Who Is The Family Of Serial Killer John Edward Robinson?

The following article includes sexual content, violence, and murder.

John Edward Robinson is widely considered to be the first serial killer to operate on the internet. Though he managed to take the lives of his first three victims before the digital age, he began using sexually violent chatrooms to lure unsuspecting women to their deaths as early as 1993. Online, he was known as "Slavemaster" (per Investigation Discovery). Off the internet, Robinson would be revealed as even more of a monster.

When he was arrested in Kansas and charged with three murders, officials knew he had property in nearby Missouri. A search of that property revealed gruesome discoveries as investigators unearthed several barrels that contained the decomposing bodies of his victims. Considering what we now know of Robinson, it can be difficult to believe that he led a seemingly normal life. Robinson was a married man throughout the murders and assaults he committed; he even had children. What might be even more puzzling is that Robinson's family stood by him after he was brought to justice in 2000.

Robinson had a storied legal history

Before what is suspected to be his first murder that took place in 1984, Robinson already amassed quite the criminal rap sheet. He was already a family man with a wife and a toddler in 1969 when he was first arrested for embezzling money from his employer. Before his wife Nancy gave birth to their twins in 1971, Robinson was arrested twice for embezzlement (per Radford University).

Between 1975 and 1987, Robinson was indicted on multiple charges, including forgery, theft, and fraud. Though most of his offenses resulted in supervised probation, repeated violations led him to serve six years in prison from 1987 until 1993. It's reported that during this time behind bars, Robinson's wife, Nancy stood by her husband and regularly visited him. The four children they shared would accompany her on these visits, according to Case Law.

The family did not know that Robinson was active in an online violent sexual subsect community and carrying on elicit affairs with the women he met there. Additionally, he was the head of a group known as The International Council of Masters, where the moniker "Slavemaster" was believed to have been created  (per Radford University).

The double life Robinson led didn't end when his prison term ended. But it took a chilling turn for the worse. With three victims already dead by his hands before his 1987 conviction, Robinson would go on to kill five more women until his arrest in 2000. 

Robinson's family stood by him in court

Robinson was a grandfather by the time he went on trial in Kansas in 2002. When Nancy testified on his behalf, she stated that he was a loving and caring husband, father, and grandparent (per Case Law). The court documents state that Robinson's youngest daughter, Christy, looked up to him as a great father figure. He helped to take care of her young children and was devastated by his arrest. It's been reported that she and Robinson spoke regularly on the phone while he was behind bars. Christy also allowed her children to be a part of these phone calls. 

Nancy and her children seemed to be testifying primarily to spare Robinson's life. Charged with capital murder, his execution would mean that she and the kids wouldn't be able to carry on any type of relationship with him. Nancy stayed with Robinson throughout it all and wasn't wavering when it came to his murder charges, either. Case Law reports that she "testified that she still shared a bond with Robinson and that it would continue if the jury spared his life."

The report maintains that all of Robinson's four children had grown into "productive members of society" due to Robinson's influence. Nancy testified further that Robinson had always played an active part in the lives of each of their child. However, Robinson was given two death sentences and one life sentence for the murders in Kansas. The murders he committed in Missouri yielded an additional five life sentences. 

Robinson's adopted niece paints a different picture of the killer

One of Robinson's family members who has nothing good to say about him is Heather Robinson. She was born Tiffany Stasi and was the daughter of 19-year-old Lisa Stasi, believed to be Robinson's second murder victim when she was killed in 1985. Robinson preyed upon the young single mother, luring her to Kansas with the prospect of a stable life. Instead, it's believed he killed her to take her young child and arrange an adoption with his younger brother. Donald Robinson and his wife, Helen, were struggling to find a child to adopt, and, with Robinson's aid, they could unwittingly adopt Lisa's daughter (per Case Law). Heather's adoptive parents assumed that John acquired her through legal means.

In an interview with 20/20, Heather detailed how creepy she thought her adopted uncle was. As she grew older, she alleged that Robinson would ask her sexually inappropriate questions and even offered to fly her to him any time she felt she needed to get away. About how he made her feel, she stated that he "always gave me this really weird, off-putting feeling in the pit of my stomach."

Heather noted that she is glad she never took up her uncle on any offers to visit him in the Midwest. According to her, it would have probably ended her life. She maintains that if she had gone off with him, she believes that she would have wound up another body in one of the barrels police recovered. Sadly enough, Lisa Stasi's body has never been found.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.