Dennis Keith Smith

Real Name: Dennis Keith Smith
Aliases: None Known
Wanted For: Murder
Missing Since: November 1995


Details: On June 7, 1982, 5 year old Vancouver, Washington resident Dustin Johnson said goodbye to his mother Patricia to go stay with his father for a weekend custody visit, but what he did not know was that it was the last time he would see her alive. Over the weekend, she mysteriously vanished and a week later, was found brutally murdered. Shockingly, a week after that her 22 year old brother Dennis Keith Smith confessed to the murder, was convicted of second degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison, and even more shocking was that he was paroled after serving just ten years and after his release, he lived with his parents, in the same house where Dustin lived, so for over a year, Dustin had to face the man who killed his mother. Then, Dustin learned about the disappearance of 35 year old Carolyn Killaby of Vancouver, Washington, and was convinced that his uncle Dennis was somehow involved. Dustin soon learned that Carolyn and her husband Dan had lived just three miles away from him, and on November 11, 1995, the couple planned on having dinner out together. However, just before Dan left work, his brother told him to come over, and the two ended up at a local tavern, so at 1am Dan called home and left a message for Carolyn, saying that he was staying at his brother's house. However, when he came home that morning, Dan discovered that the message was still on the answering machine and that Carolyn was nowhere to be found. The next day, when Carolyn had not shown up for work, Dan became concerned and began searching for her. He later found Carolyn's car abandoned at a local bar, and found a witness who claimed to have seen her at the bar with a man named Dennis.

Patricia johnson and carolyn killaby

Patricia Johnson and Carolyn Killaby

When Dustin Johnson read the newspaper article about Carolyn's disappearance, he was certain that the man named "Dennis" was really his uncle, Dennis Keith Smith. Dustin contacted Dan Killaby and the two notified police about their hunch about Smith. Investigators soon confirmed that the man that was last seen with Carolyn was Dennis Smith. Dan soon learned what happened that night; according to the bartender, Carolyn was alone, drunk and crying at the bar, and at around 11:30pm, Smith came over to her and the two later left. When authorities learned that Smith was a paroled murderer, they brought him in for questioning. Smith however claimed that he had sexual relations with Carolyn, and that an unknown man had threatened him and took Carolyn away. However, Smith was acting suspicious during the interview and detectives did not believe his story. Authorities searched Smith's car and found a large hole in the front passenger seat, and that all of the carpeting in the vehicle had been taken out. However, at the time, authorities did not have enough evidence to arrest Smith, and he was released. Despite Carolyn's body never being found, investigators were able to amass enough evidence to charge him with murder, but Smith had long since vanished. A $5,000 reward is being offered for his capture.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the January 31, 1997 episode of Unsolved Mysteries. This case was also profiled on Forensic Files, in which Unsolved Mysteries was referenced in how the show aided in Smith's capture.
Results: Captured. On the night of the broadcast, Dennis Keith Smith was watching Unsolved Mysteries with two friends, Tracy Rottleman and John Cummings, while he was using the alias David Sanborn in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. During the broadcast, they noticed that Sanborn had the same tattoos and looked just like Smith. He began acting nervous and then left in the couple's car. When he didn't return, they called the police, and then Smith was arrested by the New Smyrna Beach Police in Florida after a traffic stop on February 4, 1997. During questioning, he tried to escape by grabbing an officer's gun and was shot to the neck and wrist by a second officer. Smith survived and a week later was released from the hospital and extradited to Washington to stand trial for Carolyn's murder. He was convicted of all charges and received a seventy year sentence for murder and ninety years for parole violation. He committed suicide in prison on November 18, 2004. Tragically, Carolyn's body has never been found.

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