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We needed a bottle to catch the attention of our consumer. The bottle looks like a coconut, smells like a coconut. And because we didn't have advertising dollars, the bottle became a short, squatty billboard that allowed us to tell our story.
Todd Christopher Kohlhepp was born on March 7, 1971 in Florida, and was raised in South Carolina and Georgia. His parents divorced when he was two years old, and his mother, who got custody of him, married another man the following year. Later psychological reports found that Kohlhepp had an unhealthy relationship with his stepfather and often wanted to live with his biological Father, whom he had not seen in eight years.
Eventually, in 1983, Kohlhepp was sent to live with his biological Father in Arizona after his mother and stepfather separated. He took his father's surname and began working a number of local jobs. He also inherited his father's hobby of collecting weapons and was taught by him to "blow things up and make bombs". Despite this, their relationship deteriorated due to his father's absence with a number of girlfriends, and Kohlhepp expressed desires to return to his mother, though she reportedly made excuses to extend his stay.
On November 25, 1986 fifteen-year-old Kohlhepp kidnapped a fourteen-year-old girl in Tempe. He threatened her with a .22-caliber revolver, brought her back to his home, tied her up, taped her mouth shut, and raped her. Afterwards, he walked her home and threatened to kill her younger siblings if she told anyone what happened. Kohlhepp was charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, and committing a dangerous crime against children. In 1987, he pleaded guilty to the kidnapping charge, and the other charges were dropped; he was sentenced to fifteen years in prison, and registered as a sex offender. According to court records, Kohlhepp was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and had an IQ of 118, which was considered "above average".
In August 2001, Kohlhepp was released from prison after serving fourteen years and moved to South Carolina, where his mother was living. During his imprisonment, he attended and graduated from Central Arizona College with a bachelor's degree in computer science. From January 2002 to November 2003, he worked as a graphic designer for a company in Spartanburg. He began studying in Greenville Technical College in 2003. Kohlhepp transferred to the University of South Carolina Upstate the following year, and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business administration-marketing.
On November 6, 2003, a customer found four people shot to death inside Superbike Motorsports, a motorcycle shop in Chesnee. The victims were identified as owner Scott Ponder, 30; Service manager Brian Lucas, 30; mechanic Chris Sherbert, 26; and bookkeeper Beverly Guy, 52, who was Ponder's mother. All four died from multiple gunshot wounds. Before Kohlhepp confessed to the shootings in 2016, investigators believed that the gunman, armed with a pistol, entered the shop from the back and killed Sherbert as he worked. He then killed Guy in the middle of the showroom, Lucas at the main doorway, and Ponder in the parking lot. According to Ponder's wife, Kohlhepp was a disgruntled customer who had been in the shop several times. According to Kohlhepp's mother, he attempted to return a motorcycle there, but the employees laughed at him, would not return the money he had paid for the motorcycle, and embarrassed him for not knowing how to ride one.
Despite being registered as a sex offender, Kohlhepp was able to get a real estate license on June 30, 2006, after lying about the felony charge on his application. From this, he built a firm that had a dozen agents in its employment. He had been recognized as a top-selling agent in the Carolina region. The firm was closed down following his arrest. Kohlhepp also acquired a private pilot license and several properties out of state. In May 2014, he purchased nearly 100 acres (40 ha) of land, located in an area 9 miles (14 km) from Moore, for $305,632. He then set a fence around the property, which cost $80,000.
Two bodies were discovered on Kohlhepp's property following his arrest, on November 6–7. They were later identified as husband and wife Johnny Joe Coxie, 29, and Meagan Leigh McCraw-Coxie, 26, residents of Spartanburg who were reported missing on December 22, 2015. They were allegedly hired by Kohlhepp to work on his property. McCraw-Coxie had been killed by a gunshot wound to the head on December 25 or 26, while Coxie had been killed a week earlier by a gunshot wound to the torso. According to the county coroner, they were identified through their extensive tattoos.
On November 25, 2016, police in Greer, South Carolina, announced that they have named Kohlhepp as a person of interest in an unsolved 2003 bank robbery and triple homicide at the local Blue Ridge Savings Bank. This crime was separated from the Chesnee shootings by six months.
Kohlhepp was charged with four counts of murder in relation to the Chesnee shootings, and one count of kidnapping in relation to Brown's abduction. He was later charged with three additional counts of murder for the murders of Carver and the Coxies, along with one additional count of kidnapping and three counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Kohlhepp's next court appearance was scheduled for January 19, 2017, but on that date, Kohlhepp's attorney waived their right to appearance. According to a report by WLTX, relatives of the Chesnee shooting victims will also file a wrongful death lawsuit against him. On December 1, it was announced that Brown will also file a civil lawsuit against him. On May 26, 2017, Kohlhepp pleaded guilty to seven counts of murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of Criminal sexual assault and was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole in a plea bargain that spared Kohlhepp from capital punishment.