The Truth About Susan Smith's Relationship With Tom Findlay

Back in the 1990s, Susan Smith claimed a Black man kidnapped her sons, 3-year-old Michael and 14-month-old Alexander. She made a tearful plea on national television for their safe return. For nine days, investigators were sent on a wild goose chase before she finally admitted to killing them. She was ultimately convicted of their murder and sentenced to life in prison. But, according to the International Business Times, she's eligible for parole in November 2024, upon completing the 30th year of her prison sentence. 

However, the question that everyone had on their mind at the time was simple: Why? What would possess a mother to kill her young children in cold blood? 

As it turned out, there was a man at the root of the issue, and his name was Tom Findlay. It was Smith's relationship with Findlay that was at the crux of her murder motive. But what was the real truth of their relationship? Let's take a look at what really went on between Susan Smith and Tom Findlay.

Tom Findlay testified against Susan Smith

At the time of her sons' murders, Susan Smith was estranged from her husband, David, who was also the father of the two boys. During that time, she was carrying on an affair with a man named Tom Findlay. According to Smith, she wanted to get more serious with Findlay, but he said he did not want children. And it was that claim that prompted Smith to murder her two sons.

Ultimately, Findlay testified against her during the murder trial. While he admitted that he did nor want a relationship with her because she had children, "The Susan Smith I know is very caring, very loving, a good friend to everyone, not just me," he said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "She's very pleasant, very nonconfrontational, very upbeat, always trying to look on the bright side of things. The Susan I knew was not a vindictive person."

Findlay also said that Smith was mentally unstable, and that he never asked her to kill her children. In his testimony, he made clear that their relationship was that of "friends with benefits" and he had no intention of making it any more serious than what it already was.