5/1/2010 8:00:00 AM Book names possible Kerry Smith killer
The Sentinel report
A book by a Wabash author proposes a possible scenario, and killer, in the death of Kerry Ann Smith, a 20-year-old South Bend prostitute found floating in the Tippecanoe River, west of Old U.S. 31, on Oct. 9, 1994.
"Urges: A Chronicle of Serial Killer Larry Hall," suggests that Hall, a former janitor and Civil War re-enactor from Wabash, may be responsible for Smith's murder.
"We know Hall was murdering women and young girls from the 1980s until his arrest in November of 1994," said Christopher H. Martin, the book's author. "He drove the U.S. 31 corridor, from Peru through South Bend and into Michigan. There are at least two other victims in Michigan."
Martin is a Wabash County native and attended Southwood High School and Indiana University. He has written for radio, television, newspapers, and a number of magazines. "Urges: A Chronicle of Serial Killer Larry Hall" is Martin's first book.
He's having a book signing from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Roann Public Library.
During their investigation of Smith's murder local police said Hall's victims seemed to end up in water. Authorities provided her DNA to federal authorities for their investigation of Hall, but it did not match.
"After his arrest, there was a note found in Hall's possessions where he had written 'Menominee,' the public park just upriver from where Smith was found. Hall probably murdered Smith at the park and then dropped her from the bridge on Old U.S. 31. Kerry Smith was strangled, sexually assaulted, and mutilated in a way similar to other Hall victims," Martin said.
Police found a similar note in Hall's possessions with the name of Jessica Roach, an Illinois teen he was convicted of kidnapping in 1993. The note included Roach's name and the words "cornfield" and "Perrysville."
Martin said his book mentions more than 40 cases that may be tied to Hall, who could be one of America's most prolific serial killers. In those cases, 19 of the women have never been found. More than a dozen others have never been identified.
"Urges" chronicles the life of Larry DeWayne Hall from his birth in 1962 to his present-day incarceration at a federal prison in North Carolina.
Hall has never been convicted of murder. He is serving life without parole for the kidnapping of Roach, from Georgetown, Ill. Roach's body was found weeks after her abduction in a cornfield near Perrysville but there is no federal statute for murder.
No local jurisdiction case has been made against Hall, although Indianapolis cold case police are working to indict him for the July 1991 murder of Michelle Dewey, Martin said.
"I wanted to write about Larry Hall in layman's terms," Martin said. "An explanation of how serial killers are created that anyone can understand. I blend law enforcement, psychosocial and biological viewpoints with Hall's infancy and childhood experiences, but avoid most of the technical jargon associated with the law and sciences. What emerges is a chilling story of what drove Hall to kill, and how other serial offenders are being created right now."
According to Martin, Hall is unique among serial killers. His playground was a cemetery, where his family lived and his father served as sexton. Hall also has an identical twin brother. "Urges" explains Larry Hall's personality disorders and the addiction that drove him to sadistic murder.
The book also discusses Hall's connection to murders, abductions and Jane Doe cases in other regions. Hall traveled to Missouri, Georgia, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and other states re-enacting and visiting battle and historic sites. There are dead or missing women, as well as unidentified remains, in each of these areas.
Martin and Larry Hall spent their childhoods in the same neighborhood, where Martin resides today, attended the same elementary school and were taught by some of the same teachers.
Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Article comment by:
I knew Kerry Smith from school... She was a good person in a very bad situation... the poor girl never had a chance! By the time we got to high school, she had already been lost to the streets, unfortunately. I would also love to read this book... gonna have to get it.
Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2011
Article comment by:
Kerry was my best friend,we grew up together,This case is still unsolved,the police should question this guy,give him some test,I call south bends homicide an they acted like it was no big deal somebody needs to do something now this book is out.....thanks Erik
Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010
Article comment by:
my name is cammie, im related to kerry smith, she is my first cousin. i was approximately 2 years old when she got murdered. kerry had a daughter, whose name i will not mention she was also 2 years old when kerry got murdered. neither of us got a chance to get to know kerry, but i got a chance to know her daughter, im very close to her, i see he almost every day and nothing can take that from me. i wish one day i can meet the man that took my cousin from me. if there is any way that i can, i will go above and beyond to do so. please help me. i would also like to read this book.