Statement Analysis®

Susan Smith

I am posting this analysis because I recently watched "Headliners & Legends" on MSNBC which featured the Susan Smith case. As you recall on October 25, 1994, in Union, SC, Susan Smith reported that a car-jacker had stolen her car along with her two children. Approximately one week later, Smith confessed that she had drowned her children by driving her car into a lake with her children trapped in the car.

On the show, several experts (doctors, FBI Agents, etc.) felt that Smith wanted to kill herself and her children, but as the car was going into the water Smith at the last minute bailed out of the car leaving her children to die. Nonsense. They can speculate all they want but lets see what Susan Smith has to say about what happened that night.

In part of her confession, Smith stated,

"As I rode and rode and rode, I felt even more anxiety coming upon me about not wanting to live. I felt I couldn't be a good mom anymore, but I didn't want my children to grow up without a mom. I felt I had to end our lives to protect us from any grief or harm. I had never felt so lonely and so sad in my entire life. I was in love with someone very much, but he didn't love me and never would. I had a very difficult time accepting that. But I had hurt him very much, and I could see why he could never love me. When I was at John D. Long Lake, I had never felt so scared and unsure as I did then. I wanted to end my life so bad and was in my car ready to go down that ramp into the water, and I did go part way, but I stopped. I went again and stopped. I then got out of the car and stood by the car a nervous wreck. "

There is no doubt that Smith had contemplated suicide. "I felt I had to end our lives." "I wanted to end my life so bad." The question though is did she bail out the of car at the last minute, or did she purposely murder her kids to get rid of them? The answer can be found in this portion of her confession when we look at the pronouns in reference to her car:

"I wanted to end my life so bad and was in my car ready to go down that ramp into the water, and I did go part way, but I stopped. I went again and stopped. I then got out of the car and stood by the car a nervous wreck."

Pronouns show possession. When Smith uses the phrase "my car" she is claiming possession of her car. When she refers to it as "the car" she is distancing herself from the car. Why did she change from a pronoun to an article? Changing pronouns is an indication of deception. If she was describing the car going into the water with her two boys trapped in the car, we would expect her to say "the car." No one would want to take possession of that fateful car. However, she is standing outside of her car allegedly trying to decide what to do. Therefore, she should have referred to it as "my car." By referring to it as "the car" she unknowingly tells us she knew what she was going to do. She was going to send "the car" into the water with her out of "the car" and her two kids in "the car." There was no last minute jumping out of the car while the car rolled into the water. She purposely sent that car into the water to drown her two kids presumably because the man she loved did not want any kids. That is what the jury decided. People's words will betray them.

Susan Smith also used changing pronouns prior to her confession. On November 2, 1994, she made a public plea to the car-jacker/kidnapper. In part of her statement, she said,

"I would like to say to whoever has my children, that they please, I mean please bring 'em home to us where they belong."

Smith referred to the kidnapper as "whoever" and "they." This does not make sense. If the last picture you had of your kids was the two of them being driven away by a male suspect, you would constantly refer to the kidnapper as "him" or "he" or "the man." This is how she described the kidnapper in her earlier statements. However, now she is telling us a different story.

First she says, "Whoever has my children." By saying "whoever," she is acting like she has absolutely no idea who abducted her kids. However, she supposedly does know a little about the kidnapper because she was able to give a description of him. Even though she does not know the kidnapper's name, she should still refer to him as a male suspect.

Secondly, she refers to the kidnapper as "they." Allegedly, one man abducted her kids. So where does the "they" come from? It comes from her deceptive mind. Because she is making up the story she cannot relate to it. She cannot see one man driving away with her kids because it never happened. Therefore, she slips up and uses the pronouns "whoever" and "they." As soon as I saw her make this plea on television I knew she was lying.

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