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'It was a big mistake to choose me': the blogger ran away from the rapist and helped the police to detain him



A 15-year-old American woman from Lexington, South Carolina was able to escape a serial killer and rapist and later helped police solve several other cases. Many years later, she became a blogger. Today she helps victims of violence cope with their trauma, but does not consider herself a victim, preferring the word “survivor”. The only thing she regrets is that she never met her rapist at the trial. The story of Kara Chamberlain tells

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"You mustn't scream"

On June 24, 2002, 15-year-old Kara Chamberlain and her friend, whom she was visiting, woke up and decided to spend the whole day at the lake. Before leaving, they called their mother and asked if they needed to do something around the house, she asked to water the flowers. Kara's friend went to the shower, and the girl herself, in her pajamas, went to carry out an assignment.

While she was watering the flowers, a car drove up to the house. A man came out of him, later in an interview for Crime Watch Daily, Kara admitted that he was well dressed and did not cause any suspicion. He asked if her parents were at home and said that he wanted to give the adults some magazines and brochures. Kara replied that she was visiting a friend and that her parents were not at home now. The man offered to give the magazines to her so that she would leave them to her friend's mother, the girl agreed.

When he approached, Kara felt strange: he stood too close and seemed to violate her personal space. Then the conversation changed direction abruptly: holding the magazines in one hand, with the other he pulled out a pistol and held it to Kara's neck. He forced her into the car, in the back seat was a large container, which he had prepared in advance to hide the victim there. Later, Kara said that in those minutes she could not think of anything but pray and hope for help.

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They drove for ten or fifteen minutes, then the car stopped. The man in a calm voice told Kara that he would now tie her up and put a gag in her mouth, because he did not want her to scream. After that they drove a little more and stopped again. A tied girl, lying in a container, heard other people's voices around. At first she thought they had stopped at a gas station, but the guess was wrong. The kidnapper warned that he was about to get her, and repeated that she should not scream. The man took the container out of the car and dragged it somewhere, then Kara heard the sound of the door closing.

"No one is even looking for you"

The kidnapper opened the container - the girl was at his home. He calmly told Kara that he would now untie her, and again warned that she should not scream or try to run away, because he had a gun. By that time, 15-year-old Kara had well understood that she should not argue with an armed kidnapper. She was quiet and did not try to escape - on the contrary, the girl tried, as much as possible, to endear the criminal to herself. For example, when the man removed the ropes and took out the gag, she began to ask him about the lizards and fish that lived in his house and about life in general.

It turned out that the kidnapper was married, and his wife had gone to Disneyland for several days. Soon, Kara was able to see for herself: she noticed a comb in the bathroom, which had long red hair. Not doubting that she would be saved, Kara tried to find as many details as possible that would help her identify the kidnapper's house. She memorized the magnets on his refrigerator, the serial number of the container in which she was brought into the house, and the phone numbers of the doctors, which were written on the papers lying on the table.

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The kidnapper kept up the conversation and even agreed not to lock the girl in the container when he called his wife. The man willingly talked to her about life, and then raped her several times. Then he offered to watch the news together and see if they were looking for her. Only eight hours have passed since the abduction, so there were no stories about the missing girl on the air. The kidnapper thought it was funny, he laughed at Kara and said: "Nobody is even looking for you, because nobody needs you." He added that he might even let her go, and assured the girl that it was pointless to go to the police - then she would forever remain "the one who was raped." She adhered to the previously chosen strategy of behavior and agreed, but even then she understood that she was not being looked for just because eight hours is too short a time.

In the evening, he forced Kara to use marijuana and Valium to make her sleep unnaturally sound, and then handcuffed her and put her on the bed next to him. However, the calculations of the criminal did not come true: Kara woke up earlier. The girl understood that she needed to act quickly so as not to miss her chance of salvation - perhaps he would be the only one. By helping herself with her teeth, she was able to free one hand from the handcuffs. Kara got out of bed, dressed quickly and went into the other room. The door leading to freedom was the last obstacle. The girl understood that it would not be possible to open it silently. Then the kidnapper will wake up, see her from the bedroom window and shoot her. Aware of all the risks, Kara decided to act as quickly as possible.

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She opened the door and ran with all her might. Fortunately, a motorcyclist was passing by. Kara, with handcuffs hanging on her arm and in her pajamas, asked him for help, the man took her to the police. She spent 18 hours at the kidnapper's house. Later, Kara admitted that the most vivid memory after the rescue was the voice of her mother, which she heard from the tube when the police called and said that her daughter had been found: “Kara? Do you have Kara? "

Due to the fact that the girl carefully remembered the details, she was able to find the kidnapper's house pretty quickly. When she and the police arrived at the street where the motorcyclist had picked her up, Kara described his appearance, and also remembered that there was also a woman with long hair - the neighbors immediately understood what kind of family they were talking about.

It turned out that the man's name is Richard Evonitz. By the time the police arrived, he was no longer at home. Evonitz flew to Florida, then committed suicide when the police found him and surrounded the house. Kara admitted that the death of the kidnapper upset her because she wanted retribution: "I wanted him to look at me in court and realize that choosing me was the biggest mistake."

The police found out that Evonitz turned out to be a serial killer. His first victim was 16-year-old Sophia Silva. On September 6, 1996, she was abducted from the doorstep of her parents' house, and five weeks later her body was found in a pond. A few months later, Evonitz kidnapped and killed sisters Christine and Katya Lisk. The oldest girl was 15 years old, and the youngest was 12. They disappeared from home on May 1, 1997, and their bodies were found five days later.

"Bad things can happen, but it's not the end of the world."

During the investigation, Kara befriended the local sheriff. From 2003 until graduation from college, she worked part-time in law enforcement. The girl wanted to become a teacher, but after graduation she decided to enter the police academy.

She repeatedly told how, in one of the classes, the teacher decided to make out the story of Ebonitz, not knowing that her student was the same Kara. When the academy learned that she had survived the kidnapping and helped to catch the serial killer, she was given a reward for bravery.

“They all surrounded me with support and love, they were all very proud of me,” Chamberlain said of how teachers and classmates reacted to her story.

At first, she wanted to work as an employee who is responsible for the safety of the school, but then she took up the investigation of sexual crimes and child abuse, and also returned to the victim assistance service. Several years ago, Kara left the police to raise two sons. Her eldest son (now six years old) knows that one day his mother was kidnapped. Kara assures that she does not expose her children to overprotection: she just understands better than other parents that bad things can happen.

Kara Chamberlain. Screenshot: True Crime Daily / YouTube

She also started a blog offering tips on how to deal with stress and trauma, how to support the survivor, and how to escape from a kidnapper. Some of her videos on TikTok are gaining millions of views, and in the comments, many admit that Kara's stories are very inspiring and help them live on.

“When you say that you are a victim, it means that someone took something from you. They didn't take anything from me. I refuse to give that man that kind of strength, ”says Kara Chamberlain.

Among the nearly 200 subscribers of Chamberlain, there are many victims of violence and other traumatic events, they often turn to her for advice and help. For example, once a girl who became a victim of the sex trade wrote to her - Chamberlain helped her cope with this situation and continue living. In addition, she is often asked to talk about how to deal with people who have had similar experiences.

Chamberlain refuses to consider herself a victim, she prefers the word "survivor". “When you say that you are a victim, it means that someone took something from you. They didn't take anything from me. I refuse to give that man such strength, ”she said repeatedly. In her videos, she helps other people who have experienced trauma to shape a “survivor mindset” rather than a victim mindset.

She often says that trauma cannot be fully experienced: it remains forever a part of whoever faced it. However, this event does not determine anything in a person's life - everyone is responsible for his own future. Chamberlain advises to accept the past and move on: "Even if you fall, you are still moving in the right direction."

“Bad things can happen, but it's not the end of the world. We choose how we respond: let the trauma destroy us or grow stronger. I am who I am, thanks to what happened to me, ”- said Chamberlain.

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