On November 16, 2012, social worker Lisa Knoefel from Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services’ sex abuse unit was stabbed no fewer than 178 times by her foster daughter, Sabrina Zunich. In bed at the time, she had no idea that the teenaged girl she had been taking care of for over two years had conspired with her husband, Kevin Knoefel, with whom she was also having an illicit affair. All this and more is explored on ‘Dateline: Deadly Betrayal,’ but if you’re curious to know more about Kevin and his current whereabouts, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Kevin Knoefel?
Kevin Knoefel, a truck driver, had married Lisa in 2006 and welcomed their first and only child together, a baby girl, roughly three years later. She had another daughter from a previous marriage, so they already seemed like a perfect family. But that turned once Sabrina came into the picture. At first, everything was pretty harmonious, yet within six months, the teen started feeling like her foster mother gave her biological offspring preference and grew closer and closer to her foster father. Believing that he never judged her, she went to him whenever an issue arose.
Kevin and Sabrina’s friendly bond raised eyebrows, but it wasn’t until later that it came to light that they’d begun an affair in 2012, when she was just 17, a minor. That summer, he even told friends that the problems in his and Lisa’s union might lead to divorce. He worried, though, how it would affect custody when it came to their daughter and Sabrina. The married pair had disputes of their own, so connected with his commitment to the teenager, the only solution Kevin could formulate was murder. According to Sabrina, he was the one who concocted the whole plan.
On November 16, 2012, Kevin was on the road in Michigan when deputies called to notify him that his foster daughter had brutally killed his wife. As someone playing the part of a newly grieving widower, instead of showing any deep emotion, he seemed “relatively calm” and didn’t appear fazed by the matter at all, as per police records. Instead, he cashed in on Lisa’s life insurance policy, worth more than $750,000, which he spent on his home, new cars, and flying lessons. It was only nine months later that Sabrina confessed, leading to his apprehension for good.
Where is Kevin Knoefel Now?
As per Sabrina, Kevin Knoefel schemed to kill Lisa because she “would be worth more dead than alive.” It would allow the new couple to start a new life together without any barriers, which they both allegedly wanted. She admitted that she’d agreed to be the one who slew her once he cried and told her that he was contemplating suicide, after which he taught her how to stab and twist the knife into a body to end life. He had instructed her to stage a burglary, but if she got caught, he supposedly stated, she should use amnesia and insanity as her defense.
Kevin had tried to visit Sabrina in jail the day after the murder, but he was not allowed, which irritated him. This led to her feeling abandoned, which eventually drove her to concede. When Kevin stood trial for Lisa’s murder in 2014, his defense relied heavily upon blaming Sabrina. He claimed that she acted alone and out of passion after being told that she had to move out soon and was only implicating him in the hopes of receiving a shorter sentence. However, the number of texts and phone calls between the duo made their relationship and the actuality clear.
Eventually, Kevin was found guilty on two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, three counts of complicity to aggravated murder, and six counts of sexual battery for his relationship with Sabrina. He is now classified as a tier III sex offender. Kevin was consequently handed a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 30 years and an additional 12 years for the sexual battery, 2 for each count, to be served consecutively. Therefore, today, at 51, Kevin is incarcerated at the Lake Erie Correctional Institute in Conneaut, Ohio. He’ll be eligible for parole in 2055.
Read More: Where is Sabrina Zunich Now?