Marc Evonitz was a classic sociopath, a man who appeared on the outside to be a normal guy; an intelligent, hard-working, white-collar husband. But underneath he was a man obsessed with bondage, pornography, and young girls. A homicidal bomb just waiting to go off.
Evonitz was born in 1963 in Colombia, South Carolina. By most acounts his father was an abusive drunk who belittled his family at every opportunity and may have even tried to kill his only son at the age of six by drowning him in the bathtub. Evonitz showed signs of problems in his teens. He sexually molested one of his two sisters and began stealing women's panties from nieghborhood homes. He was an angry boy with low self-esteem who's twisted sexual urges were taking over his life.
Seeing their son was headed for trouble, Evonitz' parents (who would soon divorce) urged him shortly after High School to join a branch of the armed forces. He chose the Navy and seemed to thrive in the strict military environment. He became a sonar technician and seemed to have aquired some stability and discipline in his life by the time he was honorably discharged in 1993. The only clue during his Navy years that his sexual problems were only buried had come at the age of 23 when he was arrested for exposing himself to a teen-age girl.
Evonitz had also married when he was 25 to a girl who was seventeen at the time and after his military service was done the two lived what appeared to be a typical middle-class life in Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg, Virginia. But Evonitz had begun to hunt potential victims, writing down the after-school habits of girls that he was attracted to. He was becoming bored with his maturing wife and when she left him for a week in 1996 to prepare to move to California he put his murderous plans into action.
On September 9, 1996, Sofia Silva disappeared from her rural Spotsylvania home. There were not signs of struggle. It appeared as if Silva had been doing her homework on her front porch when she simply disappeared. No sign of Silva could be found and family and friends hoped she might possibly be returned safely. Five weeks later her body was found in a shallow pond twenty miles from her home.
It appears that an appearance in bankruptcy court is what triggered his next two killings. After a morning court date on May 1, 1997, Evonitz arrived at the Lisk family home, like the Silva house, in a rural area of Spotsylvania County. Also like the Silva abduction, he had carefully scouted the after school habits of the Lisk daughters, fifteen-year-old Kristin and twelve-year-old Kati, and abducted them without a fight before the two girls had even made it into the house after being dropped off by their respective school buses. Kristin's book bag laying in the front yard was the only sign that anything was amiss. Despite a massive search, the Lisk sisters were found dead five days later and forty miles away in the South Anna River.
The similarities in the two cases were unmistakable. Three dark-haired, pretty, slender young girls, missing immediately after returning home from school and later found dead in water long distances from their homes. All three were drowned but not at the their places of discovery. All three had bath water in their lungs. None had been sexually assaulted (it was later discovered that Evonitz was often impotent) but their pubic hair had been shaved off.
Despite authorities' best efforts it appeared as if the three slayings may go unsolved forever. DNA evidence found on the girl's bodies had been compared to suspects and forensic databases without a match. The abduction sites had yielded little in the way of clues. It seemed as if the killer had moved on. Or perhaps had had stopped killing for some reason.
Evonitz had met a waitress named Hope, married her, and moved to back to Colombia. His new bride was just eighteen, twenty years his junior. As with his first wife, Evonitz' homicidal urges seemed controllable when he had a compliant young woman at home. Hope allowed her husband to act out his fantasies with her, including shaving her pubic hair and all forms of bondage. Evonitz would pretend break into their home to act out his rape fantasies on the willing Hope. But again, his wife began to age beyond his preferred range and no amount of sexual play-acting could satisfy his lust for young girls.
When Hope left for a trip to Walt Disney world with his mother in June of 2002 Evonitz went on the prowl again on the 24th. His initial victim was saved by fate when she altered her routine that day and failed to appear as Evonitz waited for her so the killer was forced to alter his plan and soon spotted a fifteen-year-old girl, identified later only as Kara, watering a friend's front lawn. What followed provided many answers to what had happened to Sofia Silva and the Lisk sisters. He pretended to be selling magazines but a pulled a gun on Kara soon after getting out of the car. He forced the girl into a plastic container in the backseat of the vehicle and dragged it into his apartment after driving to his apartment. Once there Evonitz shaved off her pubic hair himself and forced her to bathe. She was then bound by handcuffs which were hooked to a ring mounted on the headboard of his bed and raped repeatedly while being forced to watch pornographic videos.
Left cuffed to the bed, Kara waited until the early morning hours for the spent rapist to fall asleep and then quietly unscrewed the ring from the headboard and snuck out of the apartment. Evonitz awoke soon after and realized his captive was gone. He collected his .25 calibre piston, marijuana, some of his most prized porn movies, Kara's clothing, and the container he had used to abduct her. He lingered in town long enough to refill his Viagra prescription (his use of the drug perhaps explaining why he hadn't raped his previous victims) and bought a VCR/DVD player so he could watch his porn while on the run.
Meanwhile Kara had directed police to her kidnapper's apartment and detectives searched it that morning. There they found (among mountains of porn featuring young girls, girl's panties, and bondage equipment) news clippings of the Lisk sisters' murder and hand-written notes about girls he had stalked for possible abduction. When authorities learned he had in fact lived in the Spotsylvania area at the time of the three homicides they knew they had a serial killer on their hands.
Driving Hope's Escort and aided by the dutiful wife, his mother, and his sisters, Evonitz eluded capture for two days. On June 27 he was finally cornered in Sarasota, Florida, after a high-speed chase. Spike strips eventually stopped the evasive serial murderer but when officers approached the stopped car Evonitz threatened to kill himself. Refusing orders to drop his weapon Evonitz put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger when a police dog was released and attacked him. He had successfully cheated justice by committing suicide.
DNA evidence conclusively linked Richard Marc Evonitz to the slayings of Sofia Silva, Kristin Lisk, and Katie Lisk in August of 2002. Fibers from a pair of furry handcuffs and a bathroom rug found at the killer's apartment matched those found on the bodies of the three girls and his hair matched hair that had been discovered on the girls' clothing. The saddest evidence of all? On the inside of the trunk lid of Evonitz' Ford Taurus evidence technician's found the handprint of Kristin Lisk.
Kara saved her life, doubtlessly saved the lives of future victims, and delivered a serial killer to police when she excaped Evonitz' clutches. Authorities are still attempting to link Evonitz to several rapes and murders, so far without success.