Posted: Aug 20, 2010 6:06 PM by James Jarman & Bea Karnes, News First 5
Updated: Aug 20, 2010 7:56 PM
At today's memorial service John Ramsey talked about Lou Smit's integrity and faith in God and said Smit never stopped working on JonBenet's murder case.
"I had the opportunity to visit Lou a few hours, shortly after he went into hospice and a week before he died," Ramsey told the crowd of about a thousand, "and there were some other men there that had worked on the case and continued to, and Lou was telling them what he thought needed to be done next, and so he never, never gave up."
Former El Paso County Sheriff John Anderson tried to hold back his emotions as he talked about his former homicide partner and best friend. "On an individual and deeply personal level, Lou Smit touched a lot of lives and along the way he became a law enforcement legend," he tearfully said.
Also at the service, a set of about 200 chairs were roped off in special section. On each chair was a flower and a card with a murder victim's name and the year they were murdered. Smit worked on all their cases. He felt so passionately for the victims he wrote about it in a vignette called "Shoes."
It was handed out to all who attended the memorial and describes how detectives should walk in the shoes of the victims and their families and always put the victims and the case first..
Smit's son, Mike, described how loving his father was toward everyone. As a Christian Lou Smit believed that love was endless, but it also meant much more.
"He knew that if the love came from himself then it would have boundaries and conditions," said Mike Smit of his father, "the kind of love that my dad shared with others is a love derived from God, which is unconditional and has no boundaries."
He said that was the secret that directed his father's life and earned him the respect of everyone he met.
He was remembered as a man whose life was centered around God, family and law enforcement--a legendary detective revered nationwide for his dogged determination and brilliant methods.
Funeral services were held Friday morning for Detective Lou Smit, a dedicated law officer who devoted himself to solving crimes, even after his retirement from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. He passed away Wednesday, after a battle with cancer.
Detective Smit's career spanned 30 years. He solved a number of high profile cases locally, including the murder of Heather Dawn Church.
After retirement, he was a member of a group of retired law officers who volunteered to solve cold cases. He looked into the JonBenet Ramsey case in Boulder, insisting that an outsider killed the child, not a family member. In his last week of life, at a hospice, Detective Smit told John Ramsey and his beloved fellow members of the long blue line--what still needed to be done to solve JonBenet's murder. John Ramsey attended Smit's funeral.
Detective Smit wanted his memorial service to be a happy occasion, but the hundreds of family, friends and colleagues in attendance couldn't help themselves-- repeatedly breaking down as they recalled Smits's life, and the prospect of life without him.