Chilling Video Shows Moment Serial Killer’s Chained Hostage Is Freed From Crate

A dramatic video has been released by South Carolina officials showing the rescue of kidnap victim Kala Brown who had been chained inside a metal crate by serial killer Todd Kohlhepp.

?My neck?s attached to the wall,? Brown, 30, can be heard telling Spartanburg County Sheriff?s Office deputies after they used a blow torch and crowbar to break into the crate last November. ?We?re getting the bolt cutters, honey,? says one of the officers. ?You?re okay, we?re here,? says another.

Brown had the presence of mind to quickly tell police that Kohlhepp, a real estate agent in the area, had fatally shot her boyfriend when the couple arrived for a job last August on Kohlhepp?s rural property in Woodruff.

?Todd Kohlhepp shot Charlie Carver three times in the chest, wrapped him in a blue tarp, put him in the bucket of the tractor, locked me down here,? she said. ?I?ve never seen him again. He says he?s dead and buried. He says there are several bodies dead and buried out here.?

Brown?s cramped, dark metal prison consisted of a mattress, water bottles, a few books and scores of storage boxes. She was kept chained in the crate for two months until police, acting on information gleaned from an investigation to find the missing Anderson couple, searched Kohlhepp?s property, The Independent Mail reported. They heard Brown screaming and pounding on the walls of the crate.

The video was released Friday by the 7th Judicial Circuit Solicitor?s Office, two weeks after Kohlhepp, 46, confessed in court to killing seven people. Videos of Kohlhepp?s interrogations, hundreds of case documents and crime-scene photos were also released Friday.

The videos and records were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request by media outlets, including The Independent Mail and The Greenville News.

In the interrogation videos, Kohlhepp is disturbingly matter-of-fact about the killings, and expresses no remorse.

?Once I engage, I engage,? he explained, referring to his decisions to kill his victims. ?It was almost like a video game.?

He confessed to killing Carver, a married couple whom he had also lured to his Woodruff property with an offer of work in 2015, and four people at the family-owned Superbike Motorsports shop in Chesnee in 2003.

?That was one big building. I cleared that building in under 30 seconds,? Kohlhepp told investigators about the motorcycle shop as the videotape rolled. ?I?m sorry, but you guys would have been proud.?

Brown appears to be his only surviving victim. The woman of the married couple he had lured to his property in 2015 ? 26-year-old Leigh McCraw-Coxie ? was held by Kohlhepp for six days in a similar metal shipping container until he fatally shot her.

Brown talked about her ordeal in a interview on the ?Dr. Phil? TV program in February. She said she had been Facebook friends with Kohlhepp for years.

Kohlhepp confessed as part of a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. He?ll spend life in prison. He was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms plus an additional 60 years.

Below are videos of Kohlhepp?s interrogations in which he discusses the murders.

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People Love That The Princess Bride Is Now A Warrior In ‘Wonder Woman’

We always knew Buttercup had it in her.

Robin Wright?s breakout role was as Princess Buttercup in the 1987 ?The Princess Bride.? And though the character had some spunk ?

? She essentially was a damsel in distress who needed to be rescued.

Currently, fans can see Wright in the new ?Wonder Woman? film as Antiope, an Amazonian general who is a force to be reckoned with.

The actress?s most recent role as a warrior is in stark contrast to her breakout role as Princess Buttercup, a damsel in distress, in 1987?s ?The Princess Bride.?

And people on Twitter are absolutely loving it:

Axel Medellin, an illustrator who created an image of Antiope holding Wesley, Princess Buttercup?s love interest and rescuer from ?The Princess Bride,? which is making the rounds on Twitter, echoes this sentiment.

?I just thought how cool it was that Princess Buttercup did not need rescuing anymore.?

Yet, Wright being a badass isn?t exactly anything new.

Aside from playing iconic roles like Jenny from ?Forrest Gump? and Claire Underwood in ?House of Cards,? she also famously demanded she be paid as much as her male co-star Kevin Spacey for her work on the popular Netflix series ? and she was.

Here?s to you, girl!

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If Trump Has White House ‘Tapes,’ They Could Be A Huge Deal, James Comey Says

WASHINGTON ? In his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, former FBI director James Comey made it clear that if any tapes exist of his conversations with President Donald Trump, they would be tremendously important.

After firing Comey, Trump appeared to suggest he had taped his conversations with the then-FBI director. ?James Comey better hope that there are no ?tapes? of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!? the president tweeted on May 12.

Comey doesn?t fear the possibility that such tapes exist. Rather, he hopes they?re out there somewhere, because they could back up his story that Trump leaned on him to end the FBI?s investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

?Lordy, I hope there are tapes,? Comey exclaimed early in Thursday?s hearing, to general delight on social media. ?If there are tapes, it?s not just my word against [Trump?s] on the direction to get rid of the Flynn investigation.?

The White House denies that Trump leaned on Comey to end the Flynn investigation, and won?t say whether a taping system exists. But as Comey suggested, any such tapes could be central to special prosecutor Robert Mueller?s investigation of the Russia matter and Trump?s campaign. Comey said Thursday that he is ?sure? Mueller is also investigating whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice.

To obtain any tapes that might exist, Mueller would have to subpoena them from the White House. This would be very similar to the events that precipitated the downfall of President Richard Nixon in the Watergate investigation.

After it was revealed that Nixon made secret tapes of his conversations in the White House, Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox and the investigating congressional committee issued subpoenas to obtain them. Nixon?s White House refused to comply with the subpoenas. Ultimately, Nixon decided to fire Cox. His attorney general and deputy attorney general chose to resign rather than carry out that order.

A newly appointed special prosecutor reordered the subpoena, which Nixon only partially complied with. The prosecutor then appealed to the Supreme Court for Nixon to fully comply with the subpoena. Nixon tried to claim executive privilege to prevent the release of the full tapes, but the court ruled 8-0 that he had to turn all of them over.

Three days later, the House Judiciary Committee began affirmatively voting on articles of impeachment against Nixon. The president resigned two weeks later.

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Dogs At Polling Stations Are Getting The UK Through Election Day

British politics is going to the dogs.

As voters in the United Kingdom cast their ballots in the second general election in just over two years on Thursday, the adorable #dogsatpollingstations hashtag began trending on Twitter.

Check out photos of these pups enjoying the democratic paw-cess below:

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It’s Notable That James Comey Documented His Meetings With Trump

WASHINGTON ? Whatever the driving force, former FBI Director James Comey felt ?compelled? to keep a detailed written account of his conversations with President Donald Trump, according to prepared testimony he is expected to give Thursday. 

Why is that significant? Because Comey had not taken such measures when speaking with former President Barack Obama

Comey, who was fired by Trump last month, is set to testify Thursday in front of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He is expected to describe in detail several one-on-one conversations with Trump, beginning with a Jan. 6 briefing at Trump Tower in New York related to Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

?I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-Elect in a memo,? Comey?s testimony reads. ?To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting. Creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward.?

This practice was not one Comey had kept in the past, he says. 

?I spoke alone with President Obama twice in person (and never on the phone) ? once in 2015 to discuss law enforcement policy issues and a second time, briefly, for him to say goodbye in late 2016,? the testimony reads. ?In neither of those circumstances did I memorialize the discussions. I can recall nine one-on-one conversations with President Trump in four months ? three in person and six on the phone.?

Comey goes on to detail two in-person meetings, including a one-on-one dinner Jan. 27 at the White House that Comey said made him feel ?uneasy? and during which he claimed Trump said, ?I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.? During a Feb. 14 meeting in the Oval Office, the day after the firing of national security adviser Michael Flynn, Comey said Trump tried to persuade him to drop an investigation into Flynn. And during a March 30 phone call, Trump reportedly asked Comey what could be done to ?lift the cloud? on the Russia investigation. 

Read Comey?s full testimony here.

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New Podcast Pairs Prisoners And Professor For A Look At Life Behind Bars

A new podcast is offering a rare glimpse into the lives of prisoners.

?Ear Hustle,? which premieres on June 14, is the brainchild of San Quentin State Prison inmates Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, and Bay Area professor Nigel Poor. 

A collaboration with podcast company Radiotopia, ?Ear Hustle? is operated out of the prison?s media lab. The series plans to delve into experiences and hardships unique to prisoners, such as the effect incarceration can have on their memory, celebrating holidays in prison and ministering on death row. 

Woods was incarcerated for second-degree robbery and is serving 31 years to life. Williams, in for armed robbery, was sentenced to 15 years in prison at 18 years old. 

According to Poor, media has had its place in the prison for quite some time. In fact, she previously worked on a radio series with Woods and Williams titled ?San Quentin Prison Report,? which would come to serve as the inspiration for the podcast.

?We were interested in doing longer stories, ones that weren?t so news-oriented,? Poor said in an email to HuffPost on Wednesday. ?We wanted to be able to work more like artists and less like journalists … We feel like the podcast allows us more freedom to work creatively, experiment with more impressionistic storytelling.?

Poor said the podcast has the prison?s full support, but each episode has to first be approved by the prison?s Lt. Sam Robinson, who?s been working at San Quentin for 21 years. 

The podcast?s three creators make up the entire cast and crew. Williams doesn?t co-host the show with Woods and Poor, instead operating as the show?s co-producer and sound designer.

But it?s not so much the size of the crew that Poor says is most challenging about producing the podcast. 

?We have to be able to work together without the benefit of communicating once I leave the prison: we do not have access to phones, email or the internet,? she said. ?So the work we do has to be done while we are in the prison together. There is no virtual commuting to work.? 

Poor knows, however, that these obstacles will prove worthwhile.

?I hope [the podcast] can show that incarcerated and non-incarcerated people can work together as equal colleagues with respect and professionalism,? she said. ?One of the things I see in prison is a terrible waste of human potential. My personal belief is that we as humans thrive when we find purpose and a way to be productive citizens ? [it] is my humble opinion that this would make a difference in rehabilitation.?

?I also hope that our stories will allow people to see those who are incarcerated in a more three-dimensional way,? she continued. ?It seems the media ? TV, movies and sometimes news reporting ? thrives on reinforcing tired tropes and it would be wonderful to broaden that representation.?

The first episode of ?Ear Hustle? will be available on iTunes and Ear Hustle?s website beginning June 14. 

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Senate Republicans Are Closer Than Ever To Repealing Obamacare

WASHINGTON ? Republican senators appear closer to ultimately passing a bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with legislation that would dramatically reduce health insurance coverage for low-income people, only in a less severe fashion than the House measure.

Senators still lack an actual bill, and the compromises needed to pass the Senate could imperil the legislation in the House, which will also have to back it. But Tuesday was a pivotal day for discussions in the upper chamber ? and seemingly a positive one ? as Republicans try to build a 50-vote coalition to repeal Obamacare.

?We?re getting close to having a proposal to whip and to take to the floor,? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters, after nearly three hours of closed-door meetings.

McConnell is working with hardly any margin for error. He can afford to lose only two of his 52 Republicans ? with Vice President Mike Pence then breaking the tie ? and it seems highly unlikely that conservative Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) or moderate Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will vote for the legislation. That means the majority leader must pressure, cajole or even deploy state-specific giveaways that could risk the support of other senators in order to keep the rest of his caucus in line.

But even facing those challenges, there was rare optimism among Senate Republicans on Tuesday. ?This is what I was hoping to have the leadership be able to share with us, and I feel very good about the fact that we?re moving in the right direction,? Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said, albeit adding that members still had ?a long way to go.?

As for why they were increasingly optimistic, GOP senators wouldn?t offer very many details and McConnell suggested that some key issues linger. But the broad outline discussed among members points to a slower phaseout of Obamacare?s Medicaid expansion than the House bill entails and a shifting of tax credits from younger people to older people. Unlike the House version, the Senate bill may not allow insurers to set higher prices for people with pre-existing conditions than for healthy people.

That legislative vision appeared to sway some on-the-fence members who could prove critical to cobbling together 50 GOP votes. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who had been outspoken in his opposition to the House-passed bill, signaled that he was comfortable with the broad strokes of the Senate legislation, though he warned that he hadn?t seen the final text.

Cassidy said the protections for people with pre-existing conditions were a big factor for him, as well as the slower rollback of the Medicaid expansion, which has helped states like his insure more people almost entirely on the federal government?s dime.

?What we?ve been told so far, states would have the ability, a lot more power than they do under Obamacare, to shape their future, and I think we?ve gotta return the power to the states,? Cassidy said, seemingly referring to a proposal to set per-capita limits on Medicaid, which would push states to put tougher restrictions on who?s eligible for that program.

Asked if the phaseout of the Medicaid expansion was still a concern of his, Cassidy said it was. ?I think there?s obviously more to be done, but the phaseout is further down the road and states have a chance to adapt,? he said.

The remaining hurdles for Senate GOP leadership center mainly around the future of the Medicaid expansion, which Republicans generally believe is unsustainable. Negotiators have moved away from the House bill, which the Congressional Budget Office said would save $834 billion over 10 years by cutting back Medicaid. The Senate bill would presumably save less with a longer phaseout, yet the program that gives low-income people health insurance would still suffer a painful decrease ? and largely in the name of giving tax cuts to the wealthy.

Still, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said the Senate?s approach would strike a better compromise than the House did, by giving states the ability to come up with their own new restrictions on Medicaid.

?I don?t want to pull the rug out from under anyone,? Johnson said, ?but let?s not leave the rug out there for a couple more years to have more people stand on the rug.?

Another, less problematic sticking point involves the Obamacare taxes, which the House bill would almost entirely eliminate. Senators are exploring keeping some of those taxes in place, but that could be problematic for conservative members. Rand Paul, for one, has cited any failure to fully wipe out Obamacare as a reason to vote no on a replacement bill. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters on Tuesday that he thought Paul was ?irretrievably gone? on health care, although Paul?s office later quipped that Graham had not yet applied for the open press assistant job in Paul?s office.

Even if Paul is not lost yet, other conservatives like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) are question marks. Both could balk at the more modest Medicaid cuts and the maintenance of certain taxes; they?ve already been cagey about where they currently stand on the bill. Cruz entertained reporters Tuesday with a long explanation about why he supports privatization of the Federal Aviation Administration and then, once a reporter asked about health care, walked away.

Other potential swing votes include Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), whose state greatly benefits from the Medicaid expansion, and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who is up for a tough re-election contest in 2018. But if McConnell can somehow keep them in line, along with Cruz and Lee, he?ll likely have the votes to pass the bill.

With the prospect of that growing stronger on Tuesday, Democrats were left with their own predicament: whether to begin negotiating with GOP moderates on a separate bill in order to stave off a conservative, Republicans-only approach. For now, Democratic leadership said they would stay away from any negotiations until Republicans dropped their insistence on a full repeal of Obamacare.

?There is no appetite as long as they?re working towards repeal,? said one senior Senate Democratic aide. But there is great appetite as soon as they abandon it.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) did say that he had discussed health care with Cassidy, who has pushed his own bill. But such discussions had been broadly topical and not specific to any legislation, an aide said.

Even if health care legislation passed the Senate with only Republican votes, its ultimate passage would not be secured. At that point, House lawmakers, particularly House conservatives, would have to decide whether they could support a bill that does not let insurers charge people with pre-existing conditions more and thereby lower premiums for other people. The House Freedom Caucus was adamant that an Obamacare replacement had to give insurers that flexibility. Still, a more moderate bill from the Senate could win over some of the House moderates who voted against their own chamber?s bill.

Faced with a Senate bill, the House would have several options: It could simply vote yes on the legislation. It could amend the bill and send it back to the Senate. Or the two chambers could set up a conference committee and try to resolve their differences that way.

In any case, there are a number of steps to go before any Obamacare replacement reaches President Donald Trump?s desk. But given the willingness of House Republicans last month to support a bill that many of them didn?t like, no one should be certain that Republicans won?t compromise on their principles again.

Mike McAuliff, Laura Barron-Lopez and Jennifer Bendery contributed to this report.

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A ‘Harry Potter’ Superfan And A NASA Engineer Are Creating A Magical Pub

A pub seemingly operating on pure magic may be coming soon to some tucked-away spot on a London street ? but only if enough muggles pay attention to its founder?s bid for funding.

Self-proclaimed book nerd Matthew Cortland, with help from NASA engineer friend Travis Davis, aims to create an enchanted atmosphere at The Cauldron Wizarding Pub & Inn dotted with floating candles. Pint glasses will fill mysteriously from the bottom. Lights and taps will go on and off with a flick of a wand. Pictures won?t stay still in their frames.

The project almost shares a name with The Leaky Cauldron, the pub on Charing Cross Road that appears to non-wizarding folk as a dusty old shop. Due to licensing issues, it will need to avoid explicitly using the name ?Harry Potter? or other direct references to the series. 

The $500,000 fundraiser, however, goes live on Kickstarter beginning June 26, the day Harry Potter and the Philosopher?s Stone was published in 1997.

The ?inn? portion of The Cauldron Wizarding Pub & Inn will also be contingent on the final amount raised. As it should be, creating a pub is the founder?s Priority No. 1. 

Cortland told HuffPost in an email that he?ll draw inspiration from an array of magical worlds brought to life in novels by J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, using smart home technology to make it happen. Magnets, for example, can explain the candles. (We?re still iffy, though, on what explains magnets.) 

He also plans to host a series of hackathon events to ?refine? the pub?s technology ? and also to figure out what, exactly, to serve.

A house beer dubbed Cauldron Ale will be sourced from a local brewer, Cortland said, and fans are also free to make other serving suggestions through a wiki page. Butterbeer, unfortunately, is likely off-limits due to licensing.  

As a former teacher, Cortland said he aims to open up The Cauldron to school groups in order to encourage an interest in S.T.E.M. subjects ? and foster an appreciation for literature. In perhaps the best homage to the pub?s source material, the place will also be lined with books, with visitors encouraged to bring a copy of their own favorite childhood story. Cortland has partnered with the Harry Potter Alliance?s ?Accio Books? campaign to donate those books to schools.

The New Jersey native, who now lives in Dublin, noted that London is the perfect place for the fantastical project since so many beloved works in the genre pull aesthetically from the city. The pub itself will be modeled after one of his real-life favorites ? John Kavanagh in Dublin, the pub alongside Glasnevin Cemetery known locally as ?Gravediggers.?

?It?s been around since 1833 and is a traditional old-man pub with scrubbed wooden floors, sturdy tables, a cozy atmosphere and excellent Guinness,? Cortland wrote, noting that The Cauldron, in London, would also draw from traditional British pubs.

?We just want The Cauldron to be a place of community for the extended fandom, and we will host book signings, book readings, meet-ups, pub trivia nights, fundraisers and movie nights,? he wrote. ?Basically we want to be a place of meeting and happiness, and as one of the world?s great cities, London is perfect.?

For more information, head to The Cauldron?s website.

From June 1 to 30, HuffPost is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the very first ?Harry Potter? book by reminiscing about all things Hogwarts. Accio childhood memories.

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