Number of victims: 12
Date of murders: 1966 - 1970
Method of murder: Stabbing / Strangulation
Location: Germany / Arkansas / Illinois
By the time he returned to home in 1969, after serving in Germany with the US Army, Mark Smith was already a serial killer, suspected of murdering eight German women during his tour of duty. Back Stateside, he wasted little time in continuing his killing spree.
Smith’s first known US victim was Obie Faye Ash, killed on December 3, 1969, in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Just over one month later, Smith abducted Jean Irene Bianchi from a laundromat in McHenry, Illinois. Her body was found the following morning, frozen solid in a nearby field. She had been raped and strangled.
On May 27, exactly four months after murdering Jean Bianchi, Smith viciously raped and murdered 17-year-old high school senior Jean Ann Lingenfelter. He then assisted in the search for her body and it was he who “discovered” it, floating in a small lake nearby. That immediately roused suspicion and Smith was brought in for questioning. He soon cracked and admitted killing Jean Ann, as well as three other women.
Found guilty of first-degree murder at his trial in 1971, Mark Smith was sentenced to a total of 500 years behind bars.