Susan Leigh Vaughan Smith (born September 26, 1971) is an American woman sentenced to life in prison for murdering her children. Born in Union, South Carolina, and a former student of the University of South Carolina Union, she was convicted on July 22, 1995 of murdering her two sons, 3-year-old Michael Daniel Smith, born October 10, 1991, and 14-month-old Alexander Tyler Smith, born August 5, 1993. The case gained worldwide attention, due to Susan claiming a black man stole her car and kidnapped her sons. Susan later claimed that she suffered from mental health issues that impaired her judgement. On October 25, 1994, Susan initially reported to police that she was carjacked by a black man who drove away with her sons still in the car. Smith made tearful yet controlled pleas on television, for the rescue and return of her children. She kept her eyes shut, unable to look directly into the camera, perhaps because she couldn’t acknowledge the lie. A chain letter circulated in the following days asking Internet users to be on the lookout for the vehicle.
Following an intensive, heavily publicized investigation and a nationwide search, police felt Susan’s story didn’t make sense. Susan claimed were no other cars near the intersection where the carjacking had occurred. A big break in the case had to do with her story on where she was carjacked. The red light at which she said she stopped was only triggered when a car came from the cross street. Since there were no other cars around there would be no reason for her to stop at this intersection. Faced with this evidence, Susan confessed to letting her 1990 Mazda Protegé roll into nearby John D. Long Lake,drowning her children inside. Her motive for the deaths was to dispose of her children so that she could have a relationship with a local man who didn’t want a “ready-made” family. It later emerged that investigators had been suspicious of her story from the beginning. Lakes and ponds were searched, including the lake where the children were found. Watch why do killers speak out
Susan took a polygraph with her husband, David. The results showed she was lying when she said she did not know where the boys were. There were no other cars near the intersection where Smith said the carjacking had occurred. It was disclosed in her trial that Smith was molested in her teens by her stepfather, who admitted that he had molested Smith when she was a teenager and had consensual sex with her as an adult. Watch Mackenzie Phillips Incest Her biological father committed suicide when she was 6 years old and she very rarely had a stable home life. At 13, she attempted suicide. After graduating from high school in 1989, she made a second attempt. Watch susan smith asks for new trial
At one time she was incarcerated in the Women’s Correctional Center in Columbia, South Carolina. While she has been in prison, two guards have been punished for having sex with Smith: Lt. Houston Cagle and Capt. Alfred R. Rowe Jr.she was moved to a prison in Greenwood where she is currently held, and in 2003 she placed a personal ad at WriteAPrisoner.com which has since been retracted. Watch susan smith’s ex-husband talks about tragedy