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Trial in Kan. Barrel Murders Begin

October 7, 2002

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OLATHE, Kan. (AP) _ A man accused of killing three women was curious about unusual sexual lifestyles and knew the victims but that does not prove he is a murderer, his lawyer said Monday in opening statements at his trial.

Lawyer Sean O’Brien said the state has no evidence to directly link John E. Robinson Sr. to the women’s murders. ``This is not so much a murder investigation as it is a John Robinson investigation,″ O’Brien said.

Robinson is accused in the deaths of two women whose bodies were found in barrels on his property and in the death of a woman who is still missing.

Prosecutors say Robinson was a predator who trolled the Internet under the chat name ``Slavemaster,″ looking for rough sex with women and had a long pattern of deceiving women that eventually led to murder.

Robinson’s attorneys acknowledge that he engaged in sadomasochism and had numerous affairs and relationships while married to his wife, Nancy, for 38 years. But O’Brien argued in his opening statement that Robinson’s sexual life was not criminal.

Robinson, 58, is charged with capital murder in the deaths of Suzette Trouten of Michigan and Izabela Lewicka, a former Purdue University student. Both were found in barrels on Robinson’s rural property in Linn County, about 60 miles south of Kansas City.

He is also charged with first-degree murder in the case of Lisa Stasi, who was last seen with Robinson before she disappeared in 1985.

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