In 1992, his second season in the NFL, Anthony Smith was a star on a Raiders defense that included future Hall of Famers Howie Long and Ronnie Lott. Smith led the team with 13 sacks and six forced fumbles. Midway through his eight-year career in the league, Smith made news with his marriage to a former Prince protege, the performer once known as Vanity.

Now those stories of fame, fortune and football glory have been replaced with those of arson, torture and murder.

Smith is awaiting trial for four murders. He has already faced trial for one of those killings with a jury deadlocking 8-4 in favor of conviction.

In 2003, Smith went on trial twice on charges that he firebombed a Santa Monica furniture store. Both ended in mistrials. The case was later dismissed.

The latest issue of GQ takes an in-depth look at Smith and how his life unfolded from playing for one of the NFL's most famous franchises to being named in police reports and criminal cases involving allegations of gruesome violence. The feature by Kathy Dobie has twists like something out of "Pulp Fiction" ...

"Certainly, Smith has always been ready to bewilder. During one of the many police searches done on his vehicles and residences over the years, detectives found badges and numerous identification cards -- two were for Anthony Smith, "Intelligence Officer," one for Anthony Smith of "The Organized Crime Bureau," and the fourth was an American Press Association ID with Smith's address but bearing the slightly ridiculous name “Wayne Peartree,” suggesting how he felt about reporters. Early on in his career, Smith told sportswriters incredible stories about his childhood. He said he'd been raised in New York and belonged to a street gang called the Black Spades. When he was 8, he said, he and three friends stole a car and crashed it, killing two of them. When it came to drug use, he really piled it on, telling a reporter that he’d started using heroin, cocaine, PCP, LSD, and speed when he was 9 years old and that his brother had died of a heroin overdose."

"In fact, Anthony was raised in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, a small coastal and river town surrounded by farm and swampland, a place with the comforting or claustrophobic feel of everyone knowing you and your cousin’s cousin."

For the complete feature on Anthony Smith,
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