Cold Case Files - Sex, Lies and Murder   View more episodes

Aired at 01:00 PM on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 (2/23/2010)      View all transcripts from this day


00:00:19>> There's the trailer belonging to John Robinson.
00:00:22>> KURTIS: On a morning full of hard sunlight, on a farm in Kansas, detectives take the wraps off a team of canines trained in the business of sniffing out corpses.
00:00:34It doesn't take long before the dogs hit on two yellow barrels and the endgame begins in the hunt for a serial killer-- a hunt that began almost two decades earlier.
00:00:59>> ♪ I thought the world was letting me down... ♪
00:01:05>> KURTIS: It is the summer of 1984 in the flatlands of eastern Kansas.
00:01:12Paula Godfrey is 19 years old, fresh out of high school, and looking to land her first job.
00:01:20She answers an ad in the local paper.
00:01:22A man named John Robinson offers her a position.
00:01:27The catch-- Paula must attend a training seminar out of town.
00:01:32On August 23, the young woman hops into a car with Robinson.
00:01:36It is last time Paula Godfrey's parents will see their daughter alive.
00:01:43>> ♪ ...was letting me down... ♪
00:01:54>> KURTIS: January 1985.
00:01:56Lisa Stasi is 19 years old with a five-month-old named Tiffani, no husband, and no way to support herself.
00:02:05Again John Robinson comes to the rescue.
00:02:09Working through a local outreach group, Robinson offers Stasi money and sets her up in a motel.
00:02:15Lisa checks into the Rodeway Inn on January 7, 1985, and checks out on January 10.
00:02:23The bill is settled by Robinson, and Lisa Stasi, like Paula Godfrey before her, disappears, this time with her five-month- old daughter in tow.
00:02:44Inside a parole office, Steve Haymes is the first local investigator to take a hard look at John Robinson, not in connection with the missing Kansas women, but as the result of concerns raised by a charity called Birthright.
00:02:58Robinson is offering aid to young pregnant women in the community, and Birthright wants to confirm the local businessman is legit.
00:03:07Haymes sits down with Robinson for a heart to heart.
00:03:11>> He told me a similar story to what he had told Birthright-- that he and some area businessmen who had done very well had decided they wanted to give back to the community and had decided to set up this program to help young girls with babies.
00:03:27>> KURTIS: Some might find Robinson's story heartwarming.
00:03:30Haymes, however, is not among them, largely because the man he is talking to is a convicted embezzler-- in other words, a con man.
00:03:40>> My initial thought was, you know, "What's his angle here, who's he trying to con money out of, and how's he going to do it?" >> KURTIS: The probation officer gets on the phone with other charitable organizations who further muddy the waters, pointing out the first connection between Robinson and a woman gone missing.
00:04:00>> Almost as an afterthought, they said, "You know, there is a girl that was referred to him with a baby, wasn't referred by us, but was referred by another local organization, and she's missing." >> KURTIS: The girl is Lisa Stasi, her baby five-month-old Tiffani.
00:04:19Haymes then checks with Overland Park police, who fill him in on Robinson's missing employee, Paula Godfrey.
00:04:27>> You've got a girl with a baby and a girl without a baby.
00:04:30What's the connection?
00:04:31Where's all of this going?
00:04:33And again, going back to what's his angle in this and how's he going to make money out of this?
00:04:39>> KURTIS: Haymes senses he might be tapping into something deeper than petty fraud, but has nothing more than his own suspicions.
00:04:47>> I'd found from past experience with con men the best thing you could do is play them a little bit at their own game and try and catch them up in their lies.
00:04:57>> KURTIS: Haymes enlists the help of the FBI and agent Tom Lavin.
00:05:02Together they search for any possible probation violations that might put Robinson at least temporarily back behind bars.
00:05:10>> We came upon an individual by the name of Theresa Williams that was being... had been placed in an apartment by John Robinson.
00:05:21>> She told us that not only had she seen him with a firearm but that on one occasion that he had taken thisr and that he had put the gun barrel in her vagina and had threatened her with that and said something to the effect of, you know, "How would you like a blowout?" >> KURTIS: The use of a firearm coupled with allegations by Williams that Robinson had supplied her with drugs is more than enough to revoke probation.
00:05:50By the spring of 1987, however, the ex-con is back on the streets, and women once again begin to disappear.
00:06:05>> There was a very good possibility that Mr. Robinson was, in fact, a serial killer.
00:06:10>> KURTIS: Marty Ingram is a detective sergeant with Overland Park.
00:06:14In the spring of 1987, the department takes a call about Catherine Clampitt, another woman who took a job with Robinson, another woman now gone missing.
00:06:25>> There were numerous females that had answered some ads in the newspaper regarding an opportunity to start a new life, whether that be in modeling, being an assistant, some type of a ruse to get females to meet him.
00:06:42And this would be the last time that they would be seen.
00:06:46>> KURTIS: Like Steve Haymes before him, Marty Ingram believes John Robinson to be nothing less than a predator, one who has learned the first rule of serial killing-- get rid of the body and more often than not you can get away with just about anything.
00:07:02>> You knew that he was responsible for some very evil things, but you follow up the leads and it just kept turning up dead ends.
00:07:11It became very frustrating.
00:07:15>> KURTIS: Catherine Clampitt joins Lisa and Tiffany Stasi and Paula Godfrey in the cold files.
00:07:21Meanwhile, Ingram, like Haymes before him, looks for a way to get Robinson off the streets.
00:07:28>> We looked at it as a situation of regardless of what type of crime that we can charge this gentleman with, we need to get him charged and get him in prison and away from the civilian community.
00:07:40>> KURTIS: Ingram is able to develop a chargeable case against Robinson, not for murder, but on an unrelated charge of fraud.
00:07:48Robinson is once again packed off to prison, and investigators begin the hunt for bodies they suspect he has stashed across the Kansas countryside.
00:07:57The search, however, turns up nothing, and Robinson's release date looms.
00:08:02It is scheduled for the winter of 1994.?.=(=PCPCPCPCPCPCPCPCPC2h, >> KURTIS: In the winter of 1994, death drives its dark chariot across the plains of Kansas and comes to rest here in the small town of Olathe.
00:12:07This is the home of John Robinson, recently released on parole and suspected of killing at least three women and an infant.
00:12:16>> We were really quite aggressively pursuing the fact that he was a threat to the community.
00:12:22You know, they have certain due process rights.
00:12:23You can't just lock them up and throw away the key.
00:12:28>> KURTIS: For six years, Robinson allows the community to grow comfortable with his presence.
00:12:35Then the serial killer begins to stir, and women once again begin to vanish.
00:12:41The first to notice, a cop who knows Robinson all too well.
00:12:56More than a decade ago, Marty Ingram was part of the team working the disappearances tied to Robinson.
00:13:02Now he is as a patrol sergeant with Overland Park PD.
00:13:06One morning in the spring of 2000, an officer rings him up for help with a missing person.
00:13:12>> He had contacted me and had indicated that there was a family in Michigan who had wanted to report their daughter as missing.
00:13:24>> KURTIS: The woman, Suzette Trouten, had met a man over the Internet and moved to Kansas after the promise of a job.
00:13:31Her family provides police with some of the girl's e-mail correspondence, as well as a photo of the man left behind by Suzette.
00:13:39>> With the exception of a slightly more receded hairline, I knew without question that it was the John Robinson that I had worked almost 20 years prior.
00:13:51And at that point, you know, it's one of those feelings that come over you that you hope that it isn't the person that you think it is.
00:14:01>> KURTIS: After looking at the photo, Marty Ingram knows at least two things: John Robinson has once again gone active, and Suzette Trouten is most likely dead.
00:14:11Ingram gets on the phone with Joe Reed from homicide.
00:14:15>> It was immediately apparent to me the importance of the investigation and the fact that we needed to give it a lot of serious attention immediately.
00:14:24>> KURTIS: Reed sends a team to the hotel where Suzette Trouten was last seen.
00:14:28There they recover a surveillance tape showing John Robinson walking through the lobby.
00:14:34At this point, investigators also realize the hotel is actually in the neighboring town of Lenexa.
00:14:40>> So I called Rick Roth, my counterpart in Lenexa, and let him know that I had a real can of worms for him.
00:14:47>> They wanted to be active in the investigation and actually offered their services to us.
00:14:54>> KURTIS: Overland Park and Lenexa form a task force and begin running the investigation on two tracks.
00:15:00One team initiates round-the- clock surveillance on the suspect; the second talks to Suzette Trouten's family, looking for an angle on Robinson.
00:15:10>> Honestly, when I knew she was missing and when they said that everything had been taken from the guest house, and he is saying that he didn't know anything about it, I honestly thought that she had either been kidnapped or she was dead.
00:15:22There's no way she would not get a hold of my parents.
00:15:27>> KURTIS: Kim Dod is Suzette Trouten's sister.
00:15:29She and her mother Carolyn tell police they have already spoken with Robinson, who claims that suzette left on a year-long boating trip with a wealthy attorney.
00:15:40Carolyn Trouten also tells investigators she has a way to reach Robinson via his cell phone.
00:15:46Sergeant Dave Brown is intrigued.
00:15:49>> We were going to have Carolyn call John Robinson to see if she could strike up a conversation with him again.
00:15:55>> He wanted to actually try to get John Robinson on tape, anything that Mom could get him to... you know, to say that maybe they could figure something out as to where she was and stuff.
00:16:33>> At first, he didn't recognize who was calling.
00:16:36It had been some time since he had spoke to Carolyn.
00:16:38And in the recording that Carolyn made, you could hear John struggling, one, to grasp what was going on.
00:17:06>> Throughout the conversation, you could hear him struggling for, "What am I going to say to this woman to make her leave me alone, to make her feel like everything is okay?" when of course he knew that it wasn't.
00:17:38>> KURTIS: Robinson is too clever to fall for the police trap and says nothing incriminating to Carolyn Trouten about her daughter.
00:17:45With one avenue of investigation closed, all eyes turn to surveillance and the hope that John Robinson makes a mistake.
00:20:06Day two of the Robinson surveillance.
00:20:09Rick Roth works the lead vehicle in a six-car team tailing the suspect.
00:20:14At a little after 2:00 PM, Robinson leaves Olathe and begins to head out on Route 169 into the netherland of eastern Kansas.
00:20:24>> Several of us got lost; we had no communication whatsoever.
00:20:28Our police radios failed.
00:20:29They were out of range.
00:20:31Our cell phones wouldn't work.
00:20:33Several officers just drove around until we located each other.
00:20:39>> KURTIS: Robinson leads officers to an 18-acre piece of land with a single trailer home set precisely in the middle of nowhere-- perfect for a serial killer.
00:20:51>> We had made the decision that thoing to be a covert investigation.
00:20:56We did not want Robinson knowing anything about it, so basically we waited for him to leave.
00:21:03>> KURTIS: Robinson stays inside the farmhouse for the better part of an hour, then gets in his car and heads back to town.
00:21:09>> Obviously, we wanted to get onto the property to see if there was any burial sites or any bodies here, but we needed evidence and we needed a reason to get a search warrant to get on here.
00:21:22>> KURTIS: The team lacks probable cause for a warrant and must bide its time.
00:21:27Meanwhile, back in Olathe, another part of the task force goes to work, picking through the suspect's trash.
00:21:34Jack Boyer is expert in reading the tea leaves of a homicide investigation-- only in Boyer's case, the tea leaves are actually bags of garbage.
00:21:46>> Trashings involved actually going to someone's house and picking up their trash, and then we leave other trash bags in their place so that they're not suspicious of it.
00:21:56>> KURTIS: Boyer begins switching out John Robinson's trash twice a week.
00:22:00The suspect has shredded all his receipts and personal documents, but investigators persevere, getting out some tape and fastening together the pieces of what they hope will be a clue.
00:22:12>> We were very lucky in the respect that we got several pieces of paper that we were able to tape back together, and we found out where he was making payments to a couple of storage lockers.
00:22:24>> KURTIS: Two storage lockers located just across the border in Raymore, Missouri.
00:22:29>> We had no good physical evidence against John Robinson.
00:22:33We tried to get into his lockers with cameras, with surveillance.
00:22:39We never could pull it off.
00:22:41Until we had some evidence to get us into his home or his storage locker, we were at a standstill.
00:22:49>> KURTIS: What Robinson has stored inside the lockers remains as much a mystery as the boarded-up farm the suspect visits.
00:22:57To get inside either, detectives need a search warrant, the grounds for which will be provided by a woman who wants John Robinson arrested not for trying to kill her, but for stealing her sex toys.
00:27:43>> KURTIS: In a small town called Olathe, a murder investigation begins to gain steam as a team of investigators builds their case against John Robinson, a local they believe killed at least four women and an infant.
00:27:58>> You know, he was a complete, I guess, Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
00:28:06>> KURTIS: Keith O'Neal is a captain in the Overland Park PD and works the point on John Robinson's surveillance.
00:28:12His job, follow the suspect around town and see what he does with his day.
00:28:19>> From 8:30 in the morning to 5:00 in the afternoon, he would be out.
00:28:24He would meet other females.
00:28:26We found out about some girlfriends that he had.
00:28:30But by 5:00, virtually every day he was home when his wife got home.
00:28:35They had dinner together, and he looked like an all-American family after 5:00 each day.
00:28:43>> KURTIS: O'Neal discovers Robinson has women set up in a string of hotels throughout the area, one of them the Extended Stay hotel.
00:28:51Detective Mike Lowther is assigned to cover the location.
00:28:55>> On a particular day, one local hotel did call us and informed us that he had made a reservation and that a woman had checked into the room that he had reserved.
00:29:04>> KURTIS: The detectives rent a room adjoining Robinson's and wait for their suspect to arrive.
00:29:09When he does, investigators press their ears to the wall and listen as Robinson explains to the woman what he would like her to do.
00:29:17>> At first, the conversation was very cordial.
00:29:20It was basically an introduction to her of the BDSM lifestyle, kind of the rules that govern it.
00:29:29>> KURTIS: BDSM stands for bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism, a type of sexual lifestyle that involves handcuffs, chains, and a master/slave relationship, in this case with Robinson playing the role of master.
00:29:46>> His voice became a little sterner, a little more demanding.
00:29:50I could hear the sound of chains rattling.
00:29:56>> KURTIS: Detectives in the room adjacent to Robinson are in a difficult spot, not sure if they are listening to an argument over rough sex or a prelude to murder.
00:30:06>> We'd hear, you know, screaming, slapping.
00:30:08If that was any normal situation, we probably would have broke down the door.
00:30:13Under this one, we had to hold off and make a decision how much screaming was someone in trouble and how much of it was part of the BDSM lifestyle.
00:30:23>> We didn't know if he would actually kill them or hurt them inside the hotel room or not, but of course we were concerned about that.
00:30:30>> KURTIS: The surveillance team decides to sit tight, believing the woman to be safe and unwilling to blow their cover.
00:30:37They make the right decision.
00:30:39Robinson exits the hotel, and the woman eventually checks out apparently unharmed.
00:30:45A month later, the woman, identified by detectives as Vicki Neufeld, turns up again, filing a complaint against Robinson for stealing a bag filled with her favorite sex toys.
00:30:57Another of Robinson's sex slaves also comes forward claiming Robinson played a little too rough in one of their encounters.
00:31:05Detectives believe these women might be the break they are looking for.
00:31:09>> When those two women came forward and wanted to press charges, that was the linchpin that put the case together.
00:31:16Everything that we had up to that point was pretty circumstantial.
00:31:20But when they came forward with actual charges against him, it opened the door for us to go ahead with search warrants, and that led to his arrest.
00:31:30>> KURTIS: On June 2, 2000, a judge grants an arrest warrant for John Robinson on a charge of battery.
00:31:37He also signs a slew of search warrants-- on Robinson's home, his rural farmland property, and his storage lockers.
00:31:45The team will look for Vickie Neufeld's sex toys but hopes to find evidence of much more.
00:32:05On a Friday morning in June, Overland Park Detective Greg Wilson and Lenexa Detective Jack Boyer arrive at John Robinson's trailer home.
00:32:14They tell the suspect that he is under arrest for assault and theft.
00:32:19>> And I just told him, I said, "Don't be surprised if we charge you with murder." And his response was, "Murder?" I said, "Yeah, five counts of it." And then I started naming these females' names, and when I got to Suzette Trouten, Greg said the color just completely left his face.
00:32:36>> He was kind of demure, sort of, but as soon as we walked out that door, his back straightened up, and he kind of looked at me, and he goes, "Jesus, you guys are making a big production out of this." >> KURTIS: Robinson is walked out of his home in cuffs.
00:32:50Now it is up to detectives to find some link to one of the missing women or kiss Robinson good-bye as a suspect forever.
00:32:58>> We knew that we were showing our hand, and I think everybody had a great deal of anxiety as far as, you know, this is going to be our one-time deal with this guy.
00:33:09>> KURTIS: A forensic team descends on the home searching for any evidence of foul play.
00:33:14After four hours of work, they have a total of nothing.
00:33:18Cold-case detectives, however, are far from finished.
00:33:22Their next stop: John robinson's place in the country.
00:33:36>> There's the trailer belonging to John Robinson.
00:33:40>> We started out early in the morning.
00:33:42The plan was for everybody to go down there without the press ever knowing about it.
00:33:48First on the scene were the cadaver dogs from the Missouri Search and Rescue.
00:33:53>> KURTIS: On June 3, Rick Roth leads a team onto 18 acres of land in a desolate corner of Linn County, Kansas.
00:34:01>> We had really thought we would find a burial spot.
00:34:04And by noon, we hadn't found anything remotely close.
00:34:08I think everybody was dejected, worried that... you know, this was the one spot we thought we would find the remains.
00:34:17>> KURTIS: At a little after 1:00, one of the cadaver dogs hits on an area behind a shed where several barrels are stacked.
00:34:26>> And one of the first things to be moved was one of the yellow barrels that was sitting there.
00:34:31And when we uprighted that barrel, we saw blood come out of that.
00:34:37>> As I got within about ten feet of the barrel, I smelled an odor that, through experience, I associated with that of a decomposing body.?.=(=PCPCPCPCPCPCPCPCPC2h,ñ >> Again taking video of property of John Robinson.
00:36:52That's the mobile home trailer on the property, beyond the trees.
00:36:57>> KURTIS: On a spring day in Kansas, on a farm owned by a suspected serial killer, evidence technician Harold Hughes pops open the lids on two yellow barrels and takes a look inside.
00:37:10>> I opened the first barrel and confirmed that there was, in fact, a body there.
00:37:15Then we opened the second barrel and confirmed that there was a body in it.
00:37:21>> The smell was horrendous.
00:37:23Once he popped the seal and lifted that lid, the smell just drove him back.
00:37:29He could only hold his breath so long, then he'd drop the lid, catch his breath and pull it up again.
00:37:36>> KURTIS: Both barrels contain the bodies of white females, one significantly more decomposed than the other.
00:37:44>> It appeared that they had been placed in the barrels head first, the head and shoulders down in the bottom of the barrel with the back and hips pressed against the sides and the knees down close to the face.
00:38:00>> KURTIS: The yellow barrels confirm John Robinson is every bit the monster cold-case detectives have always suspected.
00:38:09The only questions now: How many did he kill, what are their names, and why?
00:38:28Donald Pojman is given the task of taking the bodies out of the metal barrels and performing autopsies.
00:38:35Upon examination, Pojman determines that both women were killed in a similar fashion-- blunt force trauma to the head.
00:38:42>> Both victims had injuries to the left side of the skull, and they had circular injuries, sort of a punched-in lesion into the skull.
00:38:52Typically the weapon of choice is a hammer.
00:38:55Now, it could be any other object that is heavy and has a circular end to it.
00:39:02>> KURTIS: The ME begins his investigation by trying to establish a framework for the time of death.
00:39:08>> The first one we looked at, she obviously had less decomposition than the other one.
00:39:14And so I estimated her death to be within several months to possibly a year.
00:39:19The other one, because of the state of decomposition, I thought it was close to the six months to two years.
00:39:25>> KURTIS: The first body is believed to be Suzette Trouten, the last of Robinson's suspected victims gone missing just two months prior.
00:39:34The second woman does not fit with any of Robinson's other suspected victims, all missing at least 13 years.
00:39:42Cold-case detectives wonder, could this be yet another woman they knew nothing about?
00:39:47A review of Robinson's personal records reveals a potential candidate-- a woman named Isabella Lewicka.
00:39:55>> Her name had just come up approximately three or four days before that when we had subpoenaed his checking account and we saw her name where he was giving her $200, $300 checks on a routine basis.
00:40:10>> KURTIS: Police learn Lewicka was another of Robinson's S&M sex partners who went missing the year before.
00:40:16Dental records confirm both Lewicka and Trouten's IDs-- two women accounted for.
00:40:22At least three others, however, remain missing.
00:40:26Detectives head next to Robinson's private storage lockers.
00:43:44At a little after 10:00 AM, Detective Mike Lowther clips the lock on a storage facility rented by the suspect.
00:43:52Lowther and his team work their way through piles of junk to the back of the locker.
00:43:59>> I remember somebody making the comment, "Are those barrels?" And we kind of looked up, and it's like, "Yeah, I think those are barrels." We pulled some more stuff off, and we found three barrels that were wrapped in heavy clear plastic and heavily taped with duct tape.
00:44:19>> KURTIS: The cops remove one of the barrels bearing the label "rendered pork fat." >> When we opened up the barrel, there was a shoe-- I think it was a tennis shoe-- that was kind of on the top.
00:44:30And we inspected the barrel further and found a body inside the barrel.
00:44:35We only opened the one.
00:44:37Once we opened up the one, we assumed that the other two probably contained bodies also.
00:44:42>> KURTIS: The medical examiner's office confirms each barrel holds the body of a Caucasian female, each killed by blunt force trauma to the head.
00:44:52Investigators believe these victims to be three Overland Park women: Paula godfrey, gone missing in 1984; Lisa Stasi, missing with her infant Tiffani since 1985; and Catherine Clampitt, gone missing in 1987.
00:45:08Once again, however, investigators are wrong.
00:45:12The rate of decomposition indicates the women in the storage locker have not been dead that long.
00:45:18>> It wasn't shocking, but it threw a whole lot more mess into the situation there.
00:45:24Now we had three additional victims in conjunction with the Overland Park women that we had to look into.
00:45:32>> KURTIS: Investigators eventually identify the victims as Sheila and Debbie Faith, a mother and daughter who met John Robinson over the Internet in 1994, and Bev Bonner, a librarian at the prison where Robinson was locked up for fraud.
00:45:48>> In every one of those victims, there was a financial angle to that.
00:45:52The Faiths, we believe that he killed them for their Social Security benefits.
00:45:57And in fact, we were able to prove that he had defrauded the federal government to the tune of about $80,000 over the years by stealing their Social Security benefits after they were dead.
00:46:08Bev Bonner, who had divorced her husband for him, was probably killed for alimony money, because her ex-husband continued to write alimony checks and mail them to a P.O. box.
00:46:22And little did he know that his ex-wife was dead and that John Robinson was cashing those checks by forging her name and putting them in his bank accounts.
00:46:30>> A judge steps in to the serial killings investigation before charges are even filed.
00:46:35>> He's put a gag order on all the major players in the John E.
00:46:38Robinson case.
00:46:39Robinson remains jailed in Olathe, suspected in the murder of five women.
00:46:43Their bodies were found in barrels on his Linn County farm and in a storage locker in Raymore.
00:46:49>> KURTIS: With bodies being found across the countryside, John Robinson suddenly becomes big news.
00:46:56He refuses to talk to police, is arraigned on five counts of murder, and sits in a county jail awaiting trial.
00:47:04Meanwhile, the strange case of the Kansas serial killer is about to take yet another twist.
00:47:22On the outskirts of Chicago, 15- year-old Heather Tiffany Robinson sits in front of her computer, confused.
00:47:30Her Uncle John has just been arrested for murder, a fact the teenager finds hard to accept.
00:47:36She accesses a Witeb site on the case and pulls up photos of Robinson's suspected victims.
00:47:43One is of a baby believed to be the missing daughter of a woman Robinson allegedly murdered.
00:47:49The woman is Lisa Stasi.
00:47:51The baby Heather recognizes as herself.
00:47:55Her family calls police.
00:47:57>> It was a huge surprise to us, and certainly I've never heard of anything like it before-- the fact that, you know, she'd been missing for, you know, 15, 16 years at the time and then resurfaced.
00:48:09>> KURTIS: Investigators travel to Chicago and learn that, in 1985, John Robinson sold a baby to his brother Donald and That baby grew up to be Heather.
00:48:21Detectives collect a footprint from the 15-year-old and compare it with a print from Lisa Stasi's missing infant.
00:48:28>> The fingerprint examiner compared the footprint of the adolescent to the footprint of the infant and indicated that they were made by the same person.
00:48:37>> KURTIS: The footprints unravel the last bit of doubt about what happened to Lisa Stasi.
00:48:43In fact, police recover a picture taken, they suspect, just hours after Robinson killed Stasi.
00:48:50It's a family photo.
00:48:52John Robinson is in the front row.
00:48:54On his knee: Lisa stasi's infant.
00:48:58>> John Robinson's got that baby and posing for pictures in his house with that baby bouncing on his knee with his brother and sister-in-law there, who have come down from Chicago to get their new adopted baby.
00:49:10He told them that through his connections in the community, he had been able to find this baby whose mother had committed suicide in a hotel room.
00:49:21>> KURTIS: Lisa Stasi's murder is added to the list of charges Robinson faces, a set of crimes for which the state of Kansas is prepared to seek the death penalty.
00:49:33>> I have never prosecuted anybody in my 24 years as prosecutor that was more deserving of the death penalty than John Robinson.
00:49:42It is impossible to describe or to estimate the amount of suffering John Robinson has inflicted on other people Ah, auto!
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00:50:51>> KURTIS: Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison has worked for two years preparing the case against suspected serial killer John Robinson.
00:51:00>> We had great evidence against John Robinson, but the challenge was how do we put 17 years of criminal conduct that involves thousands and thousands of pages of police reports and hundreds of witnesses in some sort of an understandable format so a jury can understand what all he's done?
00:51:21>> KURTIS: The DA's biggest challenge-- make a jury understand how a nondescript, middle-aged businessman could lure women to Kansas, in some cases seduce, and then kill them.
00:51:35>> Most of the women that he was hooking up with were women that he'd met on the Internet in these bondage sadomasochism chat rooms.
00:51:44He was holding himself out as this rich sort of philanthropist who was also a slave master.
00:51:53>> KURTIS: A slave master always on the prowl for his next slave.
00:51:58Robinson surfed the Internet daily, offering his services in a BDSM relationship-- that is, bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism.
00:52:08Mistress Carol has been in the lifestyle for ten years.
00:52:11>> A master/slave relationship is really kind of an intellectual relationship.
00:52:17It is where one person takes control in the relationship and where one person willingly gives up the control.
00:52:28>> KURTIS: The BDSM relationship is a powerful and potentially dangerous one.
00:52:33If a master abuses his control, there is little chance of anyone ever finding out.
00:52:39>> Many of the people may be ashamed to let anyone in their family or let their friends know about.
00:52:45Maybe they're afraid of ridicule.
00:52:46I really don't know.
00:52:47But I think the secrecy of it enables someone like John Robinson to do the things that he did.
00:52:58>> KURTIS: In the two-month period that Robinson was being watched, investigators identified no less than 30 different women with whom the suspected killer was carrying on BDSM activity.
00:53:10>> We were just shocked at the number of women he was having contact with on a daily basis.
00:53:16He was on his cell phones literally off and on all day long.
00:53:20He's driving around meeting women at hotels.
00:53:22It was almost like he's running a travel agency.
00:53:24He had women coming and going all the time-- really in some ways almost kind of a sexual dynamo for a man of his age, which you would never think by looking at him.
00:53:36>> KURTIS: According to investigators, no one but Robinson knows why he chose to kill some women and not others.
00:53:43Most, however, agree the man is a sociopath and sexual sadist who, if not stopped, would never have tired of murder.
00:53:52>> He doesn't have the ability to empathize with other people, so hurting other people or ripping them off or whatever, victimizing them however he chooses to do that, isn't going to bother him.
00:54:01You've got that coupled with the fact that in order for him to get off sexually, the threshold for that is going to continue to rise.
00:54:09And for the John Robinsons of the world, the ultimate thrill is to be able to kill somebody.
00:54:19>> This is a slave contract in this red folder with the clear plastic face, and it has a signature of Suzette Trouten.
00:54:30>> KURTIS: John Robinson goes to trial in the fall of 2002.
00:54:33He is charged with capital murder in the deaths of Suzette Trouten and Isabella Lewicka, murder one for Lisa Stasi, as well as the kidnapping and sale of her baby.
00:54:45The trial lasts six weeks.
00:54:47>> The body was in the barrel head-down, in approximately 14 inches of fluid.
00:54:54>> KURTIS: On October 29, Robinson is found guilty on all counts.
00:54:59>> We were successful in convicting him of everything.
00:55:02In the penalty phase, the jury rolled with us and decided to recommend the death sentence, which the judge gave him.
00:55:09>> KURTIS: The killer is removed from death row only long enough to face three more counts of murder in the state of Missouri for the deaths of Bev Bonner and Sheila and Debbie Faith, each found in a barrel inside Robinson's storage locker.
00:55:24Robinson pleads guilty to murdering all three and also pleads guilty to the homicides of two Overland Park women, Paula Godfrey in 1984 and Catherine Clampitt in 1987.
00:55:38Robinson, however, refuses to reveal how he killed them or where their bodies might be found.
00:55:44Finally he is returned to death row, the investigation over, the killing finally stopped.
00:55:57>> Well, the one woman he was in BDSM with had signed adoption papers, or he'd cut and pasted.
00:56:03I can't think of her name.
00:56:05>> KURTIS: For detectives from small town police departments, murder is a rare thing, serial killers the stuff of movies and novels.
00:56:13In the case of this task force, however, John Robinson is all too real.
00:56:19>> Well, I don't think he ever told the truth ever to anybody.
00:56:23I mean, we couldn't find anything.
00:56:26>> I think it's part of his control.
00:56:28He's maintained the secrets about what he's done with the women, he won't ever tell, it's the last control that he's got.
00:56:34>> KURTIS: Even a year removed from the Robinson investigation, the men and women who worked this case agree it changed them forever, the memories of what Robinson kept on his farm and in his lockers etched in their mind's eye.
00:56:48>> You know, he is a very... he can be a very good liar, very convincing, but on the other hand you're talking about women who were gullible and probably, you know, wanted to believe.
00:56:58>> KURTIS: There is, however, more than mere reminiscence behind these meetings.
00:57:02The team believes Robinson might know more than he's told and that there are other barrels waiting to be opened, other bodies waiting to be found.
00:57:13>> There's a lot of time that is not accounted for John Robinson.
00:57:18And the fact that he would kill all those women and then have those time frames where he didn't just does not make sense.
00:57:26I believe there are others out there that were killed by him.
00:57:32>> KURTIS: If you have any information about John Robinson or know anyone who might have been involved with him, please contact the Lenexa Police