AN article in the Kilkenny People which spurred a cold case review of an infamous Kilkenny city murder has been taken a step further. A reconstruction of the gruesome death of widower, Nancy Smyth, Wolfe Tone Street will be part of the Crime Call programme on RTE 1 television on Tuesday night of next week.
A team of experienced detectives who have never given up hope of solving the murder which saw the 64 year old beaten and strangled to death by an assailant at her home just before midnight on November 11, 1987. They are working hard to catch the murderer. The cowardly thug who killed Mrs Smyth set fire to her home in an effort to hide his tracks.
Although it has been 25 years since her demise, detectives think there are people out there with information that might be able to solve the callous crime.”There may be people out there who were not in a position to come forward back them who are now,” one of the team on the case said.
The officers are appealing for witnesses to come forward and have made it clear that all information will be in the strictest confidence. “People cannot assume that what they know is of no value. The smallest thing surrounding the events of that night might give us the breakthrough we need,” a garda spokesman said. “No matter how insignificant it is please come forward and we will protect your anonymity,” he added.
In the Nancy Smyth murder case, a man was seen arguing and pushing Mrs Smith outside her home on Wolfe Tone Street on the night she died. In the middle of the row, he hopped over her garden wall to ask a stranger for a light for his cigarette and therefore identifying himself. A few minutes later Mrs Smyth was dead after being punched, kicked and manually strangled. Not long after that her house was on fire. The emergency services reacted quickly and unwittingly washed away forensic evidence when doing their job. When Nancy Smyth’s body was brought to the morgue and cleaned after the smoke damage, they found the marks on her throat. The man was questioned but never said anything to incriminate himself.
With improvements in DNA testing and other scientific testing, it is hoped by many that the murderer of Nancy Smyth who walks the streets by day will be apprehended. Anyone with information can ring 056 7775000 in complete confidentiality or call to the Garda Station on Dominic Street, Kilkenny.