The shocking murder of a young Beverly Lynn Smith in Raglan, Canada, left the family and the authorities with more questions than answers over the years. Now, Amazon Prime Video’s four-part docuseries titled ‘The Unsolved Murder of Beverly Lynn Smith’ delves into the investigation and a controversial attempt to get a person of interest to confess. So, if you’re curious to find out more about the 1974 murder and what happened in the aftermath, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Beverly Lynn Smith Die?
Beverly was a 22-year-old free-spirited woman who married young. She lived with her husband, Doug Smith, and their 10-month-old daughter, Rebecca, when the tragic incident occurred. The family shared an old brick farmhouse in Raglan. While Doug worked the night shift at a local factory, Beverly stayed at home and took care of Rebecca. On December 9, 1974, an evening that started like any other quickly took a terrifying turn.
When Doug called home at around 8:30 pm, nobody answered the phone. So, he checked with his neighbors, Alan and Linda Smith (no relation). Linda went over and saw through the window only to find Beverly on the kitchen floor. The authorities arrived soon after and discovered Linda in a pool of blood. She had been shot in the back of her head with a .22-caliber rifle from about five feet away. Rebecca, fortunately unharmed, was found in another room.
Who Killed Beverly Lynn Smith?
The authorities noticed no signs of struggle or any suspicious footprints and tire tracks. It seemed that Beverly had let her killer in. Through investigation, the police learned that Beverly was on the phone at around 7 pm with her family. So, she was alive at least an hour and a half before Doug called home. At the time, Doug was looked at as a possible suspect but quickly ruled out because he was at work.
However, the police looked into Doug dealing marijuana from home. Sometimes, even Beverly would sell drugs to customers while he was at work. The drug operation then became the focus of the investigation once Doug said about six ounces of the weed was missing from the Raglan residence. As per the show, Mark Kenney, a teenager who bought drugs from Doug, was looked at. While he did say he was supposed to drop by to buy some weed, Mark maintained he never went to Doug’s residence on the night of the murder.
The investigation was also criticized at the time since a lot of evidence was lost or not collected. An unidentified hair found under Beverly’s fingernails was lost, along with notes of one of the original investigators and wiretapped conversations of people of interest. A few years later, Doug Daigle, Doug Smith’s drug supplier, was looked at based on a tip received. However, there wasn’t any concrete evidence to charge him.
The case eventually turned cold before it was picked up again in 2007. At the time, the authorities received information from David Maunder, a friend of Alan’s. David claimed that he was looking for weed and called Alan on the night of Beverly’s murder. He told David that he could get it from his neighbor. According to David, Alan called him the next day, saying he could pick up the weed. Furthermore, he also said Alan had a .22 caliber rifle.
Linda, who was questioned by the investigators again, provided several conflicting statements regarding Alan’s involvement in Beverly’s murder. As per the show, even David had trouble keeping his story straight. Alan was then charged with murder in March 2008 before the case was dropped. Then, the authorities carried out an elaborate undercover operation where police officers pretending to be criminals befriended Alan in 2009 and tried to elicit a confession.
Despite Alan admitting to the murder, many of the details he shared didn’t match the exact case details. But the authorities charged him with Beverly’s murder in December 2009, 35 years after the slaying. After more than four years behind bars, Alan became a free man when the judge ruled that the confession was coerced and riddled with inaccuracies. For now, Beverly’s case remains unsolved, and the killer hasn’t yet been brought to justice.
Read More: Where is Alan Smith Now?