DiscoverCrime JunkieMISSING: Carolyn Killaby
MISSING: Carolyn Killaby

MISSING: Carolyn Killaby

Update: 2024-07-087
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This episode of Crime Junkie tells the story of Carolyn Killaby, a young woman who disappeared in 1995. Her husband, Daniel, reported her missing after she didn't return home from a night out. Investigators soon focused on a man named Dennis Smith, who had been seen with Carolyn at a nightclub the night she disappeared. Dennis initially claimed that a random man had attacked him and taken Carolyn, but his story changed several times. He eventually admitted to having sex with Carolyn in his truck, but maintained that a mysterious man had taken her. Detectives found blood stains in Dennis' truck that matched Carolyn's DNA, and he was eventually charged with her murder. Dennis was arrested in Florida after he was featured on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries. He died by suicide in prison in 2004, never revealing the location of Carolyn's remains. The episode also highlights the shortcomings of the justice system, particularly in the case of parole supervision. Dennis had a history of violence and had been released on parole despite violating his parole multiple times. The episode concludes with a discussion of the impact of Carolyn's disappearance on her family and the ongoing search for her remains.

Outlines

00:00:00
Carolyn Killaby's Disappearance

This Chapter introduces the case of Carolyn Killaby, a young woman who disappeared in 1995. Her husband, Daniel, reported her missing after she didn't return home from a night out. The episode details the initial investigation, including the discovery of Carolyn's car in the parking lot of a nightclub called Omar's Steakhouse and Lounge. Witnesses reported seeing Carolyn with a man named Dennis Smith, who claimed that a random man had attacked him and taken Carolyn.

00:01:58
Dennis Smith's Suspicious Behavior

This Chapter focuses on the investigation into Dennis Smith, who was seen with Carolyn the night she disappeared. Dennis's story changed several times, and he eventually admitted to having sex with Carolyn in his truck. Detectives found blood stains in Dennis' truck that matched Carolyn's DNA, and he was eventually charged with her murder.

00:17:48
Dennis Smith's Arrest and Trial

This Chapter details the arrest of Dennis Smith in Florida after he was featured on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries. He was extradited back to Washington and pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder. The episode describes the trial, which included the use of mitochondrial DNA evidence and the defense's attempt to blame Carolyn's husband, Daniel. Dennis was eventually convicted of aggravated first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

00:26:21
The Parole System's Failures

This Chapter examines the shortcomings of the parole system in Dennis Smith's case. The episode highlights how Dennis was released on parole despite violating his parole multiple times, including failing a drug test. The episode argues that the parole board failed to adequately assess Dennis's risk to society, which ultimately led to Carolyn's murder.

00:28:32
The Search for Carolyn's Remains

This Chapter discusses the ongoing search for Carolyn's remains. Dennis eventually led detectives to a spot where he thought he had left her body, but they did not find anything. The episode concludes with a discussion of the impact of Carolyn's disappearance on her family and the ongoing search for her remains.

Keywords

Carolyn Killaby
Carolyn Killaby was a young woman who disappeared in 1995. Her disappearance led to a nationwide search and the arrest of convicted murderer Dennis Smith. Carolyn's remains have never been found.

Dennis Smith
Dennis Smith was a convicted murderer who was released on parole in 1995. He was seen with Carolyn Killaby the night she disappeared and was eventually convicted of her murder. Dennis died by suicide in prison in 2004.

Unsolved Mysteries
Unsolved Mysteries is a television series that features true crime stories. An episode of Unsolved Mysteries featured Carolyn Killaby's case, which led to Dennis Smith's arrest in Florida.

Mitochondrial DNA
Mitochondrial DNA is a type of DNA that is inherited from the mother. It is used in forensic science to identify individuals. In Carolyn Killaby's case, mitochondrial DNA evidence was used to link Dennis Smith to the crime.

Parole
Parole is the release of a prisoner from prison before the completion of their sentence. The episode highlights the shortcomings of the parole system in Dennis Smith's case, as he was released on parole despite violating his parole multiple times.

Murder
Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought. The episode focuses on the murder of Carolyn Killaby and the subsequent investigation and trial of Dennis Smith.

Missing Person
A missing person is a person who has disappeared without a trace. The episode tells the story of Carolyn Killaby, a missing person whose case was eventually solved.

Forensic Science
Forensic science is the application of scientific methods to criminal investigations. The episode highlights the use of forensic science in Carolyn Killaby's case, including the analysis of blood stains and the use of mitochondrial DNA evidence.

Justice System
The justice system is the system of courts and laws that are used to enforce the law and protect the rights of citizens. The episode highlights the shortcomings of the justice system in Dennis Smith's case, particularly in the area of parole supervision.

True Crime
True crime is a genre of media that focuses on real-life crimes. The episode of Crime Junkie is a true crime podcast that tells the story of Carolyn Killaby's murder.

Q&A

  • What happened to Carolyn Killaby?

    Carolyn Killaby disappeared in 1995. She was last seen at a nightclub with a man named Dennis Smith. Dennis was eventually convicted of her murder, but Carolyn's remains have never been found.

  • Who is Dennis Smith?

    Dennis Smith was a convicted murderer who was released on parole in 1995. He was seen with Carolyn Killaby the night she disappeared and was eventually convicted of her murder. Dennis died by suicide in prison in 2004.

  • How was Dennis Smith arrested?

    Dennis Smith was arrested in Florida after he was featured on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries. He was watching the episode with friends when it aired and was recognized by police.

  • What evidence was used to convict Dennis Smith?

    Blood stains found in Dennis Smith's truck matched Carolyn Killaby's DNA. Mitochondrial DNA evidence was also used to link Dennis to the crime.

  • What are the shortcomings of the parole system?

    The episode highlights how Dennis Smith was released on parole despite violating his parole multiple times. The parole board failed to adequately assess Dennis's risk to society, which ultimately led to Carolyn's murder.

  • What happened to Carolyn Killaby's family?

    Carolyn Killaby's family has been deeply affected by her disappearance. They have been searching for her remains for years and have filed a lawsuit against the state for their negligence in supervising Dennis Smith.

  • What is the significance of the episode of Unsolved Mysteries?

    The episode of Unsolved Mysteries featuring Carolyn Killaby's case led to Dennis Smith's arrest in Florida. It also brought national attention to the case and helped to keep it in the public eye.

  • What is the importance of forensic science in this case?

    Forensic science played a crucial role in solving Carolyn Killaby's murder. The analysis of blood stains and the use of mitochondrial DNA evidence helped to link Dennis Smith to the crime.

  • What is the impact of this case on the justice system?

    This case highlights the importance of proper parole supervision and the need for the justice system to adequately assess the risk of individuals who are released from prison. It also shows the importance of forensic science in solving crimes.

  • What is the message of this episode of Crime Junkie?

    This episode of Crime Junkie tells the story of a tragic murder and the subsequent investigation and trial. It also highlights the importance of justice for victims and their families, as well as the need for the justice system to be held accountable for its failures.

Show Notes

When a young woman goes missing in November 1995, no one knew just how close they were to a monster lurking in the area. What starts as a night out after an argument with her husband… ends in tragedy that’s left the family with so many questions.

  • If you or anyone you know is thinking about suicide, emotional support can be reached by calling or texting the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, or by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • And if you or a loved one wants to explore treatment for substance use, you can seek help by calling 211, or visiting www.211.org.
     

Source materials for this episode cannot be listed here due to character limitations. For a full list of sources, please visit: crimejunkiepodcast.com/missing-carolyn-killaby

 

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Don’t miss out on all things Crime Junkie!

Crime Junkie is hosted by Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat. 

Text Ashley at 317-733-7485 to talk all things true crime, get behind the scenes updates, and more!

Comments (1)

Alissa Maxwell

If I was her mom and found out that they denied dude $10 of Taco Bell in exchange for her remains, there would be hell to pay. I hope they got $$$ for wrongful death against the state for paroling him, too.

Jul 12th
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MISSING: Carolyn Killaby

MISSING: Carolyn Killaby

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