On August 8, 2017, Fred “FREAK” Smith was found dead in Las Palmas Park in a suburb of Los Angeles. He was stabbed by an unknown person, only to be found the next day with no possessions to identify him. When he was finally identified two days later, the effects of his death were already starting to be felt in the DC punk community.
Fred was a well-loved veteran of the punk scene in Washington DC, having played in the seminal band Beefeater that influenced so many other bands the came after them. He then moved on to the gothic new-wave band Strange Boutique, showing that his talent truly knew no bounds.
After leaving the DC area for LA in 1994, Fred continued to play in bands like Blaxmyth and American Corpse Flower. At some point in the later 2010s, Fred found himself struggling with his mental health and was living in a group home. He had left the group home for unknown reasons only a few days before his death.
In this very special bonus episode, we are joined by our friends Mary Bryski and Enoch “Skeeter” Thompson as well as Fred’s former Strange Boutique bandmate, Steve Willett. They share wonderful stories about their friend Fred, discussing his life, personality, love of music and influence on them and the punk scene, as well as some details of his death and the investigation into it, which is still an open case with the LAPD.
Mary also shares some stories sent in by friends of Fred and details how she started the “Justice For Fred ‘FREAK’ Smith” Facebook page.
Fred was a beloved member of the DC and LA music scenes and clearly left his mark on so many people. His family and friends deserve answers, and Fred himself deserves justice. If you would like to help out, we highly suggest you share this episode anywhere you can.
We would like to thank Mary, Enoch, and Steve for coming on the show! Please check out the links below for more information on Fred and please join the “Justice for Fred ‘FREAK’ Smith” Facebook page!