John Robinson goes to trial for three murders in Kansas: Part 10

John Robinson was sentenced to death in Kansas after a massive and graphic trial, but he avoided the death penalty in Missouri by pleading guilty to the murders of five other women.
7:28 | 10/05/19

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Transcript for John Robinson goes to trial for three murders in Kansas: Part 10
From the beginning, Paul Morrison, the D.A., said this is a death penalty case. It's the only death penalty case I ever tried. He's killed many, many people. He's extremely excessively dangerous. If not him, who? The courtroom was packed. All the spectators are there. People are talking. There's a lot of, you know, talking back and forth. And as soon as he walks in surrounded by the deputies, just silence. He just seemed like an ordinary man. That's why it was really hard. I mean, he came in his suits every day. And he just, he looked like somebody's father and grandfather. Which he was. He looked like a mild-mannered, unassuming looking guy. It just goes to show you looks can be deceiving. The case is just massive. It was over 23,000 pages of police reports. I think we ended up calling well over 100 witnesses. A lot of lab stuff. A lot of science in that case. As far as the way John Robinson killed his victims, it was with a hammer. We could tell that from all the autopsies. During the trial, there was a lot of things that were difficult to hear about or to watch. One of the things that stood out to me was a videotape of John Robinson and Suzette trouten in a sexual encounter. And they played that for the jury. We thought it was important for the jury to see his M.O. And what kind of control he had over these women. The 39-minute tape was very graphic, and very explicit. Suzette was playing the role of the submissive person to her master. And he was very cold and flat in his commands to her of what to do next. He was a control freak. He kept saying to Suzette trouten, "You're mine." It was obvious that he really liked being in control of women. There were a lot of jurors, myself included, who, you know, kind of turned our heads from time to time when we felt like we'd seen enough. John Robinson, during the whole trial, acted like a businessman at a meeting. But when that tape was played, he sat up. And he was straining to get a better look at it. It was the only time I saw him show any kind of interest in what was happening. I don't know if he was getting some kind of pleasure in reliving that. But that was really disturbing. His wife and daughter had apparently stood by him. They sat there and listened to people talk about these sexual encounters, explicit sexual details. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. And she sat there so stoically and listened to this. He fooled them the same way he fooled everybody. And that's why he was so fundamentally dangerous. After the prosecution was finished with their case, I can't remember how many weeks that took, the defense took, I believe, half a day. The defense was more, I thought, about saving him from the death penalty rather than saying that he was innocent. It takes jurors less than a day to hand down the verdict, guilty. And a few weeks later, that same jury delivers a death sentence. He was such a con man. He had conned Beverly bonner when he was in prison in Missouri. We were really afraid if he was just given life that the same thing would happen. John Robinson committed crimes in both Kansas and Missouri. So he had to face criminal charges in both states. After his trial wrapped up in Kansas, the case then had to be handled in Missouri. And they actually offered him a deal where if he pled guilty to the five murders, that he would avoid a death sentence. I know some people felt like they should have gone ahead in Missouri and tried to get him convicted of and sentenced to death as well. Kansas hasn't executed anybody since 1965, whereas Missouri pretty routinely carried out executions. So there's some thought that, if he actually got convicted of and sentenced to death in Missouri, he likely would have gotten put to death. Would have been executed. Whereas in Kansas his appeals are still slowly moving along. I tend to think that justice was served because this had to be one of the busiest criminals with more fingers in more criminal activity than anybody I've written or read about. So the idea of him in an eight by ten cell for 23 hours a day, locked up on death row with nothing to do has to be a form of torture. I would like to think that he's experienced some suffering himself because he imposed an enormous amount of suffering on fellow people. As part of Heather's journey to find answers about her mother, some of her extended family to came to Kansas City to meet her. We all came here to meet Heather and we haven't seen her for, like, 18 years. We want her to feel the love of our family. That's why we're here. Good to meet you finally. Heather didn't even know that her mother had a stepmom. And she met her for the first time. Do I resemble Lisa at all? Some, yes. You do. Lisa smiled a lot. She was like this a lot, you know? Your mother was awesome. She loved me to death. I'm sure she would have loved you. I know it. I learned a lot about Lisa. I've never felt more like my mother's daughter than I have recently. She was like my best friend, I guess. For a long time. Your mom and I always talked about that we were gonna marry twin brothers. It's not your fault, though. After the cameras stopped rolling, one of Heather's family members dropped a bombshell. It was a secret she'd been holding onto for ten years. In the middle of the night, probably close to 1:00 A.M., I received this letter that completely changed everything. You can imagine Male voice: Grrr, feed me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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