On November 8, 2017 I posted an article questioning how alleged serial killer Todd Kohlhepp was able to get a South Carolina Real Estate License after spending 14 years in Arizona prison for kidnapping a child. As you may recall, in exchange for his guilty plea the brutal rape charges against Kohlhepp were dropped. Nevertheless, Kohlhepp found himself on the sex offenders list after his release from Arizona prison. Despite being on the sex offenders list, South Carolina granted him a real estate license.
Thanks to the December 3 article in The State we now know how Kohlhepp maintained his license despite his disturbing past. On three separate occasions grievances were filed with the Real Estate Commission against Kohlhepp. A 2009-grievance stated, “Something MUST be done to stop this crazy man before something dreadful happens”. The State, 3 December 2016, at 6A. The article stated that Facebook postings were provided where Kohlhepp made disturbing comments about sex, revenge and guns. Id. Kohlhepp said in one posting that, “I do take payback a little too far. Easy solution don’t piss me off.” Id. at 6A. In another 2009-grievance it was noted that Kohlhepp threatened “war” and said “I basically hate the human species.” Id. The most disturbing revelation from the article is all three complainants noted that Kohlhepp was a registered sex offender. Id.
The Commission dismissed all three grievances because the complaints did not contain allegations of violations of real estate law. While that may be partially true, the fact remains that when in receipt of three grievances concerning the mental stability of a licensee and all three grievances note that the person is on the sex offender’s list one would think it would cause the Commission at a minimum to look at the sex offenders list to see why he is on it. Moreover, one would think that the Commission would have examined his original application to see if the sex offense was listed on the application. The fact that Kohlhepp omitted this designation was a violation of Real Estate Law which could have resulted in his license being revoked.
Today we all must unite and demand the Real Estate Commission to review the sex offenders list at each license renewal. We expect the South Carolina legislature to undertake a bill to amend the new Real Estate Law that becomes effective January 1. Please let your legislators and trade associations know that you want and demand stronger requirements for all licensees. South Carolina cannot be so lackadaisical in awarding licenses to people who have unfettered access to our homes. This simply cannot happen again.
Meet the People of Blair Cato: Laurie Dunlap is Blair Cato’s title curative professional. Laurie was born and raised in West Columbia where she graduated from Airport High School. She is married with 3 boys. She has worked in real estate for over 16 years. When not working she enjoys spending time with her sons at the baseball and football fields.