Remember when Lou Smit got up in front of the cameras, all proud of himself for helping tease a series of 47 murder confessions out of Robert Charles Browne, who figured into the single most important case Smit is credited with solving, the murder of Heather Dawn Church? Remember that?
So, here it is, ten months later. How did all those confessions pan out? It was supposed to be a matter pretty much of confirming the deaths Browne confessed to, maybe running some DNA tests to also confirm, and many families will finally have achieved closure, or at least an answer to their queries as to who could have killed their loved ones. Smit would be able to add another entire column of names to his plaques detailing how many homicides he has solved, and it would only serve as further proof as to how valuable he continued to be when occupying his time solving the JonBenet Ramsey case.
Except not so much, it seems.
Convicted Colorado killer Robert Charles Browne's boasts of leaving four dozen victims strewn across the nation have never been proved, say police officials in several states, and some have concluded he's lying.
Browne, serving life in prison for two murders in El Paso County, has told investigators of 47 more killings in nine states and overseas.
His claims, news of which broke last July, sparked fresh hope among families and friends that the long-unsolved murders of their loved ones might finally be resolved. And Browne's willingness to talk about other killings was a key factor in sparing him from a death sentence.
But after detectives scurried from Arkansas to California to find body dump sites and pored over dusty case files, some say they now disbelieve Browne's claims. And in most of the killings claimed by Browne, authorities have no proof that a murder ever took place.
"Some of the things he said are not panning out," said Tela Mange of the Department of Public Safety in Texas, where Browne claims seven murders. "It's not uncommon. People will admit to things they didn't do."