The Serial Killer Who Left Reviews Of His Tools On Amazon

Todd Kohlhepp killed seven people between 2003 and 2016 while posting terrifying comments about some of his weapons online.

Todd Kohlhepp had two degrees, a job as a graphic designer, and appeared to be in control of his life. The Florida-born businessman even established a real estate company in South Carolina with twelve workers, was studying to become a pilot, and owned nearly 100 acres of land.

Years passed before anyone finally realized he was a serial killer. In fact, Kohlhepp was a man who had struggled with rage and brutality since he was a little child. Later, his father asserted that the only feeling he was familiar with was rage.

When Kohlhepp was only 15 years old, he kidnapped and raped a female in Tempe, Arizona, while holding her at gunpoint. He was given a 15-year prison term, but after being freed in 2001, he went on to murder seven more people.

While experienced homicide investigators were not unfamiliar with such sexual crimes, Kohlhepp would turn out to be an exception. He had left behind a terrifying trail of reviews on the well-known e-commerce site for some of the very things he must have used in his heinous crimes, earning the nickname “Amazon Review Killer” from the media.

Todd Kohlhepp’s Adverse Childhood Experiences


Todd Christopher Sampsell, who was born Todd Kohlhepp on March 7, 1971 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, separated from his parents when he was just two years old.

Kohlhepp’s time in the real estate industry.


While in the care of his mother and stepfather in South Carolina and Georgia, Kohlhepp started to exhibit unsettling behaviors. He was a well-known bully who frequently ruined his classmates’ school projects and was expelled from the Boy Scouts for misbehavior. He even used bleach to kill a goldfish, and a BB gun to shoot a neighborhood dog.

However, as later discovered by FBI investigators, Kohlhepp experienced bullying at home. According to FBI Agent John Douglas, “He was abused, abandoned, and his grandfather struck him with a cattle prod.” He was a bully even in elementary school. He found himself in a psychiatric hospital by the time he was nine. He was irrationally enraged and aggressive. He actually became the product of this severely dysfunctional household.

Kohlhepp hated his stepfather and yearned to live with his biological father. Before his goal was fulfilled in 1983, he would spend a few years in therapy. It was agreed Kohlhepp should reside with his father in Tempe, Arizona, as his mother was involved in her second divorce. It unfortunately turned out to be unsatisfactory.

While he enjoyed teaching his father how to “blow stuff up and create explosives,” Kohlhepp quickly came to despise him since Sampsell spent much of his time going out on dates. He pleaded with his mother and stepfather to take him back home, but they just gave him reasons to stay in Tempe.

On November 25, 1986, Kohlhepp finally lost his cool.

Unleashing Todd Kohlhepp, the “Amazon Review Killer

Kohlhepp killed seven individuals before being apprehended and imprisoned.

Kohlhepp tricked a local girl out of her home by pretending her boyfriend needed to speak with her while his father was gone. He used a.22 caliber handgun to drag her inside his house, roped her up, and taped her mouth shut. He walked her home after raping her and threatened to destroy her family if she talked.

Within hours, Kohlhepp was taken into custody and given a borderline personality disorder diagnosis. His I.Q. was 118 and his mental evaluation revealed evidence of emotional disorder but not psychosis. He claimed that he was upset with his father when asked why he had raped a young girl. His three guardians did not go to see him in prison.

Kohlhepp agreed to a plea agreement that would have dismissed the sexual assault charge but would have required him to register as a sex offender when the juvenile probation officer suggested he be tried as an adult. On January 19, 1987, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison without the chance of parole, with the following severe remarks from the presiding judge:

“This child was explosive, impetuous, and concerned with sexual material at a young age—less than nine. He remains the same. Since kindergarten, he has been unrelentingly violent toward others and destructive of property”.

Kohlhepp’s business card prior to starting his own firm.

The 30-year-old prisoner relocated to Spartanburg, South Carolina, after being released in August 2001. He stuffed his resume full of made-up career history to get his first driver’s license and a job at the Seven Sons & Co. sportswear company.

The Amazon Review Killer added murder to the list on November 6, 2003. He allegedly left the Superbike Motorsports store after being laughed at for trying to return a bike. He came back with a revolver and shot the proprietor Scott Ponder, 30, his mother Beverly, 52, the manager Brian Lucas, 29, and the mechanic Chris Sherbert, 26.

He evaded justice for more than ten years, but he would eventually post his private thoughts online. Kohlhepp made an Amazon wish list of goods to evaluate under the username “me.” These things, which included chainsaws among others, demonstrated how ruthless he really was:

“Works excellent … getting the neighbor to stand still while you chase him with it is hard enough without having an easy to use chainsaw …”

The end of Kohlhepp’s spree


Kohlhepp failed to reveal his criminal history when applying for his real estate license in 2006. His fledgling business, TKA Real Estate, expanded quickly. From his Moore, South Carolina, home, which he paid $137,500 for, Kohlhepp ran it.

Kohlhepp, a now-successful businessman, paid $305,632 for 95 acres near Woodruff, South Carolina, and surrounded it with a chain-link fence. He persisted in posting terrifying reviews on Amazon for products like knives, padlocks, gun attachments, targets, emergency surgery books, and miniature shovels.

When they searched it, they discovered Brown stuck inside.

One review stated, “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.”

Then His deadly wrath returned in August 2016.

Late in August, Kohlhepp hired 30-year-old Kala Brown and her 32-year-old partner Charles Carver to clean the property. They were reported missing on December 31. The final pings from Brown and Carver’s smartphones were eventually located near Kohlehepp’s house, according to Spartanburg County police.

They heard banging coming from a cargo container on Kohlhepp’s farm, and when they searched it, they discovered Brown stuck inside. By that time, she had been raped, shackled, and terrified for about two months.

Later, Brown testified that Kohlhepp had shot Carver in the face before tying her up.

Todd Kohlhepp’s residence

Kohlhepp disclosed the locations of two other bodies on his property while being detained. They were identified as Johnny Joe Coxie, 29, and Meagan Leigh McCraw-Coxie, 26, who had been hired to clean Kohlhepp’s house and had been missing since December 2015. They had both been shot.

Kohlhepp admitted guilt on May 26, 2017, to seven consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole after being charged with seven crimes of murder, two acts of kidnapping, and one case of sexual assault.

He reportedly responded, “You do not have enough fingers,” when his mother questioned how many more people he had murdered.

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