Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Sex, Lies & Murder: The Pamela Smart Case


J.R. Lattime, on the stand
J.R. Lattime, on the

Billy Flynn ran with a tough crowd that included Pete and J.R. But the three "Brookies" William "Bill" Flynn, Patrick "Pete" Randall and Vance "J.R." Lattime Jr. were so close and helpful in the neighborhood that some people even referred to them as the Three Musketeers. They ran errands, shoveled snow, or handled odd jobs. They even gave the elderly residents free services or large discounts. The three boys lived in South Seabrook.

"Seabrook is primarily a blue-collar town," writes Ken Englade in Deadly Lessons, "and its residents are known to those from other areas of the state as "Brookies," a derisive term loosely translated to mean people of low class or people from the wrong side of the track. Brookies generally are regarded by other New Hampshirites with the same disdain that Bostonians reserve for the rest of the world." Al Capp, the late "Li'l Abner" cartoonist, joked about using the town as his model for the fictional town of Dogpatch.


William Patrick Flynn was born March 12th, 1974, a day after an explosive incident between his parents, Bill and Elaine Flynn. Their marriage was tumultuous, and unfortunately little Billy seemed to be caught in the middle, hearing their incessant arguments, witnessing his father's overbearing treatment of his mother, eventually experiencing his father's anger first-hand. Even after two more sons were born, Billy's father was still hard on him.

Mr. Flynn loved Billy but his demanding disposition pushed Billy too hard. "If things were going my husband's way, he was a great guy to be around," said Elaine Flynn. "But as soon as he had to deal with any inconvenience, forget it. We used to go down into the canyons on dirt bikes and spend the day. There's always problems with them. Well, once Billy had a problem with his bike. It was something as trivial as a spark plug. His dad told him how to fix it and it didn't go. It was blow-up time. His father would start yelling, 'You couldn't have done what I said!'"

It was just a matter of time before the Flynns' marriage was over, but that did not stop the acrimony between them, or between father and son, although Bill Sr. did have a quiet spell, an unusual sort of reprieve, the Christmas before he died.

Events converged in Billy's life in 1986, causing him many difficulties. His mother decided to leave his father after she found out that he had been cheating on her for years, spurring a move from California to New Hampshire. Only twelve at the time and entering junior high, Billy did not want to move. "He was an angry little guy coming back with me," his mother recalled. She enrolled him in seventh grade at Seabrook Elementary School. It was here that Bill would meet his best friends, J.R. and Pete.


Vance Lattime Jr. got his nickname "J.R." because he was a junior. The 15-year-old's dark curly hair, long thin face, and thick glasses, gave him a studious look. His book collection, complete with his prized anthology of Edgar Allan Poe, and the old Camaro he was refurbishing took up a lot of his time. His ambition was to become a marine. When he had any free time, he visited his grandmother in Haverhill, Massachusetts and even helped at holiday dinners for the unfortunate at his church.


Patrick Randall
Patrick Randall

Patrick Randall was short but looked very athletic. His mother described him as a loving son, always hugging both his parents when he was going out, no matter who was there. Of the three, he flirted the most with the other side of the law, having a history of truancy at Winnacunnet High school. There was even a rumor that his goal in life was to be a hitman.

At least one of Pete's teachers claimed that he and his two friendsBill and J.R.were "impressive" young men: "Billy was a genuinely likable and caring kid, and the other two were intelligent beyond their years."

And then there was the intern.

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