Court documents: Bothell man told friend he killed his wife

EVERETT, Wash. - A Bothell man accused of killing his estranged wife in February confessed to a friend from his church that he committed the murder, according to court documents released Friday.

The documents also show that the suspect, Alan Smith, asked a former girlfriend in October if she knew any way he could get rid of his wife, Susann Smith, without anyone knowing.

On the day of his wife's murder, he bought latex gloves at Wal-mart, and in the hours after her death, was searching the Internet for tips on fleeing the country with his two children, according to court documents.

The disclosures in court papers come the day after Smith was arrested for investigation of first-degree murder, and about a week after police found him having loud sex with his girlfriend, Love Thai, outside the home where his wife was killed.

The court documents describe the bloody crime scene and evidence gathered after Susann Smith was found brutally bludgeoned and hacked to death.

Her body was found by police Feb. 12 after a co-worker at her place of employment called and said she had failed to show up at work for two days. Officers found her half-naked body submerged in the bathtub of her home, which was spattered and smeared with blood.

An autopsy and forensic analysis showed that Susann had been beaten and hacked around the face and head multiple times with a blunt instrument and a sharp instrument while in her bedroom. She then had been dragged into the bathroom and dumped into the water-filled bathtub, where she drowned. A search of the crime scene found no trace of any fingerprints, indicating the killer may have worn gloves, prosecutors said.

The violent assault and the drowning were both listed as causes of death in the autopsy report.

Alan Smith was questioned by police about the killing the next day, but he showed little emotion or interest, according to court documents.

An investigation then found that he had conducted Internet searches about the cost of plane flights for himself and two children to and from Venezuela, and other crime-related searches like:

"How realistic is CSI Miami?"
"Where do people get fake passports?"
"How much material is needed for DNA?"

Interviews with co-workers, acquaintances and neighbors indicate that he constantly had complained about his estranged wife in the weeks and months before the murder.

And a former girlfriend who had dated Smith for about two or three months late last year said he was "ranting and ranting" about Susann Smith one day in October 2012 and said, "I just want her to be done with," according to court documents. Smith then asked the ex-girlfriend if she knew how he could just get rid of Susann and nobody would know.

Meanwhile, forensic analysis determined that a bloody stain on the bathtub where Susann Smith was found appeared consistent with the weave pattern of some disposable coveralls Alan Smith had purchased before the murder.

In April, police learned that Alan Smith had moved back into the house where his wife was killed.

Then, on Tuesday, Bothell police were contacted by a friend of Smith's from church who said that Smith had confessed to him.

The friend said that Smith had made the confession - "yes, I did it to her" - while on a walk in which they had been talking about repentance and confession of sins, according to court documents.

The friend thought this meant that Smith would go to police and confess. But when this had not happened after several days, the friend went to police himself.

Alan Smith was arrested Thursday and made his first court appearance on Friday. He remains behind bars.