Cabin 28 Murders – Witness or Dream?


Now that we’ve heard from the two main suspects and the profiler, how about we hear from Justin, the boy who spent the night at Cabin 28, and whose step-father, Martin Smartt, made an interesting comment about. Which you can find in part II.

The following statements are from Justin speaking to Sheriff Doug Thomas. The numbers you see are as they appear on the official PCSO document. Justin described “a dream” he had the night of the murder, when he was “asleep” a mere ten feet from where the murders occurred. His mother claims Justin had blood on his shoes, so it’s logical to assume he witnessed at least part of the murder.

One might conclude, either his fragile mind couldn’t handle witnessing such horror and processed the murder as a dream, or he feared for his life because he saw who committed the act.

Incidentally, the bloody shoes mysteriously disappeared. Which makes me wonder whose blood was on them. Martin Smartt’s, perhaps?

I have not edited so you can view the statement as is.

Police sketch of suspects. Watch how it relates to Justin’s “dream”.

75. I am on my passenger boat. Somebody got thrown out and there was a fight. He had long black hair, short over the ear. His hair was combed back. He had black glasses with gold ring and a gold frame and black and brown lenses. He had a mustache, jean jacket, blue jeans, no belt. Cowboy boots. Black round toe with a squiggly design. He had a hammer in his left hand and it had a wooden handle and a steel hammering thing and a point at the end.

76. Johnny and Dana fought the man. Dana was almost drunk. He was walking weird. A crowd gathered. Johnny was thrown overboard and Dana. The man ran away. A body was lying on the bow. The mom (Sue). She had black hair and a sheet over her. I looked under the sheet and she was slit on the chest. Everybody started to gather around her and we started to go to shore.

77. The man had a knife like a pocket knife in his right hand. And he cut Sue. He didn’t cut her first. No. Before he went off the boat, he cut her. There was another man dressed up like him. He was in the crowd. But when the man dove into the water, they killed Sue. Nobody had a gun. Then I woke up.

78. The man just said her name – “Sue.” He had brown hair, past his ears, halfway. Curly at the end. Same kind of glasses as the other man and same kind of clothes. He wore marked Army boots, green, like a hiking boot with a Waffle Stomper type sole.

79. The man used a knife on Johnny. I was down by Sue, trying to take care of her. All the blood was coming down and I was trying to patch her up with a blue and white flowered rag. I threw the rag in the water. The men both took the life raft, but the brown-haired man covered Sue first. Johnny and Dana touched the wall by the TV while they were fighting.

80. Justin tells polygraph examiner Sam Lister that he did not have a dream and that he witnessed the murders taking place.


…to law enforcement after the murders.

81. Justin said that he heard a noise and awoke and went to the doorway and peeked into the living room. Sue was laying on the sofa and the two men he described previously were standing in the center of the room.

John and Dana then came home and entered the front door. John argues with the two men and a fight starts. Dana tried to get away and fled towards the kitchen when the brown-haired man strikes him with the hammer.

Sue rushes to John’s aid and Justin returned to his room and hid behind the door. The suspects then tied up Johnny and Dana.

82. Tina comes out of her room, dragging a blanket, and asks, “What’s going on?” The two men then rush to Tina and grab her by the arms and drag her out the back door as she cries “help, help.”

Later, the brown-haired suspect returns and covers up Sue with the blanket.

83. Justin told his mother that someone had a sweatsuit on. Johnny’s hands were tied and there was blood all over his face. He talked about the TV. Justin said that Johnny and Dana came in at midnight.

85. Justin states that “Sue was cut in the middle of her chest by a black-haired man using a pocket knife.”

86. Justin states that in his “dream” that “I ran down to Mrs. Sharp. She had a cut on her chest. I took a rag and put it on her chest!”

87. Justin then got back into bed and covered himself with a blanket where he fell asleep in about an hour.

Since his statement Justin was swarmed with hypnotists, psychics, and lie detector tests many times. Why psychics? You got it. There’s a paranormal element to this story too.

And that’s coming next.

Looking for a way to commit murder? Sign up for my free .pdf 50 Ways To Murder Your Fictional Characters. An addendum coming soon…


15 thoughts on “Cabin 28 Murders – Witness or Dream?

  1. I’m with Mae. I suspect that disassociation by claiming it was a dream is a normal reaction to the horror of witnessing such a crime.

    I noticed something: “Later, the brown-haired suspect returns and covers up Sue with the blanket.”

    If, as I assume, Sue was dead by then, does that show remorse? Or even suggest that Sue and the assailant were acquainted?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Among the many absolutely fascinating things about this set of statements, Sue, is what it suggests about the way we process what we experience. It’s certainly suggestive about the shoes, especially their disappearance. And it does make me wonder what, exactly, Justin witnessed. I think it is possible to experience something and not be sure, exactly, whether it was a memory, a dream, or something else. That’s what can be so difficult about some witness testimony or statements. Looking forward to your next post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly what I was thinking too, Margot. Witness statements are notoriously false. If nothing else, this case certainly brings that to the forefront. This case has so many fascinating angles to it; it seems never-ending.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It just becomes more riveting. I do believe that when children witness an horrific act, their mind translates it in a manner that makes it seem less real (i.e, the dream). This poor kid. I can’t imagine the nightmares he must have had later. I’m very curious about the psychics and the paranormal elements as I can’t imagine how that factors in. A thoroughly intriguing series, Sue!

    Liked by 2 people

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