Kelsey Smith

Kelsey Smith

This is a discussion on Kelsey Smith within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm sure many of you have followed the story of Kelsey Smith, who was abducted in front of a Target in broad daylight. This happened ...

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Thread: Kelsey Smith

  1. #1
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Kelsey Smith

    I'm sure many of you have followed the story of Kelsey Smith, who was abducted in front of a Target in broad daylight. This happened in Overland Park, Kansas.

    Today, her body was found. This is an awful story. Apparently, a BG was following her closely as she shopped in the store. He left just before her and there is a security video that shows her being abducted virtually a few parking spots from the entrance. She was found today in the woods near Kansas City. LE located her by cell phone pings.

    My questions is what should she have done if she were carrying. Clearly, she did not go peacefully; she was overpowered suddenly by her attacker. Would it have been a reasonable strategy to maintain the concealed nature of the weapon and surprise the BG at an opportunity later (if such opportunity presented itself?)

    Obviously, she was not sufficiently aware of her surroundings either in the parking lot or the store.

    So it really comes down to two measures of defense. First, to be completely aware of the surroundings and if she realized this BG was tailing her in the store to have store security walk her out (although in daytime it might seem strange.)

    Second, and more importantly, what is the best way to react when overpowered by a stronger attacker.


  2. #2
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    That's real sad and I'm sorry to hear the bad news. It makes us all think about our family members and that it could have been any one of them. My daughter and wife will definitely get a "reminder lesson" from me!

    As brazen crime escalates I've been having a lot of thoughts about it. Just like my car, changing the engine oil, etc, is preventitive maintenance and doing so lessens auto problems for me in the future. As humans, if we practiced preventitive criminality we stand a chance of lessening our problems in the future too. I'm no defensive tactic/planning expert, but surely there are a list of guidelines/tips/rules for "potential victims" to follow. The problem is that I rarely see them published and surely they exist. Call them "Kelsey Rules" or whatever but we're dropping the ball on conveying this information to increase public awareness.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

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    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Anything is viable if it has a chance of success. Assuming that her situation was the same with the exception of being armed, I would say pull that gun as soon as you think you have a clear shot. The great thing about a gun is it equalizes force, even against a physically stronger assailant.

    This is a sad ending to the story.

  4. #4
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    It is very sad indeed. Especially since she wasn't old enough for ccw.

    Just know that the gun is not the end all be all answer to every situation.

    If all you have is a gun, but no tactical sense, no situational awareness and no other tools in your "defensive toolbox", you may find one day that you gun will let you down.

    If you are you are going to remain It's just that simple. Tragic? You bet! Sad? Absolutely! True? Unfortunately, yes!

    Without a gun, in broad daylight, in a fairly populated public place, if she wasn't unaware of her surroundings I would think that she could have had several options that may have saved her life.

    Situational Awareness was her first weapon! She didn't have any!

    It was said by friends that she was a fairly athletic young woman. If she had screamed, fought back with every fiber of her being at the moment he grabbed her, she more than likely could have broke loose and ran!

    Her killer probably would have fled too since it was broad daylight in a puplic area, right in front of a major retail store. (There were literally several people in fairly close proximity)

    If she had taken any type of self defense classes or martial arts classes in school or growing up she could have not only fought back, but fought back with a plan and with some sort of purpose thus increasing her chances even more. If she had been carrying OC spray in her hand as she walked to her car, she may have stood a chance.

    If she had just had a plan!

    As a former law enforcement defense and control tactics instructor, I can have most people able to at the very least, break free from grabs, chokes, holds and able to counter strikes and be able to flee with just a couple hours training.

    Tragically, these incidents will never end. Sheep can't help but be sheep. Maybe had she survived, she would have no longer been a ... But then again, maybe not.

    It is sad, and tragic. I feel for her family and hope she didn't suffer much. It is such a horrible way to lose your life and it sickens me.

    For those of you who have young or teenage children, for god's sake, address this issue with them.
    Last edited by Bark'n; June 7th, 2007 at 02:00 AM.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    A friend of mine who shared a similar fate is a big reason why I carry today.
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    "It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008

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    Member Array crankshop1000's Avatar
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    It's all speculation with regard to what she could have,should have,might have done. The part I have trouble with is with speculating, you give the impression that the victim has done something wrong.A BG that is savvy enough to pick a victim and do a daylight abduction has done his homework and likely was prepared for resistance from the victim.certainly, if the victim was on alert,armed and mentally prepared for defense, the outcome may have been different for this victim.That does not mean she did anything wrong here. The simple fact is that most people are totally unaware of the everyday evil that walks our streets and how rare it is for law enforcement to prevent personal assaults. Chuck.

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    It was said by friends that she was a fairly athletic young woman. If she had screamed, fought back with every fiber of her being at the moment he grabbed her, she more than likely could have broke loose and ran!
    Sorry, possible but unlikely. Given the time and area chosen for the abduction, he had the agression to "see it through". No 18 yo female is close to matching a moderately fit 26 yo man in a grapple. Not that screaming and fighting are not recommended, I just don't think she had the opportunity or ability, without some serious error on his part.

    A 2.5-3" fixed blade, midline under her shirt, or appendix IWB could have made her a less palatable target, but that presumes more than her experiences would indicate.

    Lack of situational awareness is "doing something wrong", most people just aren't aware of it. Its the old argument that a woman should be able to go anywhere, dressed however she wishes. True, in limited context. While lack of situational awareness, or a mini and heels, may not be morally wrong, in certain environments one is offering an invitation to predators. We may not like the fact, but it can't be logically argued.

  8. #8
    Member Array Argus's Avatar
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    This story makes me sick. The best thing that a young woman (or anyone for that matter) Is learning to be constantly aware of what's around you. (to the point of almost paranoia) That combined with a blade, bites, groin kick or grab, etc. Might have saved her.

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    They have a suspect
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

    Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
    Signed: Me!

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    Member Array Eddie A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus View Post
    This story makes me sick. The best thing that a young woman (or anyone for that matter) Is learning to be constantly aware of what's around you. (to the point of almost paranoia) That combined with a blade, bites, groin kick or grab, etc. Might have saved her.
    call situational awareness paranoia, we call it being prepared. This is one of many unfortunate examples of why one should always be prepared, even if it means being labeled as "paranoid".
    "I'd rather have my gun and not need it, than need it and not have it"

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    Got to be mindful of where you are at and what is going on around at all times, ESPECIALLY in a public place. Wolves will find their sheep, but most times will not challenge a sheep dog, there are far easier targets to select. I've enlightened my wife & daughter about the dangers out there and the best defense is to be aware and not let yourself get placed in a vulnerable position. It has saved me some trouble in the past. Who can say what may or may not have happened, had this victim been a bit more alert to what was going on. Seems this dirt bag selected her as target before she arrived at Target's parking lot. Followed her in to the lot, parked nearby, trailed behind into the store, around the store and after she left the store.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72 View Post
    Sorry, possible but unlikely. Given the time and area chosen for the abduction, he had the agression to "see it through". No 18 yo female is close to matching a moderately fit 26 yo man in a grapple. Not that screaming and fighting are not recommended, I just don't think she had the opportunity or ability, without some serious error on his part.

    A 2.5-3" fixed blade, midline under her shirt, or appendix IWB could have made her a less palatable target, but that presumes more than her experiences would indicate.

    Lack of situational awareness is "doing something wrong", most people just aren't aware of it. Its the old argument that a woman should be able to go anywhere, dressed however she wishes. True, in limited context. While lack of situational awareness, or a mini and heels, may not be morally wrong, in certain environments one is offering an invitation to predators. We may not like the fact, but it can't be logically argued.

    Rob,

    I do agree with you to an extent. There's no way of knowing if she would have survived if she fought back.

    However, people can break loose from grabs and forced escorts/abductions. It does happen more than you think or might know of. Even against much larger opponents.

    Obviously those that have had any kind of formal training for that, fairs better than those with no training, but it does happen.

    Also, "most" predators want fast and easy submission. Being in an open, public parking lot in the middle of the day, had she immediately upon being grabbed, gone crazy, hitting, screaming, kicking and attempting to tear away and escape, he more than likely would have been suprised by that unexpected response and simply broke off the attack and ran away to reassess his strategies and stalk again another day.

    Many "armed" attackers have choosen to do that when confronted with the unexpected "counter-attack" rather than employing thier weapon and risk a long drawn out attention drawing public confrontation.

    There are DOJ studies and statistics that do show, those who immediately counter-attack, even against and armed or larger opponent do stand a "better" chance of escaping than by compliance and "hoping" for mercy.

    Also having OC spray, in her hand ready to deploy could have also helped prevent it. For one thing, if she had the habit of carrying the OC spray in her hand when going to her car, I can't help but think that act alone wouldn't raise her situational awareness to her surroundings and given her the chance to see her attacker coming.

    I'm not saying that it wouldn't have played out the same way in the long run. But most experts agree, especially for females, do every thing you can to not let someone put you in a car! You may not survive the attack by fighting, but statistics also show that once they get you into a car, you almost certainly don't survive.

    Also the surveillence video showed she was wearing tennis shoes and cotton skin hugging stretch pants and cotton top. Good running/workout clothes! So, high heels, and restrictive clothing wouldn't have been an issue in her situation.

    I'm not saying everything I said in my posts would have saved her against this killer.... but I am saying... If you counter-attack showing violence of action, the statistics are on your side.

    To me, it beats hoping the killer will show mercy later on during the encounter after he has you in a secluded place.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    This might not of happened if she had of taken a friend with her. A lot of young girls this age don't realize the danger that surrounds them. Going in pairs is a lot safer then going it alone.

  14. #14
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    Also, "most" predators want fast and easy submission. Being in an open, public parking lot in the middle of the day, had she immediately upon being grabbed, gone crazy, hitting, screaming, kicking and attempting to tear away and escape, he more than likely would have been suprised by that unexpected response and simply broke off the attack and ran away to reassess his strategies and stalk again another day.
    As I understand it, she was putting her purchases in her car and he pushed her in and drove off. Later, he returned to the parking lot, dumped her car and left in his. She has no chance to escape from that scenario. Even screaming would have probably not been heard.

    It has been reported that she died of strangulation.

  15. #15
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    All of these reports really bother me. My wife and I discuss immediate, violent reactions...above and beyond being VERY cognizant of one's surroundings. We talk more and more about what to do, and when.

    They did catch the dirtbag, and he WAS the perp who was seen on the video tape. He is married with a kid too...I wonder how he would react if something terrible had happened to one of his family members? Just what are these people thinking? How can a married father, so young, take someone's life for what...sex?

    I was told today by someone who travels in Asian countries, that in Thailand, murderers and rapists in some localities are bound and thrown into alligator/crodidile pits...a fitting and just punishment.

    OMO...yours may vary!

    Stay armed...stay safe!

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