John Edward Robinson (born December 27, 1943) is an American serial killer convicted in 2003 of the murders of several women.
was born in Cicero, Illinois
, a town famous for its connection to Al Capone
. As a Boy Scout
he performed before Queen Elizabeth II
at a concert in London
and became an Eagle Scout
. As a freshman at Quigley Preparatory Seminary
, he was a poor student and had a discipline problem. He did not return to Quigley for his sophomore year; it is believed that he was denied admission as a sophomore due to either his academic or discipline shortcomings.
He had dreams of becoming very important. He was named "Man Of The Year" once at a Kansas City charity (an award he rigged in his own favor), and was described by acquaintances as very personable and easy to like.
Beneath his outward charm, however, he was a con artist and thief who served time in jail in 1987 on charges of felony theft. He was supposed to serve five years, but he was released after only four years for good behavior. He was then handed to Missouri authorities, who arrested him because his conviction in Kansas violated one of the conditions imposed when Robinson was released on probation from a Missouri jail after being convicted of forging signatures on some documents. But he started complaining of chest pains and was released with a doctor's recommendation letter.
In 1995, Robinson bought a computer and began contacting women for sex, calling himself "The Slave Master", in reference to his BDSM
According to the police, he would later meet some of those women in person and have sex with them. Then, the women he met disappeared. In the summer of 2000, some of their bodies appeared at Robinson's farm near La Cygne, Kansas and in a rented storage space in Raymore, Missouri.
In 1984, 18-year-old Paula Godfrey left home to take up a job with one of Robinson's many non-existent companies. After being told she was being sent away to take a few seminar classes to get her trained, her parents contacted the police and filed a missing person's report. A few days after questioning Robinson on Godfrey's whereabouts they received a type-written letter from Godfrey. The letter assured them that everything was fine, and that she simply did not want to contact her family. Her signature was at the bottom of the letter. The case was dropped as Godfrey was an adult and had the right to disappear.
In 1985, Lisa Stasi, a 19-year-old single mother, met a man calling himself "John Osborne" at a shelter. The man promised her an apartment, job training, a monthly stipend, and even daycare for her four-month-old daughter, Tiffany. Stasi agreed, signing a few blank sheets of paper. She was never heard from again. A few days after meeting Stasi, Robinson contacted his brother and informed him he had a baby he could adopt; he said that the baby's mother had committed suicide in a hotel room, and his connections with local charity would allow him to get the child for him if he paid the legal fees. The baby was Tiffany Stasi, and the papers Robinson brought were all forgeries. The money went straight into Robinson's account.
In 1987 Catherine Clampitt moved from Texas to Kansas in order to work with Robinson at the age of 27. Her body was never found, although Robinson admitted to killing her after he was convicted in the other six women's deaths.
In 1993, Robinson was released from a stint in jail for running an underground prostitution ring specializing in domination and submission. He had met 49-year-old Beverly Bonner in prison. A librarian, she had been charmed by the eloquent man, and upon his release divorced her husband to follow Robinson. Robinson killed Bonner shortly after she had all of her alimony checks forwarded to a PO box, and placed her body inside of a barrel which he later put into a storage unit in Raymore, Missouri. Robinson continued to collect her alimony checks and cash them in his account for years.
In 1994 Robinson met 45-year-old Sheila Faith, whose 15-year-old daughter, Debbie, was confined to a wheelchair and in need of constant medical care. Robinson met her in an online chat room and promised to provide care for both her and her daughter. The Faiths were charmed and moved to Kansas. Robinson arranged to have the pension check Sheila received from her first husband's death be routed to a PO box. The Faiths were not heard from again until their bodies were discovered in barrels in the storage unit in Raymore, Missouri.
In 1999, Robinson offered 21-year-old Izabela Lewicka a job and bondage relationship. Soon after moving to Kansas records show Robinson paid for a ring and a marriage license that was never picked up. Lewicka emailed family and friends to tell of her marriage; A few months later she told friends she was going on a trip and was not heard from again. Her body was later discovered in a barrel on the ranch in La Cygne, Kansas.
Robinson was arrested and accused of murdering three women. He was convicted at the Johnson County Court House in Olathe, Kansas
in 2002 and sentenced to death
. He then pleaded guilty
in Harrisonville, Missouri
and did not receive a second death sentence from a Missouri court. Robinson could be the first person executed by lethal injection
in the state of Kansas. In 2005 the Kansas Supreme Court
ruled the current capital punishment laws in Kansas unconstitutional. However in Kansas v. Marsh
, 548 U. S. (2006), the U.S. Supreme Court
found otherwise; subsequently, Kansas still has the death penalty.
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 crimes.
The trial also spawned a number of e-mail
hoaxes, with web users warned first against the username SlaveMaster
, and most recently, Rockhard abs
The email usually looked something like this:
- Subject: FROM THE STATE POLICE: NOT A JOKE
- PLEASE READ THIS: State Police Warning for Online
- WARNING FROM THE STATE POLICE . . USA (Not a joke.)
- State police warning for online: Please read this "very carefully"..then send it out to all the people online that you know.
- 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.
- Slave Master (Pinnacle True Crime) by Sue Wiltz and Maurice Godwin. Kensington Books ISBN 978-0786014088