On November 12, 1966, 18-year-old Robert Smith murdered five people at Rose-Mar College of Beauty in Mesa, Arizona. He entered the college carrying a brown paper bag that contained 200 ft. of nylon cord, a package of large plastic sandwich bags, two hunting knives, a .22-caliber pistol and extra ammunition. The plan was to bind the women, place the plastic bags over their head and watch them suffocate, but he realized they were too small to fit over their heads. Once inside, no one noticed his entrance, so he fired one shot into the mirror and then ushered the five women and two children into a back room. He ordered them to lie on their stomachs with their heads together, the arrangement resembling spokes in a wheel as he shot most of them in the head. Four women and a three-year-old girl died, while another woman and a three-month-old baby survived with minor injuries.
Smith was known to be obsessed with the two mass murders that had happened that summer perpetrated by Richard Speck and Charles Whitman. When the police arrived, he willingly surrendered, flashing a big grin for what he had just done, saying:
“I wanted to get known, just wanted to get myself a name.”
He was originally sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life in prison when the death penalty was temporarily abolished.
On November 12, 1966, 18-year-old Benjamin Smith entered the Rose-Mar college of beauty in Mesa, Arizona and killed 5 women and two children. Smith’s only motive was fame- He was a loner and spent most of his time reading about serial killers. He was also obsessed with president John F. Kennedy, and fell into a deep depression when he was assassinated.
Upon reading about the horrific crimes of Richard Speck and Charles Whitman in the newspaper, Smith decided he wanted the same infamy. When he entered the college on a Sunday morning, he was disappointed to find only a few people in the shop. After he shot them dead and was arrested at the scene, he did not put up any resistance. He laughed and said that he had killed five women in the back room and then pointed to the brown paper sack that contained his pistol and ammunition. When questioned as to why he committed the act, he simply said, “I wanted to make a name for myself.”