"I turned it over to Borden's security and told them about the embezzling he was doing and the phony accounts," Sabatino says. "I was the plant manager and we prosecuted him. I wouldn't say I put him in jail, but he ended up in jail and on probation. Borden had just bought Guy's and he reported to somebody in Atlanta (at company headquarters). Had they done proper research on him, they would not have hired him."
This spring, Robinson, 56, was arrested on murder, aggravated sexual battery, and felony theft charges. He is now linked to 11 dead, missing, or sexually battered victims, all female. In 1981, his guilty plea of stealing a $6,000 company check from Guy's earned him five years of probation after serving 60 days of "shock treatment" at the Clay County jail. The company also filed a civil lawsuit alleging Robinson turned in false vouchers and forged checks.
In the years after his arrest, the Guy's case followed Robinson as he continued getting into trouble for illegal business practices and other allegations, including using prostitutes and selling babies. In 1985, when he faced charges for violating his probation, Robinson attempted to defend himself by calling attention to his civic resume. Robinson had been a Boy Scout master, a volunteer, a church pastor. When a woman told the FBI that Robinson had paid for her to live in a Kansas City apartment, demanded "brutal and unnatural sex acts," and threatened her with a gun, Robinson explained that he and some local businessmen rented the place to serve the community and those less fortunate.
The FBI refused to produce the woman as a witness at a deposition to suspend Robinson's probation and perhaps put him back in jail; authorities feared for her safety. But Clay County Circuit Court Judge John Hutcherson used the woman's testimony and revoked Robinson's bond, only to have his decision reversed by the Missouri Court of Appeals, which ruled that authorities had violated Robinson's constitutional right to confront his accuser. Two years later, Robinson was convicted of white-collar crimes in Kansas, where he served four years in prison. He then served an additional two years in a Missouri prison for violation of his probation in the Guy's embezzlement case.
While at the Moberly Correctional Center, Robinson wrote a letter to a Clay County Circuit judge in 1991, asking for an early release: "Is this what is considered proportionate punishment for my crime in Missouri? I taught my children to believe in the basic fairness of our system."
On June 2, 2000, John E. Robinson Sr. was arrested at his home in Olathe. He was charged with sexually assaulting two women at hotels in the area and held on $5 million bail. He allegedly used the name "Slavemaster" to strike up online relationships with women.
Two weeks later, Daniel K. Harper emerged from prison after serving 120 days of his 10-year prison term for having "deviant sexual intercourse" with 14-year-old Christina.
Bob Allen, a mechanic in the Guy's garage since 1975, says the separate troubles of his former co-workers Robinson and Harper are surprising. Allen describes both men as well-mannered people.
"John Robinson was one of the most laid-back, nicest guys," Allen says. "When they got him up here for taking company money, that floored me, astounded me. I could not believe it. Now, as far as knowing Dan, he was a routine, nice, quiet, everyday, easy-going guy. That shocked me. That really shocked me."