Evil Lives Here to revisit Linda Smith's murder case on Sunday at 10 pm ET on ID (Image via Amazon)

5 shocking details about Linda Smith's murder

It took investigators more than eight years to bring Linda Smith's killer to justice. The 61-year-old Ohio nurse was found gagged and strangled to death in her house during a welfare check in December 2009.

An investigation failed to produce results at the time and the case went cold until authorities made a connection using DNA evidence found at the crime scene.


Smith's handyman from that time, Kenneth Roth, was later charged with murder and convicted in the years that followed. The accused died of COVID-19 in April 2020, while serving a life sentence in prison.

Linda Van Voorhis Smith worked as a nurse at Aultman Hospital for about 40 years. She was found dead at her Osnaburg Township home in 2009.

ID's Evil Lives Here will further delve into Linda Smith's killing in an episode titled Nobody Believed Me, which is scheduled to air this Sunday, March 26, at 10:00 pm ET, whose synopsis reads as:

"When Matt Roth is just a boy, his stepfather brings him along on handyman jobs; he thinks he is just there to help his dad, but he doesn't realize he is walking into the scenes of brutal murders."

Disclaimer: This article contains sensitive details and graphic description of s*xual assault and murder, kindly read with discretion.


Linda Smith's murder: Five quick facts to know about the death of the Ohio nurse

1) Smith was found dead during a welfare check requested by her daughter

In December 2009, Casey Langley requested a welfare check on her 61-year-old mother Linda Smith's Orchard View Drive Southeast house in Osnaburg Township, claiming the latter hadn't been answering her calls. When authorities arrived at her house, they found the nurse's pet dog Bunny barking.


Smith's body was discovered lying face-down on a bed. She was still dressed in nursing clothes, her pants were pulled down to her ankles along with her bra cut off from the body, a garment was stuffed into her mouth, and her underwear was knotted and tied around her neck, which apparently slowly caused her strangulation death.

2) Linda Smith's estranged husband claimed that they were in the process of reconciliation at the time

The brother and son of Linda Van Voorhis Smith testified for the prosecution about items missing from her home following her death.

Reports state that the victim's estranged husband, Craig Smith, claimed that he was not living with the 61-year-old nurse at the time because of their brief separation.


They were, however, dating again and were in the process of a reconciliation at the time of the killing. Later, Smith's daughter Langley reported that her mother was removing him from her insurance and pension plans and that the two were in the process of divorcing and hadn't lived together for six years.

3) The case initially went cold for a couple of years before investigators made a breakthrough

Kenneth Roth was sentenced to life in prison in Linda Smith's 2009 killing (Image via Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections)

Linda Smith's murder case initially hit a wall due to a lack of evidence. Authorities found no signs of a break-in, although the house was ransacked and a couple of items were missing. There were no potential leads or suspects, which brought the case to a standstill until it was reopened in 2013. Investigators then re-examined all evidence collected from the crime scene and made a significant breakthrough.

4) DNA evidence linked Smith's handyman Kenneth Roth the the murder

Prosecution said that "YSTRA" DNA ties Kenneth Roth to the death of Linda Van Voorhis Smith. That type of DNA focuses on male Y chromosome.

Using YSTRA DNA found on Linda Smith's underwear, investigators connected a handyman named Kenneth Roth to the 2009 killing. According to reports, the latter also acknowledged being at Smith's home the day she was killed.

At the time, he was employed by the 61-year-old to assist with yard work and moving furniture around the house. He also had a criminal history and had previously been found guilty of murder and s*xual assault.

5) Roth died of COVID-19 while serving a life sentence in prison

Linda Smith's killer died of COVID-19 in 2020 while serving a life sentence (Image via GORI Explorations/YouTube)

Kenneth Roth was convicted of aggravated murder in the death of Linda Smith. Prosecutors alleged that the former strangled the nurse with her underwear and mutilated her body.

He was then sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in February 2017 and was serving time at the Marion Correctional Institution when he died of COVID-19 in April 2020.

Edited by
Abhipsa Choudhury
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