What we know about American serial killer, kidnapper & rapist Richard Evonitz

by 24britishtvMay 12, 2024, 1 a.m. 22
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RICHARD Evonitz was an American serial killer who kidnapped and raped young girls.

The monster features in the true crime thriller The Girl Who Escaped: The Kara Robinson Story — here's everything you need to know.

Richard Marc Edward Evonitz was an American serial killer, kidnapper and rapist.

He was responsible for the deaths of at least three teenage girls in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

After he realised that his last victim had escaped from the house he was holding her captive at, he ran away to Florida.

But due to the escapee's testimony, law enforcement tracked Evonitz down, and after being surrounded by police he killed himself.

Investigators later discovered notes in his apartment containing the addresses of other young girls, as well as their descriptions.

Evonitz was described by people who knew him as a well-respected, married Navy veteran — he was awarded the Navy Good Conduct Medal on two occasions.

But he'd been in legal trouble before for masturbating in front of a teenage girl, the Washington Post reported.

How long did Richard Evonitz keep Kara Robinson in captivity for?

In 2002, Kara was watering flowers by herself in her friend's front yard in the middle of the day when a man pulled up into the driveway.

The strange man asked then 15-year-old Kara if he could give her some magazines.

She opened up about what happened to her in the 2021 true crime documentary Escaping Captivity: The Kara Robinson Story.

"He leaned in to hand them to me," she recalled in the two-hour special.

"As he was leaning in, I felt a red flag somewhere in my head, and the same time I felt that red flag, I felt a gun pressed to the side of my neck.

Kara recalled how she studied everything about her abductor and his belongings as she lay in his room with her hands and ankles bound.

"I can't explain where it came from, there was just this voice that said my options were to do as I was told and to escape and to survive or to panic, to fight, and maybe die," she said.

"So I strong-willed myself into remaining as calm as I could for as long as I could."

At one point, Kara remembered that there was a gun nearby, but she thought twice before trying to grab it — realising that "there was little chance I was going to win that fight".

The next morning, as her abductor slept in a bed beside her, Kara managed to free herself from the restraints and ran out of the house.

Outside she managed to flag down a car and had the two men in the vehicle drive her to Richland County Sheriff's Department.

Kara was held captive by the killer for a total of 18 hours.

Looking back, the mum-of-two said her story was one of hope.

"Even the negative things that happen to us, we get to choose if that’s something that’s going to define us, or if it’s something that’s going to refine us," she said.

"It’s about choosing your path forward, taking that power back into your own hands, and taking your life back."

Evidence found by police in his apartment linked Evonitz to the abductions and murders of three girls aside from Kara — Kati Lisk, 12, Kristin Lisk, 15, and 16-year-old Sofia Silva.

Sofia Silva, whose ambition was to attend cosmetology school, was sat on her family's doorstep doing homework when Evonitz kidnapped her on September 9, 1996.

Her older sister was inside the house but didn't hear anything, according to the New York Daily News.

Police initially treated it as a missing persons case, until Silva was found dead in a swamp around five weeks later.

The Lisk sisters were abducted by Evonitz from their garden on May 1, 1997.

Kirstin was finishing up her first year of high school and enjoyed playing football, while Kati liked drawing and playing the clarinet.

Their dead bodies were found a few days later dumped in a nearby river, with investigators suspecting the murders were linked to Silva's.

On June 24, 2002, Kara Robinson was abducted by Evonitz from her friend's front yard in broad daylight.

But she heroically escaped while the killer was asleep the following morning, going on to lead police to the murderer.

Evonitz fled to Florida after realising Kara had escaped his clutches.

But her testimony meant that police were able to track him down.

After he was surrounded by the law during a chase, Evonitz took his life at the age of 38 on June 27, 2002.

Where can I watch the Kara Robinson story in the UK?

You can catch The Girl Who Escaped: The Kara Robinson Story on Channel 5.

It airs on Saturday May 11, 2024 between 10pm and 11.40pm.

Fear not if you miss it — you can catch the movie on the channel's streaming service My5 after it is broadcast.

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