Bowie State University
Susan Leigh Vaughan Smith is a convicted child murderer. She drove her car with her two sons, age three and fourteen months, sleeping in the back, into a lake. She carried on a lie about a black man that carjacked her for nine long days before she confessed. No one had implicated her in the murder, and when speculation started to rise she broke under pressure. Smith has never given a reason for why she murdered her children. Later, a ltter was found from her boyfriend who was leaving her. He did not want children or want to raise her children.In a desperate attempt to save a relationship after all others had failed Susan rid herself of her children.
The turmoil leading up to the murders of Michael and Alexander Smith is immense. Susan Smith’s father, the only person she was close to committed suicide after his marriage to Susan’s mother ended. Susan too tried suicide two times. She failed in both attempts. Relationships were causal, and her promiscuity only worsened. She had an abortion after becoming pregnant by a married man and carrying out another relationship simultaneously. Her marriage to David Smith was nothing more than an attempt to do the right thing after becoming pregnant. The senseless murders of the Smith children could have easily been avoided had someone paid close attention to the cries for help Susan displayed. She was emotionally unstable and mentally ill. Had her children been in their father’s custody there is no doubt that they would most likely still be here today at age 17, Alex and 19, Michael.
Susan Smith went into the history books on November 3, 1994, nine days after she drove her two children, Michael and Alex into a lake. Susan Smith was a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a friend to most. She had no prior offenses or history of criminal activity. She committed a heinous, violent crime of premeditated murder. Her victims, her own two children, age three and fifteen months. Susan Smith went on with her infamous alibi about the black man that had carjacked her at a red light in South Carolina for nine agonizing days. She stood before press pleading with the ficitional carjacker to return her children to her safely. All the while her children were floating lifeless in her 1989 Mazda at the bottom of a cold murky lake, waiting for someone to rescue them.
Literature Review & History
Susan Leigh Vaughan Smith was born in Union, South Carolina on September 26, 1971. Her mother Linda was a homemaker, and her father Harry a firefighter. Susan’s home life was dysfunctional as a child. Her parents’ marriage was not going as planned and there was stress and strain on the entire family. As a result of the life she lived at home, “susan was an unhappy child. The mother of one of her playmates described Susan as “unsusal and sad”. (Susan Smith: Child Murderer or Victim?). Susan seemed to be in another world staring off into space and inchorenent often times. Susan was close to her father, Harry and only happy when she was around him. In 1977 her parents divorced. Susan was only six years old. Harry was deeply hurt by the divorce and became more depressed as a result. On January 15, 1978, five weeks following the divorce finalization, Harry commited suicide.
Susan’s mother remarried a wealth man, Beverly Russell. The children went with their mother to live with her and her new husband. Susan was doing well in school and in 1989, she was voted “Friendliest Female” at Union High School (Susan Smith: Child Murderer or Victim?). She did well in school and was great as a friend, but she still had problems at home. Susan’s stepfather Beverly was molesting her. On several occasions he would place her hands on his genitals while she slept, fondle her, and even went so far as to French kiss her whilst she slept. Susan kept quiet for a while and decided to see...