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    Richard Evonitz Biography: One of The Most Heinous Serial Killer


    By Marshall - Jul 10, 2023 | Updated On: 10 July, 2023 | 5 min read

    By Marshall , 5 min read - Jul 10, 2023

    Updated On: 10 July, 2023

    Richard Evonitz biography. Image Source: Wikimedia Creative Commons.

  • Richard Marc Edward Evonitz was a name that instilled fear and dread within the communities he targeted in the early 2000s. Initially appearing unassuming and average, Evonitz concealed a sinister and distorted side of his personality from public view.

    In just a matter of years, he abducted three innocent young girls, subjecting them to unspeakable acts before ultimately taking their lives. His actions left behind an aftermath of devastation and terror that continues to linger for those connected to his victims or involved in pursuing justice against him.

    Richard Evonitz biography aims to explore Evonitz’s life story as well as the circumstances that transformed him into one of America’s most appalling serial killers.

  • A Broken Home and a Difficult Childhood

    Richard Evonitz, born on July 29, 1963, in Columbia, South Carolina, to Joseph Evonitz and Tess Ragin Evonitz, was the eldest son of his parents. Following him came his two sisters: Kristen Evonitz in 1968 and Jennifer Evonitz in 1971. Regrettably, Richard’s early years were characterized by upheaval due to his parent’s divorce when he turned twelve.

    Richard’s father struggled with alcoholism, often becoming unconscious after consuming alcohol. Moreover, Joseph frequently demeaned his family by referring to them as “morons” and “peons.”

    Shockingly, there were instances of extreme abuse where Joseph drowned Richard’s pet dog in front of him. When Richard was only six years old, Joseph even attempted to drown him. Reports from Richard’s wives suggest that he suffered from nightmares related to these traumatic experiences involving his father.

    In pursuit of stability and purpose in life after completing high school in 1980, Richard joined the United States Navy, where he served as a skilled sonar technician. During his time in service from Florida to Virginia locations, he earned an honorable discharge from naval duty eight years later.

  • Early Signs of Criminal Intent 

    In 1987, Evonitz faced legal repercussions for committing the heinous act of indecent exposure toward a young girl who was just fifteen years old. Kelli Ballard, the victim, alerted the police the next day after Richard was following her and her mother in a mall parking lot.

    As a result of his actions, he was sentenced to three years on probation and required to comply with specific conditions and restrictions set by the authorities overseeing his case.

    Richard Evonitz biography

    Richard Evonitz biography. Image Source: Social Media.

    Evonitz admitted to the authorities that he struggled with a compulsion to engage in improper sexual behavior when girls were present.

    Becoming a Murderer

    In 1996, Evonitz initiated a string of homicides that ultimately resulted in the tragic deaths of three adolescent girls residing in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

  • These victims included Sofia Marlene Silva, aged 16; Kristin Michelle Lisk and Kathryn Nicole Lisk.

    Evonitz took Sofia from her residence in Spotsylvania County. The incident occurred near Loriella Park after she returned home from school. 

    Sofia was last observed working on her homework on the front steps of her house and was taken without any signs of resistance or anyone witnessing the abduction.

    Approximately one month afterward, authorities discovered Sofia’s decomposed body in Birchwood Creek along State Route 3 in King George County. She had been wrapped in a white covering.

  • ALSO READ: Kheris Rogers Biography: A Multi-Talented Artist And Fashion Icon

    Becoming a Serial Killer

    On the first of May in 1997, Evonitz took hold of sisters Kristin Michelle “Kristi” Lisk, aged 15, and Kathryn Nicole “Kati” Lisk, who was just 12 years old. He abducted them from their front lawn on Block House Road in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

    The last sighting of both girls was when they were getting off their separate school buses. After sexually assaulting them, Evonitz strangled the two innocent young girls.

    Once he had done so, to get rid of any evidence or trace that could potentially lead back to him, Evonitz dumped their lifeless bodies into the South Anna River.

  • After five days, these fatal events concluded tragically when the authorities discovered their remains floating in the water.

    On a lighter note, you might want to read our article on the literary sorceress Helen Oyeyemi.

    His Reign of Terror Continued Even After The Murders

    On June 24, 2002, Evonitz committed the crime of kidnapping a minor named Kara Robinson Chamberlain in Columbia, South Carolina. He approached her with deceitful intentions by pretending to offer her some informational materials.

    However, after realizing Kara was alone and vulnerable at home without adult supervision, he took advantage of the situation. Brandishing a firearm as coercion, he forcefully led her into captivity inside a container. Later on, within his apartment premises, where he held her captive against her will, and multiple unspeakable acts were inflicted upon Kara.

  • These despicable actions included rape and forcing illegal substances such as marijuana onto the victim. Additionally, cruel measures were taken to control Robinson’s freedom: tying her up and subjecting psychological trauma.

  • However, despite the hardships endured throughout this horrific ordeal, Kara managed to escape when Evonitz fell asleep. After discovering crucial evidence on Evonitz’s refrigerator, she courageously provided the police with detailed information about her kidnapper. To her dismay, when Evonitz realized that his victim had managed to escape, he hastily fled the scene.

    The End to His Life: Adding One More to His List

    Evonitz made a phone call to his sister, Jennifer, on June 27, 2002, and confessed to her about committing numerous unspecified crimes. He instructed her to meet him at an IHOP restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida. However, instead of complying with his request, Jennifer immediately reported the situation to the police.

    Later that same day, law enforcement officers surrounded Evonitz on Bayfront Drive in Sarasota, Florida. Despite being urged by the authorities to surrender peacefully during their confrontation with him, Evonitz chose otherwise.

    As a result of resisting arrest and jeopardizing public safety even further after the release of a police dog onto him, he took matters into his own hands by shooting himself, which resulted in his death.

  • Later, authorities identified him as the Lisk–Silva killer.

    Two Young Wives

    Evonitz had two marriages during his lifetime. His first marriage was to Bonnie Lou Gower from 1988 until 1996, and later he married Hope Marie Crowley in 1999 till his death. It is worth noting that Evonitz did not have any children.

    Those who have studied the life of Evonitz find his choice of wives intriguing as it provides insight into the inner turmoil he experienced. Both women were considerably younger than him, and authorities described them as dependent, compliant, and naïve individuals.

    Additionally, both women shared a common background where their relationship with Evonitz marked their first experience with love. When Evonitz married Bonnie for the first time at age 25 while serving in the Navy, she was only 17 years old. Prior to their romantic involvement, Bonnie had been living near him in Columbia and happened to be friends with his sister since sixth grade, thus developing a crush on him.

  • Evonitz targeted his first known murder victim, Sofia Silva, while his wife Bonnie was away on vacation in California. He proceeded to abduct the Lisk sisters after separating from Bonnie but before meeting his second wife, Hope, a resident of Caroline County.

    Crowley and Evonitz crossed paths back in 1999 when she was just 17 years old; he was 36 at that time.

    Certain investigators posit that the choice of wives and his relationships with them might shed light on periods when Evonitz seemed to refrain from committing crimes. According to the police theory, as his spouses aged and developed into mature women, he grew increasingly restless. His wives reported that he desired them to appear younger both physically and through their style of dress.

    On the contrary, it is said that he no longer found them attractive. Accordingly, this hypothesis claims that as they lost appeal for him, his behavior turned more dangerous, and thus began hunting outside the home.

  • The crimes perpetrated by Richard Evonitz left the communities in a state of shock and horror. Unfortunately, his suicide deprived him of facing legal consequences for his profoundly disturbing actions.

    Richard Evonitz biography emphasizes the importance of remaining vigilant and exercising caution when it comes to identifying and capturing dangerous criminals.

    No one could have foreseen the darkness that resided within Evonitz based on his early life experiences and military service. While he may not be held accountable due to his untimely death, it is crucial that we keep alive the memory of his victims as well as their grieving families.


    Blanco, J. I. (n.d.). Richard Evonitz | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers.

    Glod, M. (2002a, July 3). As Police Closed In, Evonitz Admitted Crimes to Sister. Washington Post.

    Man flashed Florida girl. (n.d.). Fredericksburg.com.

    Glod, M. (2002c, August 14). 3 Slain Girls’ Cases Closed. Washington Post.

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