Modern Podcast Brought Smoking Gun Evidence To Light In 25-Year Old Murder Case Of Kristin Smart

Kristin Smart Murder Trial

Prosecutor says a man accused of killing Kristin Smart in 1996 hid her body with his father’s help

Prosecutors alleged Monday that blood was found outside a home belonging to Ruben Flores, who helped his son hide Kristin Smart’s body.

Paul Flores, 45, is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing Smart in his dorm room while he and the victim were students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His father, who was also a student at the time, is charged as an accessory in the murder.

The Flores’ are being tried in Monterey County Superior Court after a judge ruled that widespread publicity and significant attention on the case would likely prevent them from receiving a fair trial.

San Luis Obispo County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle told jurors Monday that soil samples from Ruben Flores’ home tested positive for human blood, and that cadaver dogs alerted to the smell of human remains while searching the building.

In his opening statement, Paul Flores’ attorney criticized the prosecution’s lack of eyewitnesses and physical or forensic evidence and portrayed Smart as a young woman who was known to disappear with friends.

The prosecution for their part dropped a damming audio recording. A phone call between Paul Flores and his mother, which was obtained through a wiretapping warrant, was played in court.

In one audio clip played by Peuvrelle, Paul Flores mother Susan Flores refers to the “Your Own Backyard” podcast, which examined Smart‘s disappearance and raised public interest in the case. In the clip, she tells her son, “I need you start to listening to the podcast … I need you to poke holes in it where you can,”

For more on this story, please consider these sources:

  1. Kristin Smart murder trial: Smart’s father takes stand; tense moments between him and defense team – KCRA Sacramento
  2. Kristin Smart’s family speaks during murder trial: ‘I spent 3 months looking for my daughter’ – San Luis Tribune
  3. Kristin Smart’s killer preyed on more women, prosecutor says – KRON4
  4. Family takes stand during first day of testimony in Kristin Smart murder trial – KSBY News
John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.