November 16, 2016

If you haven't been following the story of Todd Kohlhepp, you should go read about it here. In a nutshell, Kohlhepp has apparently confessed to abducting a couple, killing the boyfriend, and imprisoning Kala Brown in a shipping container for months.

The circumstances of Brown's imprisonment were horrifying. Kohlhepp chained her up, put her in a cage inside a locked shipping container.

Kohlhepp's mother, Regina Tague, spoke to 48 Hours in an interview broadcast Saturday about her son and Kala Brown, the woman he imprisoned.

It is chilling on many levels, not the least of which is how easily she comes to justify his behavior.

According to her, Kohlhepp put Brown in the shipping container because "he didn't know what to do with her after she witnessed the murder of her boyfriend, Charles Carver.

“She saw, evidently, him kill her boyfriend … and he didn’t know what to do with her, he couldn’t turn her loose. She’d go get the police,” said Tague.

“So he chained her up,” said Begnaud.

“Mmmhmm,” Tague affirmed. “He tried to make her as comfortable as possible. Get her food. He had a dilemma.”

Asked if Kohlhepp abused Kala Brown, Tague said, “No, he said he did not. He promised me. And believe me, he woulda told me.”

“What did he do to take care of her?” Begnaud asked.

“He brought her food and water and drinks. He brought her something to lay on. And we didn’t go into great detail, except that I -- I can’t imagine her bein’ in there for two months,” an emotional Tague said. “I want her to know how sorry I am. And I think Todd is, too. Because he didn’t wanna hurt her, he just didn’t know what to do.”

As for why he killed Charles Carver, she offered this explanation:

“Because he got nasty, and got smart-mouthed. And Todd had hired him to -- to do some stuff, and Todd pays well. And the guy got mouthy about it, and from what I gathered, he said some smart things to Todd. And I guess Todd shot him,” said Tague.

“Is that how your son handles his anger? He just killed people when they mistreated him?” Begnaud asked.

“Never before,” said Tague.

Mr. Kohlhepp also had a small arsenal of guns, and after his arrest, confessed to the unsolved murders of 4 people in a motorcycle shop in the small South Carolina town where he lived.

Kohlhepp was a real estate broker who was considered fairly successful in his town. He was also a registered sex offender, who at the age of 15 had raped a 14-year old girl in Arizona. It's unknown how he was able to obtain a real estate license and build an arsenal of guns with his criminal background, but he did.

While I understand the need of a mother to defend her son, my mind is boggled at the amount of mental gymnastics she has to do to pretend that he's just a well-meaning guy who had a problem he wasn't sure how to solve.

The full transcript of the report is at CBS News online. What struck me about this tragic story? How like Trump this man is.

He killed four people because he felt slighted by them. He killed Charles Carver because he felt Carver had backtalked him. He chained up a woman for months because he didn't know what to do with her after he murdered her boyfriend in front of her.

I say this not so much to instill fear but to serve as a warning to us all that Trump is not anomalous. He's just got much more power than Todd Kohlhepp ever did, and the small power Kohlhepp had should never have been granted to him.

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