ABOUT PAMELA SMART & HER TRIAL BY MEDIA

OR THE SCARLET PRISONER

 

Pamela Ann Wojas was born to Linda and John Wojas in Coral Gables, Florida on August 16, 1967. When she was in elementary school, she moved with her family to Windham, New Hampshire. Pamela went to high school at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, where she was a cheerleader. After high school, she attended college at Florida State University graduating in 1988 with honors and a degree in Communications.  She did this in a little more than three years with a 3.85 grade point average! 

 

Pamela Wojas met Gregory Smart at a 1986 New Year's Eve party.  Shortly after that they fell in love and two years later they were married.  Gregg began his training as a broker and Pamela took a job offer as a Media Coordinator for a school district in New Hampshire.  Both barely out of their teens, they rented a condo and were adjusting to their new life as a married couple. However, less than a year into their union, Gregg had an affair. Heartbroken and unsure of how to handle her feelings of despair and diminished self-worth as a woman, she became increasingly vulnerable and insecure.   

 

Bill Flynn, who appeared in her life at the right time and place, filled the void.  Along with Pamela, he was being trained to become a facilitator in a 3-day self-esteem workshop at the local High School--one of the many schools in the district for which Pamela worked.  All the trainees in this group, including Pamela Smart and Bill Flynn, were peers.  Ultimately, Pamela became susceptible to Bill’s attentions and flattery; she began a brief, tense, and highly conflicted affair with him.  It lasted no more than two months and she wrestled with her conscience throughout, periodically attempting to end the relationship.  She knew that what she was doing was wrong.  She was also terrified that people would find out.  But each time Bill Flynn would plead and cry—and Pamela would relent. 

 

In the end he engaged in threatening behaviors and Pamela eventually grew fearful of him.  Finally, he resorted to sexual blackmail by threatening to tell her husband should she ever leave him.  Pamela decided to remove the axe from her head by confessing to Gregg herself, no matter the consequences.  The situation with Flynn was untenable; she loved her husband and hoped they could work it out.  She was not in love with Bill Flynn and had never been in love with him.  She did not envision a future with him nor did she want one.  Her involvement with this young male was entirely circumstantial and she knew that at a different time and place in her life it never would have—or could have—happened. 

 

With great apprehension Pamela told Gregg everything.  After an emotional and exhausting night of discussions, the couple agreed to reconcile on the condition that she cut off the relationship with Flynn which she gladly--and with great relief--did the following day.  Then, she and Gregg began the process of healing the past, forgiving each other for their respective bad and immature behaviors, and moving forward in their marriage.  They were both eager to start a family.

 

Unfortunately, Pamela was never able to experience growing old with Gregg. On May 1, 1990, Bill Flynn, jealous, wounded, angry—along with his best friend, Patrick "Pete" Randall, a self-proclaimed wannabe 'hit man'; broke into the Smart's condo in Derry and ambushed Gregg when he came home from work. They forced him to his knees and while he begged for his life, brutally shot him in the head with a gun loaded with hollow point bullets.  Such bullets are lethal, designed to inflict maximum damage.

 

They stole whatever they could from the Smart's condo, hightailed it out of there to a getaway car where two of their other friends, Vance "J.R." Lattime and Raymond Fowler were waiting to whisk them away to Hampton Beach.  They knew there would be willing and available buyers for their loot there.  They planned to trade Pamela and Gregg’s belongings for cocaine. Ray Fowler, only along for the ride, says he was shocked to hear Bill Flynn and Pete Randall laugh and sing joyfully en route.  (Fowler reports Bill and Pete sang, "Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me" on the ride).  The two “boys” made fun of Gregg Smart's dying moments as the group drove merrily toward their destination.  The young murderers also enjoyed recounting the pleasures of hearing Pamela’s tiny dog bouncing down the basement stairs after they tossed him over the top step.  Pete Randall asked Fowler if he wanted to hold the gun because it was still hot and was quoted as saying, "You wouldn't believe what it feels like to kill someone."

 

On June 1, 1990, Bill Flynn, Pete Randall, and J.R, Lattime were brought into custody by the Derry Police. Shortly thereafter another co-conspirator, a female classmate, Cecelia Pierce, who helped plot the murder with Bill Flynn.  On two previous but separate occasions she also helped him break into parked cars looking for a gun to shoot Gregg Smart.  In exchange for wearing a wire in conversations with Pamela Smart, Cecelia Pierce was given immunity and has never been charged or convicted for her crimes, including Accomplice to 1st Degree Murder.

 

Raymond Fowler was arrested well after everyone, including Pamela. Pamela Smart's attorneys put Raymond Fowler on her witness list for the trial, but the State arrested him the very next day, so he was unable to tesitify on her behalf.

 

Pamela Smart, who denied any involvement in her husband's murder under the same wire tap that Cecelia Pierce wore, became the focus of the investigation.  (The tapes in which she made those denials were never made public).  Flynn, Randall and Lattime were each granted plea bargains from the state in exchange for pointing the finger at the victim's wife.  All accused her of being the mastermind behind the plot--the adult who inspired, directed and manipulated their behaviors—even though she had no relationship with any of them except Flynn.  Raymond Fowler was treated separately and never claimed in court, during interrogations by detectives, or anywhere else on the contemporaneous record that Pamela Smart had anything to do with her husband's murder. 

 

In the end, Pamela was arrested and tried as an Accomplice to 1st Degree Murder (Cecelia Pierce's putative charge). Bill Flynn, who faced the death penalty (premeditated), and Pete Randall who faced a 1st Degree Murder charge (premeditated) both had their sentences reduced to 2nd Degree Murder (NOT premeditated), despite the fact that, according  to their own testimony , they had premeditated the murder for months.

 

During the trial in March 1991, the media descended on the tiny town of Exeter, NH, where the first ever televised trial was to take place. Presiding over the court  was Douglas "Clint Eastwood" Gray, so nicknamed for his famous quote, "I hope Clint Eastwood plays me in the movie."  Three films were made about the trial. One of those was called, "Anatomy of a Murder."  It was produced by a local news outlet, WMUR and aired just two days BEFORE the jury selection began. The movie unduly influenced and prejudiced the potential jurors through its star reporter, Bill Spencer, who was also the spine of the film.  He was a constant and dominating presence giving his "take" on evidence leaked to him by the Derry Police.

 

During the two-week trial, the unsequestered jury members were hounded day and night by a voracious public hungry for information and conversation about the case.  These included media, friends, family and colleagues. The jurors were also bombarded by the nearly 1,200 newspaper articles that had been printed and were littering the courtroom every day, proclaiming that Pamela Smart was an "ICE QUEEN" and “GUILTY”, and/or that she was a teacher. (She was never a teacher in any capacity but that false assertion persists to this day).  

 

One juror, Charlotte Jefts, was witnessed talking loudly and emphatically in the jury pool about her certainty that Pamela Smart was guilty—and also about Pamela’s “wickedness.”   These conversations took place before she was selected to sit on the jury itself.  When asked by the judge if she had formed an opinion about the case and could be impartial, Jefts answered that she had formed no opinion and was impartial.  Judge Gray then seated her on the panel.

 

Another juror, Karen Sicard (Juror 13) recorded unauthorized taped notations every night in her home during the trial, stated, "With people out there catching what they can of it here and there on TV, I'm afraid that the whole world's going to feel like they're the jury."

 

There were many other instances of juror misconduct or questionable behavior in the Pamela Smart trial that should have resulted in a mistrial or at the very least—dismissal of selective individuals.

 

The only piece of evidence that was ever submitted against Pamela Smart involved three of the five tapes that were recorded during the wire tap that Cecelia Pierce wore. The audio on those tapes was of such poor quality that even Gregg Smart's father tore his headphones off in frustration and said, "I can't hear a damn thing!"

 

Moreover, the audio played for the jury was enhanced but never authenticated to match the original tapes. The tapes were then transcribed, but when a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) was filed with the State of NH's Attorney General's Office in 2015, to obtain the name of the person who transcribed the tapes, the Wojas Family was told first by the AG, that there was no one listed as a transcriber.  When a second query was made by telephone to Prosecutor Paul Maggiotto's office, Mrs. Wojas was informed that Mr. Maggiotto did not know who transcribed the tapes in 1990.

 

In many instances, it is virtually impossible to identify who is speaking on the tapes, Cecelia Pierce or Pamela Smart, because their voices are so similar.  Pamela never once admitted to planning to kill--or wanting to kill her husband-- not on the tapes, nor anywhere else.  Pamela explains that she was left to investigate who killed Gregg on her own because the police had shut her out from receiving any information about the murder of her husband.  She hoped to learn what she could from Cecelia Pierce, who she felt knew more than she was saying.   Pamela Smart maintained her innocence on the tape and she continues to do so to this day.

 

There is also a question as to who actually shot Gregg Smart. The Chief Medical Examiner, Robert Fossum, an expert with over 500 cases and thousands of autopsies performed, claimed that it would have been nearly impossible for Gregg Smart to have been shot from behind given where Bill Flynn claims he was standing during the murder. The Medical Examiner posits that the person who actually shot Gregg Smart was a right-handed individual and was standing in front of him, where Patrick Randall, not Flynn, was positioned.  Moreover, Bill Flynn is left-handed. For Bill to have shot Gregg Smart the way he says he did, he would have been indirectly pointing the gun at himself.  BUT, if Bill Flynn didn't shoot Gregg Smart, then Pamela Smart has nothing to do with the "love triangle" theory that the Prosecution concocted, and therefore the State of NH has no case against Pamela Smart. 

 

Despite claiming that she, as well as three other jurors would have hung the jury, had they known Pamela Smart's sentence, Juror13 and her peers found Pamela Smart guilty. None of the jurors had any prior information about the statutory fate that awaited Pamela if she were found guilty as charged.  To everyone’s shock and horror, Judge Gray, immediately issued the maximum mandatory sentence in the case and sentenced Pamela Smart to LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE.  “There wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” Juror Karen Sicard remembers.

 

In June, 2015 Bill Flynn was paroled from his minimum-security prison in Maine after serving 25 years of 28 years to life.  He now lives with his wife in Maine.

 

In June 2015, Patrick Randall was paroled from his minimum-security prison in New Hampshire after serving 25 years of 28 to life. He now lives with his mother in Hampton, NH.

 

Vance "J.R." Lattime was paroled in 2005 after serving 14 years of an 18 to life sentence. He now lives at home with his family in Seabrook, NH.

 

Raymond Fowler has served many sentences in the past 25 years. Every time he tried to tell his story, the State of New Hampshire found another reason to put him back in jail, thus silencing him.

 

Cecelia Pierce was never charged, though she did sell the rights to Pamela's life story for $100,000 to Once Upon a Time Productions, as well as agreeing to a $1000 interview for Hard Copy and a $300 interview for A Current Affair.  She also won a $9,000 settlement after successfully suing the high school she attended because Pamela Smart hadn’t been “supervised” well enough.

 

Pamela Smart has spent the past 25 years of her life sentence in a maximum security prison in Bedford Hills, NY.  There, she has been severely beaten and sustained permanent physical and emotional injuries.  She was kicked in the face by another prisoner during the attack which fractured her eye socket.  A plastic plate was medically inserted in her cheekbone and she is entirely without feeling on that side of her face.  Her knees have been damaged, giving her constant pain and requiring daily medication.  

 

She was also sexually assaulted by a correctional officer, who threatened to kill her family if she informed on him.  The day after his attack and for added "insurance", he forced her to strip down to her underwear so he could take lewd photos of her, which he then sold to The National Enquirer--along with a false and salacious story that she was the head of a sex and drug ring involving prisoners and guards.  As a result, Pamela was thrown into solitary confinement (Segregated Housing Unit –SHU) for 77 days in the heat of the summer months, allegedly for her own “protection.”  There was no air conditioning or fan and although she begged for the door to be left ajar, she was refused.  This took place in the middle of a prolonged heat wave.  As a result, she lost a great deal of weight and became dangerously ill, eventually alarming the guards.  Later, she sued the prison and won. The correctional officer was never punished.

 

There have been many dark days for Pamela Smart, times when despair and depression have overtaken her spirit.  But she has never given up her fight or hope.  Pamela believes wholeheartedly in the justice system and was shocked to her core by the injustices and indignities that Judge Gray allowed to take place in his courtroom.  He did not protect her; nor was she able to protect herself from the deceptions, perjury and failures that took place during her trial.  

 

Pamela has also spent a lot of time coming to terms with her role in the murder of her husband. She deeply regrets ever having been involved in an inappropriate relationship with Bill Flynn and knows that if she hadn’t, Gregg Smart would likely be alive today. That is a heavy burden to bear, but so is the prospect of life without the possibility of parole for a crime that she had nothing to do with—either directly or indirectly.  It is also painful to know that the two actual murderers, both of whom readily confessed to killing her husband, are walking around free while she has been given a sentence that has no end.

 

In Gregg's name, Pamela works every day to make the world a better place and she starts with her fellow inmates by tutoring and teaching students in Adult Basic Education, Pre-GED, GED, Pre-College, and College classes for over two decades. She understands that education is the number one tool that lessens chances of recidivism.  Many, many inmates attest to her influence on changing their lives for the better and improving their prospects for a successful adjustment and future upon release.

 

For the past few years, she has also been a Peer Facilitator in the AIDS Counseling and Education (ACE) Office. She completed an in depth certification process through the AIDS Institute, the New York Department of Labor; and the Women's Prison Association. She has worked with women who are HIV positive, have AIDS, or other health issues, as well as the entire population of the prison by running groups to disseminate much-needed information about HIV/AIDS, STDs, and other women's health issues.

 

As is consistent with her character, Pamela has also spent her time in prison improving herself through the completion of all mandated DOCS' programs, as well as participation in numerous voluntary programs. A deeply religious and spiritual woman, she was chosen by the prison's Pastor as a leader in her church, presiding over services, and directing the liturgical dance ministry. She has been in a leadership role in the Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA) program since its inception seven years ago.

 

During her incarceration, Pamela has obtained two Master's Degrees with perfect grades—one in Law and the other in Literature.  Neither was subsidized by public funding or taxes, but through private scholarships.  She has used her education for the betterment and education of other inmates.  At one point, she even considered pursuing a third Masters degree—in Pastoral Counseling. 

 

Most recently—and impressively--she was elected by the inmate population, as their Inmate Liaison Committee (ILC) President. In that capacity, Pamela works with the prison Administration as a trusted liaison to help articulate the issues and concerns of the inmate population and reach agreeable resolutions.

 

Pamela has spent more than half her life in prison.  It has been 25 years now.  But her time has not been wasted. Through her work and the example of her life in service to others, she has repeatedly demonstrated that she is not the selfish "ice princess" she was made out to be by the media. She is the OPPOSITE of an uncaring woman, helping numerous prisoners find their freedom, their education, their work, their purpose….

 

Who Pamela Smart really is can be found in what she has done with her life in prison.

 

We hope the public will finally come to know the kindness and compassion of Pamela Smart--wife, friend, daughter humanitarian, and ultimately, the twenty-one year old kid who lived inside the soul of a devastated and beaten woman, a decent, gifted person whom the State of NH took advantage of in 1991--and whom we sentenced—with so much public jubilation and self righteousness--to die in prison.

 

Rather than letting her languish and die behind those unforgiving concrete prison walls, it would be far better to help us restore her to her rightful place in society where she can do even more to make this world a better place.

 

If you want to get involved in our campaign to #FreePamSmart, spread the word on social media, sign the petition, or write a letter to the Governor of NH to request a commutation of sentence (Not sure how to write a clemency letter? Click here for advice) for Pamela Smart.

 

Thank you for visiting PamelaSmart.com

 

photo credit: The Wojas Family

photo credit: The Wojas Family

photo credit: The Wojas Family

photo credit: The Wojas Family

photo credit: SeacoastOnline.com

photo credit: SeacoastOnline.com

photo credit: SeacoastOnline.com

photo credit: SeacoastOnline.com

photo credit: SeacoastOnline.com

photo credit: nbcnewyork.com

photo credit: Herald Sun

photo credit: WMUR

photo credit: WMUR

photo credit: People Magazine

photo credit: People Magazine

Still from the documentary: What I Want My Words to do to You

photo credit: The Wojas Family

photo credit: The Wojas Family

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