Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder Within the Walls


This article was written using court records, notes and transcripts of the Donna Payant murder trial that was held from January 1983 through April 1983 in Dutchess County Court, New York; personal interviews with Dr. Neal Riesner, Chief of Forensic Dentistry for Westchester County; transcripts from the New York State Court of Appeals: PEOPLE v SMITH (59 NY2d 156) and PEOPLE v SMITH (63 NY2d 41); official police reports and also the following:

Bowers, Dr. C. Michael DDS, JD. Detection of Photographic and Anatomical Distortion in Human Bitemarks. , February 19, 2003   

Dykeman, Nathan. "Slain Woman Guard was 1st To Die In Line of Duty", Poughkeepsie Journal, May 19, 1981.     

Feron, James. Convict is "Sentenced to Death for Murder of Prison Guard".   New York Times, June 10, 1983.    

Freedman, Eric. "Bite Marks as Identity Means Approved by Court of Appeals". New York Law Journal, October 28, 1981.    

Golinski, Pamela. "Autopsy Reveals New Fact on Guard Murder", May 18, 1981, "Inmate Held in Probe", May 19, 1981. Poughkeepsie Journal

Hertz, Larry. "Kunstler: Suspect Framed, Forensic Experts to Testify About Guard", June 12, 1981.   Poughkeepsie Journal.

Hughes, Larry. "Murder Defendant Asks Transfer to Jail",

January 15, 1983, "Smith Trial Begins",

January 21, 1983, "Smith Trial Jury Views Photos of Body",

January 27, 1983, "Guard: Call Upset Victim on Day She Died",

January 28, 1983, "Inmate: Smith Admitted Making Call",

February 1, 1983, "Guards Can't Recall Victim's Last Day",

February 3, 1983, "Smith, Payant Entered Office, Inmate Testifies",

February 4, 1983, "Attorney Tiffs Detour Smith Murder Trial Friday",

February 7, 1983, "Smith Banged on Door at Murder Scene",

February 10, 2003, Guard Admits He Was a Suspect in Prison Murder of Mrs. Payant",

February 11, 1983, "Hairs on Body May Have Been Smith's Scientist Says", February 25, 1983, "Smith Jury Nearing a Decision", April 18, 1983. Poughkeepsie Journal.

Kipp, Dennis. "Female Green Haven Guard Strangled, Body Found in Dump", May 17, 1981. Poughkeepsie Journal.

Smith, Lemuel W. A 70 page handwritten document addressed to Judge Raymond E. Alrich Jr. dated June 22, 1982.


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