Mother of Todd Kohlhepp, alleged S.C. serial killer: “Todd was not a monster”
NEW YORK — The case of Kala Brown, the kidnapped woman in South Carolina found chained inside a storage container, has revealed the twisted tale of a potential serial killer.
Brown lived to tell her story. Investigators say Brown’s alleged captor, Todd Kohlhepp, has admitted to seven killings, reports CBS News correspondent David Begnaud.
“Todd was not a monster,” Regina Tague, mother of self-confessed killer Kohlhepp, told Begnaud.
“He’s not even close to it… He wasn’t doing it for enjoyment. He was doing it because he was mad and he was hurt,” she added.
“Given what your son has admitted, your son is the definition of what’s known as a serial killer,” Begnaud pointed out.
“I hate that,” Tague said, choking up. “I know that’s what they say… he was a very misunderstood.”
But Sheriff’s deputies say there’s no misunderstanding. Kohlhepp is responsible for at least seven murders. His dark past came to light when 30-year-old Brown was found on Kohlhepp’s property. She and her boyfriend Charlie Carver were missing for two months.
“She was banging very hard on the container,” Spartanburg Sheriff Chuck Wright said. “She was bound. There was a chain from the top of the cage to something else that went around her neck. She was distraught, panicked.”
Her boyfriend Charlie Carver was not as fortunate.
“She said she witnessed him being shot,” Wright said.
After being taken into custody, Kohlhepp asked to speak to his mother. She said he told her everything and said, “I’m sorry, mom.”
“Did he cry?” Begnaud said.
“Mmmhmm,” Tague said. “His eyes looked horrible. They were red.”
“Why did he kill her boyfriend?” Begnaud asked.
“Because he got nasty and got smart-mouthed,” Tague said.
“Why did he chain that girl up?” Begnaud asked.
“Because he didn’t know what to do at that point,” Tague said.
“She saw, evidently, him kill her boyfriend, and he didn’t know what to do with her, he couldn’t turn her loose. She’d go get the police,” Tague said.
Last Saturday Kohlepp took Sheriff Wright to his property. He showed him where he had buried Carver and two drifters he murdered after allegedly hiring them to work on his property.
“He was very polite and remorseful, actually. I said a prayer with him,” Wright said.
What would take everyone by surprise was when Kohlepp also admitted to gunning down four people in a notorious cold case that became known as the Superbike Murders. Kohlhepp had wanted to return a motorcycle.
“They laughed at him, made jokes at him,” Tague said.
“Everybody’s hurt. He hurt everybody,” Tague said of her son.
Watch the full “48 Hours” report Saturday, Nov. 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.