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Susan Smith, nearing parole after murders of young sons, says she’d be ‘good stepmom’: report

Notorious South Carolina inmate Susan Smith reportedly told one of several suitors that she would make a “good stepmom” as her first parole hearing approaches in her life sentence for drowning her two boys. 

Smith, 52, also told her admirer on the recorded jailhouse phone call from Leath Correctional Institution last month that she “could see [herself] around kids,” per transcripts obtained by The Messenger. 

“You’d be great, babe,” responded the suitor, one of more than half a dozen corresponding with Smith, the outlet reported. 

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Per South Carolina Department of Corrections records, Smith began her 29-year sentence on Nov. 4, 1994, after she was convicted on two counts of murder in the deaths of sons Michael Daniel Smith, 3, and Alexander Tyler Smith, 14 months. 

Initially, then-22-year-old Smith told investigators that a Black man had carjacked her while the two boys were still inside the car. 

Days later, she wept alongside husband David Smith on national television, pleading for their safe return: 

“Your mama loves you so much,” she said during one news conference.

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Susan Smith leaving court

But ultimately, Smith admitted that there was no carjacker – she let her car roll into John D. Long Lake and watched as the vehicle sunk with the two children still strapped into the car seats. 

Her prospective affair partner and ex-boyfriend, Tom Findalay, penned a letter a week earlier that prosecutors said drove Smith to drown the boys:

“Susan, I could really fall for you. But like I have told you before, there are some things about you that aren’t suited for me, and yes, I am speaking about your children,” he wrote, per Deseret News. 

Michael Daniel Smith and Alexander Tyler Smith

But Smith has long argued that she did not drown her children for a man’s sake, claiming instead that she had a psychotic breakdown.

Now, relatives are not shocked by the near half-dozen men who have reached out to Smith while she’s behind bars, telling The Messenger that “guys have always flocked to Susan.” 

“She’s always been into guys, obviously,” one relative told the outlet. “It would be the best case scenario for her, to be in a relationship. So she’s hoping to find the right man to live with if she gets out.” 

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David Smith

With her first parole hearing scheduled for Nov. 4, 2024, the mother plans to request her release.

Former husband David Smith – who appeared by her side on national news stations during the fruitless search for their dead children and was later pictured weeping at the boys’ funerals – intends to oppose her release. 

“David still thinks of his boys every day, and doesn’t ever want Susan to get out,” one of the man’s relatives told The Messenger. “She belongs in jail… she is exactly where she needs to be – in prison. And we will do what it takes to keep her there.” 

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David Smith weeping

Meanwhile, Smith’s suitors are vying to help her post-release, per conversations reviewed by the outlet, offering her money and accommodations. 

One man offered her a car, another offered her a place to stay with his relatives when she is paroled, while another spoke in recorded conversations about moving in together and starting a family. 

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Memorial for murdered brothers

One of the men told the outlet that he “just [found Smith] interesting and misunderstood” and that the woman is “not what you think she is.” 

“She’s a good person who did something terrible when she was young and not in her right mind – people can change,” he told the outlet. 

Smith’s search for love has gone on inside prison walls, too, with People reporting an illicit sexual relationship with a prison guard alongside marijuana use and self-mutilation in her disciplinary record. 

When she isn’t flirting with prospective post-release lovers, Smith often speaks with friends and family about her potential parole: 

“Prepare now what you will say when you’re given the chance to speak at your parole,” Smith’s friend Ruth said in a recorded May phone call, according to The Messenger.

“Say you were young and may have had postpartum depression, which can last as long as three years after birth,” the friend continued. “I will keep you in my prayers. Meanwhile, get your speech ready for the Parole Board. It won’t be easy.”

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