Susan Smith

In the blink of an eye, North America was informed of Susan Smith's
tragic loss of her two young boys. No one would have guessed that such a
violent crime could have occurred in a small town . Throughout the ordeal ,
police began to see the flaws in Susan Smith's story. This lead to suspicions,
causing the police to make Susan Smith their prime suspect. Days later, Susan
Smith confessed to the hideous crime she committed, leaving the nation in
disgust. The actions of Susan Smith, which were based on her background and the
events in question have left a profound social and legal impact on society's
views of violent crimes.

Susan Smith lived what most would consider a normal life up to the time
before the event concerning the murder of her two children. The only
exceptional incident in her past was the suicide of her father when she was
eight years old. Susan met her future spouse David Smith, at the age of nine-
teen. The couple later went on to have two children, Michael and Alex. She
was described as "well-known and well-liked" by her friends, neighbours and
relatives. None of her friends or neighbours could have expected Susan Smith to
commit such a horrible crime.

The event took place in a small town in Union, South Carolina. On
October 25th Susan Smith explained that she was "heading east on Highway 49 when
she stopped at a red light at Monarch Mills about 9:15 p.m., and a man jumped
into the passenger seat." She described the man "as a black male in his late
20s to early 30s, wearing a plaid shirt, jeans and a toboggan-type hat." She
said that the abductor held her at gun point and told her to drive. She drove
northeast of Union for about 4 miles. Then the man suddenly told her to stop the
car. Mrs. Smith said she asked if she should pull over, but the man said for her
to stop in the middle of the road. She claimed that she begged for the release
of her two children, who were still strapped in the back seat, but it was to no
avail. The town sent out thousands of volunteers to search through "over five
hundred square miles for the children." The story later went national but
there was still no sign of the children or the attacker. The town Sheriff, John
Wells, with the help of an FBI computer system went after every lead that came
in from psychics, crackpots and well-meaning citizens. Even helicopters with
heat seeking devices were used to try and locate the children's bodies. Both
Susan and her ex-husband also faced the cameras in an emotional cry for help.

Police and prosecutors played a major role in uncovering holes in Susan
Smith's story of the abduction. As days passed Susan's story left too many
unanswered questions. "No crimes had been reported in the area that night so
why would a suspect be fleeing? Why would he take the children if he only
needed a car? If the stop light Susan stopped at uses sensors to detect other
cars so as to determine when to flash a green or red light, how could she have
stopped at a red light with no other cars around?" Also ,"Susan's description
of the abductor was so ordinary that it was useless." "Marc Klass and Jeanne
Boylen came to Union to help the police with the investigation yet Susan wanted
nothing to do with them. " The incident had so many holes in it that everyone
started to get suspicious of the story. The police began to wonder about
Susan's innocence even though nothing of the sort was said in public. The
police finally called Susan in for questioning and searched her home for
fingerprints. She failed a lie detector test and the neighbours began to get
suspicious telling the police about a man she was recently seeing. A letter
from Tom Fidley (the man she was seeing) was found telling Susan that he wanted
to be with her , yet he was not ready for a ready made family. "The pressures
were suddenly more than Susan could handle and she broke down under questioning
and confessed after nine days." On November 3rd, she told police the location
of the bodies. Divers went to John D Long Lake at 4:15pm on Thursday and they
pulled the car from the mud. At 6:45pm it was confirmed that two bodies were
found in the back seat. Mrs. Smith was arrested and charged with two counts of

The prosecution in the trial, Prosecutor Thomas Pope, sought whole-
heartedly to convict Susan Smith