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Cold Case Heats Up: Man Charged for Murder from 1982

On Halloween of 1982, Clifford Smith died due to extensive brain damage sustained by a homicidal shotgun blast to the head. Up until 2023, the case has gone cold. 

Clifford and Joyce Smith, along with Ronald Anderson, Joyce’s brother, were at their friend’s house for Halloween in Jackson County, Indiana, 1982. Ronald and Clifford had been arguing throughout the day, and Ronald threatened a gun behind his back. As Joyce saw it, and said in an interview, he loaded a gun and put it in hers and Clifford’s car while Clifford talked to Pat, an owner of the house. 

Clifford was drunk at this time, so Ronald easily convinced him into the car so they could leave. Before they left, Ronald told Joyce, “He will never hit you again.” When Clifford drank he was often abusive, and Ronald knew that. Joyce didn’t see Ronald until well after midnight that night when he arrived at their mother’s house, alone, and he advised her to not use the car. 

When Clifford was reported missing after a few days by his wife, Joyce and Ronald were questioned, to which they lied. Eventually Joyce told her side of the story, but Ronald’s story kept changing. He would lie about the gun, add people to the scene of the crime, remove people, say one person shot Clifford then change it to someone else. This led the police nowhere.

The case was reassigned in 2015, and with more interviews, Ronald eventually decided he did not want to be involved anymore when he was asked to go to the crime scene, which was   at a bayou near Rockford, with Sgt. Kip Main; he denied.

Despite his story always framing someone else, Ronald Anderson was arrested on October 31, 2023 for the murder of Clifford Smith in 1982. 

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