When the investigation into Mario Garcia began for the death of Christie Wilson, the police uncovered a history of reports and mysterious deaths that had followed Mario Garcia throughout his life. One of them was the death of a woman named Lynette Smith and her mother, Violet Davis. In CBS ’48 Hours: the Search for Christie Wilson’ Lynette’s brother, Tom Davis, took the chance to share what transpired with his family and how Garcia was entangled in the case.
Lynette Davis was Dating Mario Garcia
In the latter part of 1979, Lynette, aged 33, entered into a romantic relationship with Mario Garcia. At that time, Garcia faced accusations from his ex-girlfriend, Wendy Ward, who claimed he had sexually assaulted and attacked her, leading to an ongoing legal case against Garcia. Lynette was a legal secretary who was working on his defense team and despite Wendy’s allegations, Garcia assured Lynette that Wendy was unstable and advised her not to give credence to her words. Lynette, a lively young woman with a profound love for dancing, chose to dismiss the allegations, believing them to be fabricated, and proceeded to engage in a relationship with Garcia.
They eventually moved in together, and before long, Lynette found herself facing the same mistreatment that Wendy had endured. The abuse escalated to the point where Lynette had to be hospitalized due to its severity. Having reached her limit, Lynette realized she needed assistance to end the relationship with Garcia. She contacted her mother, Violet Davis, requesting her presence in Ohio to provide support and help terminate the relationship.
The Car Accident
Lynette Smith had expressed her desire to end the relationship with Garcia, who suggested going out to dinner with her and her mother for closure. On December 24, 1979, the trio set out from Hayward to a restaurant in San Francisco, using Lynette’s beige four-door sedan. However, on their way back, they found themselves on Doolittle Road near Oakland International Airport. Eyewitnesses, mostly motorists, reported seeing the car enter the road and suddenly accelerate to a high speed of approximately 90 mph. The car crossed two lanes before plunging into the waters of Oakland Estuary.
Eyewitnesses recounted to the police that Garcia emerged from the car’s roof and lingered by the vehicle until it was fully submerged, despite nearby individuals shouting to him. He swam to the shore without engaging with anyone, and even when the police arrived, he was reticent in providing details. Initially attributing his behavior to shock, the police managed to extract information that others were in the car after some coaxing. Soon after, a white object near the submerged car was identified as Violet Davis’ body.
Lynette’s body was recovered 21 days later through extensive rescue efforts. During police interviews, Garcia claimed that Lynette was driving the car and had unexpectedly crashed it into the water. He told them that he had fallen asleep, woke up after the crash, and was able to climb out from the side window. He asserted that he attempted to assist her but had to release her when he became exhausted. The police found his statements perplexing, especially after Lynette’s brother, Tom Davis, informed them that his sister was a proficient swimmer. Garcia provided inconsistent accounts of the incident, varying details such as his seating position when recounting the events to different individuals.
In 1981, as Garcia’s trial for the case filed by Wendy approached, the common link between the two cases became evident—Mario Garcia. Wendy, who was friends with Tom Davis, claimed that she was certain Garcia was driving the car that Lynette was in. However, due to a lack of evidence regarding the driver and the circumstances of the accident, the case went cold and remains officially unsolved to this day.