When Russell Smrekar
enrolled at Lincoln Junior
College in 1974, the people of Lincoln,
Illinois had no idea they were on a
collision course with destiny. Process of Elimination is based on the
true story of how an expelled college student began eliminating witnesses who
were to testify against him in two minor theft cases.
a cunning rebel from Joliet, Illinois,
had a history of outwitting police and dodging the legal system. In 1976, he mystified Lincoln
law enforcement and used the community for his killing ground.
It appears Smrekar
was responsible for four murders; however, two of the murders - the
disappearances of Mike Mansfield and Ruth Martin, whose bodies have never been
found - remain unsolved.
In 1976, the author, Bonnie J. Thompson, was a
nineteen-year-old deputy circuit clerk in the Logan County Courthouse, and her
father, Roger W. Thompson, was the State’s Attorney when Smrekar was prosecuted
and convicted for the double homicide of Jay and Robin Fry.
After her father’s premature
death in May of 2001, Thompson began researching the 1976 murder case files
within the Logan County Courthouse. Here
for the first time in nearly three decades, she presents the factual chronology
of events and introduces new information and compelling evidence never revealed
in the Ruth Martin case.
“The investigations into the
disappearances of Mansfield and Martin will never be dropped.” - April
1977, Roger W. Thompson, State’s Attorney.
“In Process of Elimination, Bonnie Thompson has used her father’s
bull-dog tenacity in digging out and presenting the facts in this highly
unusual true story.” - John
W. Foltz, former Assistant State’s Attorney of Logan County.
“Bonnie Thompson is a
relentlessly persevering investigator, and she tells what she has uncovered in
a fascinating tale.” - Dr. Lawrence Farwell, forensic scientist, inventor, and
founder of Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories, Inc.
“Through extensive new research,
Bonnie Thompson has skillfully put into screenplay form a recount of mystery
and murder occurring in her hometown in 1976.” - Erik Daarstad,
Cinematographer for 1968 Oscar Winning Documentary - Short Subject, “Why Man