UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA — National and international interest in the Todd Kohlhepp serial killings case was reignited following the release of a portion of the case files on June 9 by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department.
That renewed interest also ignited a new round of interest in Kohlhepp’s relationship with one of his victims – Kala Brown — and her accounts of their relationship.
On Aug. 31, 2016, Charlie Carver and Kala Brown of Anderson went missing and it would be two months before Brown was discovered chained inside a metal shipping container on Kohlhepp’s Woodruff property by Spartanburg County law enforcement.
It was then that law enforcement learned of the extent of Kohlhepp’s violence following his confession to seven murders that occurred over a 13-year period.
As a result of the confessions obtained Nov. 3, 2016, a 13-year-old cold case referred to as the Superbike Murders — where Scott Ponder, Beverly Guy, Chris Sherbert and Brian Lucas were found shot multiple times in an upstate South Carolina motorcycle shop — was finally closed.
Kohlhepp also confessed to the deaths of Johnny and Megan Coxie, who are believed to have disappeared Dec. 23, 2015.
Their bodies were found buried in a shallow grave on Kohlhepp’s 95-acre property, along with the body of Carver, who was believed murdered on or around the date of his disappearance.
Kohlhepp entered a guilty plea in a plea arrangement that will keep him imprisoned for life with no possible appeal and no chance for parole.
Brown went on to appear in a two-part presentation of her story on The Dr. Phil Show where she was asked about how she knew Kohlhepp.
It was her first public statement on the subject.
The show’s host, Dr. Phil McGraw, asked Brown how she was acquainted with Kohlhepp and Brown’s response was that she had met Kohlhepp on Facebook, and other than to receive messages from him occasionally asking how she was doing, there was no further contact until she was in need of extra work.
“I was on Facebook and I was talking about finding some work and then he (Kohlhepp) contacted me about cleaning a couple of his houses,” she said.
Brown continued to discuss her contact with Kohlhepp, stating: “We had been friends on Facebook for several years. He would ask how I was doing and stuff like that but no real communication.”
After the rescue
Video released from the Kohlhepp case files included a taped interview with an investigator while Kala Brown was being transported to a local hospital for treatment.
In that recorded statement, Brown shared details of her relationship with Kohlhepp.
Brown stated that she knew Kohlhepp before the events that transpired in the final days of August resulting in Carver’s death from three gunshot wounds.
The voice of Det. Walsh of the Violent Crimes Division is heard asking Brown how she knew Kohlhepp.
“I was introduced to him (Kohlhepp) about five or six years ago by a guy I was dating that said they were friends,” Brown responded. “After that we stayed in touch on Facebook and I had recently started cleaning houses for him because he does real estate.”
There is also an indication Spartanburg County law enforcement was aware of the relationship as well before they served warrants at Kohlhepp’s residence and secluded property.
During an initial interview inside Kohlhepp’s residence at 213 Windsong Way, located in Moore, an investigator on the scene specifically asks Kohlhepp about his relationship with Brown.
The following is a transcription of the exchange between the investigator and Kohlhepp:
Investigator: “Um, the main issue that we have, um, we were able, and she can give more information on this, I was briefed last night. We know there was more of a physical relationship between you and Kala, okay? I could understand why you wouldn’t wanna bring that up, okay? I can understand that. I need you to explain in a little more detail about the physical relationship. Because what we do have…inaudible…and I don’t care about prostitution, I don’t care about whatever, she was a stripper, my understanding is she’s very good looking. And she would call you and need money…”
Kohlhepp: “Yes, sir.”
Investigator: “…and you would give her money and she would give you sex.”
Kohlhepp: “It would work out that way.”
The inconsistencies also were highlighted when Kala Brown, using the alias Victoria Hicks in recent months on Facebook. Brown’s identity was confirmed by a video posted by Brown and a copy obtained before being removed.
Brown posted the video as she answered questions from other members of the Facebook group, stating the following: “This is proof that it’s me. Maybe ya’ll can believe now that it’s me talking. This is Kala.”
Since the posting of that video, Brown has confirmed her use of the alias, changing the name on the profile to Kala Victoria Brown (Victoria Hicks).
It was during that impromptu Facebook question and answer session that Brown gave more details into her relationship with Kohlhepp, how they were introduced, and time spent together at The Trophy Club, a strip club located in Greenville, S.C.
“I worked at Trophy Club from the time I was 21 until 23. Todd was my then boyfriends (sic) best friend. I brought Todd to Trophy the first time he ever went.”
During another social media exchange, Brown was asked about her relationship with Kohlhepp, stating, transcribed exactly as it was written:
“I met Todd randomly thru a friend. He added me on fb and I never deleted him. We never talked so I never saw hos posts.”
Additional statements made by Brown address why Carver was with her on Aug. 31, 2016 at Kohlhepp’s Woodruff property.
According to Brown’s statement on the Dr. Phil Show, Kohlhepp had insisted she bring her boyfriend, Carver, along and no one else.
“Todd made sure he’d be there that time,” Brown stated on the show. “He (Kohlhepp) told me I could bring anybody to help on the other jobs I worked but I always took Charlie. When we went to his property I was thinking about bringing someone else because Charlie had to work on the day he (Kohlhepp) wanted us to come and he (Kohlhepp) said since it was his personal property he would prefer only me and Charlie coming because he didn’t want anyone else knowing where he lived.”
However, during another social media exchange, Brown made a statement saying it was Carver who made the decision to go.
“I didn’t force Charlie to go anywhere,” she said. “I was gonna take a friend and go while he was at work so that we could spend his day off and relaxing. He insisted that we do it together. We were making money to move and get our own place.”
Multiple attempts were made to reach Kala Brown. Two appointments with Brown were cancelled and a formal request made to Jenny Dial of Veridian Filmworks of Upstate South Carolina, her public relations representative, were unanswered.
Attempts to obtain a comment from The Dr. Phil Show were also unanswered.