• This Day in Crime History

    January 16: 1936: Serial Killer Hamilton Howard “Albert” Fish was executed in the electric chair in Sing Sing Prison. He was responsible for at least 5 murders, including 10-year-old Grace Budd whose murder he was sentenced to death for.

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Judy Smith & her 2 sons, Jason and Chad, murders 10/1/1989 *Husband, Oscar Franklin Smith, convicted of their murders, sentenced to death*

dv awarenessFrom Smith’s 1993 appeal: It appears that these tragic, brutal and bizarre murders occurred at approximately 11:20 p.m. on Sunday, October 1, 1989, when the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department received a 911 emergency call from 324 Lutie Street, Judy Smith’s home in the Woodbine section of Nashville. On the tape of the call, which was later technically enhanced and played at trial, a young male voice, identified at trial as that of Jason Burnett, is heard crying, “Help me!” In the background another male, identified as Chad Burnett, is heard shouting “Frank, no. God, help me!” The call ended abruptly with Jason stating “324 Lutie Street.” Officers dispatched to the scene arrived at the house five minutes later. They knocked on the front door and received no answer. Everything appeared quiet so the officers assessed the situation as a “false call” and left.

It was not until 3:00 p.m. the next day, that the bodies of Judy, Jason and Chad were discovered. The body of Chad was found lying face up on the kitchen floor. The room was a wreck; the phone had been ripped off the wall and large quantities of blood were on the floor and wall. An awl, a tool similar to an ice pick and often used in leatherworking, was found in the room. Chad had been shot three times: in the right *566 shoulder, the upper chest, and on the inside left eyebrow. The last two wounds were contact wounds and had been fatal. Chad had also been stabbed several times in his chest, back and abdomen with a sharp, needle-like weapon (such as an ice pick or awl) and with a knife. His neck had been slashed, and there were defensive wounds on his hands. All of his injuries had occurred before death.

Judy Smith’s body was found lying on its back on a bed in the front bedroom. There was blood splattered on the panelled wall next to the bed. She had been shot in the left arm and the neck. The latter wound, caused by a gun fired from a range within two feet, had severed her spinal cord and produced instant paralysis, rapid unconsciousness and death. Shortly after death, her neck had been slashed; and, like Chad, she had been stabbed with a knife and a weapon resembling an awl or ice pick. The medical examiner opined that both Judy and Chad had died from multiple gunshot and stab wounds.

The body of Jason, Judy’s youngest son, was discovered lying on its left side on the floor at the foot of the bed on which his mother lay. He had not been shot. There were numerous defensive wounds on his hands. His neck had been slashed, and he had been stabbed in the chest and abdomen. Two of the wounds to the abdomen had been fatal because they had cut major veins. His small bowel protruded from his body through these wounds. All of Jason’s injuries had occurred before death. The medical examiner testified that Jason had bled to death over a period of several minutes as a result of the multiple stab wounds.

The three victims had been dead at least twelve hours before they were found. There were no signs of forcible entry into the house. The back door had been left open. There were signs of a struggle in the house, particularly the kitchen, where a leg had been broken off the table. A .22 caliber cartridge was found on the rug in the den. An identical type of bullet was removed from the bodies of Judy and Chad who, ballistics experts determined, had been shot with the same gun. There were bullet holes in the walls of the front bedroom and the den. A path of splattered blood led from the den down the hall to the kitchen. Drops of blood in the bathroom indicated that someone had cleaned up in that room.

[In the appeal there are more details about prior incidents]

Judy Robirds Smith, 35 [shot, stabbed]
Chad Burnett, 16 [shot, stabbed]
Jason Burnett, 13 [stabbed]

Court upholds man’s 3 death sentences
Murder’s appeal rejected by court
Supreme Court rejects triple murder’s petition to appeal
State of Tennessee v Oscar Franklin Smith 1993 (conviction and sentence affirmed)
Oscar Franklin Smith v State of Tennessee 1998 (conviction and sentence affirmed)
Oscar Smith v. Ricky Bell, Warden 2010
Oscar Franklin Smith TN DR Denied COA by 6th Circuit in 1989 Triple Murder
Murderpedia: Oscar Franklin Smith
Oscar Franklin Smith – Tennessee Death Row


Oscar Franklin Smith mug


TOMIS ID: 00136424
Birth Date: 03/25/1950
Race: W
Sex: M
Supervision Status: INCARCERATED
Location: RMSI
Sentence Begin: 07/26/1990
Sentence End:
Parole Eligibility :
Parole Hearing:
Hearing Result:


4 Responses

  1. Judy was my mom’s cousin and this has always had an affect on our family.

    • I was friends of the family and still am with Mareena and Ashley and spoke to Don recently also

    • My name is Robert Vinson and I was in 8th grade and loved across the street from them. I testified in the trial and have never forgotten that day. Jason was my age and a good kid. I knew he had a bad home life but never would have thought it would end the ay it did. I would really like to know how their family is today. My number is 615-556-1979. I hope to hear from someone.

      • I remember this my brothers owned a car lot at 317 lutie street and my family lived at 317 Elberta St so sad that this family was killed by husband and stepfather also his twins lost a mom and brothers way to young to have died.My condolences to the twins and family members.

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