Over the course of his 10-year relationship with girlfriend Holly Eudy, Tom Kohlhepp murdered a total of 7 people. When he was finally arrested, he had a woman chained to the wall of a steel shipping container who had been imprisoned for two months.
“There was always something that sat uneasy with me about him and I just really couldn’t put my finger on it,” Eudy said in a television interview after the fact. It seems an incredible understatement.
And yet, serial killers can often hide in plain sight, even in front of loved ones who should know the most intimate details of their lives. Are these women naive? Blind? Or is the serial killer so Machiavellian that they can deceive even those closest to them?
As it turns out, sometimes it’s a combination of all three.
Here are five more examples of women who dated serial killers and never knew a thing.
5. Linda Yates
Linda first dated, then actually married, convicted serial killer Robert Yates. Over the course of their 26 years together, she certainly witnessed some odd behavior: heading out in the middle of the night, and at one point, returning home with the back seat of the family van covered in blood.
For that harrowing instance, she accepted the lie that he had hit a dog, and the rest she chalked up to infidelity. Little did she know that he was actually going on a murder-spree that would end with 16 victims.
She still never suspected a thing. That is until the police called and found a body in her backyard.
4. Judith Mawson
Do you think you might suspect something if your date killed a dozen people? How about two dozen? How about 70?
Judith Mawson couldn’t believe the man she dated for three years, moved in with, and eventually married, killed that many people. But Gary Ridgway eventually confessed to dozens of murders after spending two years in police custody.
According to Judith, Gary was always the “perfect husband” and “made me smile every day”. On the rare occasions he went out late, he always had an excuse that was work-related. He was also known to be insatiable in bed, and marrying Mawson may have actually saved lives as during the course of their marriage, his kill rate slowed, but it didn’t stop.
3. Dorothy Holcomb
Dorothy Holcomb has since passed away (although not due to the serial killer she dated), but when she and admitted murderer William Devin Howell were together, she had described him to her daughter as a “kind-hearted giant”.
It’s hard to believe he’d then go on to murder seven people during their six-year relationship. According to court documents, he even called the van he used in the slayings the “Murder Mobile”. Classy.
Even after he was arrested in 2005, Holcomb kept in touch until her death in 2010.
2. Ivon Walsh
Some women just seem to really like bad boys. Even after displaying behavior that would be alarming to most, they stick by their man. Ivon Walsh is definitely one of those types as her ex-boyfriend assaulted and disfigured her before moving on to become a murderer.
In 2009, Walsh told the court that Joshua Miner had branded an upside-down cross and a swastika on her buttocks, cut her, and threatened to tear out her guts and strangle her daughter with her intestines. Then, four years later, Miner was accused of killing two men during a robbery gone bad. As soon as she heard the news, she took to Facebook to proclaim, “I dated a serial killer!!!!!!”
1. Sheila Andrews
Sheila Andrews was caring for her elderly mother when she reached out to Elizabeth Wettlaufer on an online dating site. The two immediately hit it off as Elizabeth also worked closely with seniors in her job as a nurse at a nursing home.
“She was an awesome person to talk to online,” Andrews said. “She wanted to move forward and start a relationship, so I said, ‘Well, let’s meet.'”
By the time the two got together in June of 2009, Wettlaufer had already killed two seniors in her care. She seemed a bit off at the time, but “[she] didn’t know she was that far off.” When Wettlaufer was finally arrested for 14 murders of elderly people in her care, Andrews actually texted her best friend and said, “I think I dated a serial killer!”
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