The 1991 murder trial of Pamela Smart is one that takes a number of twists and turns, beginning with the apparent home invasion that resulted in the death of her husband, Gregg, to the revelation that the murder had been carried out by a trio of teenagers, who, it would be revealed, was actually coerced into that killing by the victim’s wife, who had been having a sexual affair with one of them. It’s all explored — in detail — in the Sunday, Aug. 19 debut of “Pamela Smart: An American Murder Mystery,” a three-part docuseries that airs exclusively on the Investigation Discovery network. What follows is a look at who the key players of this sensational story that was called “The Trial of the Century” (sorry, O.J. Simpson).
Gregory (“Gregg”) William Smart (Victim)
He was born Sept. 4, 1965, in Nashua, NH, and as a teen and young adult was more concerned with partying and Heavy Metal music than anything else. Some time after getting engaged to Pamela Smart, he decided he needed to grow up. He got a job selling Metropolitan Life insurance in the same office his father worked, cut his long “rocker” hair and became what his wife thought of as a “typical New Hampshire yuppy.” Less than a year into their marriage, things were rocky. He reportedly had had an affair, and she was filling the distance between them by showing affection to 15-year-old Billy Flynn, which would ultimately have deadly consequences for Gregg.
William “Billy” Flynn, Patrick “Pete” Randall, Vance “J.R.” Lattime, Jr., Raymond Fowler (co-conspirators)
The leader of this group of teens, at least insofar as the murder of Gregg Smart is concerned, was Billy Flynn, who had been sleeping with Pamela Smart and pushed toward murder, obstensibly so that they could be together. While Billy is the one who would eventually shoot Greg in the head, Patrick is the one who held him down, on his knees, so that the deed could be done, Vance was driving what was essentially the getaway car, and Raymond waited in the car as well. All faced life in prison, but negotiated different terms when they agreed to testify against Pamela.
A teen at the time, she served as an intern to Pamela while she worked as a media coordinator at Winnacunnet High School and was friends with the guys. The two women had a deep bond, with Cecelia admitting that she felt like Pamela was like a big sister to her. She also was aware of pretty much everything that was going on, and eventually found herself in something of a tug of war between Pamela and police, who began enlisting her to help gather evidence against Pamela. “The decision to wire Cecelia didn’t come lightly,” admits Detective Daniel Pelletier. “She’s 16 years old and we’re sending her in to talk to a potential murderer.”
Assistant Attorney General Paul Maggiotto
He along with Diane Nicolosi served as prosecutors against Pamela Smart. When he got involved with the case, he made a bold decision regarding Billy, Pete, J.R., and Raymond that would change the course of the investigation and allow them to push forward with their case against Pamela.
Working alongside Paul Twomey, he defended Pamela from the charges levied against her. He remains, all these years later, convinced that the state railroaded her, ignoring reality and charging forward with a case that wasn’t proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Not that it’s much of a spoiler, but the jury obviously didn’t agree with him.
Born Pamela Ann Wojas on Aug. 16, 1967, in Coral Gables, FL, she has been sentenced to jail for the rest of her life for the orchestration of the murder of her husband, Gregg. Based on trial evidence, she wanted Gregg dead rather than divorce him for fear that she would lose everything that she had, including her dog, Halen. If the words of her co-conspirators are to be believed, she was of the mindset that she wanted them to use a knife in killing Gregg over a gun for fear that blood would stain her white leather couch.
Tune in to “Pamela Smart: An America Murder Mystery” — beginning Sunday, Aug. 19 on Investigation Discovery.