Tales of hauntings, murder and scary mysteries, Every week Twisted Two’s dives into a pair of uniquely terrifying true stories that are worthy of a more in depth look.
For this week we focus on a gruesome and mysterious death and a morbid story from a woman named Susan Smith. Get ready for scary mysteries Twisted Two’s.
#1 Sophia Toscan du Plantier
Sophia Toscan du Plantier was a French Film producer born in Paris France in 1957. After marrying a fellow French film mogul, Daniel Toscan du Plantier, they bought a home in the town of Drinane in Schull, Ireland. This isolated house would serve as a retreat for the couple whenever they wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of Paris.
On December 20, 1996, Sophia arrived at the Cork Airport in Ireland and drove to her home in Schull. For the weekend, she visited friends and dropped by some of her favorite haunts. Afterwards, she decided to return to Paris on Christmas eve, phoning her husband the night before her departure at 11:00 PM, saying she would see him the next day. However, the next day at 10:00 AM, Sophia’s bludgeoned body would be found by her neighbor, Shirley Foster, in the laneway leading to her home.
She was still wearing her nightgown, leggings and brown lace up boots. Her body was heavily bludgeoned, hit more than a dozen times with a blunt instrument and her skull had been smashed with a concrete block or large stone.
Despite a heavy investigation, for years, no one was arrested or brought under suspicion for the murder. Police believe that she was running away from her attacker when she was caught in the laneway and brutally killed. It’s possible she was surprised by her killer inside her home the night before and tried to run away by heading out of the house.
Press coverage of the incident came fast and one journalist named Ian Bailey Was praised for being insightful in his articles. He had lived in the same area as Sophia at the time and knew the townsfolk and layout of the land because of this.
An anonymous witness called police telling them he saw a mysterious man at Kealfadda Bridge close to 3:00 A.M. on the night Sophia was murdered. The following year, on February 4th, 1997, a hihgschooler reported giving Ian Bailey a ride home where Bailey confessed to him that he had killed Sophia. According to the witness, Bailey said he “went up there with a rock and bashed her fucking brains out.”
Ian was already on the authorities radar and After hearing of this, police arrested, him for the murder. He was taken to the Bandon Garda Station but was later released without any charge. His partner, Jules Thomas, was also taken in to the station but she too was released without any charges. A year after, Bailey, was again arrested with regards to the murder but again released without any charge and Forensics haven’t been able to link him conclusively to the murder.
For years, the investigation was a series of back and forths. The eyewitness who saw a man the night of Sophia’s murder, initially identified Bailey as the man, but later, she recanted and said she was forced by officers to say it was him.
In 2017, Bailey was arrested again and an extradition warrant was issued for him to face trial in France. However, he filed a motion against it and won. In 2018, the French court said there was enough evidence to proceed with a trial with Bailey “while abscent.” The case today continues to remain open.
#2 Susan Smith
On October 25, 1994, Susan Smith contacted police and told them she had been carjacked by a black man while stopped at an intersection. She pleaded with police for help because her two sons, 3-year old, Michael and 14-month old, Alex, were still inside the car when the man had driven away with the vehicle.
For the next nine days, Susan went on various national television programs, pleading and asking for her boys’ safe return. A huge investigation followed along with a nationwide search. But police always had their suspicions from the start.
On November 3, 1994, Susan finally cracked under interrogation and admitted that she allowed her vehicle to roll into the nearby John D. Long river with her two boys strapped inside. Later reports were revealed that police suspected Susan of murdering her sons but they were hoping the boys were still alive. The police also searched the same lake for signs of the car but they only searched within 30 feet of the lake, believing the car would only reach that far from the bank but they were mistaken and it had actually rolled 120 feet from the shore.
The case against her was broke open when Smith described the area where the carjacking occurred. She had told police the light turned red even though the intersection was empty hence, she stopped her car. But police discovered the traffic lights were rigged in the area so that if there was no other vehicle there, it wouldn’t have turned red at all for Susan’s car.
When questioned about the reason for killing her sons, she claimed she was “not in her right mind” and she did not plan the killing. However, at least one report stated she killed her sons because she wanted to date a wealthy man who wasn’t interested in dating a woman with children.
The man in question is Tom Findlay, the son of the CEO of Conso Products, where Susan worked. Susan and Tom had been casually dating but unknown to Tom, Susan had continued a sexual relationship with her ex-husband, David, and her stepfather, former Republican Party and Christian Coalition leader, Beverly Russell. Tom also caught Susan kissing a married man and had written a letter to her breaking off their relationship just days before she murdered her children.
She tried saving the relationship with Tom and came clean with her sexual relationship with her stepfather. But when that didn’t work, she told Tom she allegedly slept with his father, J. Carey Findlay, stating the details might come out during her divorce proceedings with her husband. Instead of winning him back, Tom’s reaction was of shock and he emphasized they would never get back together again.
On the day of October 25th, Susan kept obsessing about her breakup with Tom. She was upset and asked to leave work early. That same day, she went to see Tom and told him she made up the story about her sleeping with his father. Tom wasn’t interested in hearing it and asked her to leave the office. Susan later phoned a friend who was having dinner with Tom to ask if he had said anything about her. The friend said no.
By 8:00 PM, she strapped both her sons inside her car then drove around for a while and thought of heading to her mother’s house but decided against it. Instead, she drove to the lake, got out of the car, put the car in drive and released the brakes while her two sons were sleeping inside. She watched the vehicle go into the lake before it submerged completely.
Susan then started her elaborate story of the carjacking. She was eventually arrested and during her trial it took only 2.5 hours for the jury to come back with a guilty verdict. To the shock of her ex-husband, David, she was only sentenced to 30 years in prison and is eligible for parole once she turns 53 years old. David has sworn to attend every parole hearing to ensure she doesn’t get paroled after what she did to their sons.
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So there were a two of the most vicious and scary stories around. The world can be a crazy place and Twisted Two’s is sure to show you why.
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LINKS AND SOURCES:
Sophia Toscan du Plantier
Mum killed her sons because they stood in the way of her new relationship