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Episode 02: The Only Suspect

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Over the weekend following swampy fells party. Nobody saw or heard from Kristen. Smart Sunday night came and went but the smart family never got the phone call. They were expecting to hear about the good news. Kristen was supposed to share. No one thought much of it since it was a three day weekend except Margarita. Compos Kristen's friend endure mate who separated from a few blocks away from the party. Kristen had tucked Margaritas Room key into her shoe before they split up and was supposed to spend the night in Margaritas room the next morning. I didn't see her but I figured she's sleeping later on that afternoon. Bill not back. I figured she was doing her thing like hanging out with other other people. Aw I figured she had found the party but then by the end of the day it was like wait now is weird now. Where's she I figure out early on that small? Mistakes and news reports have snowballed into Gospel Truth over the past twenty three years in almost every official retelling of this story. Kristen's roommate crystal is out of town weekend. Which is why? Kristen isn't reported missing. For several days it turns out that's not correct. mm-hmm crystal spent Friday night off campus but came back Saturday and saw Christians belonging spread out all over her bed like they had been the day before which probably mm-hmm and Kristen hadn't slept there but that didn't seem strange to her. Not Until Kristen didn't spend Saturday night in her room either and she started to ask around around only to realize that nobody in mere hall had seen Kristen since Friday night. Or like where is she like. Kristen Oh my God like why are you. Why Kristen like what is going on? You know really where it got bad is when it's like we have school tomorrow. You know why she not back yet. Where Occasi- on Monday crystal and Margarita finally mentioned this to a neighbor across the hall? Jennifer Phipps several girls from the dorm gathered in Jennifer's Jennifer's room while she called the Campus Police Department to report. Kristen Missing Cal. Poly Police didn't take a report on the incident since it didn't seem suspicious to them that a student would be away from Memorial Day weekend. Jennifer then called the San Luis Obispo Police Department. Who told her that she should take it up with the campus police instead? I mean we were all in the room in the hallway together talking about it I we were trying to be responsible young adults. We did the right thing. They called campus police again to report that Kristen Kristen hadn't been seen since Friday. Still believing that she simply went away for the holiday cal poly campus. Police called the smart family's home in Stockton to see Kristen and was visiting them win. Denise Smart told the officer that she hadn't heard from her daughter they still didn't think it was out of the ordinary for a college student. She might have gone camping camping with a group of friends and they assured denise that this was probably the case because of this. They didn't take a missing persons report until Tuesday may twenty eighth four days after Kristen attended the party this back and forth between the two law enforcement groups and the smart family caused a total stolen search efforts and whatever happened in those four days has been lost to history. I remember telling them like she has been gone for twenty four hours. Like why are you waiting longer. They just didn't react quick enough like they let time go by all the evidence that was probably really viable is. That's where I think things went wrong up to this very day. Headlines have always called this a quote mysterious serious disappearance while it has a nice ring to it and is still technically classified. That way. I've come to learn that it's really neither of those things because if we go back to the last place Kristen was seen. There's still enough of a shadow left behind for us to trace an outline around an outline and in the shape of a five foot ten boy filled in with a consistent history. That's coming back to haunt him UH Kristen's disappearance isn't taken seriously for several days days cal poly campus. Police think she probably ran off with a friend or flew to Hawaii without telling anyone even the CAL poly paper. The Mustang in daily doesn't report. The News until Friday may thirty-first a full week after she's last seen in an issue that's mostly dedicated to staff goodbyes. The headline student disappears. After party runs alongside other stories like Susan Conga contemplates the racial significance of cheese. NIPS CAL poly police. Start to ask around and word spread slowly throughout the campus trevor. Beltre who I talked to in the last episode Remembers Remembers hearing about it from Matt Manzar. The president of Kappa Chi. So I think it was Wednesday. I don't recall it being Tuesday like the day after I. It's like knows either Wednesday or Thursday is when I went to the Kappa Chi House. Some time pass and Matt Manzar says. Hey you'll hear some of the crazy go. Yeah he goes. You know vinyl. Don't chick and I go. Yeah Roxy Goes Missing I go. What do you mean missing? He's like the police were here today. She's missing missing wears. I don't But it seems serious the last time that Kristin was reportedly seen she was splitting off from Paul floors to walk to her own dorm as he walked his. Just just one hundred twenty feet away. Her Roommate Crystal told the campus police that none of Kristen's personal belongings were missing including her. Id and money so it doesn't seem likely that she's just left town by crystals account. It doesn't appear that Kristen even made it back to her dorm room. If Kristen never made it back into we're It's possible that someone intercepted her on the short staircase between the two dorms. After Paul Flora's looked away or as campus police first theorize. She may have been so drunk that she just wandered off into the night. If we rewind back. A little further Cheryl Anderson parted ways with the two of them at the corner of grand and perimeter about three hundred feet before. Paul Flora's reportedly entered his dorm at Santa Lucia Hall. And if we rewind. I'm just a little more tim. Data split off from the Group of the corner of via Carta and perimeter. Only about a thousand feet before Cheryl left. It's such EH frustratingly. Small amount of space in the scheme of things. Kristen didn't disappear in the Wilderness or the middle of the ocean. She disappeared on one of these streets in the span of a walk. That only took me eleven minutes. The last three people to see kristen are reportedly separated from her one at a time until the last I would just let her walk to her dorm alone even though they all reported that she was too drunk to even stand on our own. Just twenty minutes before Cal Poly Police Investigators Ray Barrett and Mike Kennedy interview. The three witnesses on May thirtieth five days after they walked Kristen back to campus. Tim Davis WHO SPLIT OFF. I from the group is a senior at cal. Poly Holly lives off campus and is a friend of Ryan. Swampy fells whose party everyone attended on Crandall way that night. He's a member of the same Kappa Chi Fraternity. Turn it is swampy fell and majoring. An International Management Cheryl Anderson is a cal poly freshman a speech communication major who lives in the Sierra Madre Towers on campus. She doesn't know kristen well but she seen her around and no. She lives in the red bricks at six foot one. One Kristen is hard to miss. Paul Florez who caught up to the group late and was the last to walk. Kristen back to her. Dorm is a freshman majoring in food sciences. who came from royal `Grande just fifteen minutes south of cal poly? He's not a particularly strong student. Failing English composition in math with a D. in his introductory food scientists class and a combined grade point average of just zero point six in fact the only class he passes in his nineteen ninety. Five to ninety six freshman year is a bowling elective while cal poly something of a distinguished technical college. They're known to give extra consideration leniency to their applicants who are residents of the central coast because for us is the last person known to have seen team. Kristen alive he clearly receives the most scrutiny from investigators. But that's not the only reason when questioned by the campus police. Sheryl Anderson tells them that she knew Paul before the night of the Party and she found him kind of creepy. She says that she and her friends called him. Chester the the molester because of his propensity for relentlessly flirting with and groping girls in fact a few months earlier Paul had forcefully. Tried to kiss Cheryl's roommate and another party. Things get even stranger when Tim Davis tells the police in his interview that at one point during swampy fells party he heard a loud annoys and looked over to see. Kristen had fallen to the floor with Paul. Flora's lying on top of her. He's not sure whether Paul knocked her down or they both fell L. Together but it's the first indication that Kristen and Paul may have interacted before he caught up with the group during the walk home. Which Paul didn't tell police about UH and remember when Kristen took Trevor Belter into the bathroom at the party? I left part of his story out of the last episode. When he came out of the bathroom he had a brief reef and weird exchange with the guy who he had never met before so I opened up? The door is shut the door and immediately sky steps in front of me and he goes what I'd like. The News knows what you did with her in the bathroom and I was like Oh God like the this is your friend or something like what did that get into. I have no idea what I'm doing and I go nothing man. And then this like relief washed over his face he started laughing and I was like. Oh you're just some idiot. That was him because because Paul Flores it was totally him and another girl. I talked to who didn't want to be interviewed on. The podcast. Had her own bizarre encounter with Paul floor as is it. Swampy fells party that night while she was asking around for a piece of Gum. Paul told her he had some and she followed him into the backyard. Once once they were alone on the side of the House he tried to kiss her and she pushed him away later back in the house. He cornered her in the hallway. And try it again. But she got away and found one of her friends to hang out with so she wouldn't be alone Cheryl. Anderson says that several times during the walk back to campus. Paul and Kristen stopped walking and with his arms around Kristen from behind he told Cheryl that she could go ahead without them. She decided not to separate eight from them because she thought it seemed weird and also because she still didn't want to walk alone Cheryl also says that right before she finally turned onto Grand Avenue to ahead. You're dorm Paul. Astor for a good night kiss. She says she declined and then he insisted on just a kiss on the cheek. She declined again any asked her for a hug instead this whole time. His arm is wrapped around. Kristen's Bare Torso Cheryl says. She declined line the hug to but couldn't recall whether she might have shaken his hand while double checking that he was sure he could get kristen back to her dorm safely before. Finally walking away away. So Cheryl's account alone. We have an unsettling picture of Paul and aggressively flirty Guy Who she is personally referred to as Chester? The Molester in the past who forcefully tried to kiss her roommate months before and now tries to persuade Cheryl for a kiss and a hug moments before she leaves him with Kristen. WHO's too intoxicated to walk by yourself? It's hard to imagine that someone so forward would-be respectful of a drunk girl once he's left alone with her. I wonder if this is just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But Paul's had several liberal documented incidents before this to in December of Nineteen ninety-five a female cal poly student called campus police at one. AM to report. Thanks guys had climbed the Trellis of her apartment peeping on her from her balcony. Officers arrived on the scene to find Paul Flora's drunk and told them to leave and in February of nineteen ninety. Six just a few weeks after the peeping incident he was pulled over for speeding and blew a point one three end of the breathalyzer the lighter one and a half times the legal blood alcohol limit in California and had his license suspended. This turned out to be a strange lucky break lake. But I'll talk more about that later. In March three female students filed a police report claiming that they were receiving constant phone calls from from an unknown caller for six weeks by the time of the report over spring break. They claim that the caller had filled their entire answering machine tape back back. When voicemails were recorded on micro cassettes with nothing but silent hang up calls dialing star sixty nine would usually recall the last number that called your phone? But they're unable to reveal this way which means it could be a block number or a payphone. So they're not sure who. The caller is but the campus campus police report notes that the girls believed to be Paul Flora's because it's the same apartment. He was apprehended from after climbing there trellis back in December. Because I'm on the Central Coast and I've been talking to a lot of people about this case over the past year. I've made a lot of accidental connections with people who know someone who knew someone who might have at one time had information by sheer coincidence. One of my acquaintances happened happened to go to high school with Paul Florez and I asked her if she's willing to share anything. She remembers about him in a message online. She tells me we always called all them scary. Paul I'm driving to see the woman who sent me this message. But she's not comfortable being identified so all refer to her as emily. Paul went to Aurora grandee. High School School from Nineteen Ninety. Two to nineteen ninety. Five and emily was a year younger than him. Another perk of investigating a crime. That happened in your own backyard. Backyard is that you're probably two or three degrees of separation from someone who can tell you more in the equipment. Yes it is it right here. Okay okay awesome. We sit down under dining room table and spend about half often our catching up before we get to my real reason for visiting. I WANNA know about Paul Florez from someone who actually knew him. You went to high school and where I went to a Reagan High School. I graduated in one thousand nine hundred six. Paul graduated in one thousand nine hundred ninety five five. That's right that's right because I dated. Somebody hunt hit that. Paul hung with like in that crew of guys and he graduated. They were classmates. So yeah I was a year behind from what I just as an observer we would be at parties together and he was all all he always kind of showed up. I don't know that he was ever technically invited. But WHO's invited to a party in high school. I mean they just kind of happen. Did you talk to him or interrupted them directly. Yes I definitely would talk to him and I remember that because he was notable enough speaking with him he had kind of a far off. Sort of glazed over looking as I and I never was fully sure. It was like his responses to things would not fully line up with the threat of the conversation. It was understood that he was odd and it. But you have to remember when we were all brought up to be really nice kids and so if somebody's odd you don't call them out on it. You don't harmless. That's the word that I would say for his oddity. You know he just he was kind of there. and Oh it's Paul. He's harmless that kind of thing. I don't think that he necessarily was harmless. I think social constructs are such that we as civilized people. Don't walk to call somebody. Out on their weirdness. We want to be inclusive. We want to you know and so maybe that was one of the explanations that we made for him for ourselves. Was He's harmless. Emily graduated from Arroyo Guerande High School in Nineteen Ninety Eighty six and had moved out of state by the time. That Paul's name was first released in connection to the disappearance of Kristin smart even though she describes him as seemingly harmless harmless his involvement made perfect center. Mind when she first heard the news. I wasn't surprised because he was so weird. I mean there was. I wasn't surprised Christ. But there's also the shock value of kind of on my guy knew it. I knew there was something wrong with that guy now. I have ever guessed that he was actually going to follow through through on homicide. No but but if anybody was going to do it yeah it it kind of fit not surprising. Necessarily I probably shouldn't say it's not surprising. And she'll probably say more like yeah. If it was going to be anybody I could see that you remember hearing any sort of rumors about him or anything. That people have been creeped out by Amer anything. Oh yeah well. His nickname was scary. Paul so I mean there was a basis for that for sure. Yeah and he also just physically he was almost. He wasn't actually actually albino but he was so fair and when I knew him he would it was very popular. Offspring was a huge beyond at the time he would a lot of guys were bleaching bleaching their hair and so just that bleach and like these really fair. Blue Eyes I. I don't know there was something that was aspect. Being creepy certainly isn't a crime and while occasionally the words homicide or murder come up in my conversations with people. I should stress here. That they're referring to the worst case scenario. Paul Flora's has never been charged with any crime in connection with the disappearance of Kristin Smart. Something else I should probably mention despite his name. Paul Flores is very white. His Dad is Mexican hence the surname but Paul takes after his mom blond hair blue eyes Pale skin in fact. Emily isn't the first person I've heard referred to him as Al Bino Kristen's friend. Margarita remembers him the same way when I found out that Paul for which I was immediately I was like. Oh My. Gosh that Weird Albino guy that that works at the grocery store has nothing to do with Kristen disappearance. I saw a couple of times so I'm working campus store. He had this weird glare and really really white Pale skin and like really white hair and like these. Is that kind of ball. Jesse stare like when I found it was I was not surprised I was like that guy is the creeper. I wasn't surprised that he had something to do with it. Back at Emily's house. We've been discussing the names of some other people who might have interacted with Paul all to see who I should reach out to next year and that would be great she disappears into our garage for less than a minute. Yeah right yeah then we could look at some of these people. Maybe recognize him. Can I take a picture me. Thank you can take this. That's okay and don't just give it back to me. Yeah we flip through the pages for a few minutes a blur of new faces of people who all potentially new the last person who saw kristen smart live before one in particular jumps out at Emily. I know leash to uh she puts me in touch with another woman knew Paul from the same high school parties and pretty soon. I'm on my way to another part of the central coast to meet her. She's also asked. It's not use her real name. So all refer to her. As Jackie Jackie's house might at best be described as secluded. It's tempting to go into more detail but to protect your anonymity all leave at this. I say wow a lot on on the last part of my drive destinations. Let's see here. Are you and really good. I okay you you're gonNA hang out outside and we're GonNa go and your good girl came from Mommy carrier. Thought it'd be cleanup bring okay. Well thank you this work. Yeah absolutely I would love some coffee. Thank you to couch. Orange Peel Street. I've no that sounds sunscreen. Honestly really not even sure what I'm looking for here. None of these people know what happened to Kristen smart but I guess I'm trying to get a fuller idea of Paul. Paul floor is the same way I learned about Kristen. Jackie's dog a six month old wolf. Mix curls up on the couch behind me while we talk this anyone for me. It's fancy tends to get. I wrestled with whether whether or not to be a part of it to be honest for a minute or two. You know a little while actually but I really like what you're doing with telling that tale in that way is honoring her something that hasn't been done since. Jackie also went to high school with Paul. I tell her I'm interested. In how he interacted with women how he communicated and what stood out about him at a starter. Absolutely what. We've you know. I mean this fluency now apiece term but yeah there was definitely a stutter and it was more seemed to be when he got flustered or embarrassed or around girls It would come out and it was very a very very. He couldn't get past a word you know it'd be usually like that first part of it and he would get stuck for a minute or two you know we had another friend. That was the same greatest his that was also Paul until we called Paul. Flora's psychopath was Paul and Psycho Paul so if you wanted to distinguish between who you saw who was at the party year what happened then you would say Paul or psychopaths. That's why I will step up from creepy. There's a couple of things that happened that we I knew that he was not cool. That there was you wouldn't want to be alone in a room with them. You wouldn't let any of her friends be drunk around him you just you know. Those were kind of unspoken things. Once Jack Even saw Paul physically violent with one of her female friends. It was after Prom party role sitting out at somebody's house. You know high school kids. It's no dolts. She did. Something ash started something or laughter. I picked her up and threw her just Mike unprompted like and then he was or did he said some excuse or something or whatever but couple of guys got on him then there are two or three times here where he would come he will be out in. The Bush was a lot more dense then but he would be out there. It'd be like did we didn't invite him or people talking about him almost and and somebody would see him and he would be there and be like what is going on. While Paul didn't have many close friends he occasionally hung out with a group of guys. Jackie knew who lived together in an apartment in grover beach a town that borders Arroyo guerande on the coastal side and they were having a party and grover over there and it was some big party and he there was two of US found him in one of the rooms. The bunk bed with a girl passed out and he was like right next door. We like what the fuck you doing. What's going on here? We are so she was passed out he probably drank too. I have no Eddie and maybe not. I don't know that much. I never saw him drink really but he always would be around and so he said I was straightening are close or something. She was going to vomit. Yeah I was GonNa do something and this is in high school. This is an it's like you don't have enough. You don't know enough to put all that together. We knew he was off but to say say who is going to hurt somebody someday or you know what I mean. It's like I look back down today. What should I have? What could I have said anything? Could I've not that there is guilt. But there's there's question like when you see it all you can especially me now with my brain the way that it works and I had red roses that were left outside here that we're dead. That were left upside down on fencepost out here and then somebody said they'd seen him walking away. Not yet a truck truck was a green. He would park the. Oh my God. He would perk the truck far away. That's why he that. Oh that's how so they had seen the track and then they had seen him walking but because he would never come like when I would have parties was just me. I really like there was no not as popular. It's pretty spare stew but I think he would make me ill. If I saw him to be honest like I think I would have of his reaction. I'm really very one hundred percent percent. Fan Typically of innocent until proven guilty and all of that that goes with it and giving people a fair shake them different than you know. I Guess Justin that he wasn't right with girls wasn't again since Kristen smart was never ever found. We have no way of knowing what happened to her but no one who knew. Paul seems to have a hard time imagining him. Going too far. So do you remember when he heard above love Christian smart disappearing or the he was attached to it. And someone remember I was still here. I remember thinking that could've been me or anybody. Like she looked like all of us. Like we'd all awesome. How heard and it was like we knew it? You know it wasn't. It was not that it was a relief. Almost that it wasn't I guess asked but it wasn't that shocking. That makes sense. It was like Oh you know like only a matter of time before something. It was only a matter time but I didn't know all of that then and so I think knowing what I did did know about him I I would say that was he would. He saw an opportunity to take our waste a girl home his lisin have no parents nobody walk in from high school school and no guys to beat him up. If implement kicked Allah he got asked leave but never got invited like. I never invited them here. You know what I mean. It wasn't like you had to have an invitation but you had to act a certain way. It's like almost anyone in those four years. That he was there or crossover has some sort of interaction with him. That was like you know what I mean at least from my personal group. Maybe we could have said something. You know what I mean. Maybe a a if enough of US had iky feelings or creepy. You're you know if there's enough of that consensus like we can't do anything now but maybe we can see here the things to look out for. Here's the things that make your hair. Stand up they give you the feeling that you should really you know those gut feelings. You don't wash those away you know when you get that about someone consecutively than that. You're doing this thank you. Thank you so much Jackie. Aqui remembers that Paul worked at Garland's high school a small hamburger restaurant on Grand Avenue in Grover Beach. I'm able to confirm that. He worked there from October. Nineteen Ninety Andy three to September nineteen ninety five and I reach out to one of his co workers. Jessica shut to ask her if she ever had any. Memorable interactions with them. mm-hmm oh lots of interaction. Okay great okay. I didn't know him very he didn't really wasn't very talkative You didn't really have any interaction with him until I worked with him. You'd be cooking and he'd come up behind you and say something the thing that you didn't quite hear and you'd be kind of confused and you'd be like what did you say. And he kinda laugh at it and he seemed to take joy and and making you uncomfortable he might say something about the sunset and then he might like kind of brushed by just a little too close or her He kind of follow people around and not doing what he was supposed to do. Do you remember what his position position was. He was usually a cashier but when he wasn't how sharing. Because you know we'd have these big waves of people coming in and then it would be Kinda slow. He'd be following US around. You know he just kind of appear and disappear seemed like his parents were really invested in all of this at work trying to be his friend when this shut up with a bunch of food for us while we were working but they seem like overly happy to see us. You know kind of like a hope that he was fitting in Calaveras at one point Jessica. Asoka started to notice that Paul was following home from work regularly. Even though she lived at the top of a dead end street nowhere near his house. One day I was driving having to work I lived way out in Orbit Canyon on a private road. The only people who lived on that street where people who were family members which he wasn't and so I was a striving down the hill and all of a sudden I notice that he's driving behind me and then You know which I found a little strange. But I didn't think too much of it because I figure maybe he got lost. And you know somehow ended up on my road you could see the streetlights that was the white trek and then when I went around the coldest sack Kinda stopped up my driveway driveway and I looked behind and that was it was him and his truck. And he's like I wanted to know where you live like that could have just asked me. It's hard to you. And then there's other times where he followed me all the way up to my driveway which it's on Badger Canyon Lane. It's about it's a good mile up off the road so there's no reason to be up there unless you live there you know i. I really didn't like that. I told one of my co workers The the guy that I worked with they take him aside and be like quipping so weird. Don't talk don't talk to her. Don't follow her home. You know just stop. It would work for a while. But eventually every time he'd be falling into closer standing too close to me. You're like right over my shoulder it'd be like hey you know cut it out. There's no reason to do that. And I would tell one of the guys made tell them Dalil. And then sometimes I would go and I'd be out with my friends downtown Pismo and he would just show up. Now's like like you know what what are you doing here. He's like oh I just wanted to see what you're doing and so my friends are like. Oh you know you have a little admires like your little stocker applying. Yeah You know you seems pretty harmless but he just gave you this really weird feeling and so I remember one time. I think this was after Kristen. Who disappeared I was at my parents house? They moved away out of the area and I was watching unsolved mysteries and in there he was and I'm like Oh my God. It happened like without a doubt it was like he absolutely had something something to do with us. He's responsible you know anything that they said he did. He probably didn't it Jessica's roommate from that time doesn't want her name used but she he remembers pull the same way. Our House is at the very top of the hill and there's no reason rivalries and even go up there though. Sometimes I would go and pick her up from work so she just that would be another person there and You know we would be talking amongst like getting ready to get off a work and closed down the shop you know. Hey you know do you wanna go to them. who was after this or is there anything we WANNA go? Do you know we just be talking amongst ourselves. We go somewhere and Lo and behold sometimes Paul would show up some of the other things that are talking to them just really different stuff that made you feel really uncomfortable with not. I tried to say kind of far away from him in high school. Because I I never felt comfortable around him just strange in nature bell. Do you remember when you heard that Kristin smart had disappeared in the poll might be involved. What your first thoughts were? Honestly my first thought was I had no doubt that he probably did something and I want them because I no new so out. There Paul's manager at Garland's Lisa Democ even tried to be friends with him for a while until he started to creep her out to will. He reached the mess with me all the time. Like kind of the little kids mess with girls than they like them. Like Kinda mean belief do like noxious things all the time. I did not like him I I he would just annoy me constantly. For some reason I guess we we ended up working at out we became friends somewhat. I guess I tolerated him. He's the lock me out like when I go take trash and stupid things like that He was just had to mess with the girls all the time to a point where it was meaning. Almost get your attention attention. I think he tried to shut me in the freezer before like stupid things like that. I didn't really you know. Let them get to me but I don't really remember how we ended up being friends per se. I guess I know that He used to let me use his truck all the time. I've actually been to his house. I went there one time. I met his mother her. She's very More like a timid kind of He was Kinda rude to hurt you if I recall. I think his mom was shocked that I was with him. I just remember One time My parents were out of town and he came to the House and he knew my parents were out of town so we came in he. I wanted to come in and I said no I have people upstairs so I shut the door. He actually put his hand on the door like he was GonNa Push Nice landed on the space but thinking about that later that was you know definitely something that stood out to me when I was just like what the Hell And I know that one time he I think has my friend. I used to drive the truck and it was a stick and I think she had never drove stick and he said he would take her and I was at the House and I remember coming back and she said that he tried to grab now me and her rivals like not gonna put up with crap. So it'd be. She says she pushed it wherever but she had told me about. That was weird. You know his hand on her leg she slept it off but he always kind of childish and go out of his way to be a Dick. I guess two girls. Would you describe him as kind of an unusual person or was he kind of a typical high school. Boy You know he was very strange. And what was she emmanuel is aging. Like I said he he was just different Like he had to prove himself or something so we kind of went out of his way to be assertive. Sometimes he really wasn't you know Kinda Kinda put on a show but he definitely was not nice with females. I mean he would sit behind me and he literally like Slot my head and just I do not like. He wouldn't stop like was he thought it was funny but you know He. Actually you know how to move away. I just I really annoyed and like I really can't remember how we ended up coming to be some some sort of a little more aggressive than he should have been with with girls. Yes they had some parties and stuff kind of step back and watch more so when you heard about Kristen's Kristen's disappearance and you heard that Paul was involved somehow. What was your initial thought? I wasn't surprised I guess just because the way he had acted around women. And maybe you know giving him some attention You know like at that time when he tried to push his way maybe touch my friend. I think he maybe felt got to have an opportunity or something I kind of audit sounded like his personality. Several of the Garlands Orleans workers. Tell me about another incident with a woman but they can only remember her first name. After several months of searching I get a hold of the right person but she asks not to be recorded. Her story is that Paul used to pick honor the same way he did. Lisa only more physically one time I'm in the garlands parking lot after work Paul got out of his truck while it was still running came up behind her while she was unlocking her car door ran his hand up between her legs eggs groping her crutch and then fled back to his truck laughing months later. Paul through a handful of chopped onions. And you're is during an argument in the kitchen. And she started to hit him in front of customers she was actually fired from garlands for it. She was interviewed by police police after Kristen's disappearance and told them that although she had nothing to prove it she was absolutely positive. That Paul was the right guy based on the way she saw him. Interact Act with women. He would never be someone you could trust to get a drunk girl home safely and he would never pass up an opportunity to take advantage of a female. Uh How unlucky dispel flora's have to be to walk a girl home who ends up disappearing and to have every woman remember being afraid of you and to immediately think that you're responsible for whatever happened to her a few months after Paul's Dui arrest in February nineteen ninety six. He had been pulled over again. And this time cited for driving with a suspended license which violated his probation after he failed to show in court. A warrant was issued for his arrest on May twenty seven nineteen ninety-six just two days. As after Kristen. Smart was last seen a royal guerande. Police Knock on his dad's front door Paul's not home at the time so his dad says he'll bring him to the station later. Here's where that stroke of luck regarding the Dui comes in when Ruben Flora's brings his son to the Arroyo Grande police station later that night. Paul is booked and photographed with something unexpected. A fresh black I At the time the missing person report on Kristin Smart hasn't even been filed yet so Arroyo guerande police don't know the significance of the Mugshot. They just took her. But if it wasn't for that mugshot there would be no photographic proof of this black eye because the cal poly campus. Police never took a picture of it. After talking to Cheryl Anderson and Tim Davis Cal. Poly Police did bring Paul back in for questioning though and they asked him about his I then on May thirtieth they also noted scratches on the backs of his hands and what looked like rug. Burn on his knees. He told them that he sustained the injuries that Monday day. The day of the Mugshot while playing basketball with his friend Jeremy Moon at Harlow Elementary School. When the police talked to Jeremy a week later you're he tells them that he saw Paul Sunday before the basketball game and he already had the black guy because he says he asked about it too and and that Paul told him he didn't know how he got it on? June nineteenth. Paul is interviewed at the Ero- day police department by District Attorney Attorney investigators. Bill Hanley and Larry Hobson and they confronted with this inconsistency. That's when Paul story suddenly changes he says he got the black eye Monday morning at about two. Am No this is still after. Jeremy said he saw the black eye on Sunday. Paul all says he's been trying to sell his nineteen ninety-three Ford Ranger and while attempting to remove the Stereo in the middle of the night. He says he slammed his I against the steering wheel. This hardly needs to be dissected but why not if you try to recreate this in your own car and you're around five foot ten like Paul was. You'll probably notice that the position you have to get into to hit your right eye on the steering wheel requires you to bend your neck downward toward it. And if you're GONNA to give yourself a black eye you'd have to through your head down pretty hard almost intentionally also assuming that the steering wheel is on the left like like most cars in America hitting. His right eye requires him to turn his head away from the Stereo before he slams it into the wheel. It seems a lot more or unlikely than a story about being elbow during a basketball game. It's not just the questionable explanation that makes police suspicious. It's the fact that this this is now. The third explanation floors has given. He told his friends. He didn't know how he got the black guy he just woke up with it and he told the campus police that it was from basketball injury and now he admits those were both lies. So why lie about something like this. Paul tells the police. It wasn't in an important detail and he was afraid it would make him sound like a Klutz took everything he said. Up to this point could be consistent with someone who just walked drunk girl home but the timing of the black is suspicious and lying about the causes that black. I is a pretty big red flag. I maybe understand online to your friends about it but lying to the police while they're investigating the disappearance of a girl. You walked home so they don't think you're a Klutz seems like a strange inge priority. But there's still no evidence that Paul did anything to kristen after they got back to the dorms. However the investigation hasn't have been conducted with much urgency? Either like I mentioned earlier. Cal Poly campus. Police treated Kristen's disappearances runaway case until almost a week week after she disappeared even after that it's eleven days after may twenty fifth when police finally collect things from Kristen's dorm room at mere hall in newspapers. From the time Denise Smart Compares the Police Response to searching for a lost bicycle rather than a law student campus. Police don't finally search flora's Dorm Room until June tenth sixteen days after Krista was last seen and by this time students had left for the summer and Paul had cleared out all of his belongings but it gets even worse janitorial crews also came in and thoroughly cleaned his dorm room. Campus Police also take so long to request a record of outgoing phone calls made from Paul Flora's dorm room that by the time they ask the the university has already purged them. The most insightful piece and all of this is the incident report that cal poly campus. Police took on May thirty first by this time. They've already interviewed. Tim Davis Sheryl Anderson. Paul Florez and a handful of the people from swampy fells party but still the investigating officer writes quote Victim Attends Party and does not return home afterwards does not contact friends or family and skip school during the course of my investigation. I have spoken with many people who have been associated with smart. They have all told stories that agreed with each other. The stories have all included. The following information smart does not have any close friends at cal poly smart appeared to be under the influence of alcohol on Friday night. SMART was talking with an socializing with several different males at the party Smart lives her life in her own way not conforming to typical teenage behavior. These observations are in no way implying lying that her behavior caused her disappearance but they provide a picture of her conduct on the night of her disappearance her conduct and in the Mustang daily on June twentieth investigator. Mike Kennedy tells a student reporter quote. There is no evidence of any criminal activity. It doesn't look like she was the victim of a crime so we are pursuing this case as an adult missing under unusual circumstances this after three and a half weeks of investigation cal poly campus. Police don't think it looks like Kristen was the victim of a crime Cal Poly finally passes off the investigation to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office on June twenty sixth a month in it only takes them three days to organize a thorough search of the CAL poly campus with the help of almost four hundred volunteers from the community and the California Rescue Dog Association or Carta Carta Specializes in training dogs to alert to the scent of human remains specifically seeking the presence of of four hundred twenty four unique chemicals that are released from a decomposing human body beginning just a few seconds after death on June twenty ninth dogs are lead into each of the dormitories at cal poly and walked calmly up and down the hallways their handlers aren't giving any details about the case yes they only know that they're looking for the scent of missing girl who may be dead the dogs complete to whole buildings without showing any interest inside Santa Lucia Hall a Labrador retriever named Sierra suddenly alerts to her handler Wayne Barons outside outside of the locked door of Ram one twenty eight. She's led out of the building and half an hour later Adele. Morris leads her border Collie Challah through Santa Lucia. Morris isn't told about the previous alert to ensure that she doesn't Q.. Her Dog subconsciously but Shala stops and scratches at the door of from one. Twenty eight to be let in Morris then takes Challah outside and brings a second border collie named Cirque into the hallway and cirque stops in barks outside of room. One Twenty eight one at a time. The dogs are let inside and all three of them independently the alert to the corner of a mattress on the left side of the room. Keep in mind. This is after janitors removed. All of the pillows blankets and sheets from the beds three weeks before afterwards. The dogs are each walked through the other two floors of the building and none of them alert to any other room. The mattress and box spring are removed from Rome. One Twenty eight and a fourth dog. A boxer named Tori is walked down the hallway. He also stops at the same room and when he's lead inside key alerts to the exact spot in the room where the mattress used to be. Torrey Tori also picks up the scent of human decomposition on a corner of the bed. Frame the handset of the telephone and one of the wastebaskets again to account for every possible bias. The detectives removed the wastebasket from the room and lined up in the hallway with several other identical wastebaskets from the neighbouring dorm. Rooms Tori immediately singles out the wastebasket from Rome. One Twenty eight police check. Check the records for the resonance of One. Twenty eight the bed on the right side of the room where the dogs didn't alert most recently belonged to derrick say an electrical electrical engineering major and the bed on the left side. The only bed in any of the dorms that the dogs alerted to. You guessed it Paul Florus. Flora's is now the last person seen with Kristen. He has a black eye which he lies about several times and he's the most just recent occupant of a bed that four trained cadaver dogs detected the scent of human decomposition on the red flags are turning into a red banner. The most important question in all of this is if kristen is dead. What happened to her body on July Twelfth Detectives Question Derek say the other occupant of room one twenty eight and confirm that he was gone over Memorial Day weekend meaning that Flora Florez had the rim to himself say also tells police that Paul told him a different version of the events of May twenty fifth while he told investigators to get her that he stopped at his dorm and Kristen walked mere hall alone? He told say that he walked with her. All the way to the door of Mir Hall and then came back to Santa Lucia. It's a small difference but it's significant more. Chilling is that say says. He joked with Paul when he heard that Christie was was missing and asked what Paul had done with her flora's joked back. She's at my house eating lunch with my mom and at the end of the interview on June nineteenth. The one where Flora's told the DA investigators that he'd lied about how he got his black eye. Paul abruptly asks if he he can leave he has somewhere to be detective. Larry Hobson asks wear and Paul. Says what Hobson repeats. Wear UH and Paul replies. I have to clean up some stuff. Some Concrete Hobson asks for a third time. Where Paul says my mom's house next time you've been listening to your own backyard. Episode to the only suspect in your own backyard is produced and hosted by Chris. Lambert associate producer. Producer is Alexandra Wallace special. Thanks to Dennis Man. Peter King Nicholas Winner Candice Vendor Place. Derek Pain Jamie Lewis Garin Sinclair Sandy. Arnold April only carry Quimby Elissa Brigham Kaelin Pote Sydney Lebron Olivia de Janeiro. Dallas Bronson Giovanna Star Nicola Matthew Frank If you feel that you have information that could help law enforcement with their investigation. Gatien you can directly contact. San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Detectives at Eight. Oh five seventy one forty five hundred want to reach out to us directly send an email to your own backyard podcast at Gmail dot com or visit our website at your own backyard. PODCAST DOT COM to keep up with new episodes. Subscribe to your own backyard on Apple podcasts and follow us on facebook facebook or instagram. Original Music is by Chris. Lambert when a help keep Kristen's memory alive. You can donate to the Kristin Smart Scholarship. At Christie's smart dot org a note from the smart family statute of limitations in this case has expired on everything except murder. Anyone who comes forward with information will the not be charged with any crime ooh.

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