Kohlhepp's Mom: 'This Is Why People Tell Kids Not to Bully'

Judge in 1987 rape case, meanwhile, said a teen Kohlhepp was 'dangerous'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2016 7:50 AM CST
Mom: Kohlhepp Murdered 4 Because They 'Bullied' Him
Todd Kohlhepp is escorted into a Spartanburg County magistrate courtroom on Nov. 4, 2016, in Spartanburg, SC.   (Tim Kimzey/The Spartanburg Herald-Journal via AP)

As bodies connected with Todd Kohlhepp continue to emerge, the suspected South Carolina serial killer's mom is linking four of the killings he's admitted to to one thing. "This is all why people tell kids not to bully. This is what can happen," Regina Kohlhepp said Thursday, per CNN. She was referring specifically to a quadruple murder in 2003—a cold case recently busted open by Kohlhepp's arrest, ABC News notes—that took place in a Chesnee motorcycle shop, where she says her son went to get some riding lessons and ended up leaving humiliated. "They laughed at him when he fell over on the bike," she tells CNN. "Todd was bullied and embarrassed and I think he just held it in long enough." The shop owner, his mom, and two employees were killed. It's unclear whether the murders took place the same day as the alleged bullying incident.

The widow of the slain owner offers a different version, saying her husband and the others were just doing some gentle ribbing about the fact the first bike Kohlhepp bought from the shop had been stolen. "That is the kind of thing that a normal everyday person wouldn't go crazy over," she told CNN affiliate HLN. Regina Kohlhepp also talked with ABC about her son's conviction in 1987 as a 15-year-old for kidnapping and raping a 14-year-old girl at gunpoint, noting "Todd was not a child you left alone" and that the rape took place when Todd's dad had to leave Todd for three days due to a family emergency. The judge who moved Kohlhepp's case to adult court back then noted Kohlhepp was "very bright and should be advanced academically," but also that he was "behaviorally and emotionally dangerous," per ABC. (More Todd Kohlhepp stories.)

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