Margaret Lorrain Smith: Texas woman who hired hit man to kill husband on 'Most Wanted' list
SURFSIDE BEACH, TEXAS: The infamous case of Margaret Lorrain Smith has resurfaced again after she was added to the Texas DPS list of "10 Most Wanted Fugitives". Margaret is accused of hiring a man to murder her husband, George Smith, a former Marine.
According to reports, the 62-year-old woman lured George to Surfside Beach one night in 2007, before the person hired by her bludgeoned him to death. Brazoria County investigators claimed that when the victim was found, he was in such a state that identifying him was not easy.
Who is Margaret Lorrain Smith?
Margaret and George were husband and wife for nearly three decades and shared four kids together. They were the co-owners of a popular burger joint in Surfside Beach, but eventually, the pair started facing some issues and had to close down the restaurant. Their financial situation worsened and Margaret wanted her husband to sell the property, which was the main bone of contention between the two.
Scarlet Sears, the couple's daughter, told CNN's ‘The Hunt with John Walsh,’ “My dad's property at the beach was worth about $3-4 million dollars. (My mother) wanted him to sell his property to make some money, but he didn't want to sell it. He kept the property because he wanted to pass it down to his kids.” The issues began to increase between Margaret and George, and she started demanding divorce in the early 2000s. Margaret also reportedly left the family home and started hanging out with a younger man. She also colored her hair to look younger, started wearing provocative clothing and chilled with a young crowd who liked to party and were allegedly involved in drug-dealing. By 2006, Margaret found a new method to sell their belongings. She allegedly once forged her husband’s signature and sold one of his parcels without telling him.
A family friend, Bing Cosby, said, “They had a big fight. He went next door, and had his friends make up a ... will and he changed his will, left everything to the kids, got her out of it, had them sign it, said 'Here, something happens to me, give it to them.’” Things worsened after the fight and on the fateful night of August 6, 2007, Margaret reportedly invited George for dinner at their favorite Mexican restaurant. Stephen Buchanan, a criminal investigator with the Brazoria County, Texas, Sheriff's office, said: “He loved her, and he wanted to get back with Lorrain, he would do anything for her.” But the next morning, George’s body covered in blood was discovered on nearby Follett's Beach in Surfside. Buchanan added: “With the trauma to his face, we were unsure if he was hit by a vehicle or not. But we were able to identify the deceased as George Smith by his driver's license.”
When Margaret was interviewed first, she denied knowing anything about his death. She even went on to claim that on the night of August 6, she and George had a fight after he got drunk. She also added that she threw him out of his car while returning home. Buchanan recalled, “A couple of days later Lorrain called me back at the office and stated that she wanted to revise her statement. That everything she told me wasn't true.” The criminal investigator also added that Margaret had apparently confessed before her kids that George was killed in front of her.
Later, an ex-Marine named Dylan Laughrey, who lived near Margaret’s boyfriend's place, was interrogated in connection with George’s death. He told ‘The Hunt with John Walsh’ about the woman: “She said that she needed somebody to disappear... her sister's husband who was abusing her sister and her sister's children for years now. She had counted out some money and handed it to me,” before adding, “I told her well I didn't want anything to do with whatever it was she had going on and I tried to give her the money back. She refused to take the money, told me just to hold on to it.” Eventually, Margaret as well as Laughrey both were taken into custody and indicted for capital murder in September 2007. The co-defendant was then put on trial, found guilty in 2008, and awarded life behind bars without parole. But Margaret is still free.
Where is Margaret Lorrain Smith now?
Margaret was out on bail awaiting her trial, which was slated to start in 2009. However, “weeks before her trial was set to start in 2009, Lorrain cut her ankle monitor off, (and) told her probation officer that she would be at a doctor's appointment. Lorrain got a ride from Angleton to Houston... Several days later she was seen for the last time, picking up money at a Western Union in San Antonio. And she's been on the run ever since,” US Marshal Kyle Seitzinger said.
Recently, she placed on the Texas DPS list of "10 Most Wanted Fugitives". The Texas Department of Public Safety has stated that Margaret “has been on the run since Aug. 11, 2009, when she fled the Brazoria County area while on bond prior to the start of her trial. SMITH was last seen on video at a Walmart in the San Antonio area getting into a maroon four-door sedan, possibly a Lincoln Continental. In addition to the Texas Crime Stoppers reward of up to $7,500, a reward of $5,000 is also being offered through Brazoria County Crime Stoppers for information leading to SMITH’s arrest.”
Meanwhile, John Walsh has also announced to feature Margaret in Investigation Discovery's ‘In Pursuit With John Walsh’. Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “Tonight on In Pursuit, we will also be featuring wanted fugitives Margaret Lorraine Smith and John Panaligan. Both wanted for murder. Tune in tonight at 10pm on @DiscoveryID and help us put these bad guys, and on this episode bad girl, behind bars. #TeamInPursuit.”
Tonight on In Pursuit, we will also be featuring wanted fugitives Margaret Lorraine Smith and John Panaligan. Both wanted for murder. Tune in tonight at 10pm on @DiscoveryID and help us put these bad guys, and on this episode bad girl, behind bars. #TeamInPursuit pic.twitter.com/LpLOeECjNk— John Walsh (@john_walsh) September 23, 2021