One Year Ago Today

Purple CandleIt was one year ago today that Bothell resident Susann Smith was savagely murdered at her home. It is one of the most horrific domestic violence homicides I know of. This German-born mother of two was subjected to deliberate violations and atrocities designed to maximize her suffering and ultimately take her life.

In May of last year, taken aback by how little news coverage this case had received, I posted an article about her murder on this blog. The Bothell Reporter, thankfully, had kept the case alive in the public’s eye and published details that no one else in the media seemed to care about. While I’m passionate about crime victims advocacy, I had no idea that this blog would become a gathering spot for people connected to the case. The original post and comment thread, with links to many articles, is at Murdering Susann Smith.

Smith’s ex-husband was eventually arrested for her murder and the trial is scheduled to begin this May. I’m sure the mainstream media will be covering it and I hope they choose to keep the children out of their coverage. Suspect Alan Smith, however, has ensured that his name has been kept in lights through his very public fling with a new girlfriend, who he allegedly impregnated.

But I would ask that we the public remember Susann’s name more. Too often we remember the names of murderers and become concerned with what happens to them, forgetting the victims’ names and the horrors they endured. We can forget that there are children, and family, and friends, and coworkers who are all affected by such a terrible loss. Some of them may never heal.

I didn’t know Susann. I don’t represent anyone in this case. I’m a survivor who’s lost people to domestic violence myself and don’t want to see one more person claimed by this type of crime. Today, please take a moment to remember this mother who was dearly loved by her family and friends. Please also think about who in your life needs your help in ending the violence that is happening to them, be it psychological, sexual, physical, financial, etc. There are organizations and agencies who want to help them. See the right sidebar for more information.

One in five women and many men are affected by domestic violence– all of us know someone we can reach out to. And if not you, then who? Remember what Martin Luther King Jr. said: He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

Susann, you won’t be forgotten. And you will get justice.

Purple Ribbon DV


©2014 H. Hiatt/ All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/

6 thoughts on “One Year Ago Today

  1. wildninja, it would appear that another woman’s life has ended in this case. “Love Thai”, Alan Smith’s frequently interviewed girlfriend apparently hung herself in early April. What the specifics around that are, I don’t know, but it was reported that she gave birth to his child, gave the child up for adoption and then committed suicide. The tentacles of a single abuser certainly are wide and vast, aren’t they?


    1. Thanks. Yeah, when someone first left that information on my blog, I wasn’t sure whether to believe it. I questioned them and demanded more info. I was concerned that someone was trying to disparage her or make fun of her mental illness. Sure enough, they were right and the information was correct. It hit the mainstream media within a day of that person speaking up.

      Well put– the tentacles comment. While we don’t know what happened, I don’t doubt that she was just another pawn in his game, another life to be used and disposed of. I commented on this on the main post, Murdering Susann Smith. Bringing that child into the world before leaving it was an act of courage, though, and thank God she held on.


  2. I feel so grateful for what you are doing here. You have remembered Susann since she was murdered in such a gruesome way. Your blog is a kind of harbor to me, a place I can go when I want to remember Susann and exchange memories, phrases, feelings.
    It’s so important to remember victims, as all of them had their own lives, their friends, their families, their kids.
    Again, thank you so much!


    1. Thanks. I didn’t intend it to be that, but I’m glad it’s worked out that way. It’s been great getting to talk to people like you who actually knew her. I think I would have really liked her.


Seriously, what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s