‘To Die For’ inspiration Pamela Smart asks chance at freedom

Posted at 11:09 AM, December 8, 2021 and last updated 8:11 PM, July 13, 2023

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Pamela Smart, a former high school employee serving a life-without-parole sentence for recruiting her teenage lover to kill her husband in 1990, is once again asking New Hampshire officials for a chance at freedom, saying she has accepted responsibility for her role in her husband’s death.

“I have now spent over 31 years in prison — more than half my life,” she said in a letter addressed to Gov. Chris Sununu and the Executive Council, WMUR-TV reported. “I apologize to the Smart family, my own family, and all who were directly or indirectly impacted by my actions and misjudgment.”

Court TV’s Trial Archives: NH v. Pamela Smart (1991)

The council, which approves pardons, rejected two prior requests from Smart for a hearing, most recently in 2019. She has exhausted all of her judicial appeal options.


Smart, 54, is at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York. She was 22 in 1990 when she was accused of plotting with student William Flynn to murder her husband, Gregory Smart. The case inspired the 1995 Nicole Kidman movie, “To Die For.”

Smart has denied knowledge of the plot. She admitted to having an affair with Flynn.

Flynn and three other youths have since been released from prison. Smart was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and other crimes and sentenced to life without parole.

“For many years, I blamed others for my incarceration because I was immature, selfish and proud,” she said in her letter. “I refused to see my own role in Gregg’s death … It took years, even decades for me to accept responsibility, and I must carry that burden.”

The attorney general’s office is reviewing the petition. It would present its position before the council votes on whether to grant a hearing for Smart. Sununu would decide if Smart should be eligible for parole after a hearing.