The Board of Supervisors renewed a $10,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to whoever stabbed a homeless musician to death in a San Fernando park.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl recommended extending the reward — which was set to expire Dec. 10 — to help find the killer of Frederick Smith, once a prominent punk rock musician.
“He paved the way for African-American musicians in the punk genre,” Kuehl said when the reward was first announced in September.
Smith’s body was found behind the softball fields in Las Palmas Park on Aug. 8.
“Many families were in the park. Kids were practicing baseball in the nearby fields,” Kuehl said, adding that investigators hope someone witnessed the crime or can provide other clues that could be helpful.
Smith, known as Fred “Freak” Smith, was a guitarist who played with several bands, including Beefeater and Strange Boutique. The 55-year-old musician had a following in West Hollywood and Washington, D.C., where he grew up.
Kuehl said Smith developed mental health issues around 2012 and not long before his death had moved out of a home catering to individuals with mental disabilities.
Musician and record label owner Ian MacKaye praised Smith’s talent in an interview with L.A. Weekly.
“Beefeater was a revolutionary band,” MacKaye told the publication. “Their fusion of metal, funk and jazz at a time when hardcore ruled supreme was popular in D.C., mainly because Freak was an extremely gifted musician and a real kook, unlike anyone else. He was enthusiastic and bold.”
Anyone with information about Smith’s killing was urged to call sheriff’s homicide Detectives Dean Camarillo or Eduardo Aguirre at (323) 890- 5500 or Crime Stoppers, (800) 222-TIPS (8477).
–City News Service
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