The disappearance of Kristin Smart
Have any of you followed this case? It’s both fascinating and maddening. The podcast In Your Own Backyard covers it fairly exhaustively.
Smart was a 19-year old student at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA who vanished after attending a party in 1996. The prime suspect, a creepy guy named Paul Flores who was supposed to be walking her home, is almost certainly responsible and his father likely helped him hide/bury the body, but police haven’t been able to get enough evidence to nail him.
The podcast really renewed interest in the case and police have gotten search warrants to search several of the Flores family’s properties in the last year or two and they’re now combing through all the shit they confiscated. It’s almost certain that Smart’s body is buried either in an avocado grove on Paul’s father’s property, or in Paul’s mother’s backyard, underneath a garage that was constructed on the property after the disappearance.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||October 15, 2021 4:33 PM
I was going to say I remembered this case but then I realized I was thinking of Elizabeth Smart.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||April 1, 2021 12:12 AM
Yes, people often mix up the two cases, but they’re very different.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||April 1, 2021 2:43 AM
This thread has made me look up other unresolved mysteries.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||April 2, 2021 11:45 PM
Yeah, i almost bypassed this thread thinking it was the long-resolved Elizabeth Smart case.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||April 2, 2021 11:48 PM
[quote]It’s almost certain that Smart’s body is buried either in an avocado grove
There are worse places.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||April 2, 2021 11:51 PM
drunk female alone with some random guy after 2 other people left. he admits he didn't even have the decency to walk her all the way back to her dorm...this was a girl who was completely passed out outside. Would she really been in a state to get herself all the way back to her dorm?
|by Anonymous||reply 7||April 3, 2021 12:09 AM
They’ve finally arrested the son of a bitch and his father and are pulling up the deck at his father’s house!
|by Anonymous||reply 8||April 13, 2021 7:14 PM
I'm originally from the Central Coast area and was a student at Cal Poly in the early 90s, just a few years before Kristin Smart attended and disappeared. This case has always been so heartbreaking to me. Same as with the Laci and Scott Peterson murder case, two other Cal Poly students from my era at the school. Just so utterly senseless, unnecessary, and tragic.
It's a relief to know that Paul and Ruben Flores are finally in custody and charged in Kristin's death. I'm surprised that Susan Flores hasn't also been charged, as it's widely believed Kristin's body may have initially been buried at Susan's home. Perhaps the investigation is still ongoing and further action may come.
The "Your Own Backyard" podcast that OP mentions is an excellent series on Kristin's case, and its producer Chris Lambert deserves much credit for breathing new national interest into this cold case. Now, Godspeed to the prosecutors and jurors.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||April 15, 2021 12:43 AM
Today, prosecutors have stated broadly what they’re alleging.
1.) Flores killed Smart in his dorm room during an attempted rape.
2.) Flores’s father helped him remove and dispose of the body.
3.) Prosecutors believe they know where the body is located but haven’t found it yet.
Also, there is evidence that Flores committed three other sexual assaults over the years.
I have no doubt that they’ll find her body. It sounds like it’s somewhere on the father’s property.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||April 15, 2021 12:47 AM
R9 same here, I graduated in the early 90’s and moved back there in 1999. I drove by her missing billboard in town thousands of times with sadness. I don’t understand what took so long to arrest this creep, his repulsive father along with him. Hope the family can get the closure they have been waiting for all these years.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||April 15, 2021 12:53 AM
[quote] I'm surprised that Susan Flores hasn't also been charged
I’m not sure what I think about Kristin’s body ever being on her property, but I don’t think Susan was told about the murder right away and she probably didn’t have anything to do with hiding the body. It’s scummy that she’s known about it all this time and has chosen to keep her mouth shut, but there’s nothing they could really charge her with.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||April 15, 2021 12:55 AM
R12 There were tenants who lived in Susan Flores' house from mid-1996 to 1997, moving in within weeks of Kristin Smart's disappearance.
Mary Lassiter, one of the tenants, was interviewed for Your Own Backyard. She mentions strange events occurring pretty much right away upon moving into Susan Flores' house:
>> A brand new flower bed outside a bedroom window, with a fresh concrete bottom that (of course) did not enable flowers to thrive as they could not get enough nutrients.
>> A beeping noise each morning in the wee early hours coming from the area of the new concrete flower bed, believed to be a watch alarm. This beeping stopped after a few weeks, perhaps when the watch battery died. At the time of Kristin's disappearance, she was coaching early morning swimming and it's speculated this could have been her alarm to wake up and get to coaching.
>> An earring found outside on the property with what looked like a bit of dried blood on it. The earring was later lost in SLO Sheriff's custody, but as Lassiter described it, it apparently resembled one of Kristin's favorite earrings.
The Sheriffs Department at that time bungled many things in the earliest phases of the investigation, but there could be probable cause that Susan Flores has known about Kristin's fate from the very beginning and may also be complicit in helping to dispose of her body if any of these events on her property are traced to Kristin's remains having been buried there. Check out the podcast, it's very well produced.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||April 15, 2021 1:11 AM
I’ve listened to the podcast. I’m a little skeptical of the watch story, but I wonder if Kristin’s clothes/jewelry could’ve been buried at Susan’s place and her body been buried at Ruben’s.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||April 15, 2021 1:29 AM
I started the podcast today (I’m on episode three) and it’s infuriating how incompetent the campus police were. Smart’s mother was exactly right when she said they were treating the case like a lost bicycle, not a missing person. They just decided that she went away for a few days with friends- despite leaving all her personal belongings in her dorm, and didn’t file a missing person report for four days.
That was plenty of time for Flores and his father to get rid of evidence.
And the regular cops weren’t much better. I just heard the part where the tenant of the mother’s house talked about the found earring, and the cops decided it wasn’t Smart’s and that it belonged to a child. Wtf? And, then they lost it.
Unbelievable. I’m sure it’s only going to make me angrier as I hear more about the dad’s involvement.
I hope they can find the girl’s body.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||April 15, 2021 1:49 AM
R12 / R14 I suppose that's possible too. Respect your skepticism over the watch story. I'm inclined to believe the Lassiters because they have no apparent reason to lie about it, or anything else related to the case.
As I recall, Mary Lassiter also said in this episode that Susan Flores became a real Grade A bitch during the short time that they rented her house. I believe Mary said that Susan either sued or tried to get some other court order forbidding the Lassiters from allowing the authorities access to the property, but she lost that bid since by law the Lassiters had reasonable possession of the property for the term that Susan leased it to them. So naturally, the Lassiters pulled a "fuck you Susan" and cooperated fully with the sheriff until they moved out of the house, the sheriff department's incompetence at the time notwithstanding.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||April 15, 2021 1:49 AM
Why have they arrested Flores? New evidence?
|by Anonymous||reply 17||April 15, 2021 1:52 AM
If I had a daughter, and my last name were “Smart,” I’d change it — pronto!
|by Anonymous||reply 19||April 15, 2021 2:14 AM
I don’t think the Lassiters are lying, I just think there might be another explanation for what they heard. Or, maybe they buried only buried Kristin’s watch, jewelry, and clothes at Susan’s.
The Lassiters didn’t just allow the search, they gave a statement at a deposition when Kristin’s parents filed a civil suit against Paul. Susan evicted them in retaliation.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||April 15, 2021 3:00 AM
Her two "friends" who left her with Flores are scum.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||April 15, 2021 3:07 AM
They weren’t her friends. It was two other students who didn’t know her but were walking with her back to the dorm.
I bet the girl who trusted Flores to bring Smart back to her dorm has called herself worse than scum over the years. I think she and her friend group were familiar with Flores and called him Chester the Molester. She absolutely should have known better than to leave a drunk/incapacitated girl alone with him.
But I can kind of understand it- it was three am and she was tired and wanted to go to her room and trusted that Flores would get smart the short distance to her room.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||April 15, 2021 3:24 AM
Hold up, R21. The two other students aren't responsible for what Paul Flores did to Kristin. Only Paul Flores is responsible for that.
I'm sure these two reflect all the time with "what ifs." Kristin's dorm roommate says she does, in terms of her choice to go back to the dorm and let Kristin party alone. This must be an enormous burden on the conscience. I hope justice is reached in this case and offers them some peace, along with Kristin's family too.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||April 15, 2021 3:26 AM
[quote] Smart’s mother was exactly right when she said they were treating the case like a lost bicycle, not a missing person.
There has been a sea change in how missing persons cases, as well as rape/sexual assault cases are treated just since the 1990s. It used to be common practice to not file a missing persons case until the person had been missing for sometimes several days, or even longer. I don’t think many jurisdictions are doing that anymore.
It’s kind of jarring to read some of the reporting about Kristin’s disappearance at the time she went missing. There’s a lot of focus on how she was intoxicated, how she went to the party alone, how she was seen talking to several different men and being flirtatious...the insinuation being that she was a drunken floozy who shouldn’t have been out gallivanting. That simply would not fly today, and rightly so.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||April 15, 2021 4:24 PM
How stupid is the killer and his family that they found evidence around the house 25 years later??
|by Anonymous||reply 25||April 15, 2021 8:11 PM
That is true r24 and I think I heard that because of this case campus police now have to report someone missing after 24 hours. I tend to forget things were different in the 90’s.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||April 15, 2021 9:01 PM
R9 thank you! I started the podcast at your recommendation - it’s so good and so frustrating at how the case was handled given that we now know the outcome.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||April 15, 2021 10:59 PM
I just finished Chris Lambert's Your Own Backyard podcast. This is one of the most professional, well-researched, and expertly produced podcasts. So exhaustive and compelling. On top of everything, this incredible production led to advancements in the Kristin Smart case which finally resulted in the arrest of Paul Flores and his father. If you appreciate true crime and podcasts, I highly recommend this. Just incredible.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||October 15, 2021 4:33 PM