SC has made the national news for a horrible human being accused of terrible atrocities. Kidnapping, chaining a woman up like a dog for 2 months, and murder. And I know this creep. Granted, it has been a while, but I worked with him. Everyone in my office is shuttering at the thought. And also thanking our lucky stars.
You may have seen the news this week about a real estate agent in South Carolina who has been charged with keeping a woman chained up for two months. They discovered one body on the property yesterday and suspect there may be more. He’s a registered sex offender. And oh yeah, great–I know the guy. As a real estate attorney, I meet countless brokers and real estate agents. Not unusual. He’s sat at a closing table with me on more than one occasion.
In another chilling coincidence, his neighborhood is less than 1 mile from my home. His street is part of my running route. To say I am FREAKED out is an understatement.
I interacted with this deplorable human being. There were no degrees of separation with this guy. I KNEW him. He is (or should I say was since I deleted him) one of my LinkedIn contacts. Oh My Goodness.
So besides wanting to take about 10 showers to wash the ICKY feeling I have off of me, I have to also say I feel thankful. I was in this guy’s sphere and I wasn’t harmed.
There have been times when a closing doesn’t go so smoothly. Or perhaps a real estate agent is advocating for his or her client and we don’t see eye to eye. It can get tense. Stressful. But I never imagined I might be dealing with someone who has a violent criminal history or who could somehow do what Kohlhepp is accused of. My brain can’t go there.
So I tell you this not to be all woe is me, but to share what I’m choosing to take away from this.
1) Always trust your gut about people. I worked with this guy, but we were never friends. Something in his demeanor and personality kept that from happening. (Thank goodness!)
2) Don’t let the fact that their is evil in the world keep you from living your life. There will be freakshows like this guy in the world. Does that mean we become paranoid about everyone we encounter? No. But then, loop back to number 1. If your spidey sense is giving you the creeps about someone, there’s probably a reason for that. For instance, I won’t give up on traveling because there are evildoers out there wanting to do harm. I won’t just sit at home twiddling my thumbs and wringing my hands. I choose to live abundantly. And my husband knows that means traveling!
3) Make time to express thankfulness for your blessings. Give voice to them. Share them with friends and family. I immediately told my tribe about how disturbed this made me that I knew him, and they comforted me and reminded me to be thankful. They helped me take the negative and turn it into a positive. Despite knowing him, I was unharmed. It does give you pause and makes you think, “That could have been me.”
Praying for the families affected and law enforcement as they undertake the terrible task of searching the property for victims. For our community who is reeling from the news of these heinous crimes.
UPDATE (as of Nov. 5th 10:30 PM)
Kohlhepp just confessed to 4 homicides at Superbike Motorsports, a cold case from 13 years ago. He also has told authorities of two additional grave sites on his property. This is getting worse by the minute.
In light of all this, will you share something good with me? Pretty please? Please tell me something good in the comments. Then we can all be thankful together!