Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that it is looking into disturbing product reviews left on Amazon.com by an account that may be associated with Todd Kohlhepp, a South Carolina real estate agent suspected in the deaths of at least seven people, officials said.
Kohlhepp, 45, has been in custody since last Thursday, when police found a woman chained inside a metal storage container on his property in rural Woodruff, S.C.
Since then, Spartanburg County sheriff’s deputies have made several more shocking discoveries on the 95-acre parcel owned by Kohlhepp, including the body of the chained woman’s boyfriend and the unidentified remains of two other victims, according to the Associated Press.
Police say Kohlhepp also confessed to being responsible for the “Superbike murders,” a 2003 quadruple homicide at a motorcycle repair shop in Chesnee, S.C., that became one of the state’s most notorious cold cases.
Now, an Amazon account that may belong to Kohlhepp is under scrutiny for several unnerving product reviews. The user — identified only as “me” but whose account is linked to a wish list for “Todd Kohlhepp” — reviewed dozens of items on the online retail site starting in May of 2014.
In a Sept. 13, 2014 review for a padlock, the user wrote: “solid locks.. have 5 on a shipping container.. wont stop them.. but sure will slow them down til they are too old to care.”
In another review on the same day for a saw chain, the user rated the product five stars and simply wrote: “backup chain.”
Local media outlets captured other unsettling reviews that appear to have since been removed.
In one review no longer visible, the Amazon user wrote on a product page for a knife: “havnet stabbed anyone yet…… yet…. but I am keeping the dream alive and when I do, it will be with a quality tool like this…” according to an image taken by WSPA News.
The news station also posted an image of the user’s review for a foldable shovel: “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.”
An Amazon spokesman did not immediately respond to inquiries about the authenticity of the reviews Monday morning or why some of them might have been taken down. (Amazon founder Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
The majority of the reviewed products were tactical gear, gun accessories, tools, SD cards and books on war and fighting.
The user in question also left reviews for dog toys, a Nine West handbag (“girlfriend loves it”), two seasons of “The Walking Dead,” various music CDs and a six-piece chocolate fondue set.
About half of the user’s reviews were left between mid-May and early October of 2014, around the time Kohlhepp acquired his 95-acre property in Woodruff. Spartanburg County assessor’s records show that Kohlhepp closed on the parcel on May 29, 2014.
The user’s most recent batch of reviews were for tactical gear on Aug. 24, about a week before Kala Brown, 30, and her boyfriend, Charles “David” Carver, 32, were reported missing. The Anderson, S.C., couple did not show up to a planned dinner on Aug. 31, triggering an agonizing search by their family members and friends. Cellphone and social media records led authorities to Kohlhepp’s property in Woodruff.
There, police found Brown with a chain around her neck inside a metal storage container on Kohlhepp’s land. She told authorities that she had been kept there for two months.
“It was pretty emotional, to say the least, when she was found — especially when she was chained like a dog,” Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said, according to WYFF. “She had a chain around her neck.”
An “obviously traumatized” Brown had screamed for help when sheriff’s deputies knocked on the side of the container, about 30 feet long, 15 feet wide and 10 to 12 feet high, Wright said.
Investigators on Monday were continuing to search the property, as well as others connected to Kohlhepp, authorities said.
Officials now say they believe Kohlhepp is responsible for at least seven deaths, in addition to kidnapping Brown. Wright told reporters Sunday that the investigation was not being limited to South Carolina but did not want to reveal further details.
The gruesome revelations are a stark contrast to Kohlhepp’s professional image. On the surface, Kohlhepp portrayed himself as a dedicated and tech-savvy Realtor who ran his own South Carolina real estate firm upstate.
At least one of the Amazon product reviews from the user being investigated referred to working with “agents.” In a review for a CD from metal band “Godsmack” posted in May 0f 2014, the user wrote: “pisses off the neighbors, works well at family get togethers or company meetings where agents are crying like a little b—h..”
In another review, for a tactical vest, the user wrote: “wear this to the next company meeting, put on a few more pouches.. gun holster and I dont care how boring your speech for the company is. those lazy vermin will stay awake in that meeting.. worth every penny.. also not wearing pants while wearing this is a great motivation for them to get to the point and back to their desks.”
Kohlhepp so far has been charged with one count of kidnapping and four counts of murder, according to court records. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 19, 2017.