Wednesday, May 9, 2018

STRANGE CONNECTION

     An infamous murderer, originally from my little city, has been sitting in a Montana prison for 35 years. Ronald Smith marched two young aboriginals into the trees at the side of a road and shot them for their vehicle and his pleasure of watching them die.

     Smith and his partner were caught immediately and charged with murder. They were both convicted and Smith requested the death penalty. A few days later he changed his mind and has been fighting for his life for the last 35 years.

    Bits and pieces have emerged about his life in my city. His mother and a sister have been identified and interviewed by the press.  The middle school Smith attended has given information about his time in school. Very little other information has been given. 

    About age 15 Smith's life went off the rails and he became addicted to various drugs one of them being LSD. He also became a petty criminal to support his drug habit.

    Now  few days ago Smith's father spoke to the press just before his death. This is the first we had ever heard of Smith's father. Smith's father has longed to see his son's legal problems settled. Smith's father admitted that he spent very little time with his family as he worked in the oil industry and spent time in many places around the world.

     Now here's the strange connection. Smith's father worked with me for a few years. He was a caretaker at my school. He was a hard worker and very meticulous in his work. It was a treat to have somebody clean your classroom as well as he did. We had our daily visit which was most pleasant. Not once did this man give any indication that his son was Ronald Smith.

    One wonders what pain went on in this man's life. He chose to remain anonymous. In the end he had to disclose his connection and make piece with himself.



35 comments:

  1. We have no real control over our children, sometimes you wonder how they will turn out.

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    1. It would be interesting to see what people think their kids will do and how close they were to being right.

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  2. I saw this story on the news just a couple of days ago. Very sad for every single person involved - victims and their relatives, murderer and his relatives. So much sadness. The father sounds very unlike the son.

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    1. Rather surprised that this was covered across the country. Nelson was a very nice person.

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  3. How sad for the father and the family. It's also sad that this Ronald Smith went off the rails and was responsible for such horrendous crimes.

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    1. It's very sad for a family. I'm sure they tried their best.

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  4. "Caretaker" is a nice word. It describes someone who takes care. It is not a word that could be applied to Ronald Smith. He was more of a "hellmaker". I wonder if he was crazed with drugs when he murdered his unfortunate victims.

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    1. Okay, Smith's Dad was the school caretaker. Smith was doing LSD along with beer so he was completely out of reality.

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  5. It's very hard to imagine what it is like for the families of these kinds of notorious criminals but keeping secrets is never easy.
    Earlier this year there was a man with a long history of driving offences who crashed into a vehicle carrying a whole family of four adults. He killed them all and died himself. His family appeared on the news asking for understanding but there was so much anger about the whole thing I thought they might have done better to keep their heads down.

    Your story shows that we never really know who we are talking to

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    1. You have a good point that many families suffer in silence.

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  6. What a hard time that must have been for him. I can't even begin to imagine.

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    1. I think it would have been a very tough situation.

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  7. What a curious story. It's a little mysterious how this man you knew never mentioned he was Smith's father, a notorious killer. You have the most interesting stories, Red.

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    1. I think he had decided to keep a lid on things. It's funny how the press never found him.

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  8. What a tragic story, for all involved. We just never know what the people around us might be going through, do we?

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    1. Tragic for all. The families of the young guys who were killed were changed forever.

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  9. Those are sad situations for all involved. I always think about the parents of people like that and how difficult it must make their lives.

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    1. Smaller things bother me greatly like when my children separate and divorce.

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  10. Poor man, to carry this story for most of his life and not be able to talk to someone to ease the pain.

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    1. He remarried and I would guess shared this with his second spouse.

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  11. Small world, isn't it? I read his story the other day here in the papers.

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    1. I was surprised that this was covered nationally.

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    2. I read three or four papers a day. It was either in the Citizen or the Toronto Star. Might well have been both.

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  12. That is a powerful story. There is a new book, by a teen mass murder's mother out. You must feel guilt, and wonder what you could have done differently. Gosh.

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    1. Wondering what we "should have done" is common for all of us.

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  13. I'm guessing the father was ashamed and/or thought people would ostracize him if they knew about his son. But like you say, eventually we all have to make peace with the reality of our lives. Agree ... sad story.

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    1. It was a complicated situation and he couldn't do anything about it.

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    1. Very sad and it never goes away.

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  15. Hi Red, What a story! Especially interesting to me at this moment in time. I have just returned home from a short “coastal cruise” from San Diego CA up the west coast to Vancouver BC on a Holland America ship. We made one stop in San Francisco and I booked a tour of Alcatraz. Absolutely fascinating to see the prison where so many infamous criminals spent years paying for crime. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around a life like Smith has been living for 35 years. And amazing to hear about Smith’s father. I wonder about the prison where Smith is confined and how it would compare to Alcatraz. Enjoyed this post quite a lot! John

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  16. I have found many ancestors that were guilty of bad crimes and I can imagine what this man felt. None of my outlaw ancestors were alive in my lifetime, but I still feel guilt for what a couple of them did. That's one thing about genealogy- it will definitely open a closet of skeletons, or a can of worms, however you want to look at it. From what you said about his father it appears the son took a different road and none of that can be nlamed on him. Have a great weekend!

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  17. Interesting story. Lots of what ifs on the father part. Life circumstances and their effects on children are almost always imponderable...

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  18. Hello, once our children reach a certain age, they can no longer be controlled by us. We can only hope our children turn out to be decent human beings. Interesting story. Enjoy your day and new week!

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  19. I had not heard about this murder, but just googled it and read a bit of the history on Wikipedia. So very sad in all ways. It is pretty wild to know someone who was the parent of a murderer. I watched a TED talk the other day by a woman who was the parent of one of the shooters at Columbine. One never knows what a child is capable of.
    Thank you for stopping by the Dharma Bums and leaving a comment, Red. It was very kind of you.

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  20. Wow! That is quite a story. Very interesting story Red.

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