DALLAS -- Karen Smith tried protective orders, tried leaving her husband and asked police for help. But in the end, none of that helped her.
She was shot and killed Tuesday in a UT Southwestern Medical Center parking garage.
Smith wrote a letter nearly 14 years ago to try and get a restraining order against her husband, Ferdinand Glen Smith. The protective order was granted then, but eventually expired.
In the letter, she wrote about finding him hiding in her closet, waiting for her.
Ferdinand grabbed me by the shirt and put the knife -- a long steak knife -- against my throat. He said, 'I'm going to kill you and kill myself,' she wrote. He swore when my mother came over, there would be two dead bodies
For years, Karen Smith's family feared her husband would kill her. Those fears came true on Tuesday night. Dallas police said Ferdinand waited for her to get off work in the parking garage before he shot her multiple times in the head and upper body as she was leaving work.
In Smith's letter, she talked about the years of abuse.
He has been physically violent with me many times over the years... He has slapped, punched, choked me with his hands, kicked, and pulled my hair... Once he choked me to the point I lost consciousness, she wrote.
Smith said that her husband left her in a bathtub the day he choked her while he tried to decide what to do with her body. She feared the violence would continue if she didn't get her protective order.
There was an arrest warrant for Ferdinand Smith for an assault on his wife back in December. Dallas police say they called Karen Smith a day before the murder to say they were about to arrest her estranged husband, but that didn't happen.