Biography released of former local resident executed for murder | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | April 14, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: April 11, 2018 at 11:15 am
An autobiography of Fred Herman Kornahrens III has been released. Kornahrens, a former resident of Colleton County, was convicted of murdering his ex-wife, her father-in-law and her stepson in Feb. 9, 1985 on Yonges Island and was executed on July 19, 1996.
He created a “living ****” for five Colleton County residents when he escaped from custody in January 1988 enroute to a hearing in Charleston County. The local residents — his sister-in-law, his three children and his ex-wife’s husband — spent two weeks under protective custody in fear of retaliation from Kornahrens, according to a Feb. 11, 1988 article in The Press and Standard.
His sister-in-law said in the story that “their ordeal during the time an intense manhunt was being conducted was traumatic. ‘We were under constant surveillance by the (Colleton County) Sheriff’s Department.’ She reported that deputies put a two-way radio in the house for use in case the phone lines were cut. She was concerned for the children’s safety because Kornahrens may have wanted to take them.” She also felt her sister’s widower was in danger because he escaped on the night of the murders.
On the day of his capture, Kornahrens called The Press and Standard and said television news reports of danger to his ex-wife’s husband and his children were unfounded. “I had no revenge in my heart. I wanted to go to Canada and I was looking for someone to help me,” he said. “I am a Christian in my heart.”
He also said he had pleasant memories of his time as a farmer in Stokes and serving as a member of the local National Guard unit.
The new book, “Reflection Upon a Sunny Day,” was written by Kornahrens, his son Joseph Wilkerson Kornahrens and M. Scott Steedley. The preface to the book states:
“The autobiography contained in the following pages tells the story of one spirit plagued by disharmony. Sadly, the turmoil that affected the life of Fred Herman Kornahrens III also resulted in loss of life and the destruction of innocence. Although Kornahrens’ story takes place in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, it received media coverage across the nation. In offering this book to the public, we hope that it reaches within many hearts and potentially prevents the unfolding of similar tragedies.
“This book is the first half of an autobiographical manuscript written by Fred H. Kornahrens III while living on Death Row in South Carolina. The other half of the manuscript is to be released at a later date. We have made few efforts to change the document in attempts of presenting it as it was written. To complete this Foreword, Joseph Wilkerson Kornahrens, the eldest child of Fred H. Kornahrens III, expresses his feelings on what he hopes to gain by sharing his father’s version of a family’s suffering:
“I now know the true meaning of the biblical saying that the sins of the father shall be carried by his son. Life is a test of strength and morality. I believe that every story has more than one side and this is my father’s story.”
The book is available on amazon.com in paperback for $34.95.