Search for Superbike killer: how investigators tackled the cold case

Year after year after year, the families of the Superbike Motorsport victims would gather to remember their loved ones. Year after year after year, the case would remain unsolved.

There wasn’t much information coming out, a calculated act by the Sheriff’s Office. They wanted details about what happened that day to stay locked up, for the day they caught the killer.

Now that Todd Kohlhepp is behind bars, investigators that handled the Superbike Motorsports case are detailing their efforts that happened behind the scenes for those 13 years.

In the weeks that followed the Superbike murders, deputies pulled cell phone records from the nearest tower to the shop on the day of the murders. They also pulled flight manifests from the nearest airports on the days surrounding the murders.

The FBI narrowed down that the Sheriff’s Office would be looking for an angry customer. With the sales receipts and records, deputies compiled the best customer list they could that would include thousands of names. Superbike Motorsports pulled in more than $100,000 a month, doing lots of business online, shipping bikes across the country.

It took this case out of Spartanburg County. “Which kind of limited us to a certain degree, running people down that lived out of town”, said Captain Steve Cooper.

When Sheriff Chuck Wright took office in 2005, he made it mandatory that guns that were confiscated by the office would be tested to see if they matched the 18 shell casings from Superbike.

“You will make sure that those ballistics don’t match,” said Sheriff Wright. According to documents given, deputies would send more than 27 guns to be tested to SLED over the years.

The case would change hands several times, hoping that a fresh set of eyes would find the break they needed.

In 2008, the case was handed to Lt. William Gary. Gary began focusing on online customers who had been disgruntled with the products they had received.

“There were some records in some of these used bike sales where they were unhappy, they would send photos of damage on a frame, hey this bike I had bought on the internet has this damage. What are y’all going to do about it,” said Gary.

During Gary’s stent with the case, he also sent the 18 shell casings to England to be tested with a new technology to try and find difficult fingerprints.

For the 10th anniversary, investigators sent a basic cover letter to the thousands of customers on the list they compiled, asking for them to call if they remembered anything about that day. Only a handful responded.

Investigators also had the composite sketch redone, after Kelly Sisk had told them for so long that it didn’t look right.

“When we done it and I looked at it and I said, alright I’m happy, that’s more along the lines of who I saw.” said Sisk.

Little did deputies know, that customer list they created, and the customer letter they sent would give them a clue that the killer was much closer than deputies thought.

 

 

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