Susan Smith Essay

2254 words - 9 pages

Susan Smith could have been a normal woman. If you passed her on the streets you wouldn’t know that she would turn out to be a killer. Susan had a secret though, a deadly secret. Susan Smith was a cold, calculating killer, capable of murder in cold blood. I believe Susan had many factors contributing to the state of mind she had before the murder of her two sons, like her traumatizing childhood and the many dysfunctional relationships she had.
Susan Leigh Vaughan Smith was born September 26, 1971 in Union, South Carolina to Linda and Harry Vaughan. She was born the third child in the Vaughan family, with two older brothers. Linda Vaughan divorced Harry when Susan turned 7, and five weeks later Harry committed suicide at 37 (Montaldo). Within weeks of Linda and Harry’s divorce, Linda got remarried to Beverly (Bev) Russell, a local successful businessman. Linda and the children moved from their home into Bev’s, a larger house located in an exclusive subdivision in Union, South Carolina. Susan grew to be a well-liked teenager, and even became president of her Junior Civitan Club and Friendliest Female in her senior year (Montaldo). Everyone liked her, and she put on a great show at school. But after the last bell rang, she had to look forward to seeing Bev at home, something she feared above anything else. Bev had taken to molesting Susan when she turned sixteen, and it was not long afterward that she sought help with the local Department of Social Services (Wiki). The Department of Social services did little to help Susan, only making Bev attend a few counseling sessions (Wiki). When he returned home, he chastised Susan heavily for “airing their dirty laundry in public” and continued with the molestation (Montaldo). I believe this traumatic experience broke Susan Smith, and her mind-frame would be forever warped from the abuse.
In the summer of 1988 Susan obtained a job at a local Winn-Dixie and moved through the ranks with amazing proficiency. She had sexual relations with a younger co-worker and an older, married co-worker. Soon she became pregnant, and she had an abortion. After the older married co-worker left her, she attempted suicide by taking Tylenol and aspirin in copious amounts. While hospitalized she admitted to another attempt similar to this one when she was thirteen. She soon started yet another relationship with a different co-worker, David Smith, who was a high school friend. David ended an engagement with another woman to date Susan, and the two decided to marry when Susan became pregnant. Eleven days before the wedding, David’s brother passed away from Crohn’s Disease. Susan and David married on March 15, 1991 and moved into David’s great-grandmother’s house. The strain of losing their son became too much for David’s parents, and the two split; David’s father attempted suicide and his mother left town permanently. These predicaments left David’s life in ruins, very similar to the ruins of Susan’s life. Both of their fathers...

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