I am going to refrain from calling this a murder for now because I’d rather let you guys decide for yourselves. This is the audio of the Little Falls, Minnesota killings of 17-year-old Nick Brady and his cousin, 18-year-old Haile Kifer. They were both shot and killed by Byron Smith, 65, on Thanksgiving Day of 2012. The original audio tape was recorded over six hours but none of you guys are going to listen to that and I am wayyyy too ADD to listen to it all. So, I am going to tell you where the important parts are, but let me tell you a little about the case in case you are not familiar with it.
Byron Smith was an older man that was constantly getting his house robbed by who he thought was the same intruders over and over. Smith called the cops every time and they did nothing but tell Smith to “upgrade his security”. This caused Smith to begin to live in constant fear that he would be murdered by intruders in his own home, hence why he set up the recording device in the first place. On Thanksgiving Day, when he saw Nick Brady and Haile Kifer casing his house, he knew they were going to rob him again. Instead of calling 911, he parked his truck a block away, walked home on foot, got his guns ready and sat down in his basement. This is where the recording begins. It starts with Smith talking to himself and he says “in your left eye”, you’ll see the significance of that in a minute. He is also heard rehearsing what he will say once this is all over with. At the 1:02 mark you can clearly hear Brady breaking into a window. At the 3:15 mark you hear Brady walk down the basement stairs and Smith fires several shots from a rifle into Brady and screams, “You’re dead!”. Things go quiet until 10 minutes later around the 13 minute mark of the video when Kifer comes to look for her cousin. Smith sees Kifer walking towards his house and gets in position with his gun once again. You can hear Kifer whisper, “Nick”.. and then she walks down a couple stairs, that’s when Smith shoots her in the arm and she falls down the stairs onto the basement floor. Smith goes to finish her off and his gun jams. He sarcastically says, “Oh sorry about that.”, then pulls out a pistol and shoots her twice in the chest while she screams, “I’m sorry!”. Smith screams back, “You’re dying!” as he keeps shooting her, once in the left eye, grabs her by the hair and shoots her in the back of the head. He then calls her a bitch. A few minutes later he notices that Kifer is still alive, so he puts the pistol under her chin and pulls the trigger.
Byron Smith did not call cops. He did not call for an ambulance. He sat down and talked to himself about what he had just done. What you hear after the killings is hours of Smith talking to himself. He doesn’t call the cops for an entire day. He left the bodies in the basement and went about his life.
Smith was eventually arrested when police found the audio tape. He was charged and convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. So, my question is.. was this premeditated murder disguised as self defense? Or was Smith defending his home and his life because he was so fearful he would be murdered? Why didn’t he call 911 after he shot Brady? There’s ten minutes in between killings, he had time. Why did he park his truck a block away to make it seem like no one was home? There are a lot of questions to think of but the reality of it is.. if the two teens would’ve never committed their own crime and tried to rob Smith’s house, they’d still be alive.