Gail Smith was murdered in her home eight years ago by a man who was hired by her brother to kill her. If it wasn’t a documented true story, it would be unbelievable. But according to Investigation Discovery’s documentary, Murder Comes To Town, that’s exactly what happened. Authorities say that Gail Smith’s brother, Timothy Smith, and her sister, Deborah Smith, became so jealous over money and Gail’s powerful position in the family, that Timothy hired Tony Sharpe to shoot the Berryville councilwoman dead. The case went unsolved for four years before detectives finally made an arrest for her death. The Murder Comes To Town episode depicting the case is “Roses Are Red, Murder Is Too.”
On Investigation Discovery’s Murder Comes To Town, the story of councilwoman Gail Suzanne Smith is recounted through reenactments and interviews with Berryville police detectives, along with friends and family members who will provide commentary on the crime case.
Thursday, July 30, 2009: Berryville, Virginia, Woman Found Dead In Home
Shock waves went through the town of Berryville in July, 2009, after Gail Smith was found with a gunshot wound to the head. She had not been heard from in four days. Police detectives were sent to the 301 Pickett Court home to do a welfare check, where they made the terrible discovery.
Her death was chilling to local residents and fellow council members, who described Gail Smith, a Brooklyn, New York, native, as a kind human being who loved her dog and the sunflowers in her yard. Plus, Berryville is not the kind of place where neighbors are used to brutal killings.
Investigators had no suspects in the beginning. And the police investigation took years before an official arrest for murder was made. People in the town talked about the case. Some even took to the internet to discuss who might have done it.
“If You Know The Family, You Know The Story.”
Some had already concluded that Timothy Smith was a likely suspect, according to a Topix poster who claimed to know the family. Timothy, a known drunk in the town with a violent temper, was depicted as shady. Timothy Roy Smith and Deb Smith allegedly did not have a close relationship with Gail.
The trouble for Gail Smith began after she was awarded complete control over her sick father’s money and estate, a fact that angered her already jealous siblings. There was certainly a deep rift in the family.
What many will say is that Gail did everything she could to take good care of her father, who was dying from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. The money over which she gained controlled was used to place him in a facility for around-the-clock care. But according to one friend, when Gail tried to sell the family home, the siblings’ hatred grew.
The case was resolved after one of Timothy Smith’s friend’s came forward with a tip. It was also stated that Tim had bragged about the case in jail. The first arrests were for conspiracy to murder. But Timothy Smith and Tony Sharpe were later charged with murder. Twenty-six-year-old Tony Sharpe, the trigger man, eventually pleaded guilty to the killing.
Here Is A Brief Timeline In The Murder Of Gail Suzanne Smith
- 2008: Timothy Smith actively looks for someone to kill his sister. He makes an attempt to kill her with rattlesnake venom.
- July, 2009: Tony Sharpe shoots Gail Smith dead in her home. It is supposed to look like a robbery.
- November, 2009: Timothy Smith and his roommates were indicted for conspiracy.
- February, 2010: Gail Smith’s father dies.
- March, 2010: Deborah Smith is finally charged with conspiracy.
- July, 2010: Gail Smith’s possessions are auctioned off.
- February, 2010: Charges are dropped.
- 2013: Timothy Smith and Tony Sharpe are charged with murder. Deborah is charged with perjury and obstruction.
Although, the other charges were dropped against Deborah Smith, the Winchester Star talks more about the alleged role she played in the crime.
“At Deborah Smith’s bond hearing in December, Mackall said that Sharpe would have testified that she funded his trip to Berryville, bought the bullets, helped him pick out a gun, wrote a contract, bought flowers and clothes and gave him cash to do the deed. Mackall said at the same hearing that Deborah Smith can be heard on recorded jail phone conversations with Timothy Smith telling him to ‘keep his mouth shut.’ Timothy Smith has been at the center of many of the plots, and Deborah Smith also has been linked to attempts to have her sister killed.”
Tim Smith was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Tony Sharpe received 25 years, and Deborah Smith was sentenced to only eight years for the perjury and obstruction charges, according to Your4State. Get the full story behind former council member Gail Smith’s death. It airs on Murder Comes To Town tonight on Investigation Discovery (ID). Check your local papers for times.
[Featured Image By Crime Report In Eastern Panhandle Of West Virginia/Facebook]