John Small Murders Cheryl Smith In Pennsylvania

John Small was attempted to death by the State of Pennsylvania for the murder of Cheryl Smith

According to court documents John Smith and an accomplice would follow Cheryl Smith into the woods at a party. The seventeen year old was not seen alive again. Weeks later Cheryl Smith body would be found deep in the woods

John Small was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

John Small Photos

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John Small Now

Parole Number: 9630P
Age: 63
Date of Birth: 11/14/1959
Race/Ethnicity: WHITE
Height: 6′ 01″
Gender: MALE
Citizenship: USA
Complexion: LIGHT
Current Location: PHOENIX

Permanent Location: PHOENIX
Committing County: YORK

John Small Case

[O]n the evening of August 5, 1981, a group of people, including the victim, attended a party in the Borough of Hanover. Even though many of the attendees at the party were underage, large quantities of alcohol and marijuana were consumed. At some point during the evening, a fight erupted and the police were called to the scene. Prior to the arrival of the responding police officers, a group of the partygoers left in two separate vehicles and drove to a local tavern. After consuming more alcohol at the tavern, the group drove to a wooded area outside of Hanover, known as “the Pines.” Several members of the group departed. At one point, the victim left the remaining members of the group and went into the woods to relieve herself. She was followed by [John Small] and co-defendant James Frey. Sometime thereafter, witnesses testified that they heard the victim scream. An eyewitness, Larry Tucker, later testified at trial that he had followed [Small] into the woods and then watched [John Small] and the co-defendant grab the victim, throw her to the ground and say to her “you give it to everybody else.” [John Small] was seen shortly thereafter coming out of the woods with blood on his hands. Co-defendant Frey followed several minutes later and the remaining members of the group then left the Pines leaving the victim in the woods. The victim was never seen alive again and her body was found seven weeks later, in a spread eagle position, naked from the waist down with her shirt rolled around her neck, exposing her upper torso. Forensic evidence indicated that the cause of death was a head trauma.

No arrest was made for a number of years. Finally, police investigators learned that [John Small] had been making incriminating statements implicating himself in the murder. Linda Rhinehart testified that she overheard [John Small] at an arcade in Hanover state to some friends that: “I followed her into the woods ‘cause I was going to get some of that․ She won’t be a tease anymore. It’s amazing what a tire iron can do to hush someone making that much noise.” Cerenna Hughes testified that [Small] told her that after the night at the Pines, Cheryl “run away” and “she gave in, she gave up.” Harry H. Carper III testified that sometime during 1981, he visited [Small] at his home and [Small] stated “he might have killed” Cheryl Smith and that “he hit her over the top of her head.” Lastly, Janice Small, [Small’s] wife at the time of the murder, testified that one night in 1981 when Carper was visiting at their residence, she overheard [Small] say to Carper “I killed a girl․ [We] hit her over the head, dumped her ass in the woods and left her there.” She also testified that on one occasion when she was reading a newspaper article about the murder, [Small] walked by and said, “that’s the girl we killed.”

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