What To Know About The Pamela Smart Case That Captivated The Country
The former high school media coordinator was accused of seducing a teen student and convincing him to kill her husband.
New Hampshire high school staff member Pamela Smart was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in connection with the murder of her husband, Gregg Smart, over three decades ago.
Pamela, who was just 22 at the time of the slaying, maintained she had nothing to do with two boys — Billy Flynn, then 16, and 17-year-old Patrick Randall — breaking into the couple’s condominium in Derry on May 1, 1990. Randall reportedly held Gregg down in the foyer and Flynn fired the shot that killed him.
Ahead are some key facts about the case that captivated the country.
Four teenagers were involved in the cold-blooded plot to kill Pamela’s husband
Pamela first met Flynn when he was a 15-year-old student and she was a 22-year-old media coordinator at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton. Prosecutors claimed during her trial that Pamela eventually seduced Flynn and, while under her spell, she convinced the teenager to kill her husband Gregg because she worried a divorce from him would cost her everything.
When Flynn took the stand, he testified Pamela used their relationship against him and threatened to end it if he refused to murder Gregg for her.
In addition to Flynn and Randall, two other teenage accomplices were identified in the case.
Vance Lattime Jr. acted as a getaway driver and he was sentenced to life in prison as an accomplice to second-degree murder. Raymond Fowler, who waited in the car, received a 30-year sentence on charges of conspiracy and attempted burglary.
Despite her denials, Pamela confessed to a young intern that she knew her husband was going to die
A teenage intern who worked with Pamela turned into prosecutors’ star witness at Pamela’s trial. According to WMUR-TV, Pamela told the intern about the murder scheme and, following Gregg’s death, the intern made a secret recording of Pamela threatening, “If you tell the (expletive) truth, you'll send me to the slammer for the rest of my (expletive) life.”
Where are they now?
Pamela’s young lover, Flynn, was found guilty of second-degree murder.
Randall was also convicted of second-degree murder for the role he played in Gregg’s death. A judge sentenced him to 40 years to life, but the sentence was later reduced and he was released on parole in 2015.
Flynn was also paroled the same year. “I will always feel terrible about what happened 25 years ago,” he told the court of shooting Gregg, adding, “Parole will not change that.”
The accused getaway drivers, Fowler and Vance Lattime, were both released on parole in 2005.
Pamela, now 55, was convicted in 1991 of being an accomplice to first-degree murder and she remains locked up in the maximum-security New York prison Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, where she was transferred 30 years ago for security reasons. A judge denied her latest request for a sentence reduction on March 29, 2023, The New York Times reported.
In an email to a supporter obtained by the publication, the convicted killer, now an ordained minister, complained that “the death penalty would have been more merciful” than her life sentence. “Nothing will ever be enough for New Hampshire to say I am a human being deserving of anything more than being locked up in a cage like an animal for the rest of my entire life,” she wrote.
Pamela has spoken about her fling with the teen who shot her husband, but she downplays her role in the murder
“I'm so much more than the worst mistake of my life,” she told WMUR in a 2010 interview. “And I feel like I've been frozen in time inside that mistake to get involved with Bill [Flynn], and I have never been able to get out of it.”
Despite the confession, until recently, she’s always insisted she had nothing to do with her husband’s death. “I never wanted Gregg killed,” Smart has claimed. “I never wanted him to kill Gregg. I never asked him to. I never insinuated that I wanted him to kill my husband.”
She now says the murder was the result of “terrible judgment by an immature, selfish young woman.”
According to The New York Times, New Hampshire officials believe her displays of remorse are insincere and part of her bid to be paroled.
The case became the basis for several major projects through the years
The Smart case inspired To Die For, the Joyce Maynard book published in 1992. It was turned into a movie of the same name in 1995 and starred Nicole Kidman and Joaquin Phoenix. Helen Hunt also had the lead role in a made-for-television recounting of the crime, Murder in New Hampshire, The Pamela Smart Story. The story continues to fascinate true crime fans to this day.