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Pamela Smart, Serving Life Sentence, Admits Guilt in 1990 Husband’s Murder for the First Time


Concord, New Hampshire — Pamela Smart is spending life in prison for planning with her teenage student to kill her husband in 1990. In a videotaped statement released Tuesday as part of her latest request for a shorter sentence, she took full responsibility for his death for the first time.

Smart, who is now 56 years old, started having an affair with a 15-year-old boy when she was 22. The boy later killed her husband, Gregory Smart, in Derry, New Hampshire. After 25 years in prison, the shooter got out in 2015. Pamela Smart said she didn’t know about the plan, but she was found guilty of first-degree murder and other crimes and given a life sentence without the chance to get out.

Smart has been locked up for almost 34 years. In the statement, she said that being in a writing group that “pushed us to go beyond and into spaces that we didn’t want to be in” helped her “dig deeper into her own responsibility.”

She spoke with a shaking voice, “That was really hard for me because going into those places, those spaces, I found myself responsible for something I really didn’t want to be responsible for: my husband’s murder.” “I had to admit to myself for the first time in my mind and heart how responsible I was. I had always tried to avoid taking responsibility, almost as a way to cope, because the truth of being so responsible was hard for me.”

She asked to have a “honest conversation” with Gov. Chris Sununu and the five-member Executive Council of New Hampshire. This council approves state contracts and names people to work in state agencies and courts. In 2022, the council turned down her most recent request. Smart then took her case to the state Supreme Court, but last year, the court also turned it down.

A cousin of Gregory Smart, Val Fryatt, told The Associated Press that Smart “danced around it” and took full blame “without admitting the facts” about what made her “fully responsible.”

Smart didn’t say her cousin’s name at all in the video, according to Fryatt.

Messages were sent to the council members, Sununu, and the attorney general’s office asking them what they thought about the petition and statement.

Smart is in prison at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York’s Westchester County. She has gotten two master’s degrees while she was in prison. She has also taught other prisoners, become a minister, and served on an inmate liaison committee. She said she feels bad about what she did and has changed.

The trial was a big deal in the news, and it was one of the first high-profile cases in the US about a student having an affair with a school employee. Joyce Maynard used the Smart case as inspiration for her 1992 book “To Die For.” That led to a movie with the same name that came out in 1995 and starred Nicole Kidman and Joaquin Phoenix. William Flynn, the killer, and three other teens helped the police catch him. They got shorter terms of prison time and were let go.

Source: CNN

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