Oprah talks about interviewing S.C. killer mom

Oprah Winfrey on love, friendship and philant... 13:45

(CBS News) - Oprah Winfrey said she didn't entirely believe the story of a South Carolina mother found guilty of murder in the deaths of her two sons. However, the television icon said she was looking for "deeper meaning" by doing the interview.

"You showed compassion," "CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King said to Winfrey Monday. "But it also said to me that you weren't totally buying it."

"No," Winfrey replied. "For me, I am always looking for, and have been since I was, you know, a young reporter in Baltimore, I've always been trying to look for what is the deeper meaning in every story."

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Winfrey interviewed Shaquan Duley one week before she was sentenced to 35 years without parole for the killing of her two sons, 2-year-old Devean and 18-month-old Ja'van, then putting them in her car and staging a crash into a river, in August 2010.

Winfrey said as she talked with Duley, she was ultimately thinking of her viewers. "I'm thinking about everybody who's watching who's depressed, everybody who's ever thought about taking their life or taking the life of somebody that they loved and making them come along with me," Winfrey said. "That's why I was so persistent to say, 'When you say, 'I wanted them to go with me. Go where? Let's think that through. Go where?'

"What I kept trying to emphasize to her throughout the interview, even off-tape, is that it's no longer really about (Duley). 'The only reason to hear your story is that somebody can see themselves in you and be able to make a different choice for themselves.' So that to me is, ultimately, as I know you all do here on CBS, as the standard, the standard for interviewing, that's the point: It's not for us just to be voyeurs in other people's lives, but 'How can I use your story to open up the heart space for myself?'"

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One week before being sentenced, Duley told the television icon from behind bars at the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center in Orangeburg, S.C., that she didn't remember a struggle with her 2-year-old.

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Winfrey asked during the interview, "The thought of a 2-year-old struggling with his mother for his life while his mother is suffocating him is really kind of unbearable. Was there a struggle with your son?

"I don't remember," Duley said.

"You don't remember if he awakened?" Winfrey said. "You would have to remember that. You would have to remember whether your son awakened and knew that you were trying to kill him."

For more with Winfrey, watch the video in the player above.