New witness says Paul Flores admitted to her that he murdered Kristin Smart and buried her under a local skating ramp, just weeks after her disappearance in 1996, but ‘kept quiet fearing she would be his next victim’
Jennifer Hudson, 44, says long-considered suspect, Paul Flores confessed to the murder of Kristin Smart at a party, just weeks after the college freshman vanished
Hudson was 17 when 19-year-old Paul Flores admitted to her he murdered Kristin Smart just weeks after her disappearance in 1996
‘That b**ch was a d**k tease and I got sick of her s**t,’ Hudson alleges Flores told her, before saying that he’d buried Smart under a Huasna skating ramp
She did not report the outburst to police because she feared Flores would also kill her
Hudson feared telling police and investigators about the encounter because she feared she would be his next victim
Flores, now 45, was convicted this month and faces life in jail and will be sentenced on Dec. 9
Kristin Smart’s body has never been found; she was legally declared dead in 2002
A woman has come forward alleging Paul Flores confessed to the murder of Kristin Smart at party in 1996 and said she held his confession as a secret because she feared retaliation.
Jennifer Hudson, 44, was 17 when she and Flores had a brief encounter at a party in the weeks following Smart’s disappearance, she told The US Sun.
Smart disappeared from a Cal Poly college party 26 years ago and Flores was the last person to see her – and in October 2022, he was finally convicted of her murder. Her body has still not been found.
Hudson, recalling when Flores sat across from her, said: ‘Paul looked right at us and said, ‘That b**ch was a d**k tease and I got sick of her s**t.
‘I’m not sure if he then said he ‘put her under’ or ‘put her at,’ but he said he’d buried (her) under a skating ramp at his place in Huasna.’
Hudson added that she waited for Flores to imply that he was joking – and he never did.
‘His eyes were just empty; he had dead eyes,’ she said. ‘That’s what I remember most, the expression on his face and just how serious he was.’
After the encounter with Flores, Hudson said she felt physically sick and began to believe he would come after her if she reported it to police.
‘I knew he’d done this to Kristin, and I thought to myself that if he did that to this girl who was older than me, in what was assumed to be a well-populated campus area … what was he capable of doing to me,’ she said.
‘In my head, I wasn’t going to turn out like Kristin, I was not going to entice this monster to come after me by going to police.
‘I just wasn’t going to do it … because if I did and it wasn’t enough to arrest or charge him, 100% I would’ve been next, that’s what I was thinking.
‘Looking back maybe that was a bit paranoid, but I think it was a rational fear too.’
Despite her fears, she told her friend and roommate Justin Goodman about the incident in 2002. Goodman later reported it to the FBI and a local blog.
‘I told him I was scared, and that’s why I hadn’t gone to the law, and I said I needed him to promise never to tell anyone and he said he would,’ she said.
Hudson says she realized how much pain she might have caused Smart’s family after the birth of her son.
‘It wasn’t until I had my son, becoming a mother and growing another human inside me that I realized my next breath depends on his, and knowing that he’s safe,’ she said.
‘My next breath doesn’t happen if my son’s doesn’t happen, right?’
Though she knows she was not a direct cause of the pain Smart’s family has endured for 26 years, she believes what Flores said to her was not enough to convict him.
‘Paul is the catalyst, but I am also responsible for the nightmare that they’ve lived every day,’ she added.
‘And they’re still living because they still don’t have Kristin.’
Hudson first recounted the encounter to police and the ‘Your Own Backyard’ podcast in 2019.
In 2020, police searched the Flores’ Huasna property – a search which led to no discoveries.
Pertinently, Paul Flores, the last person known to have seen the missing college freshman, had been flagged as a person of interest at the time.
He was questioned but not arrested, despite the fact that four cadaver dogs singled out his dorm room as having a scent of death when they searched the entire dorm building of 120 rooms.
He was walking free despite the whispers and posed a dangerous looming shadow
During Flores’ three-month trial, which culminated in his being convicted with Smart’s murder, Hudson testified her story.
‘It twisted my belly to see him again,’ she said, ‘but my fear was extinct and I was no longer afraid of him.
‘I made the decision that every time I wasn’t looking at his attorney, I’d stare at him.
‘On some level it was it was vindicating to be able to sit up there and look him in his dead eyes and for him to have to sit there and listen in silence.’
Over 26 years later, Hudson said she should have ‘gone to the cops and immediately (bought) a gun’ after her interaction with Flores.
Smart was last seen alive walking home to her dorm with Flores on May 25, 1996. She was staying at Muir Hall while Flores stayed at Santa Lucia Hall, which are separated by a four minute walk
They had attended the off-campus frat party with other friends, and their dorms were close to each other.
By the end of the night, college kids who had seen Smart arrive sober said she was drunk and passed out on the lawn.
At the trial, several other women testified that Flores spiked their drinks then sexually assaulted them in the years after Kristin’s disappearance.
They called him ‘Chester the molester’ and ‘Psycho Paul,’ they said.
Prosecutors suggested that this was how he seized on Smart, a popular blonde who he’d admired but could never win over.
When he was first questioned in 1996, Flores told police that Smart had walked all the way to her own dorm room after the party.
He had a black eye when he was questioned, but he told police it had come from a basketball injury.
Later, he said it was the result of bumping his head on his car.
He wasn’t arrested, despite the fact that four cadaver dogs singled out his dorm room as having a scent of death when they searched the entire dorm building of 120 rooms.
Paul then stopped answering questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment right.
He was sued by Smart’s family as part of a civil wrongful death lawsuit, but wasn’t charged until April 2021.
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