The First Internet Serial Killer: John Edward Robinson the Slave Master

True Crime Lists T

Serial killer John Edward Robinson was a life-time criminal, involved in kidnapping, forgery, assaults, and murder. He was convicted of eight murders but is connected to others.

All his post-1993 victims came from online chatrooms, leading him to be known as the first serial killer who used the Internet to select victims.

Born in Illinois, he and his four siblings were raised by an alcoholic father and strict mother. In 1957 he was enrolled at a private boy’s school for those wishing to become priests.

He was removed after a year due to behavioural issues. He then enrolled in medical school but dropped out there after two years.

Robinson was first arrested in 1969 after forging over $30,000 (USD) from a medical practice where he worked as an X-ray technician. He was convicted of embezzlement and given a three-year suspended sentence.

A well-known and well-liked Sunday School teacher and charity director

Up until 1975, he was connected with two more frauds in different companies in different States, with a fraudulent company he had set up.

By 1980, he was becoming well-known around his Kansas City community by involving himself in every possible way. He became a local baseball coach, a Sunday School teacher, and a director of a charity.

While working with the charity, he forged letters to the Kansas City Mayor and named himself Man of the Year within the charity. His desire for power was becoming all too evident.

In 1982, he was sentenced to 60 days in jail for another fraud, along with cheque forging. When he was released, he set up another fake company and swindled people out of their money. He claimed it was for his wife’s medical care as she was seriously ill – which she wasn’t.

Training slaves with the International Council of Master’s cult

In the mid-1980s Robinson claimed to have joined a cult called the International Council of Masters. It was a secret BDSM cult, whose mission was to lure young women to be tortured and raped by the cult members.

In 1984, he set up another company and hired 19-year-old Paula Godfrey, to work in sales. He then sent her away for ‘training’.

After a few days, Paula’s parents reported her missing, and Robinson claimed he had no idea what had happened to her. A few days later, her parents received a letter from their daughter claiming that she was okay but did not want to see anyone again.

The police stopped their investigation as the letter was believed. Paula was never seen again, and it is suspected that she was Robinson’s first murder victim.

Killing a young mother and selling her baby

In 1985, he met Lisa Stasi at a women’s refuge. He offered her a job and took her away. Lisa had a four-month-old daughter and so Robinson contacted his brother who had been unable to adopt a baby.

He forged documents and solicited over $5,000 USD for legal fees and gave his brother the child. Lisa vanished and was never seen again. She too became a victim of the internet’s first serial killer.

Later, in 2000, the child was tested, and DNA confirmed that she was the daughter of Lisa.

Then in 1987, he hired 27-year-old Catherine Clampitt for a fake job. She vanished a few weeks later and was never seen again.

After breaking his probation and being arrested again for multiple fraud incidents, he was sentenced to various prison sentences in Kansas and Missouri.

From 1987 to 1993, he remained incarcerated on various charges.

BDSM chatrooms and a new method of victim selection

Upon his release, John Edward Robinson discovered something that changed the way he selected his victims – the Internet.

He used the burgeoning BDSM chatroom culture to look for women who enjoyed submissive sex. Robinson went by the name of Slave master and found a 45-year-old woman named Sheila Faith.

He pretended to be a wealthy businessperson and offered to help pay for her disabled daughter’s healthcare. In 1994, Sheila and her 15-year-old wheelchair-bound daughter, vanished from the face of the earth.

Robinson carried on forging their documents and received pension cheques for another seven years.

“He’s maintained the secrets about what he’s done with the women, he won’t ever tell, it’s the last control that he’s got. There are other barrels waiting to be opened, other bodies waiting to be found.”

An investigator in a 2010 interview with Cold Case Files.

By 1999, he was well-known within the growing online BDSM community. In the same year he solicited 21-year-old Polish immigrant Izabela Lewicka, after meeting her in the chatroom.

She claimed she wanted a BDSM relationship and the Slave master obliged. He married her under false pretences and got her to sign a slave contract that listed over 100 elements she had to do to please him.

Later that year, she too vanished without a trace.

About the same time, nurse Suzette Trouten, gave up her life to travel the world as a submissive sex slave to Robinson. But she too vanished without a trace.

Letters that were sent to her family after her disappearance were supposed to have come from various foreign countries but instead had the Kansas City postal stamps.

How stealing sex toys led to the discovery of decomposing corpses

Although the internet’s first serial killer was becoming known to police, there wasn’t enough evidence against him, and without a body or a crime scene, it became impossible to link him to anything.

It wasn’t until an unnamed woman accused him of stealing her sex toys in 2000, that Robinson would be arrested.

Much to the investigators delight, it was enough for a warrant to search Robinson’s large farm and farmhouse. The team discovered two decomposed bodies within two chemical drums.

They were the remains of Polish immigrant Lewicka, and nurse Trouten.

They then searched his storage properties in Missouri, where they discovered three more decomposed corpses in similar looking chemical drums.

The bodies were that of Sheila Faith and her 15-year-old daughter, along with 49-year-old Beverly Bonner, who had been the prison librarian at the same prison where he had been incarcerated.

The five victims had been killed with a powerful blow to the back of the head. The other three missing women have never been found but Robinson was the only suspect in their disappearances.

The slave master still controls people with his silence

In 2002, after the longest criminal trial in Kansas history, John Edward Robinson was found guilty of three murders, and sentenced to death.

In Missouri, he pleaded guilty by way of a statement and was convicted of five murders there. For each of the five murders, he received additional life sentences.

Missouri was known at the time to actively pursue death sentences, whereas Kansas was not. By pleading guilty in Missouri, Robinson avoided the death penalty there.

Four years later, in 2006, while Robinson was on death row, the decomposed body of a young woman was found in a chemical barrel in Iowa. Even with DNA testing, the victim has never been identified and may have been inside the barrel for two decades or more.

Investigators then claimed that Robinson’s whereabouts for many years were unknown, and he had set up businesses all over the country.

But the internet’s first serial killer has long remained tight-lipped and silent on the murders and his involvement.

It is the only control he has left.

Help share the article

Response (1)
  1. S
    Shane May 1, 2023

    I feel like there should be more killers who use the internet especially in today’s world.

Leave a comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. There's a lot more the Italian authorities are not releasing over this case. Makes you wonder the extent of the…