July 29, 1963|
Columbia, South Carolina
|Died||June 27, 2002
|Cause of death||Suicide by firearm|
Span of killings
Richard Marc Evonitz (July 29, 1963 – June 27, 2002) was a serial killer, kidnapper, and rapist responsible for the deaths of three girls in Spotsylvania County, Virginia and the abduction and rape of a 15-year-old girl in Richland County, South Carolina. Evonitz has been suspected of other murders, and confessed a number of crimes to his sister shortly before committing suicide.
Early life and education
Richard Marc Edward Evonitz was born at Providence Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina to Joseph and Tess Ragin Evonitz. He was the first of three children; two sisters, Kristen and Jennifer, followed him in 1968 and 1971. Known as Marc to avoid confusion with a paternal uncle also named Richard, he graduated from Irmo High School in 1980 at age 16.
After high school, Evonitz worked briefly as the manager of a Jiffy Lube before joining the United States Navy. He served as a sonar technician and received a Good Conduct Medal before being honorably discharged after eight years of service.
Following his stint in the Navy, Evonitz worked steadily at businesses that sold compressors and grinding equipment. He filed for bankruptcy in 1997, unable to keep up with bills following a divorce, and had a house foreclosed in 1999 following a failed business venture, but at the time of his death Evonitz had been working at an air-compressor company since moving to South Carolina a few years earlier.
Evonitz was married twice, first to Bonnie Lou Gower from 1988 to 1996, then to Hope Marie Crowley from 1999 until his death.
In January 1987, Evonitz exposed himself and masturbated in front of a 15-year-old girl in Orange Park, Florida. He was arrested a month later when his ship returned to port, pleaded no contest and was sentenced to three years' probation.
On September 9, 1996, Evonitz abducted 16-year-old Sofia Silva from her front yard near Loriella Park in Spotsylvania County. Her body was found a month later in a creek off State Route 3 in King George County.
Sisters Kristin and Kati Lisk, ages 15 and 12, were abducted from their front yard near Spotsylvania Courthouse on May 1, 1997; their bodies were found five days later in the South Anna River near Old Ridge Road in Hanover County.
In September of 1999, Evonitz joined the US Navy Reserves and was assigned to a weapons transport unit at Yorktown Naval Weapons Station. Evonitz drilled with the Yorktown until December 1999, at which point he moved to Columbia SC. [Witnessed]
On June 24, 2002, Evonitz abducted 15-year-old Kara Robinson from a friend's yard in Columbia, South Carolina. He took her to his apartment, tied her to his bed and raped her repeatedly. While he slept that night, the victim was able to free herself, escaped and was able to identify her attacker to police. Evonitz fled after finding her gone, ending up surrounded by police in Sarasota, Florida.
Death and afterward
On June 27, 2002, Evonitz was surrounded by police near the waterfront in Sarasota, Florida. He was urged to surrender peacefully but kept a pistol in his hand until a police dog was released; after being bitten multiple times, Evonitz shot himself and was declared dead at 10:52 p.m. Following the return of his body to his family, his remains were cremated and scattered over the Saluda River.
- Into the Water, Diane Fanning (St. Martin's, 2004)
- Birth date from SSDI as Marc E Evonitz, SSN 251-04-4170.
- Hall, Jim, and Kari Pugh (2004-06-14). "The making of a murderer". Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star.
- Hall, Jim, and Kari Pugh (2004-06-13). "Discovering deadly secrets". Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star.
- Gross, Edie (2002-07-02). "Man flashed Florida girl". Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.
- Hall, Jim, and Kari Pugh (2004-06-16). "End came with love, fear, horror". Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star.
- The FBI’s Role Takes Shape
- Suspect kills self during police standoff (dead link)
- 3 Slain Girls' Cases Closed; Fibers, Prints Tie Dead Man to Spotsylvania Killings
- Spotsylvania Awaits Closure in Slayings; Probe of S.C. Man Continues; Community Forever Changed
- As Police Closed In, Evonitz Admitted Crimes to Sister
- Detectives Fear Other Victims; Police Retrace Steps Of Girls' Abductor
- End of Trial Fails To End Uncertainty; Family Seeks Justice in '96 Va. Killings, While Man Wants to Clear His Name
- Fredericksburg.com - Lisk / Silva Archive