Taney County man shares how his family aided authorities in the 1985 manhunt for David Tate

Crime Traveler

TANEY COUNTY, Mo.- Josh Smith has been surrounded by law enforcement all his life. His father was served in the Taney County Sheriff’s Office, and his grandparents were best known for serving law enforcement during one of the biggest manhunts in Southwest Missouri.

Smith reached out to OzarksFirst after hearing the Crime Traveler episode on the shooting death of Missouri State Highway Patrolman Jimmie Linegar. Smith shared that his grandparents were well known in the Taney County community but even more well known by law enforcement because of the meals his grandma would cook.

“When the manhunt started, when you had the roadblocks, and you had all the law enforcement that naturally had to be fed. My grandparents always had a caring attitude to help. My grandma loved to cook; she and my grandpa would make sandwiches and take coolers of food around all of the roadblocks and did it all out of their own pocket,” says Smith.

Smith says that transitioned to her making up to eight-course meals for law enforcement, then she would call the dispatch center and let them know dinner was ready. His grandma’s house became known as Smith Cafe.

“Neighbors always thought a murder happened weekly at grandma’s house because the yard and driveway was full of patrol cars stopping by for dinner. Even Allen Hines has had many meals from my grandma’s kitchen,” Smith shared.

His father served as a deputy in Taney County also aided in the manhunt for David Tate. After Tate was arrested, Smith’s father was the representative for Taney County to go interview Tate in prison along with other representatives from other agencies.

Smith’s father recently gave him all of his notes from that interview.

“This was done on 4/20 of 85 at 7:15 p.m. at night, and my dad was the Sheriff’s Department representative. These are his original notes from the original interview and interrogation,” says Smith.

Smith says Allen Hines and his family grew close over the years because of their involvement in the David Tate case. The Highway Patrol recognized his grandparents with Honorary Trooper plaques.

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