It was the morning of November 3, 2003, when someone walked into Superbike Motorsports and told the clerk he was interested in purchasing one of the high-performance motorcycles the shop specialized in. As the customer perused the store, owner Scott Ponder received a phone call. It was Ponder’s friend, phoning to tell Ponder that he was planning to stop by the shop that morning.
Shortly after taking the call, Ponder returned to the floor to assist the customer who was interested in making a purchase. Ponder had pulled out the paperwork and had begun to prepare it, when suddenly the transaction turned deadly. In just a matter of minutes, Ponder, his mother Beverly Guy, mechanic Chris Sherbert, and service manager Brian Lucus were dead.
As promised, Ponder’s friend stopped into the Chesnee, South Carolina shop. He walked into the store expecting to be greeted by Ponder or one of the shop’s other associates, but instead found the entire staff lying in pools of their own blood.
Ponder’s friend dialed 911 upon the grisly discovery. He told the operator:
“… everybody’s laying down in a pool of blood. His momma’s been shot, the mechanic’s been shot, and the owner.”
The town of Chesnee was left shaken after the incident.
One witness described a couple leaving the scene shortly prior to the discovery of the bodies inside the shop. The couple were taken in for questioning, but investigators could not prove they had anything to do with the murders. Nothing had been taken from the store, leaving the theory of a routine robbery off the table.
A sketch of another man, who had also been in the store prior to the murders, had been released by police in hopes that the composite would lead to more tips. Hundreds of tips that led nowhere poured in, leaving the case to turn cold, and four families without answers.
It would take another 13 years, the disappearance of a young couple, a Facebook hack, and a woman found chained like a dog for investigators to finally track down the missing piece to this troubling puzzle.
On November 3, 2016, police received a lead from a sex-crimes investigator that was substantial enough to obtain a warrant. There had been evidence of Kala Brown’s cellphone pinging from the area and investigators decided to go check it out.
While investigating the property belonging to Todd Kohlhepp, police discovered Kala Brown. She was still alive, but chained inside of a hot shipping container. Police transported Brown to a local hospital and she was able to tell investigators everything.
In her statement to police she alluded to at least four more bodies hidden on the property, including the body of her boyfriend Charlie Carver, who Kohlhepp had shot in front of her.
Kohlhepp, who worked as a real estate agent, hired Brown to work for him cleaning up properties and had invited Brown over to help him clean up a new property he had just purchased. After Carver left work that day, it is believed that he may have gone to the property to assist Brown in the heavy cleanup. Circumstances quickly turned fatal when Kohlhepp shot Carver multiple times.
Police placed Kohlhepp under arrest. During police interrogation he agreed to lead investigators to two more bodies on the property, one confirmed to have been the remains of Charlie Carver. In addition to the murder of Carver and at least one other unknown individual, Kohlhepp admitted that he was behind the 2003 Superbike murders that left four people dead.
Six families now have the answers they so desperately sought, but there is still more information coming out on Kohlhepp. Rapes and unsolved murders around South Carolina are currently being reexamined to determine if there’s any possible link to the suspected serial killer.