Gregg Smart’s murder was less than one year after he married Pamela Smart, the woman who is serving a life sentence in prison for conspiring with her teenage lover, Billy Flynn, to murder her husband.
Pamela Smart went home May 1, 1990 to find her husband, a 24-year-old insurance salesman, dead from a gunshot wound. The crime scene was staged to look like a burglary. Authorities said Smart was having an affair with 16-year-old Billy Flynn and coerced him to murder her husband. Flynn recruited two of his friends, Vance Lattime Jr. and Pete Randall, to help carry out the murder. All three of the co-conspirators have been released from prison, while Pam Smart remains in prison. She has repeatedly professed her innocence.
The notorious murder story is being told again Friday, January 10, 2020 on ABC’s 20/20 at 9 p.m. EST.
Here’s what you need to know:
Gregg Smart Was Shot to Death by his Wife’s Teenage Lover 6 Days Before the Couple’s First Wedding Anniversary
A little more than one year before Gregg Smart was brutally murdered in the townhouse he shared with his wife, Pamela Smart, the couple was on their honeymoon in Bermuda. The murder charges lodged against Smart were shocking to the woman’s friends and family. She had no criminal history, and they believed she loved her husband deeply, according to a Boston Globe article from August 12, 1990.
“A former disc jockey who friends say dreamed of becoming the next Barbara Walters, Smart yesterday sat in a prison cell, her quest interrupted by charges that – if she is convicted of them – could keep her behind bars for life,” the article said. “If she had a criminal record or a seamy reputation, Smart’s arrest Aug. 1 for her alleged role in her husband’s slaying may have raised few eyebrows. But because her family, friends and colleagues have consistently portrayed Smart as a woman of many virtues and virtually no vices who deeply loved her late husband, Smart’s predicament has bewildered many.”
Pam Smart’s brother, John J. Wojas Jr., spoke with the Globe by phone at the time.
“If Greg is looking down on all this now, you can bet he’s absolutely shocked,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
“Shocked perhaps at the allegation that his wife decided to kill him because she had fallen in love with a 16-year-old student,” the Globe went on to say. “Shocked that she allegedly favored murder over divorce because she feared her husband would get the dog, the furniture and the townhouse if they split. And maybe shocked, too, by the brutal method police say his wife devised to end his life on the threshold of their home on Misty Morning Drive.”
The teens initially suggested they stab Gregg Smart, but Pamela Smart worried there would be too much blood, and that it would stain her white leather furniture, according to testimony presented at her trial and reported by the Boston Globe on March 23, 1991. Instead, the teens ambushed Smart, and Flynn and Randall beat him and forced him to his knees. Randall put a butcher knife to Flynn’s throat, and Flynn pulled the trigger saying “God forgive me,” as Smart pleaded for his life, the Globe reported.
Gregg Smart’s Murder Was Staged to Look Like a Burglary & He Was Shot at Close Range
The night of Gregg Smart’s murder, May 1, 1990 was a cool spring night when he would return home before his wife because she was at a school district meeting, according to a Boston Globe article from August 12, 1990. Three teens who conspired in the murder – William “Billy” Flynn, Pete Randall and Vance Lattime Jr. – were 16 and 17 years old at the time. Flynn was Pam Smart’s lover and Randall and Lattime were Flynn’s friends. The three teens were from Seabrook, New Hampshire.
When Smart, an insurance salesman, returned home from work, one of the teens grabbed him and another shot him at close range.
“At Pam Smart’s instructions, allegations in court records say, the students ransacked the townhouse to make it appear the motive for the killing was burglary,” the article said. “When police arrived, they found the couple’s stereo speakers disconnected and next to the door, as if burglars had left them in haste. The officers also found Pam Smart distraught.”
However, playing the distraught widow was all a part of Pam Smart’s elaborate plan, according to a decision filed in 1993 by the Supreme Court of New Hampshire.
“Shortly after their affair began, the defendant told Flynn that in order for them to continue their relationship they would have to kill her husband, Gregory, a twenty-four-year-old insurance salesman to whom the defendant had been married less than a year,” the court decision said. “Eventually the defendant and Flynn together planned that Flynn would commit the murder with the help of his friends, and would stage the killing as if committed in the course of a burglary of the defendant’s home. According to the plan devised by the defendant, she would leave open the bulkhead door to the basement of her home to provide entry for Flynn and the others before Gregory returned home. The perpetrators were to park their car in a shopping center behind the residence and change into dark clothes before approaching the apartment. The defendant advised Flynn that he and his accomplices should wear gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints and should ransack the apartment, taking away whatever they wanted as compensation. Pursuant to the defendant’s plan, her husband was to be killed with a gun upon entering his home as if he had surprised burglars.”
Billy Flynn & His Friends had Planned to Kill Gregg Smart Once Earlier, But Abandoned the Plan
William “Billy” Flynn called on his friends to help him murder his lover’s husband after she told him their relationship could not continue otherwise, according to a decision filed in 1993 by the Supreme Court of New Hampshire. Pam Smart discussed details of the plot, including how to react after the murder. She told the teen she would leave a door open for them and advised them to stage the crime scene to look like a burglary.
Gregg Smart was murdered on the teens’ second attempt at murder. Flynn, Lattime, Randall and another teen, Raymond Fowler, had plotted to kill Gregg Smart earlier, but when they saw Gregg Smart’s truck in the driveway, indicating he was already home, they abandoned the plan, according to court records. Flynn, Lattime and Randall pleaded guilty to reduced charges in January 1991.
The court decision says:
Shortly after their affair began, the defendant told Flynn that in order for them to continue their relationship they would have to kill
her husband, Gregory, a twenty-four-year-old insurance salesman to whom the defendant had been married less than a year. Eventually the defendant and Flynn together planned that Flynn would commit the murder with the help of his friends, and would stage the killing as if committed in the course of a burglary of the defendant’s home. According to the plan devised by the defendant, she would leave open the bulkhead door to the basement of her home to provide entry for Flynn and the others before Gregory returned home. The perpetrators were to park their car in a shopping center behind the residence and change into dark clothes before approaching the apartment. The defendant advised Flynn that he and his accomplices should wear gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints and should ransack the apartment, taking away whatever they wanted as compensation. Pursuant to the defendant’s plan, her husband was to be killed with a gun upon entering his home as if he had surprised burglars.
Flynn discussed the plan with his friends Pete Randall and Vance Lattime, Jr., also teenagers from Seabrook. With the aid of another boy, Raymond Fowler, Flynn set out from Hampton to commit the murder one night in April, using the defendant’s car. When the two arrived at the defendant’s apartment complex, however, they saw her husband’s truck and abandoned the plan. After this unsuccessful attempt, Flynn recruited Randall and Lattime to help execute the plan. He told them that the defendant had agreed to pay them five hundred dollars each for committing the murder. Lattime provided his father’s .38 caliber revolver and his grandmother’s car to transport the boys from Seabrook to the defendant’s Derry apartment.
After school ended on May 1, 1990, the defendant drove Flynn, Randall and Lattime to pick up Lattime’s grandmother’s car in Massachusetts. The defendant discussed with them the various details of the murder plan, seeking advice on how to react when she returned home and discovered her husband murdered. Lattime and Randall returned to Seabrook in Lattime’s grandmother’s car. The defendant drove Flynn back to Seabrook to meet them and then went to Winnacunnet High School to attend a meeting scheduled for that evening.
Flynn, Randall and Lattime picked up Fowler and drove to the defendant’s residence. While Lattime and Fowler waited with the car at the shopping center, Flynn and Randall entered the defendant’s apartment through the unlocked bulkhead into the basement. After ransacking both the upstairs and downstairs of the apartment, they waited for Gregory to return home, with Flynn carrying the gun and Randall holding a knife he had taken from the kitchen. When Gregory came home, the boys forced him to his knees. While Randall with one hand held Gregory’s head down and with the other hand held a knife in front of his face, Flynn shot him once in the head. Taking a pillowcase they had filled with jewelry, the boys fled to meet Fowler and Lattime, and the four drove back to Seabrook. The next day, Lattime replaced the gun among the rest of his father’s collection.
On June 10, Ralph Welch, a friend of Lattime, told Lattime’s parents that Randall and Lattime had admitted to him their participation in the murder. Lattime’s parents took the gun to the Seabrook Police Department, accompanied by Welch, and subsequent ballistics tests confirmed that the gun had been used in the murder.
Worried because of Welch’s intentions to go to the police, Randall and Lattime went to see Flynn and the defendant at the latter’s new condominium in Hampton. After discussing the matter, the defendant drove them to Seabrook in an unsuccessful attempt to retrieve the gun. The next night, June 11, Lattime, Randall and Flynn were arrested.
Gregg Smart Was Buried Only a Few Miles From the Crime Scene in Derry, New Hampshire
Gregg Smart was buried at a family plot just a few miles from the place he was brutally murdered in his own home. Although Smart was the youngest person to be buried at the Smart family grave site, he was also the first. He is buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in East Derry, New Hampshire alongside his mom, Judith A. Smart, who was born in 1938 and died in 1998, and his dad, William J. Smart, who was born in 1941 and died in 2010, according to Find a Grave.
“You were taken from us much too soon, my son,” Gregg Smart’s headstone says. “But our love for you will never be taken from our hearts.”
His memorial says:
Murder Victim. Victim in one of the most sensational crime/love triangle stories of the twentieth century. Gregg and Pam Smart married in 1989 and lived in a condominium in Derry, NH. Gregg was 24-year old insurance agent, and Pam was the director of media services at Winnacunnet High School in nearby Hampton. It was at the high school that Pam met and seduced 15-year old student Billy Flynn. In order to sustain the relationship and not lose possession of her dog, furniture, and condo in a divorce, Pam conspired with Flynn to murder her husband. On May 1, 1990 (six days before the couple’s first wedding anniversary), Billy Flynn used a handgun to kill Gregg Smart execution style as Gregg entered the condominium. What followed was the most sensational murder trial in New Hampshire history. Pam Smart was convicted of murder-conspiracy and being an accomplice to murder. She was sentenced to automatic life without parole. The case received international media coverage and combined the elements of sex, violence, crime, and youth. Gregg Smart was buried only a few miles from the crime scene, and Pam Smart is serving her life sentence at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County, NY. The case inspired the made for TV movie “Murder in New Hampshire,” which stars Helen Hunt as the villain.