It’s been two decades since Susan Smith strapped her sons -- 3-year-old Michael and 14-month-old Alex -- into their car seats before rolling her vehicle into a lake, drowning them to death.
The case made national headlines when the then 23-year-old mother, for nine days, made tearful pleas to the public for the safe return of her boys, who she initially claimed were abducted by a black man during a carjacking.
When Susan Smith finally confessed to police that she killed her children, she was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. She was convicted on July 22, 1995 and sentenced to life in prison.
As the 19th anniversary of Michael and Alex’s death approached, what happened to their father, David Smith?
In an interview with HLN’s Nancy Grace, David Smith said he’s happily remarried with two children, Savannah and Nicholas.
“There are still bad days, but there are definitely more good days now than bad days,” David Smith said. “Around the holidays and around the anniversary which is coming up this month, Michael’s birthday is a few days away, those days are still very hard. Days like that still probably bring me down to my knees, but in all, life is much better now, and I’m doing really well.”
David Smith opened up about what he went through back in 1994 when his children were murdered.
“I believed her 100%. I’ve said that all along, that I thought Susan would have been the last person to ever hurt Michael and Alex,” David Smith said.
After 9 days of standing by his now ex-wife, believing her story that their children were abducted, Smith said, “every reason for living just stopped,” when he learned his wife had confessed to the crime.
“I didn’t know how to put one foot in front of the other anymore. Didn’t know what I was going to do. My whole world literally – like everything I had left, they were gone. Just like that,” David Smith said. “There’s wasn’t anymore going to be looking for them, there wasn’t going to be any more hope of finding them. It was stopped immediately. My whole world just stopped. I had to remind myself to breath.”
Meanwhile, David Smith’s ex-wife is serving her life sentence at South Carolina’s Leath Correctional Institution near Greenwood. The infamous killer mom made headlines this month after one of Susan Smith’s alleged former jail mates spoke to the National Enquirer.
According to the National Enquirer report, Susan Smith’s former jail mate claims the convicted killer paid her to watch for guards while she indulged in sexual rendezvous with her girlfriend in prison closets and the cafeteria freezer.
“Susan gets money from men she meets through prison pen pal websites, and she’d put $30 to $50 a week in my prison commissary account,” Susan Smith’s alleged former jail mate told the National Enquirer.
What did David Smith have to say about the scandalous report?
“It doesn’t surprise me with Susan,” her ex-husband told Grace. “She’s very convincing. She was always very sneaky. She always had to have her way or no way. So Susan’s going to do something to always get the attention, get the spotlight on her or get it back on her. Whichever it may be.”
Susan Smith’s defense attorney David Bruck refused to give HLN a comment Monday.
In 2010, Susan Smith filed a handwritten appeal claiming prosecutorial misconduct. According to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, she will be eligible for parole on November 4, 2024, after serving a minimum of thirty years.