The Susan Smith Case: Where are they now? - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

The Susan Smith Case: Where are they now?

UNION COUNTY (WIS) - The memorials of Alex and Michael Smith still stand near John D. Long Lake just outside Union, even though the time and weather have taken a toll on the markers. A picture of the boys is missing from one marker and the solar-powered glass angle on top is gone.

Also gone for 15 years now is the boat ramp that led to so much horror and grief. Dismantled by the State after seven more people drowned there. Most of the victims were children. All of that happened in the wake of the Susan Smith tragedy.

But toys, shells and pennies left at the monuments indicate some visitors have not forgotten what happened to the Smith boys. Neither has Logan, who played a key role in getting a confession from Smith. The veteran federal and state agent recalls the effort it took to break the case and later to put aside his own emotions.

“It wasn't until after it was all over and I was home, and I believe at that time my wife asked me, ‘Why are you so quiet?'” Logan said. “And I didn't want to talk about it particularly. That affected me for a few days. The devastation of what happened to the kids.”

Logan remains active in law enforcement, but now he works on public corruption matters with the state Attorney General's Office. 

Lead prosecutor Tommy Pope was just 32 when the Smith probe started and was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight. 

“You really had to keep it in perspective and you had to remember that your job, one, was to try the case,” Pope said. “You could do 400 interviews, and it didn't mean you didn't have to put up the witness or prepare the documents. And so it really became important to focus on the task at hand.”

Pope is now in private practice, a Republican lawmaker and pondering a run for governor in four years. 

Smith's attorneys are keeping a much lower profile. 

David Bruck is teaching law at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. He is still a nationally known death penalty opponent, but Bruck declined WIS' invitation to weigh-in on the Smith case.

Co-counsel Judy Clarke was also not available for comment. But since Smith's case, Clarke has defended a “Who's Who” of high-visibility criminal figures.

Among them are the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynksi and Zacarias Moussaoui, who was involved in 9-11. She has also defended Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph, Jared Lee Loughner – the man who shot 19 people including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords – and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who is accused in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Last year, Clarke told a Loyola Law School audience that Smith's case was not an evil one, but about sadness and despair. Clarke said Smith made a “terrible decision with a confused mind and a heart without hope.”

In one of the most surprising twists after the trial, the sheriff widely praised for his handling of the Smith case found himself in legal trouble. Federal prosecutors accused Wells of lying to investigators about his income taxes. One called Wells “a glorified loan shark with a badge.”

Four years ago, Wells was led away in handcuffs to serve a 90-day prison sentence.

The boys' father, David Smith, wrote a book shortly after the killings. He later remarried and has two more children. 

Then, there's Smith, herself. Now in her early 40's, she has racked up a number of prison disciplinary issues. 

State Department of Corrections records show repeated violations for things, including marijuana possession and mutilation. Also, two corrections officers were punished for having sex with Smith. She has lost canteen, phone and visitation privileges for as much as a full year. 

She has been held at the Leath facility in Greenwood since 2003 and is eligible for parole in 10 years.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

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