Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Winston-Salem has its very own unsolved crime that rocked the Reynolda estate and made national headlines when Zachary Smith (“Smith”) Reynolds, the youngest child of R.J. and Katharine Smith Reynolds, was shot on a sleeping porch at Reynolda House on July 6, 1932.
Smith’s wife, Broadway star Libby Holman, was charged with murder along with his best friend, but the case was ultimately dropped. To this day, it is not known whether Smith’s death was a suicide, accident, or murder — and “whodunit” rumors have circulated for nearly a century.
Reynolda House Museum of American Art’s exhibition, “Smith & Libby: Two Rings, Seven Months, One Bullet,” opens on Saturday, Sept. 9, and will offer visitors the opportunity to examine the evidence and make their own decisions as to what happened that night. Buy tickets + investigate the case.
†Top left image: Smith Reynolds with biplane, circa 1928. Courtesy Reynolda House Museum of American Art Archives. Top right image: Libby Holman in the Broadway production of Rainbow (1928), by Oscar Hammerstein II. Courtesy the Libby Holman Collection, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.