Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Sex, Lies & Murder: The Pamela Smart Case


"That's one of the tragedies of this case. You've got three very young kids, and they're still in their formative years, and their lives are ruined because she manipulated one of them and the other two went along out of loyalty."

Capt. Loring Jackson

"Do you ever think about me when I'm not around?" Pam asked Bill one gray afternoon while in her office across from Winnacunnet High School. It was early February, 1990, and their relationship had reached a turning point.

"Sure," he admitted.

"Well, I think about you all the time," said Pam.

Billy was hooked. "Billy Flynn could not quite believe what he was hearing," writes Sawicki. "Two minutes earlier, life was normal. He was putting in his time in high school, goofing around with his roughneck friends, and mooning over the pretty media center director. Now his fantasy was coming to life. Here was a womana woman to whom he had been attracted from the moment he first saw her, with whom he had been flirting without hope, revealing that she was attracted to him. Pam said she did not know what to do about her feelings because she was married, but that Billy was constantly on her mind." About three weeks later Pam kissed Billy while on his bed, listening to Motley Crue's Starry Eyes playing over and over.

The excitement he was getting with Pam probably felt like a sort of reprieve for him having just been through a rough couple of years. Two months before Billy's 13th birthday, just entering the turbulent teenage years, his father died. It was a freak accident, when a car pulled in front of him and he veered into the rear of a gasoline tanker carrying some nine thousand gallons of fuel, blowing up and burning until all that was left to identify him were his teeth. Billy got very quiet after that, spending a lot of time alone.

Billy was acting out at home. "It was not that Billy was violent," said his mother. She believed that he had a lot of self-restraint but he could become angry over the smallest difficulty, making it hard to communicate with him. "Outside of the family, people saw a kid that was polite and charming," she said. "That was one side of Billy that he projected to people that he wanted to impress. He wanted to be liked. Inside the family is where he took out his anger. He has an attitude when something's bothering him...It's like a volcano waiting to erupt."

Another youth, Ralph Welch, came to live with the Lattimes. The Lattime family had generously taken him in due to his unfortunate circumstances, encouraging him to go back to school. He was about the same age as their son J.R., but he was closer to Bill and Pete, but did not have the same circle of friends.

On the peripheries of these relationships was a fourth teenager, Raymond "Rayme" Fowler. An admitted petty thief, Fowler ultimately played a minor role.

As for Pam, organization was her strong suit, and she set her sights on controlling and manipulating Billy.

Late in March, Pam took the opportunity to have some fun while Greg was out of state for an insurance meeting. She invited Bill and Cecelia over to the condo to watch movies, one was the steamy 9 1/2 Weeks starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke engaging in sexual acrobatics. Shortly after, leaving Cecelia downstairs to walk the dog, Pam enticed Billy upstairs to the bedroom that she shared with Greg, slipped into a turquoise negligee bought especially for the occasion, then engaged in sex for the first time with Billy, while the CD player blasted out songs by Van Halen and Sammy Hagar.

After their first sexual encounter, they repeatedly met over the next few weeks to have sex, while Pam began and then continued her lament: "You have to get rid of Greg," she said. "Otherwise we can't keep on seeing each other." When Bill questioned her about getting a divorce, she told him that Greg would follow her everywhere so that she would not even be able to have a boyfriend and that she would probably lose the condo, furniture and all and that she could not bear the thought of losing Halen. She falsely claimed that he beat her and the only way was to kill him. It all began like a surrealistic movie.

Following Bill's sexual initiation, the next morning as Pam drove them both to the school, she said, "Last night was great, but we can't keep on like that."

"Why not?" asked Bill.

"Because of Greg. If you want to keep seeing me, you'll have to get rid of my husband."

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