COLUMBIA, S.C. – Her case was one that shocked the nation: A mother drove into a lake to kill her two young sons.

Now, more than 20 years after being convicted of the crime, Susan Smith responded to a request by a South Carolina newspaper to talk about what happened that night in October 1994.

On Oct. 25, 1994, The State reported, Smith told law enforcement that she was carjacked and that the unidentified man drove off in her car with the two boys inside.

After nine days of police searching for the two boys, and the nation riveted to the latest developments, Smith confessed. She watched as her car rolled into a lake, with 14-month-old Alex and 3-year-old Michael strapped in the car.

Less than a year later, June 1995, Smith was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

In her letter, she told The State, “It has been hard to listen to lie after lie and not be able to defend myself.”

Smith said, “Something went very wrong that night. I was not myself. I was a good mother, and I loved my boys.”

There had been reports that Smith had an affair with a man and that was her motivation to killing the boys. She said that was a lie.

“The thing that hurts me the most is that people think I hurt my children in order to be with a man. That is so far from the truth,” Smith told the paper.

Click here to read the first page of Smith’s letter.

Click here to read the second page of Smith’s letter.

Cox Media Group National Content Desk