This incredible story of a 15-year-old girl who was captured by a serial killer, escaped, and then helped catch him sounds like it could be made up for a movie.
But, it’s TRUE.
If you are a fan of true crime — like ME — you are going to LOVE this story.
20 years ago — in 2002 — Kara Robinson Chamberlain had what was probably the worst day of her life.
The then 15 year old was by herself, watering a garden outside one of her friend’s houses in South Carolina, in the middle of a hot summer day.
As she stood there, a Trans Am pulled up into the driveway beside her. No warning bells immediately went off, because the 30-something-year-old man that was driving the car seemed pretty nice.
He looked like any other random dude who might come up to the house. Wearing jeans, a button-down shirt and a baseball cap, it could have been that he was just offering to put in an alarm system, paint the house numbers on the driveway, or mow the yard.
But that wasn’t his intent at all.
He got out of the car, and walked over to Kara. He asked if her parents were home, and then said he was going to leave some pamphlets with ther.
When he got close enough to her, he snatched her.
Richard Evonitz was able to capture Kara Robinson Chamberlain.
This man, who was later found to be serial killer Richard Evonitz, put a gun to her neck, and forced her into a big container that was in the backseat of his Trans Am.
Kara was somehow able to keep a level head. Even though he had put her in handcuffs and gagged her, she didn’t let panic set in.
My survival mechanism said, ‘All right, let’s gather as much information as we can — Fear barely even kicked in … the human will to survive and the survival mechanism really just can’t be underestimated.Kara Robinson Chamberlain
She counted the number of turns it took the guy to get to his apartment, hoping she could later find her way home. This genius girl paid attention to every detail she could remember — he was listening to classic rock, he was smoking.
She even memorized the serial number that was on the container that he had forced her to get into.
Richard Evonitz tortured Kara Robinson Chamberlain for 18 hours.
When he got to his apartment, he was able to get her to come inside.
It was here, inside this man’s filthy apartment, where he assaulted Kara for 18 agonizing hours.
He finally took a break, and tried to give her something to eat.
Kara told him, “Well, I’m not going to eat right now, but is there anything I can do for you?” She says that she even went on to sweep the man’s kitchen!!
There were details around the house that would identify this man — the names of his doctor and dentist were on the fridge. She remained calm, remembering every little detail she could.
Kara did what she could to put the guy at ease — to get comfortable with, and trust her.
Kara Robinson Chamberlain made her escape when Richard Evonitz went to sleep
Once Richard was asleep, Kara worked quietly and stealthily to free herself.
She was able to riggle one hand free and out of the handcuffs, and then she was able to loosen the binding on one of her legs.
Now she made her move. She tiptoed to the front door, and calmly made her escape.
When she got out, she made a beeline for a car that was parked in the parking lot of the apartment complex, asking the couple inside to take her to the police.
When they tried to go back to Richard’s apartment to arrest him, he had already fled.
The police were able to gain access to the apartment, and found evidence that he had previously kidnapped 3 other girls. Not only had he kidnapped them, but he also murdered them — an ending I’m sure was on its way for Kara.
Somehow, police were able to track down Richard. He had fled to Florida, where he was involved in a high-speed chase with authorities.
When his car was finally stopped, Richard shot himself.
Kara Robinson Chamberlain now works on finding tools to help other victims.
After becoming a police officer, specializing in investigating child abuse and sexual assault cases, she took time to become a mom to two incredible boys.
Since the ordeal, she has met with Elizabeth Smart — also a survivor of a kidnapping and sexual assault.
I sat down on a couch with Elizabeth and five other women who had survived kidnappings and sexual assaults. And that was the moment that I realized that I really had a bigger purpose. I knew that I could find a reason for what happened. And I always knew that what happened to me was something that happened so that I could help other people.Kara Robinson Chamberlain
Kara now uses a website, TikTok, and Instagram to spread her story, and help other victims. She knows that by spreading her story, there is hope for so many other women who find themselves in the middle of an assault situation.
While she is also working on changing how victims are portrayed in the media, Kara is writing a book.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on that book and read it!