Growing up in Prison – The Eric Smith Story

Sometimes I pity children who kill and abuse other children. I pity children of rage and children or youth who become entangled with the law. It appears that the vast majority of these unlikely murderers are survivors of a house of horrors. On the extreme end, torturing and murdering other children repeats their own experiences momentarily releases rage. Children of rage are frequently victims of abuse but it may not necessarily be physical or sexual.  Neglect, witnessing domestic violence, living in a poor community are factors that play a strong role in child pathology. watch 1940s juvenile delinquency
In the next video, child killers are trained by Muslims worldwide to persecute Jews. The children are victims of brainwashing, rather than abuse. The parallel between abused children who kill and Muslim children is in the training: the abused child is not instructed in the “art” of murder, but the abuse trains the child to vent his rage on his victims in the same manner and method as the abusers. watch training children to kill

Youth who have lived in dysfunctional homes often revert to childlike behaviours without notice: an adult might tell the youth not to use bad language and the latter erupts into a catastrophic temper tantrum, hurling objects and screaming obscenities. Most children do not want to behave in this manner. They cannot control their rages; their rages control them. The angry child or youth is a prisoner of her or his own anger. watch takedown tantrum taped

Families are also controlled by a child’s rage.  Eventually abused or neglected children can become violent towards their parents and siblings and, at a loss to communicate with the child, the latter learn to live around the child’s pathology. They accept and deny their child’s abnormal behaviour. watch little criminals part 6 of 10

Eric Smith was a child of 13 when he committed his first and last child murder. Baby-faced and red-haired, Eric was diagnosed as having intermittent explosive disorder, a mental disorder causing individuals to act out violently and unpredictably. Like Jesse Pomeroy, Eric was a loner, often tormented by bullies for his protruding low-set ears, thick glasses, red hair and freckles.  As a teenager, the friendless boy was seen pedaling around town for hours on end — alone. Like Ted Bundy, Eric was disturbed by his family origins, except in his case he was adopted. He never felt a real connection with his adoptive family.

It was August 2, 1993 when 4 year-old Derrick Robie was walking alone to a summer camp in rural Steuben County, New York. Eric encountered the unfortunate boy and reportedly led Derrick to a remote location where he tortured and murdered the child. Eric strangled and sodomized Derrick with a tree limb. He dropped two large rocks on Derrick’s head, which were determined to be the young boy’s cause of death with contributing asphyxia. He went into Derrick’s lunch bag, smashed a banana and took Derrick’s red Kool Aid, pouring it into the wound in Derrick’s head. watch derrick robie’s story

It has been reported that earlier in the day that Derrick died, Eric was overwhelmed by emotional torment and begged his stepfather, Ted Smith, to help him control his emotions.  His stepfather ignored his son’s obvious distress and gave him the flippant answer that as a child whenever he got angry, he “grabbed a bag in our barn and started beating on it.” Unbeknownst to Ted, Eric left the house on his bicycle and eventually encountered Derrick Robie. After the murder, Eric returned home quite calm. watch derrick robie short

Four days after the murder, Eric visited a police station to see if he could assist in solving the crime. Investigator John Hibsch had no idea the murderer was seated across a table from him. Eric gleefully informed John that he found Derrick’s body in an open field. When John asked Eric where he had last seen the child, Eric’s demeanor suddenly changed. He clenched his fists and growled, “you think I did it, don’t you?”

Eric eventually asked a family friend “what would happen if it turned out to be a kid?” The woman replied ,”I think he would seriously need psychiatric help.” This wasn’t the answer Eric sought; clearly he wanted to know what the legal repercussions would be for a child who had killed another child. 5 days after killing little Derrick, Eric admitted to his family that he was the killer.  They sat down with Eric and begged him to tell them what happened.  Tammy cried and asked Eric why he killed Derrick Robie and Eric wept in reply, “I don’t know, I don’t know.” watch young killer gives first-ever interview

Soon after, Eric was arrested and charged with Derrick’s death. His lawyer, Kevin Bradley claimed Eric was not to blame because he “suffered from a very serious mental disease.” However Eric was found guilty of Derrick’s murder. After Eric’s sentencing of 9 years in prison to life, Ted and Tammy Smith were devastated. They felt Eric was sick and didn’t deserve to be sent to prison.

After 11 years in prison, Eric, aged 24, claimed that his family life was abusive, and just as devastating as the bullies who taunted him at school. However Eric insisted he had never been sexually abused. During a parole hearing Eric explained that he had changed, that he wanted to be a forensic psychologist and counsel children who bully other children. In spite of his future ambition, parole was denied.  Parole hearings for Eric Smith are held every 2 years.

watch identifying different psychopaths

watch little criminals 1 of 10

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38 Responses to Growing up in Prison – The Eric Smith Story

  1. Pingback: Growing up in Prison – The Eric Smith Story | ~Misery

  2. Stacy says:

    I will not criticize what you have written, however I know more truth to this story that what I see here. I’m not sure where you got your information, but some of it is stated untrue to an extent! He was not from a completely adopted situation. Ted, Eric’s adoptive/step father…..was the only non blood relative in the family. Eric’s mother was officially eric’s birth mother, eric’s sisters were blood as well. His older sister was full blood sister, yet once adopted….either or shall I say all kids didn’t know he was adopted until soon before murder occurred! Also, the interview process, was not about eric going to ask to help….he didn’t initially find the body that led to discovering Derrick either…..If you would like better detail for your story please contact me!!! I’m a true insider! And would LOVE to have my side of the story told….as for the parts you may need here!

    • gothrules says:

      Thanks for the input. I find his case to be very interesting as well.

    • Mabel says:

      Stacy ! I totally agree with you ! I hope Eric will get he’s parole this year ! He has been punished enought !

      • TBB says:

        May you someday have a beautiful, innocent 4 y/o child savagely murdered and sodomized so you can know the true devastation of some crazed little lunatic ruining your life forever.
        Idiot.

      • gothrules says:

        I don’t believe that kind of response is necessary. It most certainly is inhumane and no better than what Eric did to Derrick.

      • Amber says:

        U r just as sick as him

    • Pam says:

      He sodomized a 4 yr. old come on what is your problem … This is where he belongs ! Every day he gets it think up all the excuses he can for what humanity knows is unjust
      Derricks parents are the victims in this not Eric lots of kids are bullied but do not sodomize and kill because of it .

  3. Stacy says:

    No disrespect meant either!

  4. Fahren says:

    He sodomized a 4 year old with a tree limb…I don’t think anyone could be punished enough! Really poor choice of words.

  5. Michael says:

    Those who say he should be freed. Would you want him next door to you? Also if he killed your child would you want him to be set free?

    • Mabel says:

      I will not be afraid Eric living next to me or even living with me . Forgive it’s a greatest Donation . I have read many victim’s family interview most of them hate what the thing happend but not hating the offender they will leave it to the judge . Example texas seven killed the police officer , Levi Kings’s case .

      • donald says:

        You are nutz.

      • marilyn4ever says:

        I have to say I wouldn’t live with or next door to a killer. It’s one thing to forgive, quite another to forget. In this case, you cannot forget murder.

  6. mary doric says:

    Looking to get a hold of someone in admin.
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  7. matt says:

    This kid committed a terrible crime. Had he been an adult, it would probably have been unforgiveable. Many people relate only to the victim, which is fine, but this offender was a little kid himself afterall. Knowing he has been in prison all these years, i actually feel for him. If he was bullied in the streets, you can be assured he was and probably still is victimized in prison.
    The public has two choices, he can be locked up till the day he dies, or someday he can be released and supervised. I’ve seen interviews with Eric Smith as a young adult and i get the feeling that he understands just what a horrible thing he did.
    So, do we punish him for every day of his life, or do we try to forgive and give him a second chance??
    From what i’ve seen, and taking into account his age at the time of his crime, i vote for parole.
    It’s not like they can’t throw him back… And for pretty much any reason.

    • marilyn4ever says:

      I’m inclined to agree with you. However, if he gets out and repeats the crime then that “second chance” would have been a horrid mistake.

  8. Latoya says:

    I’m watching this now on #killerkids and my heart goes out to little Derek’s family this murderer should be on death row

  9. Donna says:

    I agree. I just saw that eposide on KillerKids as well, then read the responses above and have to agree with Pam and Fahren and others – Eric belongs in lock-up and should never be parolled. He’ll get the attention he desired as a child in the psych ward and the professionals can get their much needed study of these disturbed individuals. Hopefully a lesson can be learned from Eric and perhaps some day we can recognize what our kids need BEFORE they torture and kill others.

    • marilyn4ever says:

      I agree with that statement that we need to give our kids what they need before they commit heinous crimes. Clearly there is something dreadful happening at home, I don’t believe strictly in heredity although there may be a component there.

  10. Zac says:

    First of all I think every day that Eric wakes up and realizes what he did is punishment but he should have to do that in prison and under control for that is the exact thing he took from little Derrick. Don’t you think derrick and his family wish he could wake up every day and have a life? A life for a life… If Derrick can’t have that second chance why should Eric? Also I think part of this blame should be put on Eric’s family. If he was being abused by the bullying of his peers his family should of been his crutch and stability. If they were there for him and loved him, this probably would of never happened! He was taken to his breaking point as a young kid and made a really bad decision that could if been helped in my opinion. I don’t think he had any kind of medical problems which is exactly what the parole board thinks every two years. If they believed he did, Eric would of been sent away or put into a mental hospital. It’s a shame these things happen I think he is getting exactly what he deserves. I’m not here to judge him but carma is!

  11. Zade Lanston says:

    you have no idea what your talking about woman, eric’s a psychopath he’s playing the remorse card to get out of prison not because he actually cares. I hope eric’s really popular with the big guys at prison.

    • marilyn4ever says:

      I’m quite convinced I do know what I’m talking about, man. I don’t believe he’s filled with remorse because I believe this man has become a psychopath and probably did in his childhood years. It’s the childhood abuse that I feel pity for, not the mask Eric now wears to try to get out of prison. You need to read more carefully.

  12. Tina a says:

    Not saying its right what he did but how are you people going to say he deserves to be abused in jail? Its up to God to judge him not you. I’m not sticking up for him for what he did. If he really is sorry and is never going to do it again and has changed his ways doesnt he deserve a chance? I

    • J.T. says:

      Yeah, well that’s just it Tina a. How do we know with absolute certainty that he won’t do it again? How do we know for certain that he has changed his ways? Do you have some irrefutable proof of that? Would you want him out and living next door to you? I wouldn’t. What if he had murdered your child? Perhaps you’d feel differently. That’s the reason he is continually denied parole. Obviously, the parole board does not feel that he has atoned for what he did or that he truly feels any remorse for it. He is where he belongs and should stay there. At least his parents can go visit him in prison. All Derrick Robie’s parents have to visit is a gravesite.

  13. JamesReddison says:

    that man deserve to be in prison for ever and I hope he dies in prison. for what he did to a 4 year old boy. that little boy got a future in front of him.

  14. Fair Isaac says:

    Such lack of human compassion is truly saddening. Everyone keeps putting themselves in Derrick’s parents shoes but noone wants to consider being Ted Smith. Ted, who dismissed Eric the morning of the murder when he was screaming, crying, and couldn’t handle being the freckle faced ginger riding his bike around alone again. Ted, who’s adopted son murdered another boy after he didn’t have time to talk to him. Ted, who’s now watched that boy become a man in prison for the last 21 years experiencing his 16th, 18th, 21st, 25th, and 30th birthdays all behind walls.

    I feel for both families- that rage and heartache from the Robies as well as the despair and shame from the Smiths. However, psychopath, what are you basing his psychosis on? Eric never abused animals, never lashed out on people, and hasn’t had a single incident in prison. The one day he snapped and committed a brutal murder? Have you never made a mistake? Sure, it’s one hell of a mistake to have made but to wish some of the things some of you have said on him is deplorable.

    Do I think he should be released? No. You can’t release someone who is now a prisoner in their brain. Like it or not, he cannot function in regular society anymore, he may be useful as some kind of counselor for young inmates, but to release him to society would be a mistake- not just for society but also for him. How quickly we forget it’s called a Correctional Facility- whats the point of that if we don’t believe we can correct behaviors?

  15. I'mALiberal says:

    I would never give somebody like this another chance. He’s a psychopath and what bothers me most is little Derrick, who was only 4 at the time will never get a second chance. So why should his murderer?

    • jezmyopinion says:

      I’m surprised Derick was walking to camp alone at the age of 4.
      I hope Eric is never paroled.
      He’s missing things that cannot be gained or corrected. Empathy, sympathy and a conscious.

  16. JamesReddison says:

    that animal who killed a 4-year-old, 22 years ago, Eric deserves to be in jail for a very long time. Poor Robie, if he was alive he will be 26-27, poor kid, Eric Smith, deserves to die in jail.

  17. i have a 14 years old son, he already knows what is right or wrong…this kid maybe was short but he knew that he was committing a crime he wasnt just curious…he choke the kid…then he smashed his head….it wasnt a one min mental breakdown…it took a while…he had no respect no remorse no doubts…then he went to the police…just to get attention….his brain is not going to change in a milliom years…

    • helthnut says:

      I tend to agree with you. There is no way a person cannot know that an act of violence is an act of violence, especially when Eric clearly meant to kill this little boy.

  18. Duk Han says:

    This very impress story for the movie would have done on article for lost kid when murder has happened. Parents are for the fault although no excuse when adopt such young child. So sad for many ways and feel sad for family too since they do not love to him since today. Very sad for them and small child and I hope a better place is for him not in this bad place not meant for poor child never got to live his life and vey sad. I pray for Derrick in a better place and heaven await for him. Soo sad, poor Derrick i’m sorry.

  19. Micfilly says:

    There is a lot written wrong here. About Eric Ted and Tammy. About the day of the murder. My name is casey monahan lived on church st in Savona. stood trial against Eric. I was 9 years old. I was with Eric that day he we left his house. I saw Derrick leave his house. Ted smith was friends with my father. Ted and Tammy baby sat me. My heart has always gone out to Dale and Doreen and wish I could hug you guys! ! To this day it makes me cry. It destroyed me. They don’t want to grant him parole. Cause I will be standing outside those gates…..I’m sorry aunt Tammy..I miss you i stopped by years ago. No one was there on the west side. And i never heard of uncle teds passing till after the funeral. I felt awful. Love you. Dale aunt Tammy if you read this please find a way to contact me!

  20. Stacy says:

    Casey – email me at auracleanz@gmail.com – I’ll get you in touch with Tammy. There is also a Facebook Group for Derrick that you may be able to contact Dale through! Believe me when I say, this has affected me in many many ways as well – being his sister and all – but I will not, let this define me. I am better than that and well – get ahold of me we will catch up! – Stacy

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