Kyle Smith is serving life plus 10 years for the murder of his grandparents. Two friends are on 10 years’ probation for helping him set fire to their house.
Of all the posts on Backward Messages, by far the most popular is the one about Oklahoma’s Kyle Smith: “Demonic drawing,” Slipknot album linked to grandparents’ murder. Much has happened since then, so I wanted to provide a brief update.
In August, Smith pleaded guilty to charges that he murdered his grandparents, David and Rose Garrick, before setting their house on fire to destroy the evidence. Did he claim that the “demonic drawing,” or the Slipknot album, had anything to do with his actions?
During his hearing, he told the court that he has been on medication for bipolar disorder since he was jailed for the crimes. At last word, he was being evaluated for mental health placement.
To be fair, the vast majority of people with bipolar disorder are not violent and do not kill people. It’s tough to say whether Smith’s illness contributed to his crimes. But that’s more likely to be a factor than his taste in music or his doodling — particularly if he was severely ill and unmedicated.
Earlier this month, two of Smith’s friends, Dustin Martin and Jacob LeBlanc, were sentenced to 10 years probation for helping Smith set fire to his grandparents’ house.
If you’re a friend of Smith’s, Martin’s or LeBlanc’s, please comment and let us know how you — and they — are doing.
If you’re close with a bipolar teen, can you provide any tips on helping these kids cope with their illness in a healthy, positive way?