She put up an ad on a site for singles
Monica White's divorce was hard, but she was ready to start dating again in the fall of 2020, when she was 53. She made profiles on online dating sites and soon got a message from a possible suitor. A year later, police would say that the man was a serial killer.
Anthony Robinson, who is 36 years old and has been called the "Shopping Cart Killer" by the police, is accused of meeting women on dating sites and luring them to hotels, where he then killed them and put their bodies in shopping carts to throw away in empty lots. Police have linked him to three other killings and have charged him in two of them.
"Hi, beautiful," Robinson wrote in his first message, White says. "I'd like to learn more about you."
After that, there was a whirlwind romance that was at times intense, strange, and dangerous. White's story gives us the most complete picture we have so far of a man who has been mostly a mystery since authorities called him a serial killer at a news conference in December that drew attention from all over the country.
The only thing the police have said about Robinson is that the D.C. man moved around a lot and worked in different places. His family has never talked to the media. Louis Nagy, Robinson's lawyer, said he didn't want to talk about this story.
Robinson is accused of killing Allene Redmon, 54, of Harrisonburg, and Tonita Lorice Smith, 39, of Charlottesville, last fall. On Monday, he will have a preliminary hearing in Harrisonburg, Va., where he is charged with two counts of murder.
In light of the accusations against Robinson, police are looking into the death of a Maryland woman he was going to marry in 2018.
White said that meeting a person who is thought to be a serial killer had left her scared. She said that since then, she hasn't been able to go on dates.
White said, "It really shook my world." "I fell into a low mood."
White, who lives outside of Harrisburg, Pa., said that after that first message, things moved quickly in her relationship with Robinson. White said that Robinson was being nice when he told her what he liked about her profile. She said that he liked that she liked art and had taught young children.
White said that she told him she wanted a serious relationship, and he told her that he liked older women because they were more mature.
Soon, the messages turned into video chats. White said that Robinson would call her from the Metro on his way to or from his job in Washington, D.C., where he cleared snow and cleaned the streets for the city, where White said he worked. At the time, Robinson lived in the apartment of a friend in the District and went to visit his mother in Maryland sometimes.
Robinson told White that he had never been married, but that he had a son who died when he was about 2 years old and a daughter who was about 5 or 6 at the time. White said she didn't know much about the kids' mother, but she could tell Robinson had a hard childhood.
White and Robinson became better friends.
White said, "He seemed to care about me, so he would call me every day."
Robinson planned to go to Pennsylvania for the first time in late 2020. White said that she and Robinson hung out, watched movies, and ate Chinese food over the weekend. White put Robinson in touch with her grown-up son.
White said that Robinson told him he hoped they could become a couple and that he would move his daughter to Pennsylvania to live with her. In February of 2021, Robinson went back to the Harrisburg area for White's birthday.
White said that Robinson's visit had a surprise: he bought a one-way bus ticket.
White said, "When he got here, he told me I'd have to get a job or do something else to get back home because I didn't have the money for my ticket."
White said that Robinson got a job at a warehouse for an online pet supply store and stayed with her for three weeks while he saved money for his return trip.
White said that Robinson never talked about killing or hurting women, but he said that Robinson did have darker moments.
At one point, White said he pulled up his shirt to show her a scar and told her he had been stabbed. White said Robinson never told him how he got stabbed, but he said Robinson promised he would kill anyone who stabbed him again. White said that when they were together, Robinson would sometimes choke her for a short time, making her gasp for air.
Robinson said that he was going to marry a woman who had died.
The woman was Skye Allen, who was 30 years old and died on February 14, 2018. Robinson met Allen online in 2016, and her family said that the two were making plans to get married. The couple was living in Glenarden, Maryland, with Allen's mother.
Skye's mother, Stacey Allen, said that she found her daughter in her bed on the morning of February 14, 2018, barely breathing and with a weak pulse. Stacey Allen said that Skye Allen had spent the night with Robinson in the room they shared. Skye Allen was taken to the hospital right away, but she died soon after.
The Post got a copy of Skye Allen's death certificate, which said that the cause of her death was "fatal cardiac arrhythmia." Police in Prince George's County said they are looking at the case again.
The Prince George's County Police Department said in a statement that they did not start an investigation into Ms. Allen's death in 2018. "Our agency wasn't told about her death, which happened in a hospital, so we had nothing to do with recording anything about it. When she died, her body was burned. A PGPD Homicide supervisor did talk to Ms. Allen's family in January 2022. The PGPD's Cold Case Unit is looking into the details of her death based on what was said.
At White's house, her troubled relationship with Robinson ended. White's birthday party was in the middle of February 2021. White said that Robinson got drunk at the party and made sexually suggestive comments to her son and the teenage son of a friend. A cousin of White's who was there confirmed this.
White said that she talked to Robinson the next day about what he had said. White said that she told Robinson that his comments were wrong and asked him if he liked men. Robinson told White that he did, White said.
White said she was surprised because Robinson hadn't been honest about that side of himself, and she said she could no longer trust him. White said, "He could be anyone."
White said that after the fight, Robinson called the police before leaving. The local police confirmed that they were called about White and Robinson. White thought she would never see Robinson again, but she did.
White said that Robinson sent her a message on Facebook a few weeks later and told her he was living in a hotel in Harrisburg. Robinson told her to come to the hotel and said, "I'll give you whatever you want." White said he was also interested in buying "spice," which is synthetic marijuana. White turned down his offer to meet.
About a month later, White was driving in Harrisburg when he saw Robinson walking down the street. White said that when she saw him, she was shocked. Robinson had always been well-groomed and clean-shaven, but now he had a messy beard and a tangled Afro. White didn't see him ever again.
About eight months later, in October 2021, Robinson killed Redmon in Harrisonburg, which is about 130 miles south of D.C., where he had gone for work, according to the police. In November, Robinson killed Smith, according to the police.
Robinson was arrested on November 23 after the bodies of both women were found in an open lot in Harrisonburg's business district. Police said that surveillance video and records from both victims' cellphones linked Robinson to both of them.
In December, Fairfax County police said they were looking into Robinson in connection with the deaths of two women whose bodies were found in a trash can in an empty lot along Route 1. Robinson has not been charged with killing Cheyenne Brown, who was 29 and lived in D.C., or Stephanie Harrison, who was 48 and lived in Redding, California.
A spokesman for the Fairfax County police said that White was talked to as part of their investigation.
D.C. Robinson is also being looked into for the murder of Sonya Champ, who was 40 years old and from D.C. Her body was found in a shopping cart near Union Station in September 2021.
White said she was shocked when a family member told her in December that police had called Robinson a serial killer. She was supposed to be at the birth of her niece, but she couldn't leave her house. She thought about the women who had been killed and about what she had been through with Robinson.
White said, "I felt a lot of different things at the time."