Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who drowned her sons in a car in the 1990s, has penned a letter from jail explaining that she is "not the monster society thinks I am."
South Carolina's The State newspaper reported
that Wednesday was the 20th anniversary of her conviction, which followed a false confession to the media that she had been carjacked at a red light by a black man while her sons were inside.
In her letter to one of the newspaper's reporters, she recalls the aftermath of the day she strapped her 14-month-old Alex and 3-year-old Michael into the backseat of her burgundy Mazda and sent them rolling to their death into John D. Long Lake.
"I had planned to kill myself first and leave a note behind telling what had happened," Smith said in the letter, which is dated Jan. 19, 2015. "I didn’t believe I could face my family when the truth was revealed."
"Something went very wrong that night. I was not myself," Smith continued. "I was a good mother and I loved my boys . . . There was no motive as it was not even a planned event. I was not in my right mind."
Smith also denied rumors that she killed her sons so that she could be with a man whom she was having an affair with.
"The thing that hurts me the most is that people think I hurt my children in order to be with a man," Smith wrote. "That is so far from the truth."
The State requested Smith's correspondence in August 2014 in its own letter, which Smith said in her reply was not approved by the SCDC Correspondence Review Committee until Nov. 19, 2014.
The full letter is printed below:
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.
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