Rescued from a serial killer: Video shows moment S.C. woman was freed

A video released by prosecutors shows the moment that a South Carolina woman was rescued from a storage unit last year.

The recorded confessions of South Carolina serial killer Todd Kohlhepp and the rescue of one of his victims, Anderson resident Kala Brown, were among the hundreds of records made public late Friday by the 7th Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office.

Disturbing video footage shows officers' discovery of Brown inside a dark metal storage container on Kohlhepp's property near Woodruff. Officers walk past cases of bottled water and find Brown on makeshift bedding, dressed in a long-sleeved shirt, sweatpants, and flip-flops. She has a large chain around her neck. Her movement is limited.

"My neck's attached to the wall," Brown told officers. 

One officer tells her: "We're getting bolt cutters, honey."

Soon an officer asks her: "Where's your buddy?" referring to her boyfriend, Charles David Carver.

Brown tells them that Kohlhepp shot Carver three times in the chest and wrapped his body in a tarp.

She said that soon afterward, Kohlhepp locked her in the container. As to Carver: "I never seen him again."

The officers on the scene included Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office deputies and at least one investigator from the Anderson Police Department, according to other records obtained by the Independent Mail.

In a separate video, Kohlhepp talks to investigators last November about how he killed four workers at Superbike Motorsports in Chesnee in 2003.

"I cleared that building in under 30 seconds," Kohlhepp said.

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In other video footage, Kohlhepp appears relaxed with investigators. He talks at length about his weapons and which ones he believes work well. He jokes that his handwriting is hard to read and makes small talk with officers, asking them whether they think Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will win the presidential election, which was just days away.

The video of Brown, footage of Kohlhepp and other records were released in response to Freedom of Information requests made by the Independent Mail, The Greenville News, and other media outlets. Made public Friday were more than 250 exhibits connected to the case against Kohlhepp, including dozens of documents, crime scene photos, and video footage.

Kohlhepp, 46, pleaded guilty May 26 to killing seven people in the Upstate and chaining Brown in a storage container alive. In a Spartanburg courtroom, he was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences in prison, plus 60 more years for offenses including the kidnapping and sexual assault of his surviving victim, Brown.

More: Kohlhepp driven by anger

More: As a teen in kidnapping case, Kohlhepp called 'devil on a chain'

The Greenville News and Independent Mail do not typically name victims of sexual assault, but Brown has openly spoken of her ordeal in a national television interview.

Kohlhepp, a real estate agent in the Upstate for more than a decade, was arrested last November after investigators searching his 95-acre property near Woodruff heard Brown banging on the metal storage container where she had been kept for more than two months.

Brown and her boyfriend, Charles David Carver, disappeared from their Anderson apartment Aug. 31 and had gone to Kohlhepp's land believing they would work to help him clean and clear it.

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After Brown was found alive, Kohlhepp led investigators to a shallow grave on the same land where Carver’s body was buried. He also showed investigators where he buried the bodies of husband and wife Johnny and Meagan Coxie, who disappeared from Spartanburg in December 2015. 

After Brown was found,  Kohlhepp confessed to the Superbike Motorsports killings in Chesnee. The 2003 killings of Superbike workers Scott PonderBeverly GuyBrian Lucas and Chris Sherbert were unsolved until Kohlhepp confessed to them last fall.

Kohlhepp is now incarcerated at Kirkland Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in Columbia.

Follow Nikie Mayo on Twitter @Nikie Mayo

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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