You may not know it but the trial that got the Court TV-gavel-to-gavel-preempt-all-other-shows genre going was the Pamela Smart murder trial.
Pam was a trailblazer of sorts. Not only did her trial set the stage for the Menendez brothers and O.J. Simpson but she also made headlines for the affair she’d been having with a 15-year-old student who attended the school she worked at. In 1990 this was big news; it influenced pop culture in our society and continues to.
Pam’s husband, Gregg Smart, 24, was murdered on May 1, 1990, six days before their first anniversary, in the entryway of the couple’s Derry, New Hampshire townhome. The scene made it appear as though Gregg had walked in on a burglary and was shot in the process. Detectives, though, were wary and with good reason. Despite the disarray, very little of value was taken. The townhome had the distinct appearance of being staged.
Gregg’s widow certainly did her part to raise flags and eyebrows. Immediately after coming home to find her husband’s body in the foyer, Gregg’s brother recalled that she expressed more concern over the whereabouts and safety of her dog than what befell Gregg. The authorities also requested that Pam not speak to the media as they were working the case. Within a week, Pam had contacted local media, donned a bright blue dress and sat down in her home to talk about the case. It only got worse.
The father of a teenager who attended the high school where Pam was a media coordinator brought the local police a .38 caliber pistol he had found in his home, believing it might be the murder weapon. It was.
The police were tipped off by an anonymous source that teenager Cecelia Pierce was involved in the plot to obliterate Gregg Smart and so the police went to Cecelia, who agreed to wear a wire. The recorded conversations between the teenage girl, who idolized Pam Smart and knew an awful lot about her, became the basis for the Derry cops to arrest Pam on first-degree murder charges in August of 1990.
She didn’t go down alone. Teenagers JR Lattime, Pete Randall, Raymond Fowler and Billy Flynn were also arrested and a sordid tale was released. Pam, then 22, had been having an affair with the then 15-year-old Billy. According to Cecelia, Billy…