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Susan Smith Saga: Prison ‘Sexploits’ Imperil Infamous Killer’s Parole Bid

“I’m going to make you wiggle and squirm.”

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One of the most horrific, senseless and notorious crimes in South Carolina history was the drowning murders of three-year-old Michael Smith and fourteen-month-old Alex Smith of Union, S.C. nearly three decades ago. These two beautiful little boys were killed by their mother, Susan Smith, in October 1994 in a case that attracted international attention. Smith strapped the two boys into their car seats in the back of her burgundy Mazda sedan and then allowed the vehicle to roll into the John D. Long lake five miles northeast of Union.

She was the last person to see them alive …

Smith told police a black man had carjacked her at gunpoint and driven away with her children still inside the vehicle – although authorities doubted her story from the beginning. Apparently, the Main Street intersection in Union where Smith claimed to have been carjacked would not have presented her with a red light unless other vehicles were attempting to cross the intersecting roadway at the same time. Smith claimed no other vehicles were present at the time of the carjacking – meaning the light wouldn’t have turned red for her.

Aware that Smith was likely lying to them, police began almost immediately to suspect her involvement in the disappearance of her children. In fact, they actually searched the lake where the boys’ bodies were eventually found – but were unable to initially locate the vehicle because it came to rest significantly further from shore than they originally suspected.

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Meanwhile, a nationwide manhunt for the fictitious black carjacker was underway as Smith – flanked by her husband, David Smith – pleaded on national television for the safe return of her two children.

“I wanna say to my babies that your momma loves you so much,” Smith told reporters at one press conference, fighting through tears. “You gotta be strong … I just know, I just feel in my heart that you’re okay. You’ve just gotta take care of each other.”

It was all a lie, though …

On November 3, 1994 – ten days after the alleged carjacking – Smith finally confessed to drowning her children. Shortly thereafter, divers with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) aquatic investigation and recovery team made the tragic discovery: The boys’ bodies were found strapped in their carseats in the back of the burgundy Mazda approximately 122 feet from the shoreline of the lake.

“I was able to see a small hand against the glass,” diver Steve Morrow testified months later at Smith’s trial.

Smith was convicted of murdering her two children in July 1995. Jurors took less than two hours to reach their verdicts. Current S.C. speaker pro tempore Tommy Pope – then South Carolina’s sixteenth circuit solicitor – successfully prosecuted the case, but he failed to obtain the death penalty against Smith.

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John D. Long lake in Union County, S.C. (Facebook)

“This is not a case about evil,” Smith’s attorneys argued at the time. “This is a case about despair and sadness.”

By all accounts, Smith had a difficult childhood. Her father committed suicide when she was only six years old and she attempted suicide herself at the age of 13 – and again at the age of 17. Her stepfather – prominent SCGOP and Christian Coalition member Beverly C. Russell Jr. – is alleged to have molested her extensively during her high school years, although Smith at one point described their relationship as consensual and said she enjoyed it because it made her mother jealous. In fact, Smith’s “affair” with Russell allegedly continued through September 1994 – just weeks before the murders.

Smith had not attained the age of consent at the time the affair with Russell began. Russell was never prosecuted, though, because Smith’s family refused to press charges against him owing to his political influence. Also, a caseworker acknowledged sealing the file in a nod to his powerful position..

“I am responsible for and ashamed of what happened,” Russell belatedly admitted upon the occasion of his resignation from the SCGOP in April 1995.

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Smith married her husband in 1991 while two months pregnant with their first child, but the relationship was marred by multiple affair allegations involving both parties. One of those affairs involved Susan Smith and then-27-year-old graphic artist Tom Findlay. This affair began in January 1994 and lasted for two-to-three months. The relationship resumed in September 1994 – just weeks before the murders.

According to Findlay, he and Smith slept together ten times. He broke off the relationship for good on October 15, 1994 after allegedly witnessing Smith kissing a married man at a hot tub party.

There was another reason the relationship failed, though: Findlay was adamantly opposed to having children even though he said he could “see himself” with Smith.

“There are some things about you which aren’t suited for me, and yes, I am speaking about your children,” he wrote in a letter to her discovered in the submerged Mazda. “I’m sure that your kids are good kids, but it really wouldn’t matter how good they may be. The fact is, I just don’t want children.”

Smith insisted her despair over Findlay’s decision to terminate their relationship is what led her to murder her children.

“I was in love with someone very much, but he didn’t love me and never would,” she noted in her confession.

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Susan Smith (SCDC)

In 2015, Smith wrote a letter to a reporter at The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper in which she claimed she was “not the monster society thinks I am” and that “something went very wrong that night.”

“I had planned to kill myself first and leave a note behind telling what had happened,” Smith wrote. “I didn’t believe I could face my family when the truth was revealed.”

According to Smith’s letter, “there was no motive as it was not even a planned event.”

“I was not in my right mind,” she added.

Smith, 52, has continued to make headlines from behind bars. In 2000, she contracted a sexually transmitted disease while incarcerated. A subsequent investigation revealed two former S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) personnel – a guard named Houston Cagle and a captain named Alfred Rowe – engaged in sexual relations with Smith while she was imprisoned and under their authority.

Smith has also allegedly engaged in sexual relationships with multiple female inmates, sources familiar with her imprisonment have told this media outlet.

This week, The (U.K.) Daily Mail reported on the latest revelations involving Smith: Records which reveal she has been having phone sex from behind bars – in addition to conducting multiple flirtations via text message.

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Susan Smith (SCDC)

“I want it a lot,” a man named ‘Michael’ told Smith on one call, according to a transcript obtained by The Daily Mail. “Think you can keep up with me?”

“Oh yes,” Smith responded, giggling. “The question is whether you can keep up with me. I can be a lot.”

Another male suitor who has promised hundreds of thousands of dollars to Smith in the event she is released from prison is apparently expecting something in return for that largesse.

“I’m going to have you in the front seat of my car,” he told Smith, according to a call transcript obtained by The Daily Mail.

“You’re so bad,” she giggled in response. “I have some ideas of things we can do – but I’m going to make you wiggle and squirm before I tell you.”

“Babe, I’m already wiggling and squirming,” he responded.

Smith’s extracurriculars behind bars could complicate her prospects for release when she appears at a parole hearing scheduled for November 4, 2024. Count on this media outlet to provide coverage of that hearing as well as any additional developments related to Smith’s case in the months leading up to it.

What do you think? Vote in our poll and post your thoughts in our always-engaging comments section below …

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

    (Travis Bell Photography)

    Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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    17 comments

    tamara rhodes Top fan February 15, 2024 at 7:56 pm

    You kill your 2 children slowly by drowning them, you stay right there where you are. Can anyone even imagine those 2 little boys alone in the dark calling for their mother?

    Reply
    Avatar photo
    VERITAS Top fan February 15, 2024 at 8:44 pm

    Death sentence by prolonged torture would have been the most apprpriate sentence for this “thing” not human.

    Reply
    George Johnson Top fan February 16, 2024 at 8:13 am

    The character in this sad tale that most deserved capital punishment was Beverly C. Russell Jr., “prominent SCGOP and Christian Coalition member.”

    Reply
    Katie Top fan February 16, 2024 at 8:15 am

    Still surprises me she was even given eligibility for parole. TWO innocent babies died.

    Reply
    Squishy123 (the original) February 16, 2024 at 7:10 pm

    That’s under the old sentencing system, changed around 2001. Now she would not be able for parole. Doesn’t matter, there isn’t a person on the parole board who is going to go down in history as someone who granted her parole.

    Reply
    Sheila Turmam February 18, 2024 at 10:42 am

    She should be paroled at some point, but is she ready for what will happen when she’s a free woman? Is her Mother still alive to give her support? I think she would have a very hard time being out in public. The average person who remembers her crime will probably make her life a living hell. She needs to think about all this before asking for parole.

    Reply
    Horny Bob February 16, 2024 at 9:54 am

    I’d hit it.

    Reply
    Horny Andy February 16, 2024 at 11:17 am

    So would I.

    Reply
    Anonymous April 28, 2024 at 1:58 pm

    youre are about as she is!!!!

    Reply
    Horny Mary February 16, 2024 at 11:22 am

    Me too.

    Reply
    Quagmire February 16, 2024 at 11:28 am

    She can make milk come out my pp thing.

    Reply
    Squishy123 (the original) February 16, 2024 at 7:08 pm

    First time up for parole in a double homicide conviction… her parole hearing will be a waste of time. It will be unanimously denied, see you back in two years.

    Reply
    Ralph Hightower Top fan February 16, 2024 at 9:57 pm

    Smith could be Murtaugh’s prison groupie.

    Reply
    Ecgberht February 16, 2024 at 11:09 pm

    As an active player I swung at that during high school and made direct hits that resulted in home runs several times. But, she was involved in a lot of ball games with other players.

    Reply
    Richard King March 9, 2024 at 6:39 pm

    She should be in solitary confinement for life with very healthy but absolutely tasteless food.

    Reply
    Nico April 5, 2024 at 10:41 am

    If she’s released, I can totally see her killing a former lover who’s scorned her or an older sugar daddy who put her into his will. By all accounts she’s a dangerous narcissist, and while her revolting stepfather might be partly to blame the fact is she was unambiguously a grown woman when she murdered her two babies premeditatively. There is no evidence she has changed, nor that she has any desire to change if she even could. There is ample evidence to the contrary.

    Since she won’t be executed, she should stay put.

    Reply
    D farr April 28, 2024 at 9:24 pm

    I fully believe that she should not even have the privilege to attend a parole hearing…that she should be given what she got…and why waste taxpayers money by keeping her …kil her like she did those sweet babies

    Reply

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