years
ago after going into business with Robinson.
first body to be identified was one of the two women found buried in the
16.5-acre plot in Linn County. The victim was 28-year-old Suzette
Trouten who had moved to suburban Kansas City in February from Newport,
Michigan. Her family said she was lured through an Internet chat room on
the promise of $62,000 to care for "an elderly father."
Records from the Missouri secretary of state show she was listed as the
registered agent in the articles of incorporation for Hydro-Gro
Incorporated. In the late 1970s and 1980s Robinson sold indoor gardening
kits under the names Hydro-Gro Inc. and Hydro-Gro Commercial Hydroponic
Management Inc. Several investors have since said they lost their money.
The Missouri reincarnation of Hydro-Gro came in 1993, the year Robinson
was released from prison. It faded out of existence in 1996, when it
failed to file an annual report with the state. At the time Beverly
Bonner was listed as the president of the company.
incorporation papers for Hydro-Gro did not mention Robinson, but listed
"James Turner" as company secretary. James Turner was an alias
authorities say Robinson used in a sadomasochistic sex liaison with a
woman he met through the Internet. Bonner's mother, who asked not to be
identified, recalled a phone call in the mid-1990s in which her daughter
enthusiastically spoke of future business ventures, including a
hydroponics enterprise with Robinson. "She had mentioned at one
time that that was one of the businesses they might go into. But the
next time I talked to her, she said she was doing this thing overseas."
That referred to a plan to work in the perfume industry.
June 9 2000 - The lawyer for John E.
Robinson, the man suspected in the deaths of five women whose bodies
were found in barrels in Missouri and Kansas, said that his client is
innocent and complained that the media have already convicted him.
Robinson has been charged only in two sexual assault cases while
investigators look into his connection with the five bodies which were
found last week in barrels on his farm and in a storage locker he rented.
resent the fact that people are now claiming that Mr. Robinson, either
directly or indirectly, is a serial killer," public defender Byron
Cerrillo said. I guess the five bodies in the barrel would not indicate
such thing. The lawyer, who seems to have watched too many "The
Practice" episodes, complained that Robinson is being held on $5
million bond in maximum security. Robinson's family -- he has a wife and
at least two grown children -- issued a statement saying they are
horrified by last week's events. "As each day has passed, the
surreal events have built into a narrative that is almost beyond
comprehension," the statement said. "While we do not discount
the information that has and continues to come to light, we do not know
the person whom we have read and heard about on TV. The John Robinson we
know has always been a loving and caring father."
June 8, 2000 - Suspected cyber sex serial
killer John E. Robinson Sr. may have lured some of his female victims
via the Internet with promises of work or offers of hardcore sexual
escapades. Robinson is being held in Johnson County jail on two sexual
assault charges filed by two different women he lured over the Internet
to motels in Overland Park and Lenexa for sadomasochistic sex. He is
also charged for stealing over $900 worth of sex toys from one of the
finished draining a pond on land owned by Robinson and are planning to
start digging under a trailer on the property in the search for more
evidence, possibly including more bodies. Robinson, investigators said,
represented himself at various times as a businessman and philanthropist,
and also as a purveyor of sadomasochistic sex. At the same time, he was
living a quiet and modest existence in a mobile home park managed by his
wife in Olathe, a southern suburb of the Kansas City metropolitan area.
"There is the sadomasochistic sex world that is part of this
investigation, but there is also an aspect of being a businessman and a
philanthropist that he used to draw people in to financial scams,"
said Cass County, Missouri, prosecutor Chris Koster
June 7, 2000 - As the investigation of
John "Slavemaster" Robinson widens, court documents revealed
that the suspect was the last person seen with a 19-year-old woman and
her infant daughter before they were reported missing 15 years ago. The
disappearance of Lisa Stasi and her 5-month-old daughter, Tiffany,
"has always been a part of this investigation," Johnson County
District Attorney Paul Morrison said of the two-month probe into
Robinson's life preceeding his arrest. Authorities revealed that their
ongoing investigation of the suspect involved a "sadomasochistic
group" in which Robinson and several others communicated through
the Internet. "This case involves (Robinson) having numerous
contact with others over the Internet, with a common thread being
S&M," Morrison said.
to published reports Robinson has an extensive criminal background
dating back to 1969 with felony embezzlement charges. Between then and
1993, Robinson spent at least 15 years on probation and seven years in
jail for an assortment of fraud and theft charges.
June 6, 2000 - In what is arguably the
first cyber sex serial killer case in the Crime Archives, 56-year-old
John Edward Robinson is believed to have killed at least five women he
met in sadomasochistic chat rooms in the Internet. The case broke when
authorities, who had been investigating Robinson for over three months,
arrested him for sexually assaulting two women. Subsequently they
unearthed two 55-gallon barrels with two corpses inside from a property
he owned. Next police found three more drums with three dead women in a
storage locker he rented 30 miles away in Raymore, Missouri.
can say one thing: The bodies (in the field) appear to have been in
those barrels for some time," said Paul Morrison, the district
attorney in Johnson County, Kansas. "The bodies in Raymore have
probably been there longer." Allegedly Robinson had rented the
locker for at least five years. In Kansas, about 20 investigators --
including some from the FBI -- continued to search Robinson's property.
Crews planned to drain a pond on the land. "We may find more bodies,
but we certainly hope not," Linn County Sheriff Marvin Stites said.
of the victims are believed related to Robinson's alleged Internet
activities where he went by the screen moniker of "Slavemaster"
trolling through different sadomasochistic chat rooms searching for
victims. Robinson was arrested at mobile home park managed by his wife
in Olathe, Kansas. One of the women he assaulted apparently travelled
from Texas to have little S&M session with the suspect in a local
hotel. Like the other surviving victim, things got rougher than intended
and, unlike at least five others, she was able to escape alive.
Presently he is being held on $5 million bond on charges of aggravated
sexual battery and felony theft.
Internet 'Slavemaster' found guilty of murdering
Oct. 30, 2002
OLATHE, Kan. — A man who engaged in
sadomasochistic sex and used the Internet name "Slavemaster" was
convicted Tuesday of murdering three women and stuffing two of
their bodies in barrels.
The jury found John E. Robinson Sr. guilty of capital
murder for the deaths of Suzette Trouten, 27, and Izabela Lewicka, 21,
whose bodies were found on his rural Kansas property. He was convicted
of first-degree murder for the death of Lisa Stasi, 19, whose body was
never found, and of arranging the fraudulent adoption of her 4-month-old
He faces the death penalty when sentenced next week.
Confronted with the testimony of 110 witnesses and
some 500 pieces of evidence, the jury of six men and six women
deliberated for 11 hours over two days.
As during most of the trial, the 58-year-old
defendant stared straight ahead and showed little emotion as the
verdicts were read. At one point, however, he seemed to shake his head
and roll his eyes as if in disbelief.
Lisa Stasi's aunt, Karen Moore, and her sister-in-law,
Kathy Klinginsmith, both shed tears after the verdicts were read.
Robinson's daughter, Christy Shipps, also cried. His wife was absent.
It's just been a long time coming and we were very
happy about the verdict," said Moore on the steps of the courthouse. "I'm
just glad he's been held responsible for his actions."
Moore also said that she had been in contact with
Stasi's daughter, who is now 18, lives with her adoptive parents — Robinson's
brother and sister-in-law —and goes by the name Heather Tiffany Robinson.
"She's a beautiful young woman," she said. "She's an adult now. She's
our family." Asked how Heather might react to the verdicts, Moore said,
"I think she will be glad."
Klinginsmith, Stasi's sister-in-law, read a statement
from the Stasi family. "[We're] pleased with the jury's verdict but
deeply saddened by Lisa's death and missed opportunities with Heather
Tiffany and in being part of her life."
None of the relatives said what kind of sentence they
would like Robinson to receive. "I believe in the death penalty but I'm
going to let God handle this one," said Moore. "It was hard to know that
a man could do this but you can't let the hatred eat you alive."
The same jury that convicted him of capital murder
and lesser charges will reconvene Thursday to decide whether to sentence
him to death by lethal injection or life in prison without parole for 50
years. The testimony in the penalty phase is expected to last only two
days and include witnesses who will talk about Robinson's abusive
childhood and his history of psychiatric illness.
Robinson's capital murder case is only the fifth to
go to a jury since Kansas reinstated the death penalty in 1994. The last
time anyone was executed in the state was 1965.
Over the course of the three-week trial, prosecutors
presented a mountain of circumstantial and physical evidence, including
fingerprints and blood that linked Robinson sexually and otherwise to
his alleged victims.
Investigators initially focused on Robinson after his
last victim, Suzette Trouten, went missing in March 2000. Trouten, a
nurse's aide, had told her close-knit family that she was moving to
Kansas City to take a $60,000 job caring for the elderly wheelchair-bound
father of a man named John Robinson.
Trouten drove to Kansas City with all her belongings
and her two Pekinese dogs and spent about two weeks at the Guesthouse
Suites in Lenexa, Kan., speaking to her mother for the last time on
March 1. She told her she was getting ready to travel with Robinson to
When a couple of days had passed, Carolyn Trouten
grew concerned about her daughter. Then she and other family members
began to receive e-mail and letters, purportedly from Suzette in
California and then Mexico. The typewritten letters didn't sound like
Suzette, they said, even though her signature seemed authentic. When
Carolyn Trouten called Robinson, he said her daughter had decided not to
take the job and taken off with a man named Jim Turner.
Alarmed, Trouten's family tipped off police,
launching the full-scale two-month investigation that culminated in his
arrest June 2000 and the discovery of five bodies in barrels on his
rural Kansas property and in his Missouri storage locker.
A short time later, investigators discovered that
Robinson's brother had adopted Stasi's daughter at the same time that
Stasi had gone missing, leading them to charge him with first-degree
murder and interference with parental custody.
He also faced one count of aggravated kidnapping
involving Trouten and the theft of $700 worth of sex toys involving a
Texas woman with whom he had a sadomasochistic relationship. Robinson
still awaits trial on capital murder charges for the deaths of three
women in Missouri.
Robinson checked in killing
no clear evidence linking Kansas City-area serial killer John E.
Robinson Sr. to a woman’s body found in a barrel earlier this month in
Iowa, investigators say.
are enough similarities to raise questions.
Two mushroom hunters found the skeletal remains of a woman folded inside
a barrel at a tree-dump area May 6 near Council Bluffs.
no indication that the murder has a Kansas City connection, said Leland
Bennett, criminal investigator for the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s
are trying to identify the woman using dental records, Bennett said.
said that if that doesn’t work, investigators probably will reach out to
out-of-state law enforcement agencies.
said investigators had enlisted the help of a forensic anthropology
consultant who is a professor at Kansas State University.
said he has been swamped with tips, including multiple Kansas City-area
residents who called in reference to the Robinson murders.
Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber noted that the remains were
completely skeletonized, indicating they had been in the barrel for
years. “Whether it is five years or 20, we don’t know,” he said.
interviewed Tuesday on the “Nancy Grace” show on CNN Headline News,
Wilber mentioned Robinson briefly but said Iowa officials had not yet
checked possible connections thoroughly.
“I’m aware of a serial killer — I want to say his name was Robinson —
down from around the Kansas City area that had — apparently, his M.O.
was to put victims into barrels,” Wilber said on the show.
experts estimate that the woman was between 24 and 32 years old and
about 5 feet, 8 inches tall. She probably was white with short, straight
brown hair. She wore size 11 jeans.
said authorities think the woman was in the military at one time.
County District Attorney Paul Morrison said Wednesday night that he
heard about the discovery Wednesday afternoon and called authorities in
said he offered to share files if they were looking for a possible
connection with Robinson.
said bodies left in barrels were “unusual, but they’re not rare.” Still,
he said, there were parallels to Robinson’s victims.
“We know that 20 years ago, he was definitely killing,” Morrison said.
of Olathe, was convicted in eight murders. The bodies of five of his
victims were found stuffed in barrels. Three of the victims’ bodies were
said the murders of the missing women occurred in the 1980s, and
Robinson was known to have associated in the 1980s with a man linked to
criminal ventures in Iowa.
was convicted of five murders in Cass County and three in Johnson
court ruling, executions still years away in Kansas
Kan. - A serial killer, two brothers tied to five deaths and other
convicted Kansas murderers face execution again because of a U.S.
Supreme Court ruling Monday, but the state isn't likely to put anyone to
death for at least a few years.
prosecutors and an attorney for a capital murder defendant said there's
no predicting exactly when the state will have its first executions
under its 1994 capital punishment law. The state's last executions, by
hanging, were in June 1965.
the nation's highest court declared the Kansas law constitutional,
defendant Michael Lee Marsh II still will get a new trial because the
Kansas Supreme Court previously found he had been denied the opportunity
to present a full defense during his Sedgwick County trial.
Kansas court also has six other capital cases before it, all of which
could raise new issues.
state's death penalty law suffers from other serious flaws," said
Rebecca Woodman, a state appellate defender who represents Marsh. "We
will continue to forcefully litigate these issues in the many months and
several prosecutors said Monday's ruling shows the state has a
well-crafted death penalty law, they acknowledged new challenges are
believe the law is constitutional and will continue to defend it,"
Attorney General Phill Kline said during a news conference. "That does
not preclude novel arguments presented by others in an effort to strike
down the law."
Monday's ruling allows Marsh to be sentenced to death after a second
trial, it also clears an obstacle to the executions of seven other men
already sentenced to die and two others whose cases are pending in
Barton and Harvey counties.
include serial murderer John E. Robinson Sr., convicted in Johnson
County of killing three women in Kansas who shared his interest in
sadomasochistic sex. He pleaded guilty to five killings in Missouri.
that list are Jonathan and Reginald Carr for four of the five killings
in Wichita during a nine-day crime spree in December 2000.
before the U.S. Supreme Court was a provision in Kansas' law on how
juries weigh evidence for and against imposing a death sentence after
finding a defendant guilty. The provision says if jurors are unanimous
and have no reasonable doubts that the mitigating and aggravating
circumstances are about equal, they must recommend death.
Kansas court, in a 4-3 ruling in December 2004, said the provision
represented cruel and unusual punishment because such a "tie" should be
resolved in the defendant's favor. In its 5-4 decision Monday, the U.S.
Supreme Court's majority said the provision doesn't tilt Kansas'
sentencing system toward death.
said he wasn't surprised by the decision. Nor were Sedgwick County
District Attorney Nola Foulston, who prosecuted Marsh, and Johnson
County District Attorney Paul Morrison, who prosecuted Robinson.
attorney general said having a jury find that the factors in favor and
against imposing a death sentence are equal is a "law school
O'Connor, a deputy Sedgwick County district attorney who handles capital
cases, said, "It's something that the lawyers have made up. This is not
likely to ever happen."
Woodman said the decision possibly "legitimatizes an error-prone
decision Monday also prevents legislators from having to pass a new
death penalty law for executions to occur. Lawmakers considered doing so
in 2005 but held off, fearing such an action would cause the U.S.
Supreme Court not to hear Marsh's case.
pleased this issue is resolved, and the status of our death penalty is
settled," Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. "I hope this will
bring some closure to the families who have been waiting for this issue
to be resolved."
Lucero, the leader of a Topeka-based anti-capital punishment group,
Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation, said relatives of murder
victims aren't likely to see any real comfort from Monday's ruling
because it doesn't end legal proceedings in capital cases.
people are just made to suffer on and on and on, waiting for something
that they've been told will bring closure to their lives, when it
doesn't," said Lucero, whose father was murdered in the 1970s.
Lucero and Woodman said the high-profile nature of death penalty cases
puts more pressure on prosecutors - creating a higher risk of error.
a tendency toward prosecutorial overzealousness, and that creates a
danger," Woodman said.
countered that the law actually helps prevent error by narrowing the
number of defendants who are eligible for a death sentence. Kansas has
only seven capital crimes, including murdering a law enforcement
officer, murder for hire and two or more killings at once.
are never any issues where people look at any of those folks and say,
'Oh my gosh, this is unfair,'" Morrison said. "They're literally poster
boys for who ought to get executed."
Morrison isn't expecting an execution in the near future.
hard to say - maybe a couple of years, maybe longer," Morrison said.