• FTC

The Unsolved Murder of Beverly Lynn Smith

Updated: 3 days ago

(available on Amazon Prime)

Warning: Heavy use of profane language

FTC Rating: 4 out of 5


What would you do for your best friend? For Al Smith, this question led him down a dark path when he was asked by a trusted “friend” to help dispose of a body. A man battling poverty, loneliness, and mental health issues, Al Smith reluctantly admits to the 1974 shooting of a young mother to solidify this new blood pact with his accomplices, who then betray his trust.

This four-part docuseries reveals the shocking truth behind Al Smiths’ confession and how he became the police’s number one suspect in the murder of his neighbor, Beverly Lynn Smith.


Strengths:

- Those unfamiliar with this case may be confused by the beginning of this docuseries because it does not follow a “typical” True Crime format. However, this unusual structure is a strength as the filmmakers successfully pull a bait and switch on their audience, bolstering the central theme of the docuseries.

- Reveals the rougher side of Canada and the struggles of those living in an economically depressed town

- Family participant interviews are raw and emotional.

- The interrogation tapes of Linda Smith

- Details of the Mr. Big sting and clips featuring the undercover operative

- Even if Beverly’s unsolved case was not the central focus, the docuseries did honor her memory.


Weaknesses:

- Slow, slightly off-putting start

- Did not include any interviews with the Durham Regional Police

- Could benefit from additional court transcripts and information about the use of the Mr. Big sting operations in other Canadian cases.


Final thought:

Al Smith’s defence team and reporters featured in this docuseries weave a convincing argument for Al Smith’s innocence. The tactics used to elicit a “confession” were so extreme, I firmly believe the sting ultimately destroyed the accused and the only chance to solve this cold case for Beverly’s family.


Picture Source: youtube.com



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