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Old 03-04-2018, 08:44 PM   #1
Thiussat
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Default Don Smith

Thanks to Amazon, I am going through watching all UM segments starting from season 1 in order. I believe this case was included in Season 1 (episode 20) for those wanting to find it. I searched for this case on here and didn't find a thread dedicated to it, so I figured I'd start one.

I don't think the unidentified black male intended on robbing/killing Smith from the beginning because he had plenty of time to do so and didn't. He apparently was not armed when Smith picked him up and his actions do not fit those of a car-jacker. He allowed himself to be seen in public numerous times with Smith and that doesn't really "fit" with the actions of someone bent on murder/robbery. Moreover, Smith didn't seem concerned about him either. He was seen with him at his daughter's place of work and actually sent him in to find her. Later on Smith and this guy went to the bar where his daughter was hanging out and the companion actually came inside (even though he didn't sit with Smith). Smith had plenty of opportunities to alert people if he felt he was being held hostage, yet didn't.

Therefore, my theory is that Smith was suicidal. His wife said he was depressed when he left home and his daughter said he was crying and shedding tears in his beer when she saw him. Smith apparently had cancer and was depressed that his illness was essentially keeping him home bound. It's true he was drunk most of the trip, but that was a symptom of his state of mind (not the cause of it) in my opinion. I think this trip was his last journey before he ended it all.

I don't know how the killing went down. I don't know if Smith "asked" for it to happen or whether he was genuinely murdered. It's possible Smith became belligerent and threatened his companion (remember, Smith was threatening to fight people in the bar) and things got out of control. All we know is Smith was hit on the back of the head with a jack handle that was from his own truck (this is why I surmise the companion was not armed). Whatever the case, I don't think the companion was necessarily bent on robbery/murder when he was picked up.

Unresolved questions:

1) Who was the person Smith left his travel trailer with? The UM segment only said that when he got to Vegas, he "arranged to leave his trailer with a local man." No further info was given. I am sure this man was interviewed by the police, but I'd like to know more. This is important because I'd like to know whether he knew this man personally and what he told him. I am skeptical he was actually "having problems" with the trailer. I think he left it because he knew this would be his "last trip" and that he wouldn't need it.

2) Was the black male actually a hitchhiker? I am skeptical that this is actually how Smith encountered him. It's clear the man was a drifter, but we don't know for sure whether the guy was actually thumbing for rides on the side of the road. It's possible Smith met him some other way (restaurant, bar, gas station, whatever). I would even suggest it's possible Smith was using him as a designated driver and probably even giving him money.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thiussat
Who was the person Smith left his travel trailer with? The UM segment only said that when he got to Vegas, he "arranged to leave his trailer with a local man." No further info was given. I am sure this man was interviewed by the police, but I'd like to know more. This is important because I'd like to know whether he knew this man personally and what he told him. I am skeptical he was actually "having problems" with the trailer. I think he left it because he knew this would be his "last trip" and that he wouldn't need it.
Always figured that the guy really was just a local dude who Smith arranged to leave his trailer with. The reason I think he was mentioned in the segment is to give a timeline as to when and where Smith encountered Monroe. Because the local man only encountered Smith, so this had to have been before he picked up Monroe.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thiussat
Thanks to Amazon, I am going through watching all UM segments starting from season 1 in order. I believe this case was included in Season 1 (episode 20) for those wanting to find it. I searched for this case on here and didn't find a thread dedicated to it, so I figured I'd start one.

I don't think the unidentified black male intended on robbing/killing Smith from the beginning because he had plenty of time to do so and didn't. He apparently was not armed when Smith picked him up and his actions do not fit those of a car-jacker. He allowed himself to be seen in public numerous times with Smith and that doesn't really "fit" with the actions of someone bent on murder/robbery. Moreover, Smith didn't seem concerned about him either. He was seen with him at his daughter's place of work and actually sent him in to find her. Later on Smith and this guy went to the bar where his daughter was hanging out and the companion actually came inside (even though he didn't sit with Smith). Smith had plenty of opportunities to alert people if he felt he was being held hostage, yet didn't.

Therefore, my theory is that Smith was suicidal. His wife said he was depressed when he left home and his daughter said he was crying and shedding tears in his beer when she saw him. Smith apparently had cancer and was depressed that his illness was essentially keeping him home bound. It's true he was drunk most of the trip, but that was a symptom of his state of mind (not the cause of it) in my opinion. I think this trip was his last journey before he ended it all.

I don't know how the killing went down. I don't know if Smith "asked" for it to happen or whether he was genuinely murdered. It's possible Smith became belligerent and threatened his companion (remember, Smith was threatening to fight people in the bar) and things got out of control. All we know is Smith was hit on the back of the head with a jack handle that was from his own truck (this is why I surmise the companion was not armed). Whatever the case, I don't think the companion was necessarily bent on robbery/murder when he was picked up.

Unresolved questions:

1) Who was the person Smith left his travel trailer with? The UM segment only said that when he got to Vegas, he "arranged to leave his trailer with a local man." No further info was given. I am sure this man was interviewed by the police, but I'd like to know more. This is important because I'd like to know whether he knew this man personally and what he told him. I am skeptical he was actually "having problems" with the trailer. I think he left it because he knew this would be his "last trip" and that he wouldn't need it.

2) Was the black male actually a hitchhiker? I am skeptical that this is actually how Smith encountered him. It's clear the man was a drifter, but we don't know for sure whether the guy was actually thumbing for rides on the side of the road. It's possible Smith met him some other way (restaurant, bar, gas station, whatever). I would even suggest it's possible Smith was using him as a designated driver and probably even giving him money.
That's actually a really interesting viewpoint that I'd never considered. I always thought it was rather odd that this guy allowed himself to be seen so many times by so many people if he was going to kill Smith.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Thiussat
I don't know if Smith "asked" for it to happen or whether he was genuinely murdered. It's possible Smith became belligerent and threatened his companion (remember, Smith was threatening to fight people in the bar) and things got out of control. All we know is Smith was hit on the back of the head with a jack handle that was from his own truck (this is why I surmise the companion was not armed). Whatever the case, I don't think the companion was necessarily bent on robbery/murder when he was picked up.
The assisted suicide theory is an interesting one. If Don did ask for that, then why did he leave his body in open view? Why not bury him, and maybe even try to get Don to sign a note? Its possible Don was suicidal and he just surprised him to put him out of his misery.

I feel like this wasn't assisted suicide though. Leaving his body in the open, releasing his dogs, and running after the accident all seem weird. I feel like he had enough of Don drunken antics, and surprised attacked him and fled. Maybe they did get into a fight, but I bet Larry just had enough of Don and attacked.

Dons daughter said he looked annoyed in the van at the bar while he was waiting, so I felt like he had good intentions but was fed up and just killed him when he wasn't looking.
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:04 AM   #5
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Still think this was a crime of opportunity. Monroe was seen with Smith at various spots, and the last known sighting of Smith alive was when he picked up money from a Western Union (Monroe was seen with him). My feeling is that Monroe murdered Smith for the money. If it was a fight that escalated out of hand, it doesn't Monroe's actions after the murder. The entire point of the trip was for Smith to see his daughter in Idaho. The day after he saw his daughter, he was seen in Utah at the Western Union. IMO, he was headed back to California at this point. At some point after the money was picked up, Monroe murdered him. But Smith's body was found in Idaho, meaning that Monroe had to drive back to the area to dump his body (this could be why the police theorized he was from Blackfoot) before turning back around and heading to Denver.
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:10 AM   #6
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Still think this was a crime of opportunity. Monroe was seen with Smith at various spots, and the last known sighting of Smith alive was when he picked up money from a Western Union (Monroe was seen with him). My feeling is that Monroe murdered Smith for the money. If it was a fight that escalated out of hand, it doesn't Monroe's actions after the murder. The entire point of the trip was for Smith to see his daughter in Idaho. The day after he saw his daughter, he was seen in Utah at the Western Union. IMO, he was headed back to California at this point. At some point after the money was picked up, Monroe murdered him. But Smith's body was found in Idaho, meaning that Monroe had to drive back to the area to dump his body (this could be why the police theorized he was from Blackfoot) before turning back around and heading to Denver.
I forgot about the money they picked up from Dons sister. I agree with you totally.

I do wonder if there was an agreement about payment and Don didn't pay up or spent it on booze. I'm not trying to make Larry a reasonable guy, just wondering.
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Old 05-25-2019, 12:52 PM   #7
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This is definitely one of those cases that seems like it should have been solved but wasn't. Not only did several people see and interact with the man calling himself Larry Monroe, but his fingerprints and other evidence were bound to be in the truck. Because of his fleeing the scene its not as if he had time to clean it out. I have to assume law enforcement dusted the truck for fingerprints or possibly even DNA samples.

The whole thing seems strange. The man portrayed in the reenactment seemed like an odd person to be hitchhiking across Idaho, seemed to smooth and sophisticated. I think he almost had to be from a different part of the country.

Someone online even came out with a nutty theory it may have been Barack Obama cause they thought he resembled the sketch. Of course its ridiculous but I thought I'd share.
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