LENEXA, Kan. - A man was charged Tuesday with the murders of five women whose bodies were found in barrels on his property and in a storage locker, and prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty.
John Edward Robinson, 56, already was in jail on $5 million bail on charges of aggravated sexual battery and theft involving two women he allegedly met over the Internet for sadomasochistic sex.
Robinson's lawyer has said his client is innocent. Through their lawyer, Robinson's relatives issued a statement Tuesday night saying their ''ultimate goal is for the truth, no matter what that may be, to come to light.''
Investigators have said Robinson trolled the Internet for sex under the name ''slavemaster'' and may have met victims that way. Authorities said he may be connected to the deaths or disappearance of at least nine people.
Five women have been found bludgeoned to death and stuffed in barrels on Robinson's property in Kansas and in a storage locker he rented in Missouri. Prosecutors in both states filed murder charges in those deaths Tuesday; the Missouri charges say the killings were committed for financial gain.
Three of the victims have been identified - Beverly Bonner, 49, Izabela Lewicka, 22, and Suzette Trouten, 28. Bonner was found in the locker. Trouten and Lewicka's bodies were found on the Kansas farm.
Police said Bonner might have known Robinson while she worked in the library at the Western Missouri Correctional Center, where Robinson served a theft sentence until 1993.
Investigators have also discovered links between Robinson and four people - three women and an infant - missing since the mid-1980s. None of those women has been identified as being among the victims in the barrels.