Fred-Freak Smith

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Board of Supervisors have renewed a $10,000 reward for information leading to whoever stabbed punk and heavy metal musician Fred-Freak Smith to death in Las Palmas Park in San Fernando.

“I am so glad of that,” said his mother Deloris Smith, speaking by phone from her home in White Plains, MD. “I have a gofundme account and have been trying to increase the amount (to offer for a reward) but it’s not going well. I was hoping I could have added some more to it.

“I don’t know what else to do at this point. I don’t have funds to add. But I will keep trying. And I appreciate the extension.”

She said she had not heard anything more or new regarding the investigation “for the past 20-25 days.”

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl recommended extending the reward — which was set to expire Dec. 10 — to help find Smith’s killer. The reward was first offered in September.

This reward offer currently has no expiration date.

Smith, 55, often visited the park where he was killed. On Aug. 8, he was found behind the park’s softball fields by Los Angeles Fire Department rescuers answering a cardiac arrest call. Smith had been stabbed in his neck and left to die in a pool of his own blood.

Smith was a noted guitarist and songwriter who played with several hardcore punk, heavy metal and goth bands, including Beefeater and Strange Boutique. He had a following in West Hollywood and Washington, D.C., where he grew up.

“He paved the way for African-American musicians in the punk genre,” Kuehl said in September.

“Many families were in the park. Kids were practicing baseball in the nearby fields,” Kuehl said, adding that investigators hope someone witnessed the crime or can provide other clues that could be helpful.

Musician and record label owner Ian MacKaye praised Smith’s talent in an interview with L.A. Weekly.

“Beefeater was a revolutionary band,” MacKaye told the publication.

“Their fusion of metal, funk and jazz at a time when hardcore ruled supreme was popular in D.C., mainly because Freak was an extremely gifted musician and a real kook, unlike anyone else. He was enthusiastic and bold.”

In 2012, friends say Smith began to develop mental health issues, although he would resist acknowledging he needed help or seek treatment.

Smith had spent time living in the Blake House, a group home in San Fernando for those with mental disabilities, but left there a few months before his death, a person at the facility told the San Fernando Valley Sun. It was his last known address.

Anyone with information about Smith’s killing is urged to call sheriff’s homicide Detectives Dean Camarillo or Eduardo Aguirre at (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers, (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *