Homicides Hitting Close to Home


Kynslee White

A triple homicide took place in Larned Kansas with the death of two parents and their 12 year old son.

Jon Smith, the father, was the killer of his wife and son. He then killed himself after the incident. Jon entered his wife’s house, Shala Smith, at 3 in the morning. He was carrying a shotgun when he entered alone. He then opened fire on his estranged wife and son.


Go Fund me

A go fund me account has been set up to help pay for the Shala and Carver, the son, expenses. The unexpected death took Shala away from her four other kids.  The description of her was a loving mother, sister, friend, daughter, and grandmother who cared very much for her friends and family. Carver, who was still a young boy, was described as fun with a witty personality who also cared so much for his family and friends. The description quotes “This has been an unexplainable tragedy for this amazing family and it would be greatly appreciated if you would consider donating towards these costs as a way to support them through this difficult time”. County Attorney Douglas McNett, is still mourning the lost of her friend. Shala was a longtime worker at the correctional mental health facility. She quotes “Shala was an individual who was always smiling; she was a mother first”. 

A current group on Facebook has been gaining attention called  ‘Shine for Shala and Carver.’ Members of this group are trying to distribute purple light bulbs to represent domestic violence or in their words “shining a light on domestic violence awareness”. This group has beat their goal of 200 and are currently at 456. They are even going out of Kansas and expressing their interest in places like Iowa and Texas.

Link to go fund me: https://www.gofundme.com/f/nbszpa-help-with-funeral-expenses


After taking a look at this year’s Homicides stats in Kansas there were 157 during 2021. 13 of these were related to domestic violence cases and 92 were unknown so there is a chance they can fall under domestic violence. This means that at least 13 people died in Kansas from Domestic Violence cases like this story above. In 2020 there were 179 deaths and in 2019 there were 151. These are just the stats of cases reported. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence 1 in 10 men and 4 in 10 women experience a form of domestic violence at a point in their lifetime. But there were also only 47% of domestic violence cases reported in 2018 which leaves a large space of these cases that aren’t  being reported. There are so many different reasons that these cases go unreported including fear of uncertainty, fear of the abuser, and fear of belief. This is one of the many stories of homicides that have taken place, but with it happening so close to home, its time to put a stop or a decrease in numbers. 

I talked with students at GBHS to get there views on the horrible incident that took place. Jade Sanchez, a junior here said “I feel like its just an awful situation and I feel its really horrible for the family. The whole incident is just really sad to me” 

Facts about homicides

About 90 per cent of all homicides recorded worldwide were committed by male perpetrators

Firearms were involved in more than half of all homicides worldwide in 2017

The vast majority of women and girls are killed by intimate partners or other family members

464,000 people estimated to have been victims of intentional homicide 

Most victims are under the age of 50 when it comes to homicides

Click here for more facts from UNODC.org

This is our sign to make a change in the number of homicides taking place. We need to somehow make a change. We wont be able to completely get rid of these numbers but at least get the amount that is taking place every year.