Sussan Smith Who Killed Her Children To Be With A Man

Susan Leigh Smith, a South Carolina woman, strapped her boys into her vehicle in October 1994, then it into John D. Long Lake, and then falsely gave the description of a black man that she claimed kidnapped the boys.

Susan Smith endured tremendous trauma from a young age. When she was just six years old, her father took his life, and when she was thirteen, she attempted to do the same. Smith’s new stepfather started abusing her when her mother remarried. She married David Smith at the age of 19 in an effort to start her own family after suffering from childhood trauma. But when she killed her children in 1994, she ruined her own family.

David and Susan Smith’s marriage was troubled by their shared adultery. Meanwhile, David was unaware that she had dependent personality disorder and depression. He was also unaware that a wealthy South Carolina man had dumped his wife because he didn’t want children. Susan Smith drowned her own kids as a result of this.

Michael, who was three years old, and Alexander, who was 14 months old, went on a trip with Susan Smith one day in October 1994. She left them to perish after deliberately rolling her automobile into John D. Long Lake in Union County, South Carolina.

Sussan during her trial

She also reported to authorities that she and the kids had been abducted in the automobile by a Black male. But finally, the terrible reality about what had happened to Susan Smith’s children emerged, shattering her lies.

How Susan Smith Overcame Childhood Trauma to Enter a Troubled Marriage

The youngest of three children and the only female, Susan Leigh Vaughan was born on September 26, 1971, in Union, South Carolina. When her father, Harry Ray, committed suicide in 1977, tragedy struck. Susan overcame her sadness by preserving her father’s coin collection and an audio recording of his voice, but at the age of 13, she attempted suicide.

When her mother Linda wed Beverly C. Russell Jr., it appeared like things were going well for the family. Russell, a prosperous stockbroker and divorced father of three, who belonged to the Christian Coalition and the Republican community in South Carolina. He was a successful stockbroker. However, he was sexually assaulting his 15-year-old stepdaughter at home by fondling her genitalia.

In 1987, Susan, then 16 years old, told her mother and the guidance counselor at her high school about the abuse. Linda brought it up with her husband. He promised never to do it again and consented to family therapy, but continued to abuse Susan, who came forward with the abuse in February 1988.

She made another attempt at suicide later that year. Working part-time at a Winn-Dixie supermarket, Susan became depressed after an older, married coworker ended their relationship. She overdosed on aspirin in an effort to kill herself. Her behavior was attributed to stress by the doctors, who labeled her with an “adjustment disorder.”

With her husband, Susan Smith is seen crying during an outdoor press conference. After claiming that her sons were kidnapped during a carjacking is was learned that she had driven the car into a lake with her children inside.

Susan Vaughan informed her psychiatrist in 1989 that her “affair” with her stepfather was mutually agreed upon. Susan expressed her displeasure at her mother getting so much male attention. David Smith, a fellow Winn-Dixie grocery employee who was brought up a Jehovah’s Witness by strict parents, would finally prove to be the right companion for her.

After dating for only a year or so, they were married. The 20-year-old groom lost a brother to Crohn’s illness, and within a year, his father attempted suicide. The 19-year-old bride was already two months pregnant with her first son Michael.

They both came from tragically damaged families. But it turned out that their own family was also unhappy. The Smiths would start nitpicking and cheating on each other almost as soon as they got married.

Susan Smith’s children were brutally murdered.

In 1993, Susan Smith had her most passionate extramarital relationship with a new coworker at Conso Products. In January 1994, she started having affairs with Tom Findlay, the son of her boss. However, the wealthy and appealing 27-year-old ended things with her in October and wrote Smith a letter explaining that he wasn’t ready for a relationship with children.

They had an especially distressing talk on October 25. Smith was “offended because David knew, or so she thought, some information that he was going to make public that upset her,” according to Findlay, who remembers the incident. Although it would eventually be revealed that Smith had kept up her sexual ties with her former stepfather, it is unclear exactly what this was.

He then requested Findlay to leave after insulting her by implying that she had slept with his father. Three hours later, she made the decision to remove her own children from the picture if Findlay didn’t want children.

The car was found to be 122 feet from the shore.

Susan Smith loaded her children into her 1990 Mazda Protege and departed for a drive only three hours later. She slid her car into the lake when she got close to John D. Long Lake, fled the scene, and left her two kids to drown.

She even pretended that a Black man had carjacked her and taken her sons when she reported her car stolen and her children missing. She appeared on television for nine days, beseeching their safe return with tears in her eyes.

But on November 3, under pressure from the police who were skeptical of her tenuous explanation, Smith gave down and admitted what she had done. Soon after, her trial started.

David Bruck, Smith’s defense counsel, claimed that her acts were motivated by mental illness brought on by her father’s suicide, sexual abuse, and emotional rejection. Thomas Pope, the principal prosecutor, presented a quite different picture. He asserted that Smith was a terrible manipulator who killed her kids in an effort to win Findlay back.

Memorial set up with flowers, stuffed animals, wreaths & pics of Michael & Alex Smith at boat landing of John D. Long Lake; the boys’ mother, (Photo by Taro Yamasaki/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

The jury debated about two and a half hours on July 22, 1995, before promptly finding Smith guilty, indicating that they were not persuaded by her case. After being found guilty on two charges of first-degree murder, Susan Smith received a life sentence.

Susan Smith’s Legacy Today and Her Crimes

Susan Smith is currently a prisoner at the Leath Correctional Facility in Greenwood, South Carolina. Her actions while inside have only increased her notoriety because she was discovered using marijuana and having a sexual relationship with a correctional guard. She ended her decades-long quiet in 2015 by writing a letter to South Carolina’s The State, confessing to the offenses that sent her behind bars in the first place.

The letter stated, “It has been difficult to listen to falsehood and not be able to defend myself. It’s annoying, to put it mildly. What really saddens me is when people assume that I hurt my kids in order to date a man. That is incredibly false. Since it wasn’t even a scheduled occurrence, there was no motive. I wasn’t thinking clearly.

Susan Smith continues to insist that the act of harming her children was merely a brief, albeit violent, deviation from her regular mental condition. The state will have to take Smith’s pleas into account in 2024, when she would be eligible for parole, despite the fact that the court of public opinion has generally sided with the prosecution.


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