Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

John E. Robinson, Sr.: The Slavemaster

In Control

Robinson the Slavemaster was thoroughly at home on the Internet. The anonymity of the medium reduced his need to playact and he easily slipped from his public persona of the kind, loving grandfather who mowed his lawn several times each week and shared gardening chores with his neighbors to a domineering master who demanded total obedience from the slaves who served him over the Web. With just the written word and carefully staged photographs of himself, he was able to charm almost any willing submissive to do his will. At his expense, women interested in the submissive lifestyle would come to Kansas City, some for brief visits and others to spend the rest of their lives. The women who came to stay, lured by his promises of financial support and jobs frequently ended up dead after he no longer needed or wanted them.

Shortly before his plans to kill his early-rising mistress fell through, Robinson struck up an acquaintance with a college student named Izabela Lewicka. The Polish immigrant lived in north-central Indiana with her parents, both university professors. Izabela was a beautiful, young fine arts student with an interest in gothic horror stories and bondage. In late 1997, she told her parents that she was dropping out of school and heading to Kansas City, where a rich entrepreneur had offered her an internship. He was a publisher, she told her family and the opportunity was too good to pass up.

Izabela Lewicka, victim
Izabela Lewicka, victim

What Izabela did not tell her parents was that she had also agreed to be Robinson's slave. After she moved to Kansas City, Izabela never returned home and only communicated with her parents by e-mail.

Lured by the need to be dominated, the promise of a job and later marriage, Izabela arrived in Kansas City about the time Robinson was getting ready to eliminate his other mistress. Thwarted in that plan, Robinson simply broke off the relationship to concentrate on Izabela. He gave her a ring and took the doe-eyed, young woman to the county registrar, where they paid for a marriage license that Robinson never picked up.

Izabela registered at a local community college as Izabela Lewicka Robinson a year later, although whether she actually believed she and Robinson were married was unclear. She did tell her parents she had married, but refused to tell them her husbands name. Lewicka and Robinson didn't live together and when they appeared in public, Robinson often described himself as her uncle.

She did sign a 115-item slave contract that gave Robinson almost total control over every aspect of her life, including bank accounts.

At some point in the summer of 1999, Robinson grew tired of Izabela. Testimony at his trial revealed that she told friends she was going on a trip with Robinson soon, and that they would be gone for a long time. No one ever saw her alive again.

John told a Web designer he hired that she had been caught smoking marijuana and deported.

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