I am not so sure - - it may have more to do with this article...
By Colleen Long, Associated Press
November 3, 2002
DENVER — Former JonBenet Ramsey detective Lou Smit's resume reads like a true
crime bestseller list. Now, he's been fictionalized.
Author Robert L. Wise used the retired police detective as inspiration for a
Christian detective named Sam Sloan in a set of mystery novels.
"Lou is a very interesting guy. He looks so plain, like the guy you'd meet in line at
a grocery store," Wise said. "But he's really shrewd and observant."
Smit, 67, says he's not as thrilling as the character.
"You look at yourself and think 'Well I'm really not that good or really not that
exciting,'" he said. "Most detective work is paperwork and reports, it's not all
solving crime. The books make the business glamorous."
Smit has more than 20 years' experience as a police detective, but he is best
known as the consultant hired by then-District Attorney Alex Hunter to work on
the Dec. 26, 1996, slaying of JonBenet Ramsey.
Smit resigned from the investigation in 1998 because he thought Boulder police
were erroneously targeting JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey. He says
an intruder killed the former beauty queen. The case remains open and there have
been no arrests.
In 1995, Smit was credited with playing a major role in solving the 31/2-year-old,
high-profile murder of a 13-year-old girl. As El Paso County's chief sheriff's
investigator, Smit sent fingerprints from the crime scene to 92 law enforcement
agencies. That led to the arrest of Robert Browne, who is serving a sentence of
life without parole for the 1991 murder of Heather Dawn Church.
Before joining the sheriff's office, Smit served five years as an investigator for the
district attorney's office in Colorado Springs for five years and worked for the
Colorado Springs Police Department for 24 years.
Wise, a minister-turned-author, met Smit in Atlanta while he was working as
ghost writer for the Ramseys' book, "The Death of Innocence."
He modeled his character after Smit because of the Colorado Springs detective's
pre-case practice of praying for the victim and asking God for help in solving the
Smit prayed with the Ramseys during his time on the case to help establish a
relationship with the family, although he was criticized for it. He said he still
occasionally prays with them.
"Just out of curiosity, I asked Lou what he did when he started a case," said
Wise, 63. "After I learned that he prayed, it hit me to write about a Christian
The three-book series called "The Sam and Vera Sloan Mysteries," follows the
adventures of Colorado Springs detective Sloan and his wife, Vera, also an
investigator. The couple tracks criminals, solves murders and squabbles over
everyday life, with God playing a prominent role.
The first novel, "The Empty Coffin," was published in June 2001, and the second,
"The Dead Detective," was released June 4. The third is due out in March. The
novels were published by Nashville, Tenn.-based Thomas Nelson Inc., which
specializes in Christian books.
The books are sold mostly in Christian fiction or religious sections at mainstream
bookstores across the United States. Thomas Nelson wouldn't say how many
copies had been sold.
"In these books, the religious experiences are sort of a subcurrent," Wise said.
"They are an underlying theme that has its own direct and indirect motivation for
characters. But I hope it's not preaching."
Smit thinks he is more religious than the characters.
"It's important to me," he said. "Everyone has their thing they do before a crime.
Mine is praying."
He currently volunteers and works on cold homicide cases in El Paso County and
keeps his eyes open for any clues in the Ramsey slaying. He has a photo of the
child in his wallet. He also has appeared on national television news shows to
discuss his intruder theory.
"I stepped up and have been controversial because I believe the Ramseys are
innocent, and there's a wolf out there that's eating our children," Smit said. "I feel
my responsibility is to speak up."