The Susan Smith Case Essay

1519 words - 6 pages

In the blink of an eye, North America was informed of Susan Smith's tragic loss of her two young boys. No one would have guessed that such a violent crime could have occurred in a small town . Throughout the ordeal , police began to see the flaws in Susan Smith's story. This lead to suspicions, causing the police to make Susan Smith their prime suspect. Days later, Susan Smith confessed to the hideous crime she committed, leaving the nation in disgust. The actions of Susan Smith, which were based on her background and the events in question have left a profound social and legal impact on society's views of violent crimes.Susan Smith lived what most would consider a normal life up to the time before the event concerning the murder of her two children. The only exceptional incident in her past was the suicide of her father when she was eight years old. Susan met her future spouse David Smith, at the age of nine-teen. The couple later went on to have two children, Michael and Alex. She was described as 'well-known and well-liked' by her friends, neighbours and relatives. None of her friends or neighbours could have expected Susan Smith to commit such a horrible crime.The event took place in a small town in Union, South Carolina. On October 25th Susan Smith explained that she was 'heading east on Highway 49 when she stopped at a red light at Monarch Mills about 9:15 p.m., and a man jumped into the passenger seat.' She described the man 'as a black male in his late 20s to early 30s, wearing a plaid shirt, jeans and a toboggan-type hat.' She said that the abductor held her at gun point and told her to drive. She drove northeast of Union for about 4 miles. Then the man suddenly told her to stop the car. Mrs. Smith said she asked if she should pull over, but the man said for her to stop in the middle of the road. She claimed that she begged for the release of her two children, who were still strapped in the back seat, but it was to no avail. The town sent out thousands of volunteers to search through 'over five hundred square miles for the children.' The story later went national but there was still no sign of the children or the attacker. The town Sheriff, John Wells, with the help of an FBI computer system went after every lead that came in from psychics, crackpots and well-meaning citizens. Even helicopters with heat seeking devices were used to try and locate the children's bodies. Both Susan and her ex-husband also faced the cameras in an emotional cry for help.Police and prosecutors played a major role in uncovering holes in Susan Smith's story of the abduction. As days passed Susan's story left too many unanswered questions. 'No crimes had been reported in the area that night so why would a suspect be fleeing? Why would he take the children if he only needed a car? If the stop light Susan stopped at uses sensors to detect other cars so as to determine when to flash a green or red light, how could she have stopped at a red light with no other cars...

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