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Interview With David Smith

Aired July 17, 2003 - 21:00   ET


SUSAN SMITH: I just can't stress it enough that we -- we just got to get them home. We're -- that's just where they belong, with their mamma and daddy.


NANCY GRACE, GUEST HOST: Tonight, exclusive, some answers from a man who knows firsthand the pain of a wife and mother who murdered. The husband of convicted killer Susan Smith speaks out on the murder of his two children. Now he is picking up the pieces, just remarried and starting a new family, and he is talking about it tonight for the first time.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Nancy Grace, in for Larry King. Thank you for being with us tonight.

Tonight, bravely speaking forward for the first time since his remarriage, the husband of Susan Smith. David Smith is speaking out over putting his life together again.

Thank you for being with us.

DAVID SMITH, HUSBAND OF SUSAN SMITH: It's good to be here. Thank you.

GRACE: I want to stake you back in time to October 24, 1994, the evening your children went missing. What happened in your life that night?

SMITH: Oh, wow. In some ways, it's been a long time, and some ways, it's like yesterday. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) just kind of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- a lot of emotions, a lot of feelings, a lot of ideas.

GRACE: Well, what first happened? Where were you when you learned your two boys were missing?

SMITH: Well, I was at work, and I received a phone call.

GRACE: From who?

SMITH: Sheriff Howard Wells (ph).

GRACE: What did he say? SMITH: He just -- he told me that he was with Susan and that a -- someone -- I think, at the time, someone had took Michael and Alex and that I needed to come where they were at at that time.

GRACE: So you left work

SMITH: Yes, immediately.

GRACE: And you went there.

SMITH: Went straight there.

GRACE: Did you ever have any reason to suspect Susan Smith, your wife, was involved?


GRACE: How was she acting when you got there?

SMITH: She was hysterical. Yes. She collapsed to her knees, just about. I had to, like, hold her up when I first got there.

GRACE: Where were you, at sheriff's department?

SMITH: No, we went to the home that she had ran to.

GRACE: Near the lake?

SMITH: Near the lake, yes.

GRACE: Now, what was the name of that lake?

SMITH: John D. Long (ph).

GRACE: John D. Long Lake. They didn't find anything at the bottom of the lake?

SMITH: No, they -- from my understanding, they searched it several times and never found anything.

GRACE: After that night, when did you first begin to be suspicious? Or did you?

SMITH: No, I never did. I believed -- I believed Susan 100 percent, the whole time.


SUSAN SMITH: ... whoever has my children, that they please -- I mean, please bring them home.


GRACE: Did she retell the story to you?

SMITH: No. I didn't ask her much because I knew -- I felt that she was under so much strain and pressure that I didn't want to keep putting -- you know, me putting it through, too, on top of the, you know, law enforcement. I didn't want to keep putting her through it.

GRACE: Now, when did police first tell you that they were suspicious?

SMITH: They -- maybe about day two of the search.

GRACE: That quickly?

SMITH: Yes. I started hearing things. But they had in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) no one ever, the whole nine days, came to me and said, you know, We suspect your wife. But I would hear from, you know, different bits and pieces that they were suspecting her.

GRACE: But what made them suspicious of her?

SMITH: Well, I think the first one was her story of how it happened. It didn't add up from the very start.

GRACE: Because there was an inconsistency about the red light.

SMITH: The traffic light, right.

GRACE: She was supposed to be at a traffic light that would only turn red if triggered by another car.

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: And there were no other cars, according to her story.

SMITH: And she said -- right. Right. Exactly.

GRACE: Now, did that wave a red flag to you?

SMITH: Not really.

GRACE: Until they brought it to your attention.

SMITH: I still didn't believe it. I mean, I didn't -- it didn't matter what...

GRACE: Yes, why should you?

SMITH: Right. I didn't -- it didn't matter to me what they said about, you know, Her story's not adding up, or whatever. I still believed her.

GRACE: Now, you took a polygraph and passed immediately.

SMITH: Right. First time.

GRACE: What questions were in the polygraph?

SMITH: Oh, about -- some about our past. Of course, the biggest one was, you know, did I have anything to do with their disappearance, or did I have any knowledge...

GRACE: Of where they were.

SMITH: ... of where they were, or with their disappearance.

GRACE: Now, you passed on the first lie-detector test.

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: Not so with Susan Smith, your wife.

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: What happened?

SMITH: She -- she repeatedly took them. Every day, she had to take one.

GRACE: And that didn't ring an alarm...

SMITH: Well, no.

GRACE: ... in your head, that they kept re-polygraphing her?

SMITH: No, because I felt she was just failing it because she was under so much pressure of -- you know, and she was still so distraught over, you know, having Michael and Alex jerked away from her. I was trying to coach Susan on how to pass this thing.


SMITH: Right.

GRACE: Now, when you hear other people refuse to take a polygraph, such as Scott Peterson...

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: ... how does that strike you?

SMITH: Something -- something's wrong. If you've got nothing to hide, then take a polygraph. I had nothing to hide. I -- I -- you know, I was glad to take it.

GRACE: Now, let me take you back. That was almost 10 years ago, October of '94. When did you first realize that Susan was involved? When did you find out she had made a confession?

SMITH: When I seen it on TV.

GRACE: You're kidding!


GRACE: The police didn't tell you first?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Susan Smith has been arrested and will be charged with two counts of murder in connection with the deaths of her children.


SMITH: I saw it -- I saw -- you know, we started hearing about an alleged confession, you know, and we were at the -- we were at her parents' home, and you know, I was, like, turning to my family and saying, you know, What's going on? And we don't know. No phone call, no nothing.

GRACE: You saw it on TV.


GRACE: Then what did you do?

SMITH: Well, then Sheriff Wells came to the home, and he announced it to the household that, you know, she had confessed and they had found the bodies in the bottom of...

GRACE: Well, up until that time, you thought the boys may still be alive.

SMITH: Well, yes. I never lost hope.

GRACE: So you realized, in one fell swoop, that they had been killed...

SMITH: Were -- right. By her.

GRACE: ... and Susan Smith, your wife...

SMITH: Had murdered them.

GRACE: ... had done the deed. At once, just like that.

SMITH: Just like that.

GRACE: What did you do?

SMITH: Gave up. Gave up and ran first. I just wanted to run, and I ran.

GRACE: You ran where?

SMITH: Just out in the yard.

GRACE: You ran out the door?

SMITH: Yes. I had to go...

GRACE: And where?

SMITH: Just had to go.

GRACE: Where'd you run to?

SMITH: I don't know. I just ran. I don't remember. I just...

GRACE: In your street clothes.

SMITH: Yes. I just had to go. Just had to run.

GRACE: And when did you come back?

SMITH: My dad chased after me and caught up with me, finally, and we walked back to the -- to the Russells' (ph) home.

GRACE: Was it at night?

SMITH: It was dark.

GRACE: Did you go to the jail?

SMITH: No. No.

GRACE: When did you see her again?

SMITH: It was about a month later, after she had been arrested.

GRACE: What did she say, David?

SMITH: She said she was sorry. And we -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE) what we talked about was Michael and Alex. You know, I mean, I did ask her why she did it, but...

GRACE: And what did she say?

SMITH: She didn't know.

GRACE: Didn't know.

SMITH: Didn't know.

GRACE: OK. When you see news reports, like Andrea Yates or the new case of Deanna Laney in Texas, the mom who was accused of beating two of her children to death, does it bring it all back to you?

SMITH: Yes. It does. And it's just very -- very heart- saddening. It just breaks my heart when I see it.

GRACE: When you look back, David, do you blame yourself? Do you think there were indicators or red flags you should have seen but didn't?

SMITH: No, I don't blame myself. I mean, Susan, you know, she was competent. She was, you know, in sound mind. She...

GRACE: Seemed to be.

SMITH: Yes. I mean, you know, in some ways, a lot of people want to say she -- she had to be crazy, and I -- I think (UNINTELLIGIBLE) they say that figuratively speaking.

GRACE: But not legally.

SMITH: Right. But not legally she wasn't.

GRACE: Well, that day, hadn't she gone to work, had gone out to lunch with some friends from work?

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: Everything seemed to be fine.

SMITH: I talked to her about 5:30, 6:00 o'clock, on the phone.

GRACE: Everything was fine.

SMITH: Everything was fine.

GRACE: What do you think went wrong? I mean, we're not psychiatrists.

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: But you lived with her. You loved her. What happened?

GRACE: I think she -- I think she just got greedy. I mean, she wanted something that -- that I guess I couldn't provide.

GRACE: And the price was the children?

SMITH: The children, yes.

GRACE: Do you still speak to her?

SMITH: No. No contact.

GRACE: Never. No letters?

SMITH: No letters, nothing. Don't care to. I used to think about that, about going to see her one day. But then I knew that that would only give Susan a satisfaction that, you know, she still does, you know, enter my mind sometimes. And I know it's not going to change anything, and I don't think she really cares about what she done. Not really. So I just -- I finally decided against it. Just leave her -- you know, just leave it like just more or less that she doesn't exist.

GRACE: Everyone, with us tonight, David Smith, speaking out for the first time since his remarriage and starting a brand-new family. Stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SUSAN SMITH: I love them. I just can't express enough. I have been to the Lord in prayers every day with my family and by myself, with my husband. It just seems so unfair that somebody could take such two beautiful children. And I don't understand. I have put all my trust and faith in the Lord that he's taking care of them and that he will bring them home to us.




DAVID SMITH: I would like to take the time to plea to the American public that you please do not give up on these two little boys and the search for their return safe home to us, that you continue to look for this car, these two -- our children and for the suspect himself, that you continue to keep your eyes open. And anything that you see that might would help the police, call and let it be known.


GRACE: David and Susan Smith went public, begging for help to find their two young sons. Only later did he learn the woman standing beside him, his wife, was responsible for the boys' disappearance and drowning deaths.

Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace, in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.

David, your life has changed so much since that moment when you were before the TV cameras, begging the public to help you find your boys. You went through the discovery that your wife, Susan, was responsible. You went through a trial, a trial that dragged on and on. The whole public of this country was watching you. What do you recall about the trial?

SMITH: Very little. I remember some of my testimony. I remember that was pretty hard to go through.

GRACE: What was the hardest part of that?

SMITH: Well, when the prosecutor asked me, like, what were some of the sayings that Michael used to have, because he was talking, and some of the stuff that we used to do together, favorite movies and that kind of stuff, videos.

GRACE: What do you recall of that?

SMITH: Well, I remember -- a lot of stuff is still -- I can't -- I can't remember it. And I guess it's my self-defense taking over. It won't let me remember it because maybe it's too painful because I don't have a whole lot of memories of, you know, me with Michael and Alex. But I remember the movie. It was "101 Dalmatians."

GRACE: "Dalmatians."

SMITH: And Michael used to call it "101 Damashafans." And we used to enjoy that.

GRACE: What are your recollections of Michael and Alex?

SMITH: I have a lot. I mean, I don't -- I don't remember when they were born. I don't remember -- I remember some -- you know, giving them baths. Some of that has come back, but it's not a whole lot.

GRACE: You know, I have heard...

SMITH: And that's frustrating.

GRACE: ... that theory...


GRACE: ... that it's the way nature protects you from painful memories.

SMITH: I think that's what it is.

GRACE: Do you try to remember and you can't?

SMITH: Of course. Yes. Even watch some home video sometimes, but...

GRACE: And what does that seem like? Does it seem like somebody else?

SMITH: No. It's just frustrating because you want to remember and you're trying. You're trying desperately because, you know, you want to remember things about them and things I, you know, did with them. But man, it's just -- it's not there.

GRACE: Do you dream about them?

SMITH: No. I used to when it first happened but not anymore.

GRACE: Now, you said you do not consider any longer visiting Susan Smith behind bars.

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: And you don't contact her. Has she ever contacted you?


GRACE: No letters?


GRACE: Do you ever hear from her family?

SMITH: No. Nothing.

GRACE: You stated that you had to testify at trial. Do you recall seeing her in the courtroom?


GRACE: What was that like?

SMITH: That was painful to look at her after -- you know, because by then, it had -- time had let it -- allowed it to sink in, you know, what she had done. And it was hard to look at her. And sometimes I used to look at her with a very vengeful eye and -- but that was -- you know, that was then, this is now.

GRACE: At the time, did you want the jury to sentence her to the death penalty?


GRACE: At this point, almost 10 years later, would you still feel -- do you still feel the same way? Do you wish she had gotten the death penalty?


GRACE: Do you remember the moment you learned the jury had spared her life?


GRACE: Where were you?

SMITH: I was in the courtroom when the verdict was announced. And that -- man, that was -- that took a lot of -- a lot of wind out of the sail because I had felt -- had felt that, you know, Union County hadn't done justice for Michael and Alex, that they let those two boys down.

GRACE: You told me that you believe her motivation for murder, for double murder, was greed. Why do you say that?

SMITH: Well, because, you know, she was with that -- that co- worker. She was dating him.

GRACE: Her boss.

SMITH: Well, yes. Her boss's son is really who it was.


SMITH: Yes, Tom Finley (ph). And they were wealthy. And she -- you know, she enjoyed the lifestyle that he lived.

GRACE: Like what?

SMITH: Well, they had a huge mansion home. They'd have, you know, hot tub parties. And she took a couple of trips to -- I think to New York with him, so...

GRACE: And how did that compare to your life?

SMITH: Oh, I was just -- you know, I was working for a grocery chain at the time and couldn't, you know -- you know, just barely making ends meet. It wasn't near to what he was -- what he could offer.

GRACE: Now, there was a time, David Smith, and I recall it, that you said you would never marry again, you would never have children again. Why did you say that?

SMITH: That's the way I felt at the time. I just -- man, I didn't ever, ever see having children again. I couldn't. Because I was afraid. I was so afraid of burying another one, either, you know, if -- by natural causes or either, you know, a drunk driver. And there was no way I was -- at that time, I would ever be strong enough to bury another child. Maybe getting married. You know, I thought that might happen one day, but never another child. I wasn't strong enough. Oh! I'd said I'd never do that again.

GRACE: But all that has changed now.


GRACE: All that has changed. Now, in your mind, having a child almost necessarily meant losing the child. For a long time.

SMITH: For a long time, yes.

GRACE: Everyone, with us tonight, David Smith is speaking out following the recent tragedies involving Andrea Yates and now another Texas mom accused of the murder of her two children. He is recalling those events surrounding the death of his two children and the conviction of his wife, Susan Smith. Stay with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The vehicle, a 1990 Mazda, driven by Smith, was located late Thursday afternoon in lake John D. Long near Union. Two bodies were found in the vehicle's back seat. Identities are pending an autopsy.



GRACE: The recent story of a Texas mom, Deanna Laney, charged with the murders of her two young children, followed on the heels of convictions for another mom, Andrea Yates. But the public's knowledge of the phenomenon of moms who kill started here, with Susan Smith. And tonight, her husband, David Smith, speaks out.

Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry tonight. Thank for being with us. David, after we see the cases of Andrea Yates and now Deanna Laney, you must be feeling -- maybe I'm wrong -- that nobody has learned a thing because it keeps happening over and over.

SMITH: It seems that way, yes.

GRACE: I mean, when you saw the Andrea Yates case on TV for the first time, what did you think?

SMITH: Just, like, you know, not another one. You know, how sad it is. You know, what's -- we've got to do something. We've got to figure something out.

GRACE: And now, recently, another Texas mom...

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: ... accused of a similar act of killing two of her children. Did you have any signals at all, any red flags? How was Susan Smith acting just before your two kids went missing?

SMITH: She was very withdrawn from me, but I just felt that was because of, you know, her relationship with Tom Finley. I mean, other than that -- she was depressed, but not -- you know, not severely. She just would, you know -- would mope around. And you know, talk to her on the phone, you could tell in her voice she wasn't, you know...

GRACE: But you attributed that to her breakup with Finley?

SMITH: Yes. And then our -- you know, our being split up.

GRACE: Who asked for that split?

SMITH: She did.

GRACE: She wanted the split, but you think she was sad about the split?


GRACE: Now, let me ask you this regarding her state of mind. During your marriage, had she ever advised you that she had been molested as a child?

SMITH: Yes, she did.

GRACE: By her stepdad?

SMITH: That's correct.

GRACE: Did you believe her?


GRACE: You had no cause to disbelieve her?


GRACE: Now, later on, around the time the children went missing, she was seeing several men.

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: Very seriously.

SMITH: Yes. Intimate.

GRACE: Several sex partners at the time. Now, was it just too much stress on her? I mean, what is your theory about what drove her to commit murder?

SMITH: I don't -- I don't see what -- I don't understand what drove her because -- I mean, I don't -- to me, no matter what's going on in your life -- and I'm not making light of people's problems that they have. But there is no excuse for murder. So I mean, and murdering your own children, at that, I mean, because no matter what Susan went through or, you know, what others have gone through, there's other women out there who have been through the exact same thing.

GRACE: Or more.

SMITH: Or maybe even worse.

GRACE: Or worse.

SMITH: And they're not murdering their children.

GRACE: Do you think her molestation, which started, as I recall, around her age 15...

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: ... played any part in her depression?

SMITH: I'm sure it did. I'm sure it had to be hard to deal with that.

GRACE: And plus, she still saw the individual.

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: He never really had been brought to justice.

SMITH: No. The records were sealed and all that.

GRACE: How long did it take you before you could pick your life up and start over again?

SMITH: It was probably about five years before I started coming out of my severe depression state and...

GRACE: So you were depressed? SMITH: Oh, yes. It's been -- it's been a long road. A very long road.

GRACE: Tell me.

SMITH: I don't really want to, it's so painful. I mean, there were some nights when I didn't think I was going to get to the -- you know, the next minute, much less the next day. I wasn't even looking that far. You know, I was just trying to get to the next minute, from doing something, you know, crazy myself.

GRACE: You mean killing yourself?

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: You thought about committing suicide?

SMITH: Oh, absolutely.

GRACE: I mean, in one moment, you lost your whole family, essentially.

SMITH: I lost everything. I lost the reason I was getting up and -- you know, getting up every day and breathing in and out because our marriage was gone. So I mean, all I had was Michael and Alex. And they were the reason I was, you know, putting two feet on the floor every morning. Then that was gone. I didn't know what to do anymore. I mean, there -- for about a year there, I just -- I just went where anyone told me to go, what they told me. OK, David, you got get up today, and you've got to go to this place. OK, David, in two days you're going to have to go and do this, and this and this. And I'd say, OK. Whatever. Just like a puppet, almost, because I couldn't function.

GRACE: David, do you remember when you first started coming out of it?


GRACE: What happened that day?

SMITH: I think it was -- it was due to a movie, is what got me out of it.

GRACE: What?

SMITH: "The Shawshank Redemption." It's a good movie.

GRACE: Well, how did that snap you out?

SMITH: I was watching TV and it was on. And there was a quote in that movie that Morgan Freeman says. And the quote was, "In life, we do have two choices. We can either get busy living or get busy dying. What do you want to do?" And I just -- I just started playing that over and over in my head. And I realized that just laying in this bed for days, that wasn't what I wanted to do. And I said, I've got to -- I've got to get busy living. And then that was -- it started going uphill from there. But that's what I attribute it to, in my life, was to that movie.

GRACE: You got up.

SMITH: And I got busy living. I started going back to work and just living, you know?

GRACE: Do people still come up to you and ask you about Susan Smith?

SMITH: Well, they don't -- it's not all of them that'll ask me about her. They just, you know, Aren't you David Smith? And you know, some -- some come to me for advice. You know, they say, Wow, there's (ph) a stranger I've met, and meeting you (ph). I lost a child X amount of months ago or years ago, and I was just thinking about you yesterday, and here I am now, running into you. And they just -- you know, they just, you know -- How -- how have you made it? And they ask me questions like that.

GRACE: Now, can you be going about your day and everything's fine, and then someone asks you that...

SMITH: Oh, absolutely.

GRACE: ... and it brings it all back?

SMITH: Right. Yes. It's hard to deal with it, though. It does make it hard when they do that. But they don't mean any -- they don't mean any harm, and I know that. And so it's fine. But yes, it does bring it all back.

GRACE: Everybody, speaking with us tonight about what he went through, what he endured and how he has picked up the pieces and started living again, David Smith, the husband of Susan Smith. As you recall, she was convicted for the murder of his two boys. Stay with us.


GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.

With me here on the set in D.C., David Smith. He is the husband, as you recall, of Susan Smith. Her case took the forefront of the national news for months on end when she was tried for the murder of David's two young sons.

You know, you stated that people still, to this day, nearly 10 years later, come up to you and ask you about losing your two boys, about Susan Smith and they ask you for advice. What kind of advice?

SMITH: They just want to know, you know, how I've gotten to this point or what they can do to, you know...

GRACE: What do you tell them? SMITH: It depends on -- sometime, because I have -- I guess you'd say extenuating circumstances. But in a nutshell, just take it slow. And just do whatever you -- do whatever you feel you have to do to make it. I mean, it's like -- if you have to, you know, take some time off from work, then don't worry about it. Take it. If you have to go somewhere, if you have to be by yourself, if you have to tell all your family to leave you alone for a few days, whatever. You do what you've got to do.

GRACE: What did you have to do, David? I mean, can't imagine my whole family being wiped out in one fell swoop and finding out about it on the news. What did you have to do to live?

SMITH: I just had to soul search and find the reason again down inside. I had to find the light. I had to dig deep. And I had to -- it was a long, hard road to get there. There's no doubt about that.

GRACE: Years, as a matter of fact.

SMITH: Yes, years.

GRACE: That you believed you were in depression.

SMITH: Severe depression. Yes, absolutely.

GRACE: What did you do with the boys' things?

SMITH: I left most of them in our home, that the Russells, I guess, got. But I kept some of the favorite things, the things that I felt, you know, were prized.

GRACE: Like what?

SMITH: Like some toys, some of the clothes, like some stuffed animals. Like one I remember, it was Alex's, it stayed in his crib with him, it still smelled like a baby. So I took it and put it in a Zip-loc bag to try to hold the smell as long as I could.

GRACE: Did it work?

SMITH: For a long time. It stayed on there for many years.

GRACE: Where are all those toys and clothes now?

SMITH: They're in my home. I still have them.

GRACE: You have them in a special place?


GRACE: Did people blame you somehow at the beginning? Think somehow it was your fault?

SMITH: At the beginning, there was, but not anymore.

GRACE: Would they come up to you and say things? SMITH: No. No, it was just in the mail and stuff.

GRACE: They would send mail to your home?


GRACE: Would you read it?

SMITH: No. No. I never saw any of it. That's just what, you know, friends and family would tell me.

GRACE: That would read it for you?

SMITH: They wouldn't read it either, because it would be like a little piece of paper and big letters, you know? "It's your fault." Big, bold, you know, Magic Marker letters so you couldn't miss it. But, you know, that was it. That didn't last.

GRACE: Did you ever for a minute think, well, maybe it is my fault? What did I miss? What signal was there that I ignored? Did you ever doubt yourself?

SMITH: No, it wasn't -- I don't know if there is a signal. That's the problem. You know, because I know, I stated that we need to do something, but I don't know if there is a signal. I mean, how -- because -- you know, these people, you can't -- you can't control their actions, these women and I don't know if there is anything we can do that's foolproof, I guess, is what I'm trying to say. You know, we can try to get them help and...

GRACE: But you said there was no indication that Susan had a problem.

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: As you can -- I mean, when you look back on it, do you notice things you didn't see then?

SMITH: No indication that I could say now that would have warned me of her doing such a drastic act as she did.

GRACE: When you look back, do you see signs that she was unstable or was acting out or acting crazy?


GRACE: Nothing?

SMITH: Nothing.

GRACE: See, that's the mystery. That's what people don't get. They want you to give them an answer; that she was depressed, that she was withdrawn, that she tried to commit suicide. Just something.

SMITH: So are a lot of women, and they're not murdering their kids. So why would I say that? I mean, just because of what she was. Other women are going through that and worse. But they're not murdering their kids.

GRACE: After you decided to get busy with the business of living, what did you do? You went back to work.

SMITH: Went back to work.

GRACE: And you ultimately decided to remarry?

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: Tell me about that.

SMITH: It's a lot of years, but I just knew that it was -- it was time to have a family and get married and, you know, have more children, maybe. It just seemed the right thing to do. It was part of the, you know, -- the getting busy living again.

GRACE: And even after you had made that decision, it took awhile to actually get you to the altar.

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: What brought that about?

SMITH: Time. Just time. It was time to make a go of it again and not live under the fear of, you know, losing another child, or, you know, the next wife doing something, you know, like Susan did. It was fear.

GRACE: Now I know for a fact that you are just remarried, you have two beautiful kids. I've seen one of them, blue eyes like you. Did the recollections of Susan Smith ever creep in at a happy moment, when you're holding your little girl Savannah, or you're with your other son?

SMITH: The only time is when, you know, Savannah will be talking about something. There will be a picture of Michael and Alex sitting around, and, you know, she'll just -- she knows their names but she don't know anything about who they are, or any relationship or anything. She'll say, there's Michael, that's Alex, then it strikes a nerve.

GRACE: She'll have a lifetime for someone to come up and tell her what happened. Now your son is named Nicholas?

SMITH: Nicholas, yes.

GRACE: Everybody, with me here tonight, David Smith. After the recent reports of cases surrounding Andrea Yates and now another Texas mom that stands accused of the murder of her two young boys, he is speaking out on the deaths of his children, the trial of his wife Susan Smith, and his new life.


GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us. Here on the set with me in Washington is David Smith. I know you recall him from the times of the trial of his wife, Susan Smith.

You endured such a terrible time. Discovering your children were missing, then dead. Then your wife's trial for murder. Starting all over again after a very deep depression. But you have started over again. You do have a new life and a brand new wife. You're recently remarried. Tell me about your wife and your children.

SMITH: Well, my wife is Tiffany. We've been dating off and on for years, since Michael and Alex's death, actually.

GRACE: So she has been your love for a long time?

SMITH: Oh, yes.

GRACE: She's stuck by you during the hard times?

SMITH: Oh, yes. Absolutely. Then my new son was by...

GRACE: Your other girlfriend?

SMITH: That I dated for a short time.

GRACE: Tell me about Nicholas.

SMITH: Nicholas was born in January and he's very healthy, he's beautiful, he's got red hair.

GRACE: Doesn't Savannah have red hair too?


GRACE: Now where did the red hair come from? It's got to be in your family.

SMITH: I think my great grandmother, it's come from her. She had red hair, my great grandmother did.

GRACE: Okay, so Tiffany has been your love, your sweetheart, since the Susan Smith trial.

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: You briefly dated another woman, and you have Nicholas from her.

SMITH: Right.

GRACE: You have two wonderful children in your life.

SMITH: Two wonderful children, yes.

GRACE: Now tell me about Savannah.

SMITH: Savannah, shoot. She's two years old, and she also has red hair. She's fun and she's smart. She's so smart.

GRACE: So, OK, you've got these two kids and you finally take the walk down the aisle. What pushed you over the edge?

SMITH: Probably -- probably having Nicholas is what did it. It was time to settle down and remarry and trust again. And not worry so much about the past -- or not worry about the past happening again.

GRACE: So you finally believed that good things could happen to you again.


GRACE: Do you remember the moment you decided, I'm going to try it again?

SMITH: Yes, it was probably the -- probably the day or so after Nicholas was born. I said I've got to be strong enough to overcome this fear. You know, I've overcame so much through the years.

GRACE: Because now it's not just you anymore. You've got Tiffany. You've got Nicholas. You've got Savannah. You've got Nicholas' mom. There are other people waiting for you to snap out of it.


GRACE: So you think that's what did it?


GRACE: When you hold Nicholas, or you hold Savannah, does it bring back the memories at all? I know that you've kind of blocked some memories of Michael and Alex. Does it bring back anything?

SMITH: No. Not -- no. I mean, they both -- when they were both born, it was very emotional. I mean, I cried, weeped a lot. But because of, you know, the new life again. But as far as like being painful it's not like that.

GRACE: Have you ever felt their spirit in any way? Michael or Alex? Have you ever felt they could hear you when you talked to them?

SMITH: I hope they do. Because I do it a lot.

GRACE: You do? What did you tell them?

SMITH: Sometimes I ask them for advice or help. You know, that's the thing about going through what I've been through. And that's sometimes what I tell people, you know, when they're -- because people -- in my line of work, I have a lot of people come up to me with their personal problems, wanting advice.

Sometimes, not every time, but sometimes I do give some advice. And that is, when you get really overwhelmed with problems in life, whether it's financial, your job, spiritual, whatever, take the worst thing that's happened in your life that you overcame. The worst possible thing. And maybe it's the death of someone, could be anything. I don't know. Take the worst thing that's happened in your life, and I guarantee you, that the problems that are hitting you right then, they aren't so big anymore. Because you made it through whatever that was, you can make it through this.

GRACE: When I think of what you went through, David, you've got to believe that you're stronger now. That you have come through fire like steel.

SMITH: Oh, there's nothing I know now that can beat me down like that did and I lean on that a lot.

GRACE: With us tonight, David Smith. He has two new children filling his life. Savannah and Nicholas. We're about to meet one of them. Stay with us.


GRACE: His entire family was wiped out. Gone in a flash. His two boys, drowned. And his wife, Susan Smith, facing the death penalty for their murders.

But now, nearly 10 years later, he has just remarried and started a new family. Here on the set, three very special guests. David Smith, the husband of Susan Smith, the ex-husband of Susan Smith. His beautiful new wife, Tiffany. And their baby girl, Savannah is joining. Welcome. Thank you for being with us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for having us.

GRACE: You lived through the trial of Susan Smith with David. What do you recall?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a lot of -- a lot of emotion. I didn't actually get to go to the trial with him. But I had to sit back and watch it from afar and be there when he got home.

GRACE: That was probably just as well. So you would watch it, find out about it. And hope for the best.


GRACE: What was it like living through that time with him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was very, very quiet about a lot of things. He didn't remember a lot of things probably about that time, I think.

GRACE: You probably remember more than him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he was still in a state of shock. Just so much was going on that that he didn't remember some of those things.

GRACE: Have you ever filled him in, told him things he doesn't remember, or do you just let it lie?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most things we let lie. But he'll ask sometimes, or I'll tell him just some little thing that he did. And he's like, "Really? I don't remember that."

GRACE: People have actually come up to you, or told you were somehow responsible for what Susan Smith did, for the death of those two children. What do you say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, her mother was one that had accused me. She came up to me...

GRACE: Of what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... on my job one day, and telling me that it was my fault. And you know, I -- she was just as much to blame, I felt, as Susan would have been. More so than I would.

GRACE: How did you handle that? Especially at work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It upset me. You know, I wasn't expecting it. She had come up to me out of the blue. And you know, I really was not expecting it. But I just talked right back to her, and let her know that it wasn't me, that Susan did what she did on her own.

GRACE: Now, I know that David stayed in a very deep depression. He continued living and functioning, but was in a very deep depression for a long time. Did you recall when he snapped out of it? Do you remember a change in his personality?


GRACE: Was it gradual, in your mind?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was gradual, I think. Maybe a little at a time. Just I think...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... in the past two years, since we've had Savannah, is when I think I've really noticed a big difference in him.

GRACE: Does the whole ordeal still creep into your life?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, people learn that, you know, I'm married to David Smith. And they see him as a celebrity at times. But to me, he's just, you know, the everyday guy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you know, I mean, it's true, he's been through a lot. And he's had a lot of hurt in his life. But people think that, you know, he's this celebrity. And they approach me with, you know...

GRACE: To this day?


GRACE: And what do they want to know from you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first thing when they learn, you know, who I am, and who I'm married to, well, is "how is he doing?" And everybody always wants to know how is he doing. I can't even imagine.

GRACE: What are your feelings today toward Susan Smith?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really don't think about her.

GRACE: I'm sure you try not to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I try not to think about her.

GRACE: But when you see cases like Andrea Yates, or the most recent case of Deanna Laney, does it make you recall what happened?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It does. And I can't imagine now that I'm a mother myself, how anybody could do something like that. And it's just -- when I saw this one last week, with the little boys, it just broke my heart. And it was just -- it brought back so many memories.

GRACE: And so much pain. But you have obviously triumphed over your pain. I've got to tell all three of you what a great pleasure it is to meet you. And the best of luck to you.

SMITH: Thank you.


GRACE: Everyone, thank you for being with us tonight.


GRACE: Welcome back. I'm Nancy Grace, from Court TV, in for Larry King. Man, what a night. Larry will be back tomorrow night, so do tune in for that. And stay with CNN. "NEWSNIGHT" is coming up next. Bye-bye.


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