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THE MURDER of Carol Stuart exposed racial inequalities and shocked an entire nation.
The impact of Charles Stuart’s claims heightened racial tensions in Boston.
Who was Charles Stuart?
Charles Stuart was married to Carol Stuart. He was the general manager of a fur company in Boston.
On October 23, 1989, Stuart called the police and claimed that a Black man had shot him and his pregnant wife Carol, in a robbery.
He described the assailant as a Black man with a raspy voice in a tracksuit.
This claim jumpstarted a weekslong manhunt by Boston police targeting Black men.
Alan Swanson was arrested and held on bail before eventually being released.
Stuart even went as far as picking a Black man out of a police lineup. William Bennett was arrested in December 1989.
What happened to Charles Stuart’s wife, Carol?
Carol Stuart was shot in the head and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. She was seven months pregnant at the time.
Although doctors were able to deliver her baby via C-section, Carol did not survive. She was 30 years old.
Her son, Christopher, died 17 days after his birth. Both deaths were ruled homicides.
On January 3, 1990, Stuart’s brother Matthew confessed that his brother had killed Carol and staged the entire robbery.
He also admitted to his role in getting rid of the gun used in the murder and Carol’s jewelry.
William Bennett was released from jail once Stuart became the primary suspect.
What was Charles Stuart’s cause of death?
Stuart jumped into the Mystic River on January 3, 1990 hours before the police were going to arrest him.
Police located his body from under the Tobin Bridge hours after he died by suicide.
Two days later, Stuart became the primary suspect and Bennett was exonerated.
Then-Mayor Ray Flynn visited the Bennett home to apologize to the family.