Registered Nurse, Rachel Lea Smith Bonham, born in
Birmingham, Alabama on December 21, 1957 to Myra C. Smith
was found in the floor of her living room at 925 Gordon
Avenue, Miles City, Montana on November 3, 1992. She was
strangled. Medical help was not called. The undersheriff
became the medic, the jury, and the judge.
THERE WAS A COVER-UP!
Instantly, the Custer County Under-Sheriff, Don Neese,
created a scenario. He filled out the report stating both
manner and cause of death prior to any investigation at
all. No pathologist had examined the body, no witnesses
had been interviewed, no forensics work had been done on
the gun, body, or house. Thereafter he studiously avoided
any evidence that contradicted his suicide scenario (also
the only Suspect's scenario) and did verbal and logical
gymnastics to explain away evidence he could not avoid.
Neese stuck to his scenario in spite of mounting
physical and testimonial evidence that he was wrong. His
motives are known only to him and perhaps his peers at
Custer County Sheriffs Department, Miles City Police
Department and the present DA Gary Bunke.
Police Chief Wade Schmidt told us Rachel was murdered.
His only Suspect was Ronnie Bonham of Alabama. Evidence
was contaminated, hid, and destroyed; but we still
believe after more than 6 years that someone has the
small piece of evidence that when linked with other
pieces will somehow, someday bring an arrest for this
murder. Help us by emailing us what you know about this
case. Our lives are changed forever while this man walks
You might have knowledge that would bring the murderer/
murderers to justice, and not have thought it would
help. If you knew my daughter, Ronnie Bonham, Gary Lee
Smith of Alabama, Rachel's father, or about this case
please contact me.
What did our beloved daughter, our dean's list honor
student who cared for the the handicapped while a
freshman in college, learned and taught sign language
for the deaf, cared for the aged and dying, who rescued
homeless people and abandoned pets, who dreamed of a
cure for AIDS in her lifetime, who was an early organ
donor, who while in high school marched in protest of
descrimination, and who until her death had faith in
and saw good in all humanity get herself into with
Ronnie Loyal Bonham, Joseph N. Letourneau, and Charles
Ray "Chuck" Boatman that ended her dreams at the age of
YOUR INFORMATION WILL BE KEPT IN STRICT CONFIDENCE.
"Justice will only be achieved when those who are not
injured by crime feel as indignant as those who are."
A quote from King Solomon, 635-577 B.C.