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Betsy Mary Smith murder 9/3/2007 Spotsylvania, VA *Killed with a sledgehammer, then stabbed and raped by her brother*

This story is as horrifying as it gets. A mother takes her 2 year old into the emergency room because she is bleeding. It is discovered that she has a fractured skull and nose. The mother does not know what happened, so of course, an investigation begins. When police are searching her family home, they discover a padlocked room. Inside that room was 22 year old Betsy Mary Smith, who was dead. Her brother, 16 year old Walter Smith Jr. told police that he killed her with a sledgehammer, then stabbed her and raped her. Betsy Mary was babysitting her niece (2 year old Andrea Costello) and nephew (a 1 year old boy, not named). When Andrea started to cry, Walter beat her with the sledgehammer also, which is how she got her injuries. The children were locked in the room with Betsy Mary for about 12 hours when they started to cry. So, Walter’s mother told him to take care of them. Now, at this point I am wondering why no one has noticed that the children AND Betsy Mary had not been seen in 12 hours, but it seems like this family sure did not notice this. It was after this that the toddler’s mother took her to the emergency room.
And, Walter told all of this to the police. He admitted killing and raping his sister and hurting his niece. But his mother, Mary Smith, does not believe he killed his sister.

“He don’t remember nothing he did,” she said. “He was out of it or something like that. It was an accident. He don’t remember that stuff.”
Mary Smith said her son had no history of violence, but said he was on medication for depression

Somehow, this just seems wrong. Her daughter has been bludgeoned heinously and then raped, her son confesses to the crime, but mommy does not want to believe it. I am sure I would not want to believe it, but I think she is truly blind to this I am sure she is in shock, with her family life falling all around her. It will be even worse for her when she realizes that Walter is more than just depressed. Especially since he is going to be tried as an adult and they are in Virginia. It is a death penalty state, and I believe this qualifies. Besides just being sick and wrong.

PYSIH: Walter Smith Jr.
Virginia Teen Charged With Raping, Killing Sister, Beating Toddler Niece With Sledgehammer
Teen charged in sister’s death
Teenager charged with killing older sister, attacking toddler
Teenager Charged In Brutal Attacks
Teenager Charged With Raping and Killing Sister
Teen Suspected In Slaying, Rape Of Sister
Teen Suspected In Slaying, Rape Of Sister

Update Looks like Walter Smith was sentenced to about 25 years in prison
UPDATE: Walter Smith Jr. Pleads Guilty To Rape And Second Degree Murder Of Sister


Offender Name: Smith, Jr., Walter Leon
DOC Number: 1406192
Inmate Number: 000000
Gender: Male
Race: Black
Location: Sussex I State Prison
Projected Release Date: 10/14/2031

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14 Responses

  1. this is the so horrible.

  2. This is a horrific story! I live in Spotsylvania. The home where this family lived should have been condemed years and years ago. It literally has sheets wagging in the wind in the windows, fallen down doorways and trash strewn all over the yard. Childrens toys litter the front yard and on nice days, these residents sit proudly amoung the trash. My first question is how are they allowed to live in this filth? My second question is why would they want to live in this filth? Being poor is no excuse to be filthy. The home is larger than mine, of brick construction and could be renovated by the residents, owners or HUD. My third question is, why would anyone allow someone living in this condition allow their children to be babysat by the residents?

    I fear that members of this family are not the brightest bulbs around, and they know no better. This tradition of living has gone on for some time and they’re accustomed to living like this. Some of the siblings of this poor murdered girl, beaten child and insane boy may be normal. I think he’s a bad seed, born into a family of oddity and little normalcy. He’s a product of his environment and breeding.

  3. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I Went to school with her! She lived across the street from me for 2 years!!!! I never knew her brother though. I know her mom and sister. This is so sad

  4. This is truly the most horrendous story I have heard in some time. Often, neighbors and agencies know these families, though, how much can be done to help? This poor young woman/victim suffered the most perverted degrading life imaginable.

    If we had our time machine the children would have been removed from the brother, for often, one member of the family is deranged. I respect the family who had a son they wanted removed from the family home – sociopathy and possibly psychopathy as well . . .

    The young woman’s mother: the product of ignorance gone awry. It is more likely than not the family suffered generations of diverted and perverted attrocities.

  5. I was born and raised in Spotsylvania, proud 75 graduate, this is horrific. Love to see blog updated and know kids now out of harms way.

  6. Why rape his sister? Was incest something that he was taught? Why is mommy taking up for him when her other child is dead?
    Very sad, what is sadder is that mommy doesn’t believe his confession.. She is sick.

  7. Lavonna,
    Or maybe mom really did it and told the son to take the wrap using the “insanity” plea. Hmmmmmmm…

  8. hmmmmmmmmm, I never even thought of that!!! That is possible..

  9. Just her saying “he doesn’t remember anything” got me to thinking. How the hell would she know what’s going on in his head?

  10. Didn’t he try to fix the little 2 yr old niece after he hit her in the face?
    I live in Spotsy. My family does not, they say the people down here are crazy :) I do not think they are. (Mind you, this happened right after a father shot his 12 year old daughter in the head and his teenage pregnant step daughter in the neck over drugs.) But, this kid probably snapped. If his home was the way one of these others described, I bet he was extremely depressed. I had heard reports, too, that he was doped up on some drug, which is why he doesn’t remember it. Then again, if he doesn’t remember it, how does he know he did it?
    Still, poor Betsy and Andrea. I am sure Andrea’s mother felt she was leaving her child(ren) in capable hands. Most would not expect a family member to do something like this. You still have to feel for the family, no matter what, though!

  11. i herd he likes mudkips.

  12. this is terrible & i cant believe the mother is in denial . i know if my son admitted to everything & i didnt see my daughter or grand children i would be worried . the death sentence would be perfect but i think the most painful one would fit him well . this is just horrific .

  13. I read on another website that he got a 25 year sentence. 25 YEARS. That scares me on so many different levels.

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