For other people named Susan Smith, see Susan Smith (disambiguation).
Susan Leigh Vaughan, (1971-09-26) September 26, 1971 (age 42), Union, South Carolina
Life imprisonment with a possibility of parole after 30 years
Incarcerated at Leath Correctional Institution
David Smith (March 15, 1991 - May 1995)
Michael Daniel, b. October 10, 1991 (aged 3 at death),
Alexander Tyler, b. August 5, 1993 (aged 1 at death),
Both children deceased October 25, 1994
Linda and Harry Vaughan
Two counts of murder
Susan Leigh Vaughan Smith (born September 26, 1971) is an American woman living as a prison inmate who was 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 for 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 shortly after it developed, due to her claim that a black man carjacked her and kidnapped her sons. Her defense attorneys presented expert testimony that she suffered from mental health issues that impaired her judgment when she committed the crimes.
According to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Smith will be eligible for parole on November 4, 2024, after serving a minimum of thirty years. She is incarcerated at South Carolina's Leath Correctional Institution, near Greenwood.
1 The case,
2 See also,
6 External links,
On October 25, 1994, Smith reported to police that she had been carjacked by a black man who drove away with her sons still in the car. For nine days, she made dramatic pleas on national television for the rescue and return of her children. However, following an intensive investigation and a nationwide search, on November 3, 1994, Smith confessed to letting her 1990 Mazda Protegé roll into nearby John D. Long Lake, drowning her children inside.
Smith's defense psychiatrist diagnosed her with dependent personality disorder and major depression. Her biological father committed suicide when she was 6 years old, and she rarely had a stable home life. It was disclosed in her trial that Smith was molested in her teens by her stepfather, who not only admitted to it, but also revealed that he had consensual sex with her as an adult. At 13, she attempted suicide. After graduating from high school in 1989, she made a second attempt to end her own life. Susan married David Smith and had the two children, but the relationship was rocky due to mutual allegations of infidelity, and the couple separated several times. Smith was in a relationship with a wealthy man who did not want children in his life. She killed her children in order to be able to continue the relationship and so that he would look after her.
At one time, she was incarcerated in the Administrative Segregation Unit in the Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution 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. Consequently, she was moved to a prison in Greenwood where she is currently held. In 2003, she placed a personal ad at WriteAPrisoner.com, which has since been retracted.