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Posted: July 22, 2015

Letter from Susan Smith: 'I am not a monster'

By Cox Media Group National Content Desk


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It was a case that at first captured the sympathies of a nation. A single mother of two adorable boys relayed a terrifying story of a carjacking, an abduction, an unknown assailant, and later, the drowning of her children.

But sympathy turned to horror and outrage when it was discovered that the children of Susan Smith were not killed by a stranger but by the 23-year-old mother herself. 

Now, 20 years after being sent to prison for the murder of her boys, Smith has penned a letter from jail to reporters at The State who were writing a retrospective of her case. In the 341-word letter, she mentioned her boys, Michael and Alex, by name, and said she had planned to kill herself before the truth came out. 

Here is the text of the letter.


Dear Mr. Cahill,

I know it is very late in writing you, but I wanted to still let you know that I did not receive your request for information until November 20, 2014, a month after the 20 year anniversary. Your letter was sent to the SCDC Correspondence Review Committee and was not approved until Nov. 19, 2014. I imagine that was done on purpose.

I wanted to let you know that I would have most likely responded to your letter because I have [sic] yet been able to speak on my behalf. It has been hard to listen to lie after lie and not be able to defend myself. It’s frustrating to say the least. Mr. Cahill, I am not the monster society thinks I am. I am far from it. Something went very wrong that night. I was not myself. I was a good mother and I loved my boys. The thing that hurts me the most is that people think I hurt my children in order to be with a man. That is so far from the truth. There was no motive as it was not even a planned event. I was not in my right mind. The only reason I lied is because I didn’t know how to tell the people who loved Michael & Alex that they would never see them again. I didn’t want to hurt them. I knew the truth would come out, but I had planned to kill myself first and leave a note behind telling what had happened. I didn’t believe I could face my family when the truth was revealed.

This is only a small piece of the story, but I did want to tell you that if you’re ever interested in doing another article, please let me know.

In the meantime, take care of yourself. In order for me to receive your mail quicker, put your name only on the envelope and don’t use company stationery. If you do, it’ll probably go to the review comm. again.


>> Click here to see the first page of Smith's letter.

>> Click here to see the second page of Smith's letter.



AP photographer Dave Martin's photos through the years


AP photographer Dave Martin's photos through the years

Susan Smith center is escorted from the Union County Courthouse in Union S C on Tuesday July 11 1995 A judge ruled Tuesday that she was competent to stand trial for the murder of her two sons Alex and Micahel Jury selection also began for the trial which is expected to run up to six weeks in length (AP Photo Dave Martin)

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