John Edward Robinson (serial killer)

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John Edward Robinson (born December 27, 1943) is an American serial killer who was convicted in 2003 of the murders of three women during a fifteen-year period. He subsequently admitted responsibility for five additional murders during that time. Because he made contact with most of his post-1993 victims via on-line chat rooms, he is sometimes referred to as "the Internet's first serial killer".[1]


Early life

Robinson was born in Cicero, Illinois, the third of five children of an alcoholic father and a disciplinarian mother.[2] In 1957 he became an Eagle Scout, and reportedly traveled to London with a group of Scouts who performed before Queen Elizabeth II. Later that year he enrolled at Quigley Preparatory Seminary, in Chicago, a private boys' school for aspiring priests, but dropped out after one year due to disciplinary issues.[3]

In 1961 he enrolled at Morton Junior College in Cicero to become a medical X-ray technician, but dropped out after 2 years. In 1964 he moved to Kansas City and married Nancy Jo Lynch, who bore their first child, John Jr., in 1965, and fraternal twins Christopher and Christine in 1971.

Early crimes

Robinson was arrested for the first time in Kansas City in 1969, after embezzling $33,000 from the medical practice of Dr. Wallace Graham, where he worked as an X-ray technician, a job he obtained using forged credentials. He was sentenced to 3 years' probation.[3]

In 1970 Robinson violated probation by moving back to Chicago without his probation officer's permission (or knowledge), and took a job as an insurance salesman at R.B. Jones Company. In 1971 he was arrested once again for embezzlement from that firm, and ordered back to Kansas City, where his probation was extended. In 1975 it was extended again after another arrest, this time on charges of securities fraud and mail fraud in connection with a phony "medical consulting" company he had formed in Kansas City.

During this period, Robinson cultivated and maintained the outward appearance of a personable, community-minded citizen and family man; he became a Scoutmaster, a baseball coach, and a Sunday school teacher. In 1977 he talked his way onto the board of directors of a local charitable organization and forged a series of letters from its executive director to the mayor of Kansas City, and from the mayor to other civic leaders, commending his generous volunteer efforts and generally singing his praises. Eventually he had himself named the organization's “Man of the Year", and threw a festive awards luncheon in his own honor.[3]

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