Justice for Susann Smith

Purple Candle 2

This week the trial of Alan Smith began in Snohomish County Superior Court. Smith is accused of murdering his children’s mother and estranged spouse Susann Smith in February of 2013. News coverage has been sparse so far, but the Bothell-Kenmore Reporter  has followed the case all along and will continue to post updates. Matt Phelps and crew– thank you for keeping this in the public eye.

Murder trial begins for Bothell man accused of killing estranged wife

In May of 2013 I wrote the post below, Murdering Susann Smith, which has hundreds of comments attached. I didn’t know when I penned it that it would become a gathering spot for people wanting more information about the case and to share what they knew. The neighborhood where this happened was concerned about their safety and disgusted by what went on at the Smith house after her murder.

For a long time, the primary suspect in the case was free and making a very public affair of his relationship with his new girlfriend, who later committed suicide after giving birth to their child. I still have trouble typing that, especially in light of what he allegedly did to Susann. He treated both women as disposable, as if he was God and had every right to hurt them and then get rid of them. Eventually the police had enough evidence and arrested him.

The brutality of Susann’s death does not resemble a burglary gone wrong as the defense claims. It was targeted, personal, and intended to inflict maximum damage. It shows wicked rage and a deep, seething hatred that had built up like a volcano. I’m surprised that the defense is going with that, that a burglar did it and Alan was at home asleep with his kids when this happened. My knee jerk reaction was, “you’re kidding me.” That is not the angle I thought they’d take, especially in light of the advance planning the police said went on and the evidence.

Returning to what I said in the first paragraph, the media hasn’t taken much of an interest in Susann’s murder. Stories about Alan having sex in his front yard after her murder were read around the world, so the original horror got lost in mankind’s voyeuristic attraction to the sleaze of it all. Imagine if every person who read the public sex story or commented on it in a public forum gave just one dollar to an agency that helps domestic violence victims. Millions of dollars could have been raised.

I’d like to provoke some coverage in the interest of raising awareness of domestic violence and related homicide. Susann Smith was one of 29 victims of domestic violence homicide in Washington State in 2013 and one of two in Snohomish County. This is not rare; it has happened many times before and will happen again. But there is a lot we can do to stop it, and I encourage you to visit some of the domestic violence-related links on the right sidebar to learn more about what you can do to help.

Susann was a beautiful woman who was devoted to her children and I suspect that I would have really liked Susann if I’d met her. But news outlets go for the money making stories, and this case didn’t involve a 21 year-old with perfectly curled hair extensions, false lashes, selfies of her drinking with her girlfriends on Facebook, and a bunch of sordid sexual drama in the marriage. Despite Susann originally being from Germany, I didn’t see this murder case get much international coverage until Alan Smith made sure everyone was seeing how cool he thinks he is by exploiting a woman with mental illness.

Perhaps Susann’s family hasn’t wanted the coverage and just wants to make life as normal for her children as they can. This has undoubtedly been traumatic for both sides of the children’s family and more media coverage might twist all sorts of facts and sensationalize particular elements of the case. But I want people to know that there are many more out there like the man who killed Susann, narcissists who think they’re too smart to get caught and who present a life-threatening danger to their victims. I’ve said it many times before, but men and women alike should be intimately familiar with Sandra L. Brown‘s books How to Spot a Dangerous Man and Women Who Love Psychopaths.

Within a few weeks, a female judge will be deciding Alan Smith’s fate, and I expect that any conviction will be followed by appeals. If you’re a praying person, now is the time to pray. Pray for the Susann’s family. Pray for her children. Pray for the suspect’s family and for Love Thai’s family and little boy, that he would grow up unaffected by all of this sorrow.

Prayer opens windows, inviting God in to comfort the grieving and achieve justice. A trial like this can be like putting the victim’s family through her murder all over again, and this time it might be even worse because some have traveled from another country to be in the courtroom. It might be the first time they’ve been that close to the evidence.

Many people are murdered every year. The utter brutality in this case, which is so blatantly personal, is what’s stood out to me all along. It doesn’t surprise me that the Reporter has noted that Alan Smith has looked blank much of the time. If I am correct about his psychological inclinations, he’s a human shark. He won’t feel remorse or regret over Susann’s death except to the extent that it affects him. He’s not beyond God’s reach or redemption, but that’s between him and God and not something anyone else can work out for him.

Whatever comes of this trial– and I pray that justice would come crashing down like fire from heaven so that no one else can be hurt by this guy– I am reminded that the Creator is keeping score. Yes, Alan is innocent until proven guilty. But his outrageous behavior after Susann’s death, including moving back into the house where her blood had soaked the floors and walls– and planning to move his children in there– has not shouted “shaken father trying to normalize his life.” It’s been more like a chest-beating victory cry to the world, and he only has himself to blame for that. No one did this to him. No one did this for him. No one made him do it. And if he’s guilty, he will have to live– or, if the judge sees fit– die knowing that.

This might come across as judgmental. Perhaps. But I’m a woman who’s spent a lifetime up close and personal with narcissists and sociopaths who are willing to badger, belittle, abuse, exploit, and even want to kill women who stand up for themselves. I have experienced various levels of this in my personal life and in the workplace and have two related degrees. There are elements of this case that resonate with me, and ultimately I don’t see “awesome” or “criminal mastermind.” I see cowardice. I see someone who couldn’t own their feelings or actions and robbed two beautiful children of their mother in some sort of demonic act of vengeance.

It’s in God’s hands. And if I were an abuser, or someone who exploits others, or a killer, I’d be at least a little concerned about what He’s going to say when He asks for an account of my life. Who will have the guts to say, “she deserved it” or “it was coming to her?” In light of my belief that what we do in this life determines our station in eternity, that this is the testing ground for what comes next, “oh God, what have I done?” is a much more realistic answer. And the sooner those words are spoken, the more likely it will be that the person saying them won’t choose a forever separate from God’s love.

I can’t provide up to the minute news coverage of this trial but will post things as they’re sent to me or as I come across them. I will approve comments as soon as I can. I don’t make a dime from blogging so you know this isn’t financially motivated. This is about keeping the spotlight on domestic violence, achieving justice for those involved, and remembering a woman who was put through the worst kind of hell for having the courage to move on.

The next Susann Smith could be in the same room with you– what are you doing to help them to safety?

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Please take the time to become familiar with the Document the Abuse website and the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit featured there. If you are affected by domestic violence, make it impossible for your abuser to get away with it no matter what happens.

Also, check out Susan Murphy Milano’s Times Up! A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships. Susan was our fearless leader at the Time’s Up crime victims advocacy blog until she passed away a couple of years ago. We continue our crusade for justice in her memory.

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©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninja.wordpress.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninja.wordpress.com.

28 thoughts on “Justice for Susann Smith

  1. It looks like Alan Smith DOC 381201 was transferred to Walla Walla state penitentiary where he will spend the remainder of his 28 years.

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    1. He wasn’t released he was transferred out of snohomish county jail to Washington Corrections Center in Shelton,wa where he will wait till they decide which prison he will be serving his time in. He will stay in shelton for 2-6 weeks and go through a classification process and they will decide which prison is best for him. I will update when I find out which he will be serving his time in.

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      1. Thanks. I knew it wasn’t possible that he’d been released, but that’s what the automated message said. Later I received a whole bunch of calls saying he’d been transferred, and the automated system wouldn’t let me acknowledge it, so it kept calling back. I finally got a nice young man live on the phone who took care of it.

        Thanks for staying on top of this. You’ve been such a valuable resource throughout this case.

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    1. Thank you. I haven’t had time to follow this today at all.

      It is sad that someone can so viciously murder another human being and still get out of prison. While I don’t know how much of a factor it is here if at all, he might serve less due to so-called good behavior. Sociopaths in particular know how to appear as the model prisoner so their consequences are lessened.

      What a journey for everyone involved. It is always good to see some semblance of justice done. Hopefully he won’t spend his time behind bars figuring out how to get back at all of the people who held him accountable.

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  2. I’m late posting this, Motion for new counsel and judge denied in Bothell murder case, http://www.bothell-reporter.com/news/294110961.html#.

    Evidently Alan Smith asked for new counsel and a new judge (before sentencing). He was denied. I caught a bit of him speaking about this on the radio today and it seemed he was saying that he had no idea what angle his defense attorney was going to use. To me this sounded both vapid and manipulative. Probably no one buys that.

    Narcissists just keep on doing their thing as if they’re still going to get away with it all. They live in their own little world, thinking they’re smarter and cooler than everyone else, and the lies flow like water. It’s sad, because nearly everyone but them sees what they really are.

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    1. Thanks. I saw that earlier (Sentence delayed for convicted killer and Bothell resident Alan Smith) and my first thought was that I was fully expecting some sort of appeal, continuance, whatever. While Smith has every right to request this, it reminds me that it’s not uncommon for this to happen in murder cases.

      A couple years ago, for example, Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates claimed he had ineffective counsel in his latest round of appeals. Ineffective counsel does exist, but this often reads as, “I didn’t get the result I want so I’m going to blame that on the lawyer rather than myself and keep trying.” It can show further evidence of extreme narcissism, something I call O.J. Syndrome when it comes to domestic violence cases (the gloves don’t fit!).

      There are those who will be offended by my mention of a serial killer, and I’m reminded that two women are dead in this case. One was brutally murdered and the other used. It’s not the same thing but that’s a particularly disturbing aspect of it.

      Expect more attempts to escape meaningful punishment or a guilty verdict. I am pleased to see that the prosecution is asking for no contact with Susann’s family for life. They deserve that. It needs to be this way for their peace and so they can all move on and give the children a healthy life.

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  3. Here’s a well-written article from the Bothell-Kenmore Reporter that details some of Bothell PD’s work in the case, Professionalism, evidence, emotion and one photo helped detectives catch Bothell killer, http://www.bothell-reporter.com/news/292440871.html#.

    Such cases can take a tremendous toll on the investigators, who must be exacting and thorough so as not to get dinged on any technicalities. Civilian staff, the crime lab, and many others had to be involved in this case and deserve thanks. It is no small feat to secure a murder conviction– it’s a team effort.

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  4. Today I was pondering the amazing amount of work that had to go into this conviction by the Bothell Police Department, the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office, the state crime lab, the expert from the RCMP who was utilized, and others. Civilian and uniformed employees alike did a fantastic job and deserve congratulations.

    Here are some more links. If you attended the trial and feel that it’s appropriate to disclose what you witnessed, please feel free to share. It sounds like the courtroom was packed.

    Bothell man found guilty of murdering wife, http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/verdict-issued-case-man-accused-murdering-wife/nj4TJ/

    Bothell man convicted of killing estranged wife, http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Bothell-man-convicted-of-killing-estranged-wife-290839801.html

    Guilty verdict in Alan Smith murder trial, http://www.king5.com/story/news/crime/2015/02/04/guilty-verdict-in-alan-smith-murder-trial/22899141/

    Bothell man convicted in brutal murder of his wife, http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20150204/NEWS01/150209527/1172/Guilty-of-murder

    Bothell man guilty of 1st-degree murder in wife’s 2013 death, http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2015/02/bothell-man-guilty-of-1st-degree-murder-in-wifes-2013-death/

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  5. Smith was found guilty of premeditated murder of Susan smith. It was about a half hr long speech by her and my nerves were wrecked by the time it was over. Something in my head was saying there was not enough evidence but I’m glad she found that there was. Sentencing so far is the 23 of feb at 1:30pm

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      1. …the children are well and they still have to be told who killed their mother. Please pray for them and those around them.

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      2. Gracey, definitely. Prayer opens windows and lets God in to do miracles. Thank you for that information.

        Assuming that Alan stays in prison for 20+ years (although they always seem to get out early for good behavior), hopefully the children can have as much of a normal childhood as possible.

        I know that it hurts people on their father’s side to not be able to have the kind of access to them they would like, and that’s an unfortunate consequence of their father’s actions. I have thought of them all along as well, because we don’t control our grown family member’s actions and yet often have to live with the consequences of those actions. This could be any of us– domestic violence is alive and thriving in our society.

        I’m thankful that Susann’s family was able to attend the trial and that they love the children so much.

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  6. Tomorrow the judge will issue a verdict, nearly two years from when Susann Smith was brutally murdered in a very personal and premeditated attack. Praying for clarity for the judge, for both families involved, and especially for the kind of justice that will hold great meaning to Susann’s family.

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  7. From KIRO. Nothing new. Accused wife killer awaiting verdict, http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/trial-man-accused-beating-drowning-wife-wrapping/njz9j/.

    This article is more insightful and mentions Alan calling Susann a psychopath and expressing his hatred for her mother. From The Herald, Judge plans to issue verdict Wednesday in man’s murder case, http://heraldnet.com/article/20150131/NEWS01/150139836/Judge-plans-to-issue-verdict-Wednesday-in-mans-murder-case.

    The last statements in this article are highly relevant:

    Deputy prosecutor Katie Wetmore delivered the final arguments. She said the defense’s theories of what happened to Susann Smith are not supported by the evidence.

    “The only person who benefits from Susann Smith’s death was Alan Smith,” Wetmore said.

    That is an excellent observation. When discussing how to discern the truth, I tell people to always ask, “who benefits?”

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  8. I saw this article this morning, but couldn’t post it until now, From death to deliberation – the case of Susann Smith’s murder, http://www.bothell-reporter.com/news/290268221.html. It’s a timeline of the events in the Smith murder. Please note that a summary of the whole case like this can take more out of you when you read it than you might expect. It’s good to go take a walk, read scripture, or do something else to detach after absorbing the pure evil here.

    In Proverbs last night I read:

    A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and whoever pours out lies will not go free.

    A few chapters prior I’d seen:

    The Lord works out everything to its proper end—
    even the wicked for a day of disaster.

    Whatever the verdict, which I believe will be guilty, I know that whether in this life or the next the person who killed Susann will face justice. Ultimately they cannot escape it. I hope they truly seek God’s forgiveness for what they have done.

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  9. The story of Alan Smith’s alleged confession is getting a lot of coverage today:

    Bothell man’s murder confession, truth through God, http://www.bothell-reporter.com/news/290139761.html

    Witness says suspect confessed to him that he killed his wife, http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20150129/NEWS01/150128921/Witness-says-suspect-confessed-to-him-that-he-killed-his-wife

    Witness tells judge accused killer admitted to murdering wife, http://www.komonews.com/news/local/RIVETING-TESTIMONY-IN-MURDER-TRAIL-OF-MAN-ACCUSED-OF-KILLING-ESTRANGED-WIFE-290151561.html

    Note that in the comments following the KOMO article, someone claims that Alan talked about killing his wife for his kids’ sake at a house party. The police know about it. I don’t think it’s seen as credible.

    I’ve discussed self-serving conversions before. I don’t know if it’s authentic but have my doubts even if it’s not mine to judge. I’ve noted numerous other self-serving and detached behaviors throughout this case. Part of coming clean in Christ is confessing your sins and to me authenticity would have involved a clear confession, like him going to police. Instead, the evasive maneuvers just continued.

    The “God” thing is being played up and reality is there are millions upon millions of Christians in this country and in the not too distant past these beliefs were held by a majority in this country.

    Thoughts? Thanks.

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