The murder of Minnie Smith is being investigated by the crime docuseries “The Real Murders of Orange County.” The show looks at some of the most horrifying murders in the Southern California area and interviews those close to the case, such as friends and family.
Susan Kang, the Public Affairs Council for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, wanted to make Smith’s story known. She said that Smith did not deserve to die and did not want her story to be forgotten. Kang recalled that there were presents wrapped in the home as it was only 10 days before Christmas.
On Dec. 15, 2005, the 66-year-old wife, mother, and grandmother was found in her bedroom beaten to death with a metal fireplace tool, which fractured her face and skull. A coat-hanger wire was found clasped around her hands and her back and her ankles were tied together with duct tape. She also had a wound on her forearm, suggesting that she tried to shield herself from being struck.
The murderer intended to make the event look like a robbery, but Kang said that the elements of the scene did not add up. The home was a mess, the floor safe in the closet was emptied, and jewelry was stolen, implying that she was the victim of a burglary. But investigators were skeptical that the incident was random because there were still other valuables in the home, including the home’s firearms and Christmas presents. Firearms are expensively sold on the black market.
Kang also observed that the murderer could not have broken in from the window because he would have stepped on plants that were there. Smith’s husband, Marvin Vernis Smith, had acted suspiciously, Kang said. She said that the way he acted when he allegedly came home from work was not one of a loving husband concerned with his wife’s well-being.