A Butler County Cold Case Detective brought national attention to the department by putting serial killers behind bars.
Frank Smith was part of the cold case squad before it went cold this month. He retired, but is still seeking the truth.
Local 12's Deborah Dixon tells us about the case that haunts him, and why.
The truth, Frank Smith's been pursing it for decades. And finding it, sometimes after decades. Smith got justice for 15-year-old Cynthia Burlein 32-years after she was raped and murdered by James Craft.
He tracked down serial killer Donald Korn for the murder of Ethel Strayer in 1964 and Ruth Doensch in 1974. He also tied Korn to seven other murders.
Without Frank Smith, serial killer Nolan Ray George would still be living in Amelia.
Remembering forgotten souls, that's what Frank Smith does best.
Now that he's retired from the Butler County Sheriffs Office, it's the end of the cold case squad. But Frank left knowing too much.
"It haunts me everyday."
Smith spent the past 7-years following leads in the 1997 murder of Laney Gwinner. His notes fill 20 boxes he had to leave at the Sheriffs Office.
"You believe you know who killed her?" "Yes I do."
"The connection between the man Frank thinks killed Laney goes back to the night she disappeared from this bowling lane."
Laney Gwinner walked out of Gilmore Lanes on December 9th 1997 and vanished. A month later police found her body in the Ohio River. Her car has never been found.
The coroner could not say how she died, only that Laney was dead before she was put in the river. The man Frank suspects has relatives who live near the lanes, and there's more.
"Living across Bowling Lane there was a history of attempted abduction, an abduction, carjackings."
"The statements, the hostility he showed to us confident right guy."
Getting to the truth in Laney's murder will be up to a detective inheriting Smith's files.
"We'll re-assign to another detective."
"Frank was pretty meticulous a fresh set of eyes always helps."
"That measures the galvanic skin response or perspiration."
Frank Smith still seeks the truth here at Ohio Polygraph. He and wife, Connie, operate the Hamilton business. Smith is a well known polygrapher.
He knows it's the questions asked after the machine identifies a lie that make the test.
Dustin Hendrix confessed to Frank after flunking a polygraph. Hendrix admitted strangling Patricia Barrett back in 1999. Her death was first ruled a drug overdose.
With stories like that, business here is very good.
"We're trying to get justice one way or the other."
Frank now also consults with other agencies on cold cases. He'll soon have his private eye license.
If a new clue comes up in Laney's murder he'll work it and pass on information to the Sheriff.
"It becomes part of you almost like related to you."
Truth be told. In this office, in this chair, Smith would like to polygraph the man he believes killed Laney.
The truth could set him free...or not.
One of Frank's clients at Ohio Polygraph is the innocence project, that tries to free the wrongly convicted.