"Jesus, another fight at the deli? Let's hit the doughnut shop on the way." - Samantha Strickland
Samantha Strickland is a native of Ashford Falls, the daughter of Carolyn Strickland, whose family hails from nearby Troy, New York. She also has family in Collinsport, Maine.
Born in 1959, Samantha's family was once very wealthy, but a series of bad investments destroyed the family fortune and the rest was taken by corrupt lawyers ironically hired to restrain the damage. To survive, Carolyn moved to Ashford Falls to take residence in one of the few family homes still in the possession of the family. Located at the end of Owens Street, the home was once on the outskirts of town near Haverstraw Canyon where Samantha and her sister Melissa Strickland once ran loose over a rural countryside of distant and dilapidated houses, but her father sold off sections of the property to Lincoln Hedison to build suburban homes, turning what was once completely rural into modern suburban homes during the Early Seventies property boom.
In her youth, Samantha was encouraged by her mother into the beauty pageant contests in the area. Quite the tom boy, Samantha resisted this constantly, but by her teenage years, she began to realize how attractive she was to boys. She attended Ashford Falls High School where she was friends with Caitlin Featherstone, Bobbi Pierce and Janet DuBois, but she was often approached by boys trying to date her. She briefly dated Blake Hedison, the young handsome heir of the wealthy Hedison Family, but she also dated Quentin Baldwin and Russell Coleman. Daniel Featherstone also tried wooing her only to fall for Melissa instead. However, Samantha often restrained herself from social relationship and pursued other pursuits. She enjoyed riding horses at Ashford Falls Riding Stables and had a recurring summer job at Coleman's Repair Shop where she learned to work on cars under Russell's father, Jack Coleman. Russell continued to woo her romantically, but she ignored all his advances.
After high school, Samantha followed her classmate Greg Witherspoon to apply to the police school near Schenectady, and although he dropped out to work in a bar, she stayed on and finished the courses, becoming very adept with a gun. Afterward, she worked a desk job in Albany, but after feeling unfulfilled, she transferred to Troy where she learned about her mother's lost family fortune. After the retirement of Sheriff Lionel Taft, she was hired to replace David Carmichael as deputy sheriff who was replacing Taft as sheriff.
Returning to Ashford Falls, Samantha has been at several of the scenes and events involving the Hedison Family, considered to be corrupt. She has appeared at several confrontations between Helen Caldwell and Rachel Hedison over their triangle with Dr. Paul Kirkwood, she was present when Len Snedeker outed himself as a cross dresser before Mayor Carl Griggs, she hesitantly escorted Naomi Hedison into mental care on the accusations of Carter Hedison and she also apprehended Bud Mason as a serial sex offender after he tried assaulting Melissa. She has also ticketed both Russell and Danny Featherstone for speeding and nearly wrecked her patrol car for trying to catch Jack Gable for speeding on Wyckoff Road, later ticketing him at the Hedison Mansion the night of Rachel and Paul's Marriage Announcement . She was also reportedly present when Rachel crashed her car near Ashford Falls Scenic Lookout although chronologically this must have occurred before she was hired by Carmichael since this happened during Sheriff's Taft's tenure.
Over the years, Samantha eventually started pining for companionship in her life. Following the events of Rachel's accident at the New York Delicatessen, she befriended Danny and consoled him following his break-up with Janet DuBois. Their relationship was awkward because of her responsibility to her job and his recurring speeding tickets. Russell also came into her life after getting a job as a mechanic for the town's police cars. During Sabrina Collins's run for mayor, Melissa and Daniel ended up renewing their relationship and Samantha became friends with Russell again.
Despite this friendship, it seems nothing happened in the romance and Samantha and Russell broke up. She eventually started dating Harvey Birckhead, a certified public accountant from Lake George; the two of them sharing a home on Griffith Street.