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Episode 92 Taunted by a Killer: The Murder of Shari Faye Smith and Debra May Helmick

In the summer of 1985, 17 year old Shari Faye Smith and 9 year old Debra May Helmick were kidnapped and murdered in neighboring South Carolina counties. Their killer taunted police and the Smith Family for weeks. In the end, a piece of evidence Shari Smith left behind, led police to her killer.

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Episode Sources

State v. Bell. South Carolina Supreme Court Decisions. February 26, 1990
We May Never Find Missing Woman. UPI. October 7, 1996.
Larry Gene Bell. Murderpedia
The Genesis of a Murderer. The Herald. October 20, 2007
Keep on believing: Dawn Smith Jordan on hope after tragedy. South Carolina United Methodist Advocate. March 26, 2019
The Summer of Shari. The Chrysalis Chapters. May 21, 2019
Kidnapper Forces Victim to Write Last Will and Testament Before Killing Her. The True Crime Edition. November 11, 2020
Larry Gene Bell: The Murders of Shari Smith and Debra Helmick. Talk Murder With Me. December 27, 2020
Denise Newsom Porch. The Charley Project.


Organic Meditations, Despair and Triumph, Almost in F Tranquility, Reawakening, Ambient, March of the Mind by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Source: http://incompetech.com; Spirit of Fire by Jesse Gallagher and God Be With You Til We Meet Again by Chris Zabriske Licensed under Creative Commons.

Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use.

Episode Photos

Books by Shari Smith’s Family