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Monday, April 5, 2004

Help Wanted: Need Fresh Investigative "Muscle" For BTK Case

The Wichita Police are sitting on thousands of clues and have had 30 years to try and catch the BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) Serial Killer. This has got to be one of the most clue "rich" unsolved cases you will ever come across. DNA, multiple eyewitnesses, fingerprint(s), tight 3.5 mile killing zone, a voice recording, the killer's many written communiqu├ęs including his recent letter, plus all the unreleased details only the police know. What gives? Why hasn't the killer been caught?

Either the police or one of the media companies covering BTK should pay to bring in someone like Lou Smit to take a fresh look at the evidence. Who is Lou Smit? He is the retired Colorado Springs detective who solved the murder of Karen Grammer, sister of Kelsey Grammer. He also convinced Katie Couric (Today Show host) and millions of viewers that Patsy Ramsey did not kill her daughter, JonBenet Ramsey. He might like and need a break from the Ramsey case.

Retired detective Lou Smit had a different view of the JonBenet Ramsey killing even before he was hired to help with the case. It was March 1997, three months after the slaying, and Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter was looking to add some investigative muscle. He wanted the longtime Colorado Springs homicide cop on his team. First though, Hunter asked for Smit's take on the now-infamous ransom note found in the Ramsey home. "I told Alex, 'Look, I don't know if you're going to hire me, but I'll give you a freebie,' " Smit recounted.

"Whoever wrote this note did not do it after the murder." That would be the first of many times that Smit's intuition, refined over a career spanning three decades and more than 200 homicide cases, ran counter to that of Boulder police.
Smit's track record includes catching the killer of Karen Grammer -- actor Kelsey Grammer's sister -- a 1975 case he cracked, in part, by his habit of driving by the crime scene every morning to sip his coffee, say a little prayer and hope he may notice something he missed before.

In this case, the scene was an alley. After two or three weeks of his morning visits, Smit was struck by the idea that the killer, instead of running out of the alley after the crime, went down the dead-end to an apartment complex. That seemingly minor notion led him to solving the case.

From Evidence Man - Lou Smit [Rocky Mountain News]
The Intruder Theory by Lou Smit - JonBenet Ramsey Murder [Crime Library]
Decision pleases detective [Rocky Mountain News]

related links:
Johnsville coverage of BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) Serial Killer:
BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info & Voice Recording [Consolidated Information]
BTK Serial Killer Manhunt Update [Apr. 2, 2004]
BTK Cold Case Investigation Continues [Mar. 31, 2004]
BTK Serial Killer Clue Update [Mar. 29, 2004]
Cold Case gets Hot: The Kansas BTK Serial Killer is Back [Mar. 26, 2004]

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