Saturday, July 30, 2016

Brookey Lee West, Serial Killer – Nevada, 1998


“The Social Security Witch Serial Killer?” Maybe.

According to Clark County prosecutor Scott Mitchell, "She had a history, along with her father, of trying to eliminate people when they got in their way. Once you showed yourself to be in opposition to anything Brookey Lee West wanted to do, your life was in danger."

Brookey Lee West is imprisoned for one murder though ghe is suspected of three. She was convicted of killing her mother and is suspected of having murdered her homeless brother, Travis Lee Smith Jr.,  who like her mother “disappeared,” but whose body, unlike the mother was never found, as well as her husband in 1994, less than two months following their marriage. Brookey attempted to claim Social Security benefit checks for missing brother Travis. The bullet-riddled body of the husband, Howard Simon St. John (36) of San Jose was found, June 6, 1994. Brookey was responsible for torching St. John’s Jaguar in order to collect insurance.

In May 1994 when living in Los Banos, Nevada, Brookey was arrested for investigation of spousal abuse, assault with a firearm and for being a felon in possession of a firearm. They charged her with assaulting her husband with a .32 handgun, but on May 25 the prosecutor dropped the charges and released her. Two weeks later he was shot to death.

In 1996 as Brookey’s father, Leroy Smith, was dying of cancer, Brookey zapped his wife Diane Smith in the neck with a stun gun in an apparent attempt to kill her.

In 1998 West’s elderly 65-year-old mother Christine Smith vanished. Three years later, on February 5, 2001, the body was found in a trash can in a storage unit. Next to the can were found books on satanism and witchcraft. Prosecutors claimed the motive was to collect the woman’s $1,000 Social Security checks.

Brookley was arrested Sept. 8, 2001 and was convicted and sentenced to like in prison.

On July 20, 2012 Brookey attempted to escape Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center by was captured. [R St E]

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Victims:
1993 – Travis Lee Smith Jr.; brother, disappeared; possibly murdered.
Jun. 1994 – Howard Simon St. John; husband; shot; attempted murder; followed by success.
1996 – Diane Smith; sister, possible attempted murder with stun gun.
Feb. 1998 – Christine Smith; mother. 68; body discovered Feb. 5, 2001.

BLW arrested Feb. 8, 2001.

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[Chellie Cervone, “Brookey West attempts prison escape,” Las Vegas World News (Nv.), Jul. 20, 2012]
[Brian Haynes, “Three years of research and writing by R-J writer Glenn Puit yield book on the bizarre life of murderer Brookey Lee West,” Dec. 4, 2005]
[Book: Glenn Puit, Witch: The True Story of Las Vegas’s Most Notorious Serial Killer, Berkley True Crime, 2005]
[Kim Smith, “Police search for brother of woman accused in killing, Las Vegas Sun (Nv),  June 12, 2001]
[D.C. Spencer, Body in Nev. turns attention to Tulare Cty.” The Porterville Recorder  (Nv.), Feb. 24, 2001]
[Lawrence Mower, “Murderer attempts escape from women's prison in North Las Vegas,” Las Vegas Review-Journal (Nv.), July 20, 2012]

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