Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

John E. Robinson, Sr.: The Slavemaster

Brush with Death

As the computer revolution took hold and the Internet became a way of transacting business as well as a way to meet people with similar interests, John Robinson immersed himself in the virtual world of cyberspace. His reputation and record prevented him from working in a corporate setting, so he began publishing a mobile home magazine that was paid for through advertising. His magazine was so similar in design and purpose to another periodical in Kansas City that Robinson received (and ignored) a cease-and-desist letter from the publication's attorney.

The magazine was moderately successful and with Nancy working full-time as the manager of the mobile home park where they lived, combined with the illegal income he was getting from the Faiths and Bonner, things were looking good for John.

His usual workday consisted of waiting until Nancy left for her office then getting online and trolling for women willing to engage in submissive sex acts with him, both on the Internet and in person. Gradually, Robinson became well known and highly regarded in the BDSM chat rooms that were appearing online with increasing frequency. He also continued to meet women locally through advertisements in the area's alternative papers.

One woman that he struck a deal with for sex in exchange for financial support didn't learn until years later how close she had come to ending up in a barrel alongside Sheila and Debbie Faith and Bev Bonner. The woman was living in an apartment paid for by Robinson, who told her he was divorcing his wife to explain why he never stayed the night. He showered her with gifts and clothes, but she soon noticed that most of the clothes he presented to her appeared worn. Robinson said they were left behind at his office by former employees.

The two entered into a master-slave contract that listed numerous requirements for the woman, who was also required to sign over power of attorney to John Robinson. In return for the sex, he promised to get her a job in the entertainment industry for which he needed publicity stills and her Social Security number. Like a good submissive, she followed his orders explicitly.

The relationship was going along fine until one day Robinson told her to get ready to travel with him. He was going to take her to London on an extended business trip. He told her she should leave her job and advise friends that she would be gone for some time. She gave up her apartment and Robinson moved her into a local motel. Like so many others, she was told she would be so busy that she should take the time to write letters to her family now, there would be no time while traveling. Robinson said he would take care of her passport application, as he had friends in the U.S. State Department.

The woman thought it was rather strange as the day came for the pair to leave and Robinson showed up at her apartment with his truck and a trailer loaded with clothing. It was stranger still that Robinson said he was going to spend the night in the hotel with her.

Excited at the thought of the trip, the woman awoke the next morning at 5 a.m. and roused Robinson. He was like a man possessed, she said later. He jumped out of bed yelling at her and barely stopped berating her as he showered and dressed. Still angry, Robinson said he was going to check her out of the motel and that he had errands to run. He told her he would meet her at a nearby restaurant, but Robinson never showed up. Confused, the woman tried to call him, but he would not take the calls. When they finally connected, he said he was unable to trust her and that the relationship was over.

It wasn't until after Robinson was arrested for murder that the woman realized how close she had come to dying that morning. Police surmised that Robinson brought his trailer as a means for removing her dead body from the motel and that by rising before he did, she thwarted his plans.

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