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Maryland's Oldest Open Cold Case

Welcome to Season 2 


You've been patiently waiting...

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...and wondering.

What's the big secret? 

   The Show

In the pre-dawn hours of January 21, 1935, the unthinkable happened. 

As the biggest snowstorm in a decade blanketed Maryland, two men, L. Emory Smith and James T. Mitchell, were murdered at the Chevy Chase Lake trolley car barn. Their murders remain unsolved. 

Gumshoe detectives followed leads that took them from Washington, DC, to Baltimore, to Philadelphia, and into New York City. They infiltrated gangs of bootleggers, gamblers, racketeers, and career criminals, only to come up empty-handed with the name of a suspect. 

Now, I am blowing the dust off of the file and reopening the case. Why now, after decades have passed?


Because L. Emory Smith was my great-uncle.

For the first time in 86 years, the oldest cold case file in Maryland will be revealed in a serial podcast. History remembers the victim's names and now the truth will finally be told: What happened, why it happened, and who was responsible. 


Latest Episodes

Follow along as I detail the murders of L. Emory Smith and James T. Mitchell, the paths of the assigned detectives, possible suspects, red herrings, and love letters sent from prison that may hold valuable information. 

Was this an inside job as so many have speculated? 

Nothing about cold cases is ever that simple. 

Come on the journey of this serial podcast as I detail the tangled web of deceit, allegiances, subterfuge, and corruption that buried this case file for decades. 

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My Grandfather

John H. Smith


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Executive Producer and Host

Retired major case detective, forensic specialist, television and radio veteran.


I am in a unique position. As a family member of one of the victims and with my background in murder investigations, I will be able to research and reconstruct the moments of the murders of my great-uncle, Emory Smith and his co-worker, James Mitchell.

Too many of my family members, including my father, have passed away never knowing what happened that terrible morning.

It is time to find out. 

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