Is The Girl Who Escaped a true story? Who is Kara Robinson - what happened to Richard Evonitz, where to watch

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Gripping US drama The Girl Who Escaped retells the horrifying true story of Kara Robinson, who was kidnapped by a depraved serial killer

Tense true crime thriller movie The Girl Who Escaped: The Kara Robinson Story follows the shocking real events of the abduction and narrow escape of teen girl Kara in 2002. The movie was released in the US in February but has continued to stun audiences because the story is straight out of a horror film.

More than 20 years ago, Kara Robinson survived a brutal attack at the hands of a twisted serial killer - she was supposed to be his next victim, and when he abducted her she knew that her life was in immediate danger. But Kara was able to escape her captor and helped to bring his killing spree to a sudden end.

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Since the kidnapping, Robinson has featured in several documentaries about her ordeal - but Lifetime movie The Girl Who Escaped is the first drama film based on her experience. It stars Ginny and Georgia actress Katie Douglas as Kara and Orphan Black's Kristian Bruun as the sick serial killer Richard Evonitz.

Who is Kara Robinson?

Kara Robinson was a 15 year old girl when she was abducted in 2002 from her friend’s garden in South Carolina where she was watering plants. Her kidnapper pulled up in a car and asked Kara if her parents were home - when she said that she was alone he forced her into his vehicle at gunpoint.

Kara Robinson was kidnapped by a serial killerKara Robinson was kidnapped by a serial killer
Kara Robinson was kidnapped by a serial killer | YouTube/ True Crime Daily

The man drover her to his apartment where he subjected her to a sexual assault over a period of 18 hours and tied her to a bed. When her attacker was asleep Kara was able to free herself from her restraints and escape from his apartment.

She has made sure to memorise crucial details from her ordeal, including details from inside the apartment, the type of cigarettes that her attacker smoked, and the radio station that he had listened to in his car.

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Kara found two people outside the apartment who took her to the police - she told officers what had happened and her memories of the attack. Police were able to identify a suspect - Richard Evonitz - but when they reached the apartment he had already fled the scene.

What happened to Richard Evonitz?

Richard Evonitz, 38 at the time of the attack, was a South Carolina native who had previously worked as a manager at a Jiffy Lube, and later served in the United States Navy as a sonar technician.

After leaving the navy, Evonitz filed for bankruptcy and divorced his second wife - by 2002 he was working at an air-compressor company. Over his life, Evonitz committed and was suspected of several sexual offences - he masturbated in front of a 15 year old girl in 1987 and was sentenced to three years’ probation.

Kristian Bruun as Richard Evonitz in The Girl Who EscapedKristian Bruun as Richard Evonitz in The Girl Who Escaped
Kristian Bruun as Richard Evonitz in The Girl Who Escaped | YouTube/ Lifetime

He was suspected of two rapes in 1994 and 1995, and the following year abducted a 16 year old girl from her front garden - her body was discovered a month later. In 1997, he abducted two sisters, aged 12 and 15, also from their front garden - he sexually assaulted and killed them both - their bodies were discovered five days later.

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When Evonitz realised that his latest victim, Kara, had escaped his apartment, he fled and was pursued by police to Florida. Police tracked him down and surrounded him, but rather than be detained, he turned his gun on himself. He died on 27 June 2002, three days after he had abducted Kara.

Where is Kara Robinson now?

Following her ordeal, Kara joined the agency that investigated her case, working as a school resource officer, sex crime and child abuse investigator and a victim’s advocate. She has since married and has two children with her husband - she is now called Kara Robinson Chamberlain.

She regularly speaks to groups across the US about her experience as a survivor and working as an investigator. She aims to empower other survivors to lead fulfilling lives after suffering traumatic experiences.

Kara was involved in several documentaries about survivors including I Escaped My Killer, Escaping Captivity: The Kara Robinson Story, and Deadly Sins. She was also involved in the making of the Lifetime drama The Girl Who Escaped: The Kara Robinson Story.

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How can you watch The Girl Who Escaped in the UK?

The Girl Who Escaped is available to watch on Lifetime in the US - however the streaming service is not yet regularly available in the UK.

You can access Lifetime from the UK by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which obscures your device's location. To do this, download a VPN, connect to a US server and visit the Lifetime website. VPN's are legal to use in the UK, however, some websites may have user agreements which restrict the use of a VPN. Check the agreements of the website you plan to access before using a VPN.

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