The Story Of Heather Robinson, The Woman Taken As An Infant By Her Mother's Killer

The following article includes information about kidnapping, murder, and other violent crimes.

According to the American Adoption Congress, studies show some 65% of adopted children want to meet their birth parents. In 2000, then-15-year-old Heather Robinson, who knew she was adopted, found out who her biological mother was after she attempted to search for her. Along with that unexpected revelation, Robinson learned that the man she knew as her uncle, John Robinson, who had delivered her to her adoptive parents (his brother Don and his wife Fried) some 15 years earlier, had not only killed her birth mother, he was also a suspected serial killer accused of murdering a number of women in the Kansas City area, as ABC News reports.

Don and Frieda adopted the child they named Heather when she was just four months old. And as far as Robinson's biological family, they all assumed Heather, born Tiffany Stasi, and her mother, Lisa Stasi, were dead. Robinson's biological mother was just 19 years old when she disappeared. And as People notes, speaking in a 2019 interview on ABC's "20/20," Heather said she remembers feeling "uneasy" around her adopted uncle while she was growing up.

John Robinson ran a fake service to help women attempting to start a new life

As ABC News reports, Lisa Stasi met Robinson's biological father in 1983, and after Lisa got pregnant, the couple married. One year later, the young couple's relationship grew rocky, and after a fight, Lisa's aunt Karen Moore took her niece and her young daughter to a place she could stay called Hope House, a Kansas City, Missouri, support service for women in similar situations. Around that same time, John Robinson began to present himself to hospitals and agencies such as Hope House as someone who worked to help women and young mothers such as Stasi get back on their feet.

Through those false pretenses, Robinson met Stasi, and by 1985, Stasi was staying with Robinson's assistance at a Rodeway Inn in nearby Overland Park, Kansas. The last time Lisa was heard from, she called her mother-in-law, Betty Stasi, and told her she had been forced to sign pieces of blank paper. Betty later said (via ABC News), "She just called and she was hysterical. She was crying hard." Stasi's final words in the phone call, according to her mother-in-law, were, "Here they come now," and then she hung up. Lisa and her daughter were never heard from again. A typed letter was later received by the Stasi family, purportedly sent from Lisa, that said she and her daughter had left in order to start a new life.

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Robinson forged adoption papers before turning Heather Robinson over to his brother

At that time, John Robinson was a married man and father of four children, according to Daily Mail. Around that same time, he appeared at the home of his brother and sister-in-law, Don and Frieda Robinson, with a baby and forged adoption papers. He told his brother and sister-in-law, who were attempting to adopt a child, that the young girl's mother died by suicide and that she was available for adoption, as ABC News goes on to report. Don and Frieda, with no reason not to believe the story, adopted the child and named her Heather. They became the only family Heather Robinson could remember.

As Good Morning America explains, by all appearances, John was an upstanding citizen in the community. But in truth, he was a con man and by 1987, his schemes caught up with him, and he was sentenced to prison. Prior to his prison sentencing, though, John Robinson, reportedly continued to stalk and kill women in the Kansas City area; behaviors that continued after his release on fraud charges, and all under similar circumstances to Lisa Stasi. John Robinson approached some women he's convicted of killing through online ads seeking a sexual submissive. Using the online moniker, "Slave Master," he posed as a wealthy man who claimed he would take care of them.

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Lisa Stasi's remains were never found

In 2000, a number of missing women's bodies were found in barrels on Robinson's property and, in 2002, he was convicted of killing eight women, including Heather Robinson's birth mother, Lisa Stasi. He was also linked to several other missing person cases. Convicted on all counts, as of this report, Robinson is on death row in Kansas. Meanwhile, Heather maintains a good relationship with the only parents she's ever known, Don and Frieda Robinson, as she seeks to find out the truth about what happened to her mother's body, which was never found.

After learning the truth of her story, it dawned on Heather that, as a child, she was likely in the room with her mother when she was killed. Speaking on ABC's "20/20," Heather said (via ABC News) that she wants everyone involved in the story to heal and find closure. She said, "I will never stop trying to find her. I will never back down. If I want something I will get it, I will never let go."