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Friday, May 10, 2024

Who Murdered Vindalee Smith?

     Vindalee Smith, a 38-year-old unemployed health care worker lived by herself in a basement apartment in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. The Jamaican-born Seventh Day Adventist was eight and a half months pregnant. Her other children, two girls and two boys, lived with friends or relatives. The man who fathered these offspring, now teens and young adults, lived in England.

     On Sunday October 21, 2012 at the New Dimension Church, Vindalee Smith and a 33-year-old man named Anthony Jackman were scheduled to participate in a faux marriage ceremony. They weren't really getting married because her "fiancee" already had a wife in New Jersey with whom he was estranged. (I don't know if Vindalee knew about Jackman's wife. I presume he was the one who had impregnated her.) Jackman was living with his parents who had an apartment down the block from Smith's place.
     On Saturday the day before the "wedding," Vindalee didn't show up for morning services at the New Dimension Church. A fellow member of the congregation called Smith's landlord to check on the pregnant church member. When the landlord used a duplicate key to enter the apartment he found Smith lying on the floor in a pool of blood. She and the baby were dead.
     At the site of this woman's violent death New York City detectives determined that the victim's apartment had not been entered by force and that the murder weapon, a knife or other sharp object, was not at the scene. There were blood spatter patterns throughout the apartment. The victim had bled to death from a gaping incised wound in the neck. 
     Beneath the victim's body detectives found an envelope containing a one-page note that had been typed in large block letters and printed out of a computer. (The envelope bore a bloody latent fingerprint.) According to the note the killer promised to murder one pregnant woman a week until the authorities released Lee Boyd Malvo from prison. (Malvo and Allen Mohammed were the so-called Beltway Snipers who murdered several people in the DC area in 2002. Mohammed was executed in 2009 and Malvo was serving a sentence of life without parole.) The note was signed "The Apprentice."
     Detective were skeptical of the notion that Vindalee Smith had been murdered by some crazed serial killer. They found it more plausible that the note had been planted by a killer who knew the victim and had a more traditional motive for her death. The person who killed this woman had been careless enough to leave behind a bloody fingerprint.  
     On Sunday night October 21, 2012, detectives from the 67th Precinct arrested Anthony Jackman on charges related to a fake New Jersey automobile registration. They questioned him about the Smith murder and the next day he was released from custody. (I don't know if Jackman agreed to be questioned about the murder or exercised his Miranda rights.) Detectives, when asked by reporters if Jackman was a suspect, denied that he was. 
     According to press reports Anthony Jackman had a history of fourteen arrests involving petit larceny (petty theft), burglary, weapons possession and the possession of a forged instrument. (I would presume that unless he had an airtight alibi Mr. Jackman was a suspect. In terms of motive it was important to know if Vindalee Smith knew that he was married.) 
     As for other possible suspects detectives learned that months earlier Smith had feuded with a neighbor who accused her of letting his dog out of the building. This man had reportedly threatened to kill her. (I don't know if the police identified and questioned this man.) The Vindalee Smith murder case didn't look like a killing committed for sex, or money. The key to solving this case was motive, and of course identifying the person who left the bloody crime scene fingerprint.

   As of May 2024 the Vindalee Smith murder case remains unsolved and the person who left the crime scene fingerprint has not been identified. 


  1. So, where is Anthony Jackman now? It seems like she knew her killer. Did any of her neighbors see Jackman near or around Vindalee's home over the weekend that she was brutality murdered?

  2. Is there an update on this crime?

  3. Have the police given up on this case? Is Anthony Jackman going to get away with murder?