In Search of Lyman Smith’s Mystery Woman

My parents divorced in 1972. It was a bit of a long time coming. My mom was a stay at home mom at that point and my dad had been seeing Charlene for a while (mom discovered credit card receipts – honestly, practically a cliche – she paid the bills, of course he knew she’d find them). Because my dad was a lawyer, my mom didn’t get a great settlement. They were married for 17 years – newlyweds right out of high school.


Man the Reddit folks really make me think. They also call me out on my mistakes when I don’t say enough. But maybe more challenging than Reddit is my momma! She read the blog and immediately told me I got it wrong. So let’s fix it.

  1. The relationship started while she was married to him.
  2. Likely he was also seeing Charlene at this time. Her impression was the mystery woman was more “substantial” thank Charlene. That’s kind of code in our family for smarts. But that is speculation.
  3. He used to go see her somewhere. One night, he didn’t come home until 5:30 in the morning. Mom didn’t sleep that night and was completely freaking out that the kids would wake up before he got home. Thankfully, we slept. I’m going to estimate it was around 1969.
  4. I swear when mom first told me this, she indicated the woman was in Thousand Oaks or somewhere that direction. Now she’s not so sure (too many margaritas and Scotch if you ask me! : ) ).
  5. The Reddit thread is here. I love how all your minds’ work!

[And now back to my original post.]

I’m on a mission and I need your help.

My dad had a secret woman he (at least) spoke to regularly before he died. My mom doesn’t know who it is (was) and I can’t seem to find any friends who’ll provide an answer. Nearly 40 years have passed and I’m hoping someone might finally talk. I think this woman might know more about my dad than any of us. If I have my story straight, she would be around his age (today that would be in her 70s or early 80s). She would likely be smart and good at listening.

I’d like to meet her because supposedly she shared stories with my dad at a time when he didn’t really talk with us. This was during his marriage to Charlene (again, as I understand it), which means they were close in the 1970s. She supposedly lived in Thousand Oaks, California, or somewhere near there. We didn’t have cell phones so there are no cell records. There might be landline records but they would have been on his home phone (unlikely) or he called her from his office (highly likely).

I’m honestly hoping she’s out there and following the new developments and DeAngelo’s arrest. I think she must have had feelings for him, even if merely affection. Regardless, she’s likely to know how he was thinking back then and could explain some things I’ve never understood. As you can imagine (pr sadly know), having time stop when a parent dies is weird. There are so many questions that don’t have answers. Finding this woman could provide some answers.

I hope.


2 thoughts on “In Search of Lyman Smith’s Mystery Woman

  1. Do you know if your father’s law records were kept as evidence? I’m wondering if the mystery woman could have been a coworker or client. When my father in law passed, his firm was supposed to hold his records for five years. Since he was a private attorney my mother in law kept the records. We finally destroyed them many years later, when she moved to a retirement home.

    1. We don’t have a thing. The law partners took what was theirs and without things being digital, it seems all that is lost. I was kinda hoping the “person” might be watching me and would contact me privately but no such luck. Good thinking though!

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