Sherman Smith has written award-winning news stories about the instability of the Kansas foster care system, misconduct by government officials, sexual abuse, technology, education, and the Legislature. He spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal, where he started on the copy desk, then oversaw digital operations, was the managing editor and reported from the Statehouse. A lifelong Kansan, he graduated from Emporia State University in 2004 as a Shepherd Scholar with a degree in English.
She killed her rapist after months of abuse. Advocates say Kansas governor should set her free.
By: Sherman Smith - February 4, 2023
TOPEKA, Kansas — Sarah Gonzales-McLinn regrets killing Hal Sasko. She also regrets moving into his Lawrence home, where he repeatedly raped her until she channeled a lifetime of trauma into psychotic rupture. On a January night in 2014, she drugged her captor, zip-tied his limbs and slit his throat. “That is the moment that my […]
Survivors of sexual abuse plead for changes in Kansas law that protects pedophiles
By: Sherman Smith - January 15, 2023
TOPEKA, Kansas — Four survivors of childhood sexual abuse revealed details about the worst moments of their lives in a public rebuke of state law that protects pedophiles from criminal prosecution or civil lawsuits. Backed by a bipartisan coalition of state lawmakers, the women emphasized that it can take years before a survivor accepts what […]
New York Times investigation shows how sports gambling industry exploited Kansas legislators
By: Sherman Smith - November 26, 2022
TOPEKA, Kansas — A New York Times investigation into the gambling industry’s bare-knuckled lobbying efforts provides insight into concessions Kansas lawmakers provided when they legalized sports betting earlier this year. Among the revelations from the report, published Sunday as part of a series on “a relentless nationwide campaign” to expand sports betting: Kansas lawmakers slashed […]
Kansas senator warns doctors of consequences for failure to treat COVID-19 with ivermectin
By: Sherman Smith - April 5, 2022
Kansas Sen. Mark Steffen bragged about the attention he received for sending a threatening letter to doctors encouraging the use of ivermectin for early treatment of COVID-19 based on a law the Legislature didn’t pass.
Kansas senator under investigation after prescribing ivermectin for COVID-19
By: Sherman Smith - January 26, 2022
He also accused the chief medical director of the University of Kansas Health System of spreading propaganda, and challenged him to a public debate.
Kansas Jayhawks part ways with football coach Les Miles amid allegations of misconduct at LSU
By: Sherman Smith and Tim Carpenter - March 8, 2021
LAWRENCE, Kan. — The University of Kansas agreed to immediately part ways with head football coach Les Miles on Monday night following back-to-back reports of past indiscretions that alleged he engaged in sexual harassment of students and created a “nightmare” employment culture while coaching at Louisiana State University. Miles, winner of an NCAA college football […]
Voter fraud myth persists despite constant failure to prove claims
By: Sherman Smith - October 6, 2020
TOPEKA, Kansas — Scott Moore had never heard of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck program before election officials in Kansas and Florida exposed his personal information, along with 944 other Kansas voters. The now-defunct Crosscheck was designed to help county clerks clean up registration lists by looking for voters who had moved to neighboring states. […]