Cold Case Wiki
John in 1983
John in 2007
John in 2008
John Smith
Portrayed by Field Cate (1983)
Damon Herriman (2007/2008)
Episode The Road
Status Arrested

"Once hope is gone, dying's just a formality."

John Smith was a serial killer.


Smith targeted women and enjoyed it when they gave up. He first did this in 1983 when he found a woman trapped in a water well. Instead of helping her, Smith spat in it and watched the woman struggle until she drowned because she was tired. Seeing this inspired him to become a serial killer later in life.

Modus Operandi[]

Using his job as a videographer, Smith targeted women who came to his workplace and hired him to edit their home movies for them. He picked women whom he noticed had something they lived for passionately, such as their family, their wedding or their religion. After abducting them, Smith would lock the women in a basement of an abandoned house on the outskirts of a city. There, he would torture his victims psychologically, often with their own videos, until they finally broke down, at which point he would stop caring for them and even let them leave. By then, however, the women became completely apathetic to the point of losing their wills to live and just stayed in the prison as Smith walled them up and left them to starve to death.

Similar to George Marks, John Smith is able to see through Detective Lilly Rush, quickly realizing that it is her job that gives her life meaning. He taunts Lilly about having no one in her life that would be in those videos, or even watch them. He even seems to pick up on Lilly's ongoing trauma from her shooting.

However, Lilly ultimately gains the upper hand, realizing that Smith's latest victim, Brenda MacDowell, didn't give up. She uses this to break Smith down and make him give up a clue about Brenda's location. Lilly manages to rescue Brenda after deducing she is hidden in Kensington, where Lilly grew up. Smith is then arrested.

Known Victims[]