Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Crystal Todd Murder Case

Shocking News

At first, when Bonnie Faye Todd got the news about the arrest of Ken Register, she could not believe it. "He's been our friend for years and years," Bonnie told The Sun News on February 19, 1992. "He was everybody's friend around here."

Horry County Courthouse
Horry County Courthouse

Bonnie Todd said Ken Register was one of the last people she thought would be charged with her daughter's murder. She remembered how apprehensive Ken seemed after submitting to a blood test for the police. "I said, 'Ken, you don't have to worry about your blood test. You didn't do it.'" she said. "He's the only one I said that to." 

It did not take long for Bonnie's disbelief to turn into bitterness. "He needs something worse than the electric chair," she later said. "He deserves just what she got," said Bonnie, referring to her daughter.

According to The Sun News, on February 20, the entire Conway community was in a state of shock. "I can't think of anything in the world that would be more of a shock than this," said a local bar owner whom Shirley Register once worked for. "I know his mother, his sister and him and never in my life have I encountered a more polite, more kind young man. My heart bleeds for his parents. I feel like crying to think of it." Although everybody was stunned over everything, a strong sense of relief swept throughout the town.

It was soon revealed that this was not the first time Ken Register had been arrested. On September 23, 1991, police arrested him at Coastal Carolina College on charges of indecent exposure, according to an arrest warrant filed in the Horry County Clerk of Court's office. A pretrial hearing had been held and the charge was still pending.

Ken Register prison ID
Ken Register prison ID

A warrant issued states that two female students, aged 17 and 18, told police a man pulled up to them in his car and asked for directions. He began to fondle himself and started to unfasten his pants. As the students walked away, the man called to them and "fondled his genitals at them as he had raised himself up from the driver's seat of the vehicle."

Ken Register was arrested after one of the victims gave police the license number of the man's car. The number matched the license plate number on his mother's car.  Shirley Register told police that her son was driving her car at the time and date of the incident. One of the women picked his picture out of a photographic lineup in less than 30 seconds.

Ken was released on $2,000 bond set by a Conway magistrate.


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