Barbara Smith: The Homicide Next Door, One Year Later

My next door neighbor, Barbara Smith, was found murdered in her apartment one year ago today.

To the best of my knowledge little progress has been made in the apprehension of her killer.

I watched her apartment finally being cleaned out last summer while watering my flowers.  Watching the belongings of a life and the markings of a death pushed through the back door and tossed out to be hauled away.

I found myself tearing up and missing her.

And if that's how I felt, I could only imagine what her family is going through right now.  Anniversaries of this kind are always difficult.

Compound that horrible feeling by not having the murderer brought to justice.  Never knowing why.  Never having complete closure.

After the headlines have faded and the news trucks leave; after the funeral and the tributes we are left with this emptiness.  A hole in the fabric of our neighborhood.

An emptiness in our souls.

I pray that her killer is found and prosecuted but I hold out little hope that it will ever happen.

Sudden violent death is all too common on the south side, but I for one will never get used to it.




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