Is Sherry West another Susan Smith?

I am trying to embed a video of Sherry West, in the early days of her telling about what happened, just after she was released from the hospital. (NOTE: the video was removed from the internet so I am posting a link to another youtube video which is still up. ) Before she got to refine her story about the two young “African American” boys who supposedly shot her infant. If it doesn’t load the first time around, I will get it done tomorrow, after I read up on how to do it. But once you see it, think about it. Does she sound sincere, or look it? Not to me. My first reaction after seeing it was, Oh no, this is just another page of the Susan Smith playbook, writ large…I hear, so to speak, Susan Smith speaking in her voice and I know she is lying about what happened just as I knew Susan Smith was lying the very first time I heard her talk about those “poor dead babies.”

Just to give you a way to see the Sherry West case differently, if you are inclined to think about such things, look at Pamela Meyers’ video on how to spot a liar, at TED lectures, which you can see at this link,  Trust me this is better and more helpful than any rapidfire weekly TV show about detectives, and it is only 18 minutes long. You really learn a lot.

13 thoughts on “Is Sherry West another Susan Smith?”

  1. I think the whole thing is fishy, myself. Sherry west was literally the only witness, eye witness to the shooting, how very convenient. There were ear witnesses, who heard shooting, but no one else saw these supposed teenaged shooters, who i do not believe existed at all, except in west’s imagination.


  2. I wonder if the two boys are being framed by the police. It is starting to look that way. They have already arrested relatives of one of the boys.


  3. Wow, what a story. You must have been unique! But I feel certain that you would never have repeated your mother’s behavior no matter what happened. Nevertheless, such lessons ought never be required. Making parenting a required course only would have the classes go in one ear and out the other, just like most school lessons, I fear. I think the reason you learned was because you were desperate and had to. What do you think? Maybe not, though. Perhaps we all learn what we have to in life, and like algebra, we only learn it because we are exposed to it. So if we were exposed to good parenting skills in school, as a matter of course, maybe everyone would learn to be a better parent, and a better person!


    Pamela Spiro Wagner. Artist, poet, author of Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and their Journey through Schizophrenia (St Martins Press, 2005) and We Mad Climb Shaky Ladders (CavanKerry Press, 2009). Available for readings, speaking on mental health issues and others, also art sales/donations. Please contact for details by email or phone: 860-263-0280


  4. Dear Lynda,

    I would be happy to help you write your story, if you need help. Email me if so. But just take your time. I think you can do it. You have already written it, it is just in pieces in the blog comments. Go back through the blog into the last few months and you will find it, or I can find the comments for you.

    Pamela Spiro Wagner. Artist, poet, author of Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and their Journey through Schizophrenia (St Martins Press, 2005) and We Mad Climb Shaky Ladders (CavanKerry Press, 2009). Available for readings, speaking on mental health issues and others, also art sales/donations. Please contact for details by email or phone: 860-263-0280


  5. Everything you said about why her story and her words don’t ring true, makes perfect sense to me. You are brilliant, Pam! I couldn’t begin to articulate it the way you did… maybe because this hits me so close to home.

    I have 3 adult children. I love each one of them enough to lay down my life to save any one of theirs, if it ever came to that. And yet, I realized, when it was much too late, that I was not emotionally or mentally stable enough to be a mother. Growing children need a stable home, and healthy parents, in order to be safe and healthy and develop to their best potential. I could not provide them with a stable environment and a healthy set of parents, even though I wanted and tried with all my might to do so. There were times they rebelled, and rightfully so, all things considered. There were times when their needs and demands got on my nerves, because there were times when I was barely fit to take care of a house plant, let alone precious, innocent, utterly dependent children. But I cannot imagine ever doing what my mother tried to do to me and my very young siblings. I cannot imagine even thinking about doing such a thing. When my kids and I were going through the worst part of their growing up years, back in 1989, I actually called Child Protection Services on myself, and said: I am a divorced mother with 2 teenagers and 1 grade school child and they are out of control and I don’t know how to parent them right and I need help! They sent counselors to our house, several times a week. They had counselors for my kids, and couneslors for me. They checked out our home and talked to each child separate from me to make sure that they were not being abused or neglected in any way. And they gave me parenting lessons, they taught me how to be a better mother.

    They also told me that I was the ONLY PARENT they had ever known or heard of, who had called Child Protection Service on HERSELF. WHY?????? Why don’t more parents do that when they realize they are in over their heads with their child or children? My God… I don’t understand people, Pam, I really don’t. We call a dentist when we have a toothache. We take our car to a mechanic when it isn’t running right or it needs a maintenance tuneup to keep it running. We call a plumber when the sewer backs up and the toilet and shower won’t work. Children are far more important than our teeth or our cars or our plumbing! Why won’t parents who are in trouble with their kids, call Child Protection Services on themselves and say I NEED HELP WITH MY CHILDREN. MY CHILDREN NEED HELP, TOO. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP US? What’s so hard about that?

    I…. need to go breathe for a while.


  6. PS Take your time writing your story. My blog is here for whatever duration I have. I don’t want you to have to rush. And it can be as long or short as you like. And in as many parts as you wish. XOXOXOXO



  7. I dunno, it just seems so convenient too that a bullet just skimmed her ear…and lodged in her foot. What an easy way to pretend to be shot by someone else and DIY. But mostly it was the how to spot a liar video, and how Sherry peppered her story with all those details and the “you knows” that seemed so, well, weird…I dunno, I cannot put my finger on it, but “you know” and that statement about how her house is near the blue house or something just seemed so terribly extraneous a detail that it reminded me of the other videos comment on how liars put in a lot of extra details where they are not needed. Also, how could she see her baby killed, shot in the head, and then speak of how the police trying also to resuscitate him, and how “we lost him.” Crap, that just sounded so danged fake and not what a truly grieving person would say. We lost him? WE? LOST? No, someone KILLED him, for one, and two, he was already very dead, and Sherry should have been quite certain of it before the cops did anything…But she comes out with that “WE lost him”…Weird in the extreme, imho at any rate. Glad to know at another any rate that I am not the only one who disbelieves her, and yes, I will be horrified if it turns out she is innocent. But I do not trust her statements at this point. NO TEARS. NOTHING on her face tells me she feels anything genuine at all…


  8. Thank you, Pam, for your kind words, and for your suggestion. I will try to write it in the way you suggest. It may take me a couple of days. If I find I can’t do it, I will let you know and then you may certainly write it yourself. It’s a tough one to write, as you can surely understand.

    If we are wrong in suspecting this mother of lying, if this really did happen the way she says it did, then I feel especially bad for her, after writing about our suspicians. I saw on an msn news report a few minutes ago that the aunt and mother of one of the boy’s who has been arrested for this, were themselves arrested for making false statements as an alibi for the boy. What a mess, huh? If this mother did somehow manage to do thisterrible thing, where would she have put the gun before the cops got there? It’s all so bizarre and perplexing. But after what I went through with my mother, and after all the horror stories I’ve heard or read in the news about parents murdering their children, any time a child is either killed, almost killed, or is missing, and there are no witnesses other than a parent, I always suspect the parent first. Sad… but true.


  9. Oh Lynda, your story just chills me. And tears me apart. And I want to pull it all together in one blog post if I can to tell it. Or let you do so to tell it. Can you? Can you draw all your varied responses together into a whole story, even in two or three parts, and send it to me in a form you are satisfied with, or at least will part with? I will put it on my blog with triple credit. It is a story that needs to be told, schizophrenia or PTSD…I don’t care what it is called.



  10. I watched those 2 videos. The one about how to spot a liar is fascinating, thank you for sharing it.

    After I watched the video, I did another internet search on Sherry West and found a news report that she has a 21-year-old daughter who says she doubts her mother’s story, for several reasons, one being that she says her mother asked her, “How soon do you think they will send me the life insurance check?”

    Here is a link to that news report:


  11. PS: I just want to clarify about my mental breakdown at age 14. As I have shared in some detail here on another one of your posts, my “schizophrenia” (which some doctors have since told me was misdiagnosed “complex PTSD) was diagnosed in 1967 when I was 14, after I had gone to some seances with my school friends. One of the girls in my school had a Ouija board and she brought it to one of our gatherings and suggested we have a seance and use the Ouija to contact a ghost. My loving grandfather had recently died, and I became fascinated by the whole seance idea, as a way to try to contact my grandfather. In the process, I began to hear voices and see visions of terrifying spirits or demons, and I could not make them go away. So I told my mother, hoping she would know how I could make the voices leave me in peace, and she put me in an insane asylum, where I was diagnosed schizophrenic, the mental illness label of that era. This was more than 13 years before PTSD was known.

    On first glance, me hearing voices after getting involved with a Ouija board and seances trying to contact my dead grandfather, does not seem related to my mother trying to gas us all to death, or to my dad coming so close to murdering my mother (he was strangling her) that I thought she actually was dead. But through therapy I have figured out that I used the seances, the Ouija board, and trying to contact my one loving grandparent, as a way to “escape” the unbearble life that my childhood had become… if that makes sense?

    It was all mixed up together, my dad’s violence, my mother’s violence, my loving grandfather dying, and then my school friends and their seances…. the perfect storm, as it were.


  12. When I read this woman’s story on the news the other day, I found her story hard to believe.

    I just did an internet search on Sherry West and found a Huffington Post article that says she had another son die violently several years ago, he was 18 and he died after being stabbed.

    We are supposed to assume that a person is innocent until proven guilty, but sometimes that is hard to do. One thing we do know for sure is that there are mothers, and some fathers, who kill their children.

    There is no evil worse than that.

    This is how I got my complex PTSD, or schizophrenia, or whatever label one wants to call it, when I was 14. I never had any “mental illness” problems of any kind before then. The first thing that happened was that my dad accused my mother of having an affair with his close friend. My dad stewed about that for a long time, and finally ended up coming so close to murdering my mother that I thought she was dead. That was when my parents’ marriage ended. This threw my mother into a terrible depression. After she did nothing but lie in bed and cry for several months, one night my mother decided that the solution to everything was to gas herself and me and my 4 younger sisters and brothers to death as we all slept in our beds. She did not succeed — obviously — although she tried several times. She could not figure out how to override the safety shut-off valve on the furnace in the new house. One day my mother confessed to me what she had been doing. Until then, I thought the furnace was faulty. My mother’s “excuse” for her multiple attempts to gas us all to death was: “I brought you kids into the world so I have the right to take you out,” and “Life is so hard I would be doing you kids a favor by killing you.” I was almost 13 when my mother told me this. When my mother told me her horrible secret, she warned me that if I told anyone, she would “go to prison for life” and “you and your sisters and brothers will go to 5 separate foster homes and never see each other again.”

    My mother knew me too well, she knew that my sisters and brothers were my whole life, I adored them so much. Losing them was a fate worse than death to my 12-year-old mind, so I obeyed my mother and kept her horrible secret, and tried very hard every day to be good and keep my llittle siblings out of her hair so they would not get on her nerves and make her want to kill us. Every night I could not sleep. And every day when I had to go to school, I worried aobut my preschool siblings who were still at home. I would picture in my mind coming home and finding them all dead. My dread would grow on the bus ride home, and walking home from the bus stop When I would reach my house I could never bring myself to open the door and walk in, for fear of what I would find. I would stand on the porch and wait until I heard a sound from one of my preschool siblings, that would let me know they were alive. With four young kids in the house I rarely had to wait long to hear a living sound and OH the relief that would flood over me! But when we went to bed that night I would lie awake, vigilant for the smell of gas, listening, in the winter months, for the sound of the furnace coming on, which it did not do, those nights she had put out the pilot light and turned the thermostat all the way up, those nights when she had tried to kill us. The house would get cold and colder…..

    By the time I was 14, after living with this hell for going on 2 years, I had a “mental breakdown.” Is there any wonder?

    It breaks my heart that any parent could kill their own child. Of course we don’t know yet exactly what happened to Sherry West’s baby. I haven’t watched the 2 videos you linked here, I am getting ready to. But if she sounds like Susan Smith did, I just have to say that she reminded me very much of my mother. As did Casey Anthony.

    Most people don’t want to believe my story is true about my mother. They want to believe the myth that all mothers are loving and self-sacrifcing. They forget the Susan Smiths and the Casey Anthonys. Also, for every news story we hear or read about, telling the tragic news of another child or family of children being murdered by a parent, how many stories never make the news because the parents in those cases, like mine, failed in their murder attempts?


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