Earlier this week, former Arkansas state senator Linda Collins-Smith, 57, was found dead of a gunshot wound in her home. As with most incidents like this, local news was the first to break the story, with conflicting reports about when Collins-Smith was found, the state of her body, and whether she was found wrapped in a blanket or not. Local police have said little, merely that they’re investigating it as a homicide, and a judge issued a gag order preventing the release of medical or legal documents related to the death.
While Collins-Smith’s death is obviously a tragedy for her family and friends, it’s also not the kind of story that would have any real impact on today’s frenetic news cycle. She had a fairly short political career, and her biggest claim to fame as an elected official was authoring a failed anti-trans “bathroom bill” similar to the one that North Carolina passed and immediately regretted.
Oh, and she was a conspiracy theorist who pushed trans panic, sanctuary city hysteria, and at least once retweeted a Gateway Pundit article about the debunked anti-Trump “Spygate” conspiracy. Her biggest dip into the fever swamp came a few months ago when she made an appearance on 24/7 QAnon-themed YouTube Channel “Patriots Soapbox.”
Being a conspiracy theorist is not an invitation to be murdered, and we should all be free to hold dear whatever crank nonsense we want, as long as we aren’t hurting others by doing so – though one can debate whether or not writing bathroom bills to prevent non-existent trans recruitment falls under the “not hurting others” rubric.
But anytime you get a politician from Arkansas (the home state of Bill Clinton) who dies mysteriously after going on a conspiracy theory-related YouTube channel, people are going to start saying things. Of course, labelling the death as “suspicious” is absolutely correct, because all murders are inherently suspicious. But not all murders come with the Clintons and QAnon attached to their coattails.
So what are “they” saying about Linda Collins-Smith? Only that she was about to drop the dime on the Clintons for Whitewater, finally putting the screws to the evil couple who had dallied away America’s treasure for decades:
Not only that, but Collins-Smith apparently had bombshell evidence related to the theft of tens of millions of dollars that had gone missing from Arkansas’ Child Protective Services division. Part of her political career had been devoted to exposing the fraud behind this missing money, and she was due to deliver blockbuster evidence – before she was “suicided.”
And of course, it wouldn’t be a conspiracy theory in 2019 without some link to the Clinton Foundation, which Collins-Smith was about to expose for its role in laundering the missing money from Child Protective Services in a complex scheme that saw children ripped from their homes in order to be eligible for a federal grant.
So was Linda Collins-Smith just the latest name to get etched on the Clinton Body Count, that list of people slaughtered by the Clintons to further their psychopathic lust for power?
Since the case is still under investigation, I can’t say for sure. But we can immediately falsify all of these claims, which will put a severe dent in the idea that the Clintons knocked her off for mysterious reasons.
For one, there are no current grand jury proceedings related to Whitewater, nor have their been since the late 1990’s. There are no “reports” saying Collins-Smith had any incriminating information about Whitewater, or any of the other faux-scandals that have hung like a millstone around the Clintons’ neck for decades. And the idea there are seems to stem entirely from a few tweets.
The “missing money” conspiracy theory has a grain of truth to it, but nothing as hyperbolic as various tweets are saying. Collins-Smith was vice chair of the Arkansas State Senate’s Legislative Joint Auditing Committee’s Medicaid Subcommittee, which had found a large number of Medicare-related accounting discrepancies, poor record keeping, missed federal repayments, and cost overruns in summer 2018. Among these was what the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette described as “$28 million that the state could owe to the federal government because of expenses that lacked proper documentation or shouldn’t have been allowed under federal rules.”
State officials believed at the time that that number would come down with additional auditing, and there was never any supposed link to the Clintons or Clinton Foundation – an entity which would have no reason to be linked with Arkansas’ Department of Health. And despite what various salacious clogosphere stories and tweets allege, there has never been an allegation that the department had multiple sets of books, once of which was being cooked by the Clintons. Instead, department officials blamed leadership turnover, technological problems, communication breakdowns, and uncorrected filing errors. The money that Collins-Smith was “recovering” with an “insider” was not missing, but likely was past due to the government.
Finally, while it’s tempting to conspire that Collins-Smith was killed for being a prominent QAnon believer, she actually wasn’t. Her call into Patriots Soapbox was unrelated to Q, and instead was about her urging a crackdown on “sanctuary cities.”
We still don’t know what happened to her, and we might not for a long time. But statistically speaking, it’s far more likely that she was the victim of a domestic or financial dispute gone bad than some hyperbolic high-level murder plot. She had gone through a messy divorce from an Arkansas judge, including a dispute over the home that her body was found in. We’ve seen this time and time again, particularly in the “dead doctors conspiracy,” where it’s easier to believe that murdered “holistic healers” were killed by Big Pharma than by jealous spouses.
I didn’t know Linda Collins-Smith, and disagreed on an atomic level with her politics. But she deserves better than to end her life as chum for frenzied conspiracy theorists desperate to get clicks and views for their stories and videos. We all do.
6/15 update: former Collins-Smith staffer Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell has been taken into custody for the murder, though not formally charged yet.
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