Alan Justin Smith

Alan Justin Smith

Crime: Murder

In February 2013, Susann Smith of Bothell, Washington, died. The 37-year-old mother of two didn’t die easily. In fact, it was a brutal death. She’d been violently attacked in her bedroom while she was sleeping. She was mercilessly struck and stabbed in the face and head 22 separate times. Twenty-two separate blows. That’s a whole lot of hate.

The poor woman was dying at that point but not dead yet. Her ordeal wasn’t over. She was dragged by an impatient killer to her bathroom and drowned in her bathtub. Her body was left submerged and half naked in the reddened water.

Susann Smith was so horribly battered that she had to be identified by her dental records.

Who would do that horrific act to a young mother of two? The fact she was going through an extremely nasty divorce made her estranged husband, Alan Justin Smith, the primary suspect right away.

The couple had fought like cats and dogs over visitation and custody of the children, with each trying to prove the unfitness of the other in court. There were restraining orders and accusations of abuse and mental illness. It was ugly.

BTW, the children, aged 3 and 6, were not in the home when their mother was brutally bludgeoned and murdered, thank gawd. They were sleeping at their father’s home, 2 miles away.

Now why would Alan Smith want to actually kill Susann Smith? Most divorces do not end in murder. Most acrimonious divorces don’t wind up with someone dead. What was his motive?

Of course Alan Smith was mad about the cost of the divorce. He wasn’t happy with the alimony and child support he had to pay. He wasn’t happy with the debt he considered Susann’s. He had made his unhappiness and anger clear to anyone — neighbours, co-workers, acquaintances — who would listen to his rants on the subject.

Susann SmithBut above all of that, Alan Smith was afraid Susann Smith would take the kids and move back to her native Germany. No way was he going to let that happen. He would rather see his children motherless than living in another country. It’s like he didn’t consider Susann Smith to be of value as a mother or a human being — that she was disposable because she was a problem.

As far as I can gather, Susann Smith wasn’t even considering moving to Germany. Her parents asked her to, but she had refused. She’d told her mother she wanted the kids to be near their father.

Too bad Susann Smith hadn’t made it clear to her estranged husband that she had nixed the idea of returning to Germany. But likely Alan Smith wouldn’t believe anything she said anyway.

Susann Smith’s murder was discovered after her co-workers became concerned that she hadn’t shown up for work for 2 days. On February 12, 2013 they called the Bothell police and asked for a welfare check. A responding officer looked through a bedroom window, and saw blood on the walls and floor. The front door was unlocked. The officer called for backup.

It was fortunate that the police discovered the murder when they did. Alan Smith had chosen that very day to clean up the crime scene.

Alan Smith, nicknamed “Creepy Alan” by his co-workers at Boeing, had left his office early that day. He bought a gas can, latex gloves, a pair of slip-on shoe covers, disposable coveralls and some painter’s tape. He drove towards the house in the 200 block of 240th St. S.W. in Bothell, but encountered a police barricade. Ooops.

Smith houseThe poor guy had no choice but to turn around and drive away. His chance to destroy evidence was now gone forever. Alan Smith went back to work, no doubt kicking himself for having waited too long, and hoping the police would find nothing incriminating.

The trouble was that Alan Smith himself was incriminating. When police showed up within hours to question him, they noticed that he showed little interest in his estranged wife’s death, and not much emotion either.

The police also noticed the creep had bruises and injuries on his hands. Verrrry suspicious.

Alan Smith told the police that the bruises and scrapes on his hands were caused by one of his children hitting him with a hatchet. The children were 3 and 6 years old. Who the hell keeps a hatchet within reach of small children like that? The police didn’t buy that bullshit story.

Alan Smith’s employer allowed the investigators access to company-owned computers and cell phones that he had been using. What they found was verrrry interesting. He had conducted Internet searches such as, “How realistic is CSI Miami”, “Where do people get fake passports”, “How much material is needed for DNA” and “does Venezuela extradite to the United States”.

Alan Smith had also conducted Internet searches about buying plane tickets for an adult and 2 children to Venezuela. He searched for the best places to live in Central America.

The children were wisely taken into protective custody. Alan Smith’s passport was seized.

Investigators discovered that Alan Smith had made a number of incriminating purchases before the murder: disposable coveralls, latex gloves, shoe covers, duct tape, and a rubber mallet that nobody could find.

The autopsy had stated that the victim could have been attacked with a rubber mallet. Hmmm.

Then there was the purchase of a bicycle in Seattle. Alan Smith denied even owning a bicycle. And don’t you know, an abandoned bicycle was found. It was the same make and had the same serial number as the bike purchased by Alan Smith.

It wasn’t looking good for Alan Smith. Investigators discovered traces of blood in his car and on his backpack. Ooops. That was a bit careless of him.

A woman who had dated Alan Smith briefly in 2012 came forward to tell investigators that he had said to her in October, “I just want [Susann] to be done with.” He also asked her if she knew how he could dispose of his estranged wife with nobody finding out.

Within a month after the murder, Alan Smith had moved back into the home where Susann Smith had died. He didn’t move in alone. He brought with him his girlfriend, Love Thai.

Neighbours weren’t so happy with Alan Smith and Love Thai, what with their propensity to engage in sex on the lawn.

The odd couple even did an interview with a Seattle television station. Love Thai said that her boyfriend was capable of killing his wife but she believed in his innocence.

“He said he did not do it,” Love Thai said. “So, I stand by him and the truth will always set people free.”

Love Thai trusted her man so much she became pregnant by him. Still, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the lovers. Police were called to the house for various incidents in May and June 2013, including domestic disturbances and, of course, having loud sex in the front yard.

Love Thai posted everything about her relationship on Facebook — even Alan Smith’s arrest for murder.

It took 4 months of investigating before police tossed Alan Smith into jail for the murder of Susann Smith. The linchpin to the case was a statement by a man who attended the same church as Alan Smith. Apparently, during a conversation they were having about repentance and confessions of sin, Alan Smith confessed to his friend that he’d killed his wife.

The friend, being a good sort of person, naturally assumed that Alan Smith would go to the police himself and confess. He waited a few days and I’m sure he was disappointed that that hadn’t happened. And so he felt compelled to go to the police himself.

Alan Smith was arrested in June 2013. On April 8, 2014, before he went to trial, Love Thai committed suicide. She’d given her baby up for adoption.

Alan Smith’s lawyers did their best to have evidence suppressed, including everything gathered from his home, body, bank, cell phones, computers and vehicles. They argued the search warrants were flawed. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Linda Krese disagreed and allowed almost all of the evidence to be presented in court.

Alan Smith’s lawyers also did their best to suppress testimony from the church friend who heard the confession. They argued he was a licensed minister so the conversation was protected. The trouble with that was he wasn’t acting as a minister when he had that chat with their client.

Alan Smith

(Photo: KING)

Alan Smith went to trial in January 2015. He opted not to have a jury.

The defense stated that at the time of the murder, Alan Smith was sleeping on the living room floor of his home, between his two young children. They argued that there was evidence that someone had been burgling Susann Smith’s home when she was killed — her purse had been rummaged through. They also pointed to DNA belonging to an unidentified person in the house.

Seriously? A burglar is their answer? So a burglar had supposedly randomly picked a home with a conveniently unlocked front door, and the children conveniently absent. The burglar went inside, looked through a purse, but instead of stealing anything he headed for the bedroom where a woman was sleeping — with a mallet he’d conveniently brought along. Finding a sleeping woman, the burglar didn’t sneak out but instead attacked and killed her. Riiight.

The prosecution laid out how Alan Smith likely committed the crime. He’d ridden his bicycle 2 miles to his wife’s house, donned the gloves and disposable coverall, and let himself in through the front door. He brutally attacked his wife with all the rage he could muster, then left. At some point later he abandoned the bicycle.

Bloody footprints found in the house were consistent with his feet. A bloody stain on the bathtub was consistent with the weave pattern of the disposable coverall.

And then the prosecution brought out their prime witness — the church friend.

On February 4, 2015, Judge Krese found Alan Justin Smith, 39, guilty of 1st-degree murder. She said the evidence was suspicious, as was how he described his wife before the murder.

“He asserted that Susann Smith was a ‘psychopath and referred to her as ‘manipulative’, ‘evil and ‘pure evil’, among other things,” Judge Krese said.

The judge said the physical evidence alone wasn’t strong enough to convict the wife killer, but the testimony of the man Alan Smith confessed to convinced her.

“This confession establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Alan Smith is responsible for the murder of Susann Smith,” said Judge Krese.

Alan Smith faces a minimum of 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced later this month. I shall endeavour to keep readers posted (reminders are welcome).

I, for one, hope that Alan Smith spends the rest of his life behind bars. He may have been angry at his wife of 11 years — murderously angry — but he had no right to take her life.

Susann Smith was a worthwhile human being and didn’t deserve to be murdered. She was intelligent and educated. She had a Master’s Degree from the University of Washington and the University of Regensburg. She worked as a German translator for Z2Live. And she was a loving mother of two. She was much loved by her family, and I’m sure they all miss her terribly.

RIP Susann Smith. My condolences to those who loved her and mourn her passing.

RIP Love Thai. My condolences to her family and friends.

I hope the children are in a happy, loving family now. They deserve that much.

And I hope Alan Justin Smith rots in prison for the rest of his miserable life.

Bothell Reporter News article – murder
KIROTV News article – investigation continues
Bothell Reporter News article – arrest
Bothell Reporter News article – Love Thai suicide
Bothell Reporter News article – not guilty plea
HeraldNet.com news article – pretrial motions
HeraldNet.com news article – judge’s decisions on motions
KOMO News article – confession to friend
Bothell Reporter News article – trial
Q13 Fox news article – conviction
Seattle Times article – guilty verdict
KING5 News article – verdict

8 Responses to Alan Justin Smith

  1. Bengalpuss says:

    And now those two kids don’t have a mum or dad because the dad is a spiteful vindictive murdering wanker. Self centered fucker was that upset because of how much money his divorce was costing decided to make his kids orphan’s, if thats not evil then i’m dorothy from the wizard of oz.

  2. moodymagic says:

    Well I to hope this fucker never sees the light of day. Thank goodness the church buddy came forward. These poor kids now do not have their loving mother. Burn in hell monster Smith.

  3. Mindy says:

    Okay, I realize this is the least of his wrongdoing, but he also left a 3 and 6 year old alone in the middle of the night. To go murder their mother. Jesus what a fucking asshole.

  4. wildchild says:

    Obviously, this poor woman was right about wanting to keep custody of the children, her mothers instinct must have been warning her about this evil hellbeast. She literally died so her children could live, so sad, for she died so horribly.

  5. Awesomeblossom says:

    If he had scratches on his hands then he was facing poor Susann as he attacked her. She knew without a doubt who was killing her. RIP Susann.

  6. Linda says:

    Read a comment from a friend of Susann on Bothell. The kids are, according to her, in a wonderfull foster family who take them on trips to Germany in their Summerbreaks to see Susann’s family. I’m happy to know that her kids are in a good home.

  7. shannon says:

    His girlfriend probably stayed with the kids when he left to kill her, that’s probably why she killed herself….guilt will eat you alive!

    • Diana says:

      He didnt meet the girlfriend until after the murder. Love Thai was mentally unstable, that was immediately clear in the aftermath of all this.

      I worked with Alan; my desk was about 12 feet away and I interacted with him every day, including on the day of the body discovery and the few days afterwards until he took leave from his job. He was a nice guy actually; though he complained about his ex a lot – he said she had crushed his spirit, was controlling and manipulative etc etc. He talked about it so much that he developed a reputation at work for being a little off.

      I was also in the courtroom the day he was sentenced. The judge specifically said that she could not have convicted him on the evidence alone, but the confession had sealed the deal. The confession was born out of the fact that he was overwhelmed by his new girlfriend Love Thai’s craziness (literally) and was seeking advice to break it off with her – the friend to whom he confessed is a pastor and Alan later tried to claim that the confession couldn’t be used bc of the confidentiality of clergy. However, he confessed over coffee as friends, not in the pastor’s work function.

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