Born In: Coral Gables, Florida, United States
Pamela Ann Smart is an American citizen presently serving a life sentence being convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, accomplice to first degree murder and witness tampering in the murder case of her husband, Greggory Smart. She was serving as media coordinator at Winnacunnet High School when she was accused of conspiring with her then 15-year-old student and sex partner William "Billy" Flynn, and three of his friends Raymond Fowler, J.R. Lattime, and Patrick Randall to murder her husband in Derry, New Hampshire. Greggory was shot in the head by Billy. The trial of the case was televised and gained widespread public and media attention. While Smart maintains that she is innocent, she was given a mandatory sentence of life in prison sans any chance for parole. She is presently serving her life sentence at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women in Westchester County, New York.
Also Known As: Pamela Ann Smart
Spouse/Ex-: Greggory Smart (m. 1989)
father: John Wojas
mother: Linda Wojas
siblings: Elizabeth, John
Born Country: United States
education: Mercy College, Pinkerton Academy, Florida State University
Pamela Ann Smart was born Pamela Ann Wojas on August 16, 1967, in Windham, New Hampshire, to John and Linda Wojas. She was raised in Miami, Florida, until she was in eighth grade when her family relocated to Canobie Lake, New Hampshire. She studied at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry and then at Florida State University from where she graduated with a degree in communications.
She got introduced to Greggory Smart when she visited New Hampshire during a Christmas break in 1986 and developed a serious relationship with him in February 1987. Both were passionate about heavy metal music. They married on May 7, 1989, however started facing difficulties in their relationship just after seven months into the marriage.
Smart began working as a media coordinator at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, New Hampshire. There she met William "Billy" Flynn, a 15-year old high school sophomore, at a local drug awareness program called Project Self-Esteem. Both Smart and Billy were volunteers of the program. As Billy was also passionate about heavy metal music, the two bonded well. During the program Smart also got introduced to another intern and a friend of Billy, Cecilia Pierce.
Smart found her husband murdered and her condominium ransacked on May 1, 1990, after she came back from a meeting. According to police officials, it appeared from the crime scene as if a disrupted robbery took place. Later Smart was charged with seducing under-aged Billy and threatening him of not having sex with him anymore if Billy refuses to kill her husband. Intimidated by such threats, Billy committed the crime with the help of his three friends - Raymond Fowler, Vance "J.R." Lattime Jr. and Patrick "Pete" Randall.
During Greggory Smart’s murder investigation, Lattime’s father discovered a .38 caliber pistol in his house, and suspecting it as the murder weapon, he handed it over to the police. The investigating officers also received an anonymous tip on May 14, 1990, that gave them hint that Pierce was aware of the murder conspiracy. They then contacted Pierce and made her agree to wear a covert listening device and record her conversation with Smart. The move bore fruit and the police got incriminating evidence against Smart.
Detective Daniel Pelletier arrested Smart for "First-degree murder" of her husband on August 1, 1990, when she was in her school’s parking lot. Smart was arraigned at the Derry District Court. She was put to jail at the New Hampshire State Prison for Women, which during that time was in Goffstown.
The trial of Smart was one of the first in the US that allowed TV cameras in the courtroom and gained considerable public and media attention. Oral arguments of the trial started on March 4, 1991, when Assistant Attorney General Diane Nicolosi depicted the under-aged Billy and his three friends as naïve victims of Smart, an "evil woman bent on murder" who cold-bloodedly masterminded the murder plot and controlled her teenage sex partner. It was asserted by Nicolosi that Smart wanted to avoid an expensive divorce and also wanted to gain from the $140,000 life insurance policy and thus seduced Billy to commit the crime.
Although Smart admitted to court that she had an affair with Billy, she asserted that she was not aware of her husband’s murder plot and did not participate in it. She said that as she wanted to end her relationship with Billy and repair her marriage, Billy and his friends, as a reaction, committed such heinous crime.
The trial concluded in the Rockingham County Superior Court on March 22, 1991. Smart was found guilty and convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, accomplice to first degree murder and witness tampering. The latter was slapped on her as she coerced Pierce to either lie or not say anything to the authorities. The secretly taped conversations where Smart somewhat contradicted with her claims that she wanted to repair her marriage and reconcile with her husband and that she was not aware of Billy and his friends murder conspiracy; as also testimony of her co-conspirators became the main basis of her conviction.
The prosecution could have charged Smart with capital murder, however decided not to. Smart was given a mandatory sentence of life in prison sans any chance for parole. According to Smart, the media influenced her trial and conviction. She maintained the same in the HBO aired American documentary film ‘Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart’ (2014). She also maintains that she is innocent and admitted that her husband would have been alive if she had not had an affair with the minor Billy.
Presently Smart is serving her life sentence at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. She was transferred there from the New Hampshire State Prison for Women in Goffstown in 1993.
Billy and Randall were sentenced to life in prison for second degree murder and eligible for parole after 40 years with 12 years of the minimum sentence deferred. Lattime’s role as an accomplice led him to get a sentence to life in prison for second-degree murder and eligible for parole not before 30 years with 12 years suspended; while Fowler, who was waiting in the car during the murder, was given a sentence of 30 years for conspiracy to murder and attempted burglary, and parole eligibility after 15 years. Billy and Randall were released from prison on June 4, 2015, on lifetime parole, a few days after the 25th death anniversary of Greggory Smart. Minimum sentence of Lattime was reduced by three years in 2005 and he was paroled the same year. Fowler was first paroled in 2003, however was re-sent to prison the following year for breaking his parole terms. He was paroled again in June 2005.
Smart has completed two master's degrees in literature and legal studies from Mercy College while serving her life sentence. Her educational expenses were paid from private funds of the college. She has also tutored other inmates of the prison and campaigns for rights for women in prison as a member of the National Organization for Women.
Two fellow inmates of Smart, Mona Graves and Ghania Miller, beat her so severely in October 1996 that a plastic plate had to be inserted in the left side of her face. She also takes medication for chronic pain after the incident and often thinks of suicide. Her perpetrators were convicted of second-degree assault and were transferred to separate prisons.
Smart maintains that Billy is the only person who can actually get her out of the prison by telling the truth, however believes that he will never do so. She said that with such hope she still keeps track of Billy.
A writer’s workshop facilitated by Eve Ensler was attended by Smart. Her writings as well the workshop were featured in the 2003 PBS documentary ‘What I Want My Words to Do to You’.
Her scantily clad pictures were published in the National Enquirer in 2003 following which Smart filed a complaint against the prison and instituted legal proceedings accusing that a prison guard who raped her took the pictures. The lawsuit was however dismissed. The following year Smart and another inmate of Bedford Hills, Carolyn Warmus, filed federal lawsuit against officials of the prison accusing a corrections officer of sexual harassment and sexual assault, and coercing them into posing for the suggestive pictures that were published in 2003. A judgment was passed by a US District Court Judge on November 5, 2009, approving Smart $23,875 from the State of New York. Smart received $8,750 of the amount after paying her attorney fees.
Meanwhile, Smart’s federal habeas petition was rejected by a federal judge in 2002. The ruling was upheld by the First U.S. Court of Appeals in April 2004. A pardon request for "any conditions the governor may seek to impose" was also rejected unanimously by the New Hampshire Executive Council in July the following year.
Smart and her case finds place in several books including ‘Teach Me To Kill’ (1991) by Stephen Sawicki, ‘To Die For’ (1992) by Joyce Maynard, ‘Deadly Lessons’ (1993) by Ken Englade, ‘The Longings of Women’ (1994) by Marge Piercy, and ‘Evil Women’ (2017) by John Marlowe.
Several on-screen work feature Smart and her case. These include the CBS aired made-for-television crime drama film ‘Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Wojas Smart Story’ (1991) starring Helen Hunt and Chad Allen; the black-comedy and crime drama film ‘To Die For’ (1995) based on Joyce Maynard’s novel ‘To Die For’ and starring Nicole Kidman and Matt Dillon; the three-part program titled ‘Pamela Smart: An American Murder Mystery’ (2018) released by Investigation Discovery channel; and single episode of different series like ‘Renunciation’ (1991) from ‘Law & Order’, ‘Crime of Passion: The Pamela Smart Story’ (1996) from ‘American Justice’, ‘Hot For Teacher’ (2012) from ‘Scorned: Love Kills’, and ‘From Student Seduction to Murder’ (2016) from ‘Corrupt Crimes’.
On October 22, 2010, Smart appeared on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ where she claimed that she was innocent and considers her life sentence as too harsh.
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