Much has been made recently that Todd Kohlhepp is the guy in the Superbike composite, the guy who was pretending to be a customer - in the words of Sheriff Chuck Wright - who was checking out a motorcycle just a little over an hour before the murders went down. Let's ignore for now that Sheriff Wright claimed that not only was the man in the composite a person-of-interest in the Superbike murders (and I think he should be as he cannot be totally eliminated as a suspect) but that Wright actually claimed he WAS the Superbike killer:
When asked if the sketch of a white man with dark brown, feathered hair is a person of interest or suspect in a 2003 quadruple homicide in Chesnee, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright held up the sketch and replied, "I'm going to be bold enough to say this is my man right here."
Okay, there is zero evidence to support that the man in the composite had anything to do with the crime. Yes, he was in the store that day, but other than that, there is nothing to say that this was the guy. If it was him, he allowed a bunch of people to see his face and, then, instead of just getting rid of these witnesses along with his targets, he left and came back later, leaving people who might well be able to identify him. Sheriff Wright gave a false statement to the public that he knew this was the man who committed the crime.
But, let's put that aside for now. Let's actually go along with Sheriff Wright for the moment and assume that this is the Superbike perpetrator. What do we know of him? Well, we have a description of a white male, age 25-40, 6 to 6'4" (depending on exactly which statement one goes with as the witness kind of waffled), who had dark brown to black hair and a mustache. His weight was somewhere between 175-200 pounds.
Okay, he COULD be Todd Kohlhepp. But, he could be a bunch of other guys in the area as well. What is true about witnesses is that they can be pretty darn good with a description or so far off you wonder about their powers of observation. Now, if five different people gave a description of a really tall man with a limp in his right leg, a jagged scar running down the left side of his face and a tattoo on his arm that said, "Death to All Hos", I am going to say you might do pretty well with that composite! But a tall white guy of normal weight with wavy brown hair between the ages of 25 and 40, you just pretty much could have a casting call in Spartanburg and fill up a football stadium.
Then, nine years after the crime, the witness says he can be more accurate than he was the day after and a new composite is drawn up! Really? Any expert will tell you that memory does not improve over time; the first rendition is far more likely to be correct than the second.
But, let's put all that aside as well, and ask, could the man in the composite be Kohlehpp? By looks, sure, could be him. But what about the other evidence? Evidence which more strongly identifies who this man could be.
Here is what the witness said:
He stated it appeared to him that Scott (Ponder) did not know this person. He also heard the subject state he had never ridden a bike before.
Whoa! What? Wasn't Todd Kohlhepp supposed to have been a customer of Superbike? Wasn't he supposed to have bought a bike there and didn't the guys at Superbike take him out to teach him how to ride and make fun of him when he fell? Wasn't he supposed to have returned to buy another bike from Superbike and they made fun of him again, laughing at him about getting his previous bike stolen? Then, how is it this man in the composite was apparently unknown to Scott Ponder and a new bike rider as well?
The most reasonable answer is that the man in the composite is not Todd Kohlhepp. This does not mean that Todd Kohlhepp could NOT have committed the crime; it just means that the composite is not likely to be proof of him having any connection to it.
Again, we have a lot of claims that Todd Kohlhepp is the Superbike killer but, as of yet, we haven't a shred of proof, just a lot of innuendos and lies. I have no problem with Todd Kohlhepp being a suspect but until there is solid proof that he committed this mass murder, I will question why the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office is giving out false statements about this man and the Superbike crime and ask the citizens to demand actual evidence of his guilt. Some say to wait and find out when this case goes to court but my fear is a plea deal will be made and this case will never go to trial. If that happens, we may never see any evidence that Todd Kohlhepp is guilty of this particular crime. And if it isn't him, then the real killer will still be out there.
For more on the case:
None of the Superbike Victims were Shot in the Forehead
Is Todd Kohlhepp REALLY the Superbike Killer?
Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
November 28, 2016