Susan Smith

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Susan Smith
Born (1971-09-26) September 26, 1971 (age 52)
Criminal statusIn jail at Leath Correctional Institution
SpouseDavid Smith (m. March 15, 1991 - May 1995, divorced)[1]
ChildrenMichael Daniel, b. October 10, 1991 (aged 3 at death)
Alexander Tyler, b. August 5, 1993 (aged 1 at death)
Both children died October 25, 1994
Parent(s)Linda and Harry Vaughan
Conviction(s)Two counts of murder
Criminal penaltyLife

Susan Leigh Vaughan Smith (born September 26, 1971) is an American murderess. She was born in Union, South Carolina, and was a former student of the University of South Carolina Union. She was sentenced to life in prison on July 22, 1995 for killing her two sons on October 25, 1994.

The sons were 3-year-old Michael Daniel Smith, born October 10, 1991, and 14-month-old Alexander Tyler Smith, born August 5, 1993.[2] At the time of the murders, Smith was estranged from her husband and had a boyfriend who did not want children in his life. She believed that by killing her children, her boyfriend would want a long-term relationship with her.

Case[change | change source]

The case gained worldwide attention after it was broadcast live. Smith told police that an African American man carjacked, and kidnapped her sons. Several weeks later, she confessed that she drove her car into a nearby lake. She got out of the car, and watched her sons drown inside the car. Smith later said that she suffered from mental illnesses, which made her kill her sons.

Smith's defense psychiatrist diagnosed her with dependent personality disorder and depression.[3]

According to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Smith will be eligible for parole on November 4, 2024, after serving at least of thirty years. She is currently at South Carolina's Leath Correctional Institution, near Greenwood.[4]

In 2010, Deadly Women told the story of what happened that night, focusing on Smith's case and other parents that have killed their children.

Related pages[change | change source]

  • Charles Smith, an American criminal who killed his wife using an axe in 1916 in Dubois, Idaho.

References[change | change source]

  1. Rekers, George (1996). Susan Smith: Victim Or Murderer. Glenbridge Publishing Ltd. pp. 12, 16. ISBN 0-944435-38-6.
  2. Spitz, D.J. (2006). "Investigation of Bodies in Water". In: Spitz, W.U. & Spitz, D.J. (eds): Spitz and Fisher’s Medicolegal Investigation of Death. Guideline for the Application of Pathology to Crime Investigations (Fourth edition), Charles C. Thomas, pp.: 846-881; Springfield, Illinois.
  3. Child murderer or victim?
  4. "Inmate Details Susan Smith Archived 2012-12-24 at" (, Image Archive) South Carolina Department of Corrections. Retrieved on 2007-11-22.

Books[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]