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It's Not Always Sunny in Fort Smith, Arkansas
Introduction to the Nightmare
FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS - To the common visitor Fort Smith seems like a nice and quiet little bordertown. If you pick up the daily newspaper and begin to muse through the insides, one can see that something is askew in the city. Typically rife with crystal meth, domestic violence, and alcohol related crimes the underbelly of the seedy side in Fort Smith is hidden within the catacombs of city streets and "certain neighborhoods" like any other city but these crimes of domestic violence, methamphetamine, and/or alcohol related crimes happen with a frequency not even the local news team could keep up with. Most every city across the United States has a "Police Calls" or "Arrest Reports" section of crimes that are newsworthy to inform the public of the goings on in their area of the town. An entire edition of the newspaper would have to be printed to keep up with everything that happens on a daily basis. I have lived in many different areas of the country and from personal experience and statistical facts, I have seen these newspaper sections ranging from "Unsolved Murder Last Night on Harper Avenue..." in Detroit to "A dead raccoon was found on the porch of a resident at..." in Findlay, Ohio. When I pick up the paper in Fort Smith, Arkansas astonishment awaits me everyday to find out how many domestic violence and drug/alcohol violent/theft related incidents happen that are just "reported" in the news. The true horrors of real life are alive and very apparent in the city once dubbed "Hell on the Border" or "The Hanging City". This article will reveal the past and present state of HORROR in Fort Smith, Arkansas. I am not writing to bash the city itself in any way but only to enlighten those readers out there that might be interested in the rich history stained in blood, violence, and drugs in a seemingly quiet, rural, relatively small city in Arkansas.
Fort Smith, Arkansas Map
Disclaimer on Content
This article from this point forward goes on to tell a few stories of true violent crimes that have happened in Fort Smith, Arkansas. I did not write about them to condone or endorse any such behavior but to provide a visceral real look at what dangers you may find in the town of Fort Smith, Arkansas. The sole purpose of this article is not to slam the city of Fort Smith but to provide the traveller with useful information regarding their own safety. I do not advocate violence against other human beings and I would never want anyone to get harmed by another person. That is why I have created this article, so those of you thinking about moving to Fort Smith are fully aware that the job market sucks and that there is a real sense of danger alive in Fort Smith. I grew up just south of Detroit and even I have trouble believing these facts about the things that go on in this city and fail to reach national headline news. Be warned that from this point forward some of the content may seem graphic and violent to some readers. Proceed at your own acknowledgement of this fact.
4 Brutal Crimes in Fort Smith History
- Gregory Aaron Kinsey - June 26th, 2013 - Arrested for attacking 2 men
- Bobby Joe Burns - January 27th, 1958 - Declared mentally ill after attacking his mother.
- "Dora Doe" - October 24th 1994 - Dora Doe was found two miles south of Dora on the intersection of Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 64D on Oct. 23, 1994. State crime lab officials are trying to set a date to exhume the body for DNA testing to link it to Ruth Henderson who was killed by Charles Ray Vines in 1995..
- Linda "Lindy" Reynolds - May 17th, 1982 - Lindy went missing in 1982. She was never found and is feared dead. The case has never been solved and if anyone has any information in this cold case please contact the Fort Smith Police Department at 479-709-5116.
The Story of Bobby Joe Burns
Gregory Kinsey Interview with Detectives
2010 Crime Statistic
Growing Crime Rates
This area not only has a growing population but has an ever growing crime rate along with it. The population growth seems to be more people that are not so savory of characters. History does repeat itself and perhaps Fort Smith is still a town for outlaws to take refuge in. Not many jobs have come to the area to make up for the population growth. It is like if you take a filing cabinet and put a few important papers in it, nice and organized, and then get in a hurry and fill it over the top with a bunch of junk mail and unwanted papers. There is a base of good people (the important papers) and for the most part they all work and are productive members of the area (the organization of those papers) but then you get a growth in people who have long criminal backgrounds, drug use, violent crimes, and they do not want/find work (the junk mail overflowing the filing cabinet). I hope that fragmented sentence explains my analogy a little bit better. There has been a very steady rise in the rate of rape cases throughout the city and a great rise in statistical numbers that does not go along with the population growth. The only thing that comes to mind is that maybe this town does not deserve the right to allow liquor licenses for bars to be open and serve alcohol until 5:00 A.M. I think the city needs to take a long hard look at the sad statistics and put up a fight against what contributing factors that could be causing these drastic changes. Getting rid of the 5:00 A.M. liquor licenses and putting more strict regulations on the bars that carry them currently is a good start. Just an increase in the police presence around town will not do the trick. The only thing more police in town will create is more paper usage and more traffic tickets. It is not the police that prevent the crimes. The way the city operates and controls the means to which the people can have available to them is what prevents crimes. Maybe the city should work less on putting money into the police force and work on getting all of the homeless off of the street and perhaps some city money should be allocated to start youth organizations to show kids growing up that they have a choice to do good or do bad, give them something positive to do in town. There are plenty enough empty buildings around town that the city could donate to the cause of either issue I have just stated. I highly doubt this will ever happen and I doubt the city will put any care into anything except getting more revenue in their own pockets. It is very obvious to me that what they are doing now to prevent crime is not working. Giving the police full reign of the city and allowing the police department to treat the locals as if they live in a police state IS NOT THE ANSWER. The answer lies at the core of the city, the people who pull the puppet strings must converge and have a change of heart and thought. The next step for them should be to cut back on the police presence and do more with community development to give the people of the area a fighting chance. A city that doesn't care about its people will be full of bad people. The people of the city can only be as good hearted as those that run the city itself. I see a severe lack in drug rehabilitation places around town so maybe instead of employing more police to bust drug offenders, put some money into opening counseling centers for the disadvantaged to get them off drugs and alcohol and turn them into productive members of society instead of turning the unfortunate population of the city into felons who will never have a chance to do anything with their lives. Stop taking hope from these people who already live in despair and give them the hope and love they need to become productive members of the local workforce and community. Remember, one good dead deserves another. The City of Fort Smith has a long road ahead if they want to turn this place around before it is too late. The ways that the city is viewed on the outside is solely dependent on what the officials of Fort Smith offer the residents of Fort Smith whether those residents have drug, alcohol, violence, anger, or any other problem. The city has the resources to fix these issues but they just rather make money off of the population and serve and cater to only the "savory" crowd in the city. Come on and get real. You have a huge crime problem on your hands Fort Smith. Act right, be right, and do the right thing to fix it.
Crime Statistic Links
- Crime rate in Fort Smith, Arkansas (AR): murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, au
Fort Smith, AR Arkansas murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson, law enforcement employees, police officers statistics
- City of Fort Smith Data Book April 2013
This book has up to date crime statistics that might surprise you.