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Barrel killings probe expands to Florida

Robinson was arrested at his Olathe, Kansas, home on Friday  

June 12, 2000
Web posted at: 11:25 a.m. EDT (1525 GMT)

KEY WEST, Florida (CNN) -- An investigation into the killings of five women whose bodies were found in barrels in Kansas and Missouri has expanded to Florida, authorities there confirmed Monday.

The sheriff's office in Monroe County, Florida, said it was helping Midwest investigators who have named Kansas resident John Edward Robinson Sr., 56, as the main suspect in the barrel killings.

Records show Robinson and his wife Nancy owned property in Big Pine Key, Florida -- about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Key West -- from December 1995 to January 1999.


"We haven't found any evidence that he committed any crimes here," said Deputy Becky Herrin of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. "There's evidence that he stayed here for a period of time with his family in the late 1990s."

Authorities from a joint Kansas-Missouri task force say Florida is the only other state to be included in the investigation. Still, a task force spokesman said the Florida connection was "not a lead that's going anywhere."

Suspect held on $5 million bail

Midwest officials say Robinson trolled the Internet for sadomasochistic sex under the name "slavemaster" and may be connected to the deaths or disappearances of at least nine people, including five women who were bludgeoned to death and stuffed in barrels.

While Robinson's lawyer has said his client is innocent and is unfairly being branded a serial killer, prosecutors have said their case against Robinson continues to grow. For now, however, no murder charges have been brought against him.

Robinson was arrested June 2 at his home at Santa Barbara Estates, a quiet, tree-lined mobile home park managed by his wife in Olathe, Kansas. In a case separate from the barrel killings, he was charged with sexually assaulting two women at hotels in the Kansas City area and held on $5 million bail.

The two women -- including a Texas psychologist who, authorities say, came to Kansas for an S&M; encounter with Robinson in April -- told police they objected to his photographing them and said he brutalized them in a way that went beyond what they intended.

Armed with evidence from Robinson's arrest in those cases, detectives went to a 16-acre piece of land he owns in La Cygne, Kansas, 35 miles (56 kilometers) away. Near a trailer, investigators found two 55-gallon industrial barrels, each containing a woman's body.

Two days later, three more bodies were found in barrels inside a storage locker Robinson had rented across the state line in Raymore, Missouri.

Investigators have since said that Robinson was investigated in the disappearances of three women and an infant in the mid-1980s, but that no bodies were found and authorities were never able to prove foul play.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

One of 2 bodies found in barrels on Kansas farm may be missing Polish immigrant, prosecutor says
June 8, 2000
Possible link probed between missing people, suspect in barrel deaths
June 7, 2000
Officials follow leads in 3 states, Mexico in torture case
March 31, 1999

Monroe County Sheriff's Office
Cass County, Missouri
Johnson County, Kansas
The Kansas City Star
Johnson County Kansas District Courts

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