True Crime

Woman’s ‘uncle’ was a serial killer who’d kidnapped her as a baby

John Edward Robinson killed Heather's mum and sold her to his unsuspecting brother
Heather Robinson
Heather Robinson speaks on 20/20

She only discovered the truth aged 15

A woman who discovered her ‘uncle’ was a serial killer who had murdered her mother and sold her as a baby is set to speak out for the first time.

Heather Robinson grew up believing she had been adopted by Donald Robinson and his wife Helen because she had no parents.

She’d been handed to the Robinsons by Donald’s brother, John Edward Robinson, who gave the couple adoption papers and took $5,500 from them in what he told them were legal fees for the adoption.

They had no idea that the adoption wasn’t legitimate, and it wasn’t until 2000, when Heather was 15, that the truth emerged.

Tiffany Stasi
Heather as a baby (Credit: 20/20)
Serial killer John Edward Robinson (Credit: 20/20)

In fact, Robinson was a serial killer who had murdered Heather’s teenaged birth mother, Lisa Stasi, when Heather was just four months old.

The murderer met Lisa when she was living with her baby, who’d she’d named Tiffany, at a women’s shelter in Kansas City.

He told Lisa he could help her, offering her a job in Chicago, an apartment and childcare for Tiffany. Then he asked the unsuspecting teenager to sign sheets of blank paper.

It was all part of his plot to take Tiffany, and give her to Donald and Helen, who were desperate to adopt a child, under the guise of a genuine adoption.

Lisa Stasi (Credit: 20/20)

He told the couple the baby girl’s mother had taken her own life, and after they paid $5,500 in legal fees he handed them the baby along with what they thought were signed adoption papers authorised by a judge.

He pocketed the money, and Lisa Stasi vanished.

It’s believed she was Robinson’s second victim, after the disappearance of his 19-year-old sales rep Paula Godfrey who told her family she going away for training, organised by Robinson, but was never heard from again.

In 1987, Robinson hired single mum Catherine Clampitt, 27. She too disappeared.

Heather with her adoptive dad Donald (Credit: 20/20)

Later that year, he was jailed for fraud and then parole violations. In jail, he met prison librarian Beverly Bonner, 49, who went to work for him in Kansas after her release. She too vanished.

His next victims were Sheila Faith, 45, and her daughter Debbie, 15, who had spina bifida and used a wheelchair. After meeting online, where Robinson used the name ‘Slavemaster’ he offered Sheila a job in Kansas City and said he’d pay Debbie’s medical bills. After moving to Kansas City, they disappeared.

And in 1999, his 21-year-old Polish fiancee Izabela Lewicka went missing, with Robinson claiming she’d been deported. Around the same time, Suzette Trouten moved to Kansas City to be with Robinson. When her mother never heard from her again, he claimed she’d stolen his cash and run off with someone else.

Young Heather (Credit: 20/20)

By the time Robinson was arrested over sexual battery allegations in 2000 he’d already come to the attention of authorities who were probing the disappearances that seemed to follow him.

Their efforts uncovered the bodies of five of his victims, who’d all been killed by blows to the head.

While Lisa’s body was never found, Robinson was convicted over her death in 2002 and given a life sentence before the conviction was vacated on a technicality in 2015.

However, he remains on death row for the killing of Izabela Lewicka.

The killer is still on death row (Credit: Johnson County Sheriff’s Department)
Heather Robinson
Heather Robinson speaks on 20/20 (Credit: 20/20 )

Now, Heather Robinson has given an interview to an American TV show, 20/20, about learning the truth about her family life.

She now wants to find her mother’s remains as the final chapter in her extraordinary story.

The 20/20 interview will air in the US on ABC on Friday, October 4 at 9pm.

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