Jimmie Sue Smith
June 23, 1981
Nineteen years later, when we interview her mother, she will recall that look. Two hours pass while mother and daughter eat lunch, shop, and finally wave goodbye. In a last-minute attempt to perhaps protect her in some way, her mother asks Jimmie Sue to stay with her and go back with her to work at the church. Jimmie Sue wants to get home and lie in the sun. Sun bathing was a rare pleasure for the girl that held down two jobs and attended Texas Tech University.
Jimmie Sue enters the small bungalow-style house in an area close to the university. She telephones a friend and asks her to come over and lie in the sun with her. It is now 2:30 in the afternoon. The girlfriend arrives at 3:30, but there is no answer at the door. She looks in the window and sees Jimmie's purse on the bed. She is not in the backyard, so the girl leaves. It is around 3:35 in the afternoon.
Small home in nice area of lubbock. No forced entry.
If killer entered from alley he had a clear exit.
Another view of the alley.
The killer could have looked through knotholes in fence.
Neighbors say this opening in the fence was there in 1981.
Lower left area is where the hammock was set up.
Killer re-entered with Jimmie Sue - NO drag marks were found on the ground or body says former investigator.
A burnt orange VW was seen in the driveway the afternoon of the murder, and had had also been seen driving by the house several times. A composite drawing of the suspect is shown below. (Composite can also be seen in the
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, July 23 edition). Jimmie had been upset about a boy with whom she had a blind date. She felt as though he were following her, but she didn't say his name. She had argued the night before with a boy at a restaurant and had struck out at him.
· The murder took place in broad daylight. That tells me the killer felt comfortable in the neighborhood. His dress, mannerisms, race, and auto would not seem out of place.
· The killer entered the house through the alley and over the fence. I, as a stranger, drove that area, and the alley was not easily noticeable to me. That tells me that the killer was familiar with the area.
· There was no sign of a struggle inside the house. This is typically found in situations where the attacker is known to the victim. In the beginning of the assault, Jimmie Sue probably dealt with her attacker only verbally, most likely attempting to negotiate.
· There appeared to be somewhat of a struggle at the hammock area, which sat over the metal entrance to the cellar. I believe the killer made advances at the hammock, and a scuffle ensued, causing the girl to fall and cut her elbow on the metal surface. I was told by detective Ashmore, now retired, that he saw no drag marks from the hammock and no drag marks on the body. If the killer showed compassion and allowed Jimmy Sue to look for Band-Aids for her elbow, that could explain the first-aid items on the counter.
· By placing her in the closet, the killer shows me that he knew Jimmie Sue. This is similar to killers who cover the bodies of their victims.
· Rejection, which I believe to be the motive, took place in the house.
· Remember the bottoms to her swimsuit were on the floor at the edge of the bed. Remember also that her feet and hands were bound with neckties. Does it sound likely that the killer would have raped her, then killed her, and then retied her feet?
· The killer has staged the crime scene, making it look like some mad deviate necktie-fetish killer has committed the crime. In 1981, Lubbock was averaging a rape a day and already had 17 murders by June 19. Jimmie Sue's killer could have gotten plenty of ideas by simply reading the local newspaper.