Going West: True Crime - Carol Stuart // 357

Episode Date: November 18, 2023

In October of 1989, a 30-year-old pregnant woman was murdered after being apprehended at a stoplight in Boston. When her injured husband called police to explain what happened, an intense investigatio...n began, revealing a surprising suspect. This is the story of Carol Stuart. BONUS EPISODES Apple Subscriptions: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/going-west-true-crime/id1448151398 Patreon: patreon.com/goingwestpodcast CASE SOURCES 1. Carol's FInd A Grave: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6665018/carol-ann-stuart 2. The Boston Globe: https://www.newspapers.com/image/439756203/?match=1 3. The Boston Globe: https://www.newspapers.com/image/439758452/?terms=carol%20stuart&match=1 4. New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/1990/02/04/us/new-doubt-as-jury-takes-up-stuart-case.html 5. Cold Blood: https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/amzn1.dv.gti.40a9f73b-c819-0412-a94b-2ae3d509e272?ref_=imdbref_tt_wbr_ovf__pvc_truecrime&tag=imdbtag_tt_wbr_ovf__pvc_truecrime-20 6. CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/charles-and-carol-stuart-shooting-willie-bennett-interview-wbz-tv-cheryl-fiandaca/ 7. CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/willie-bennetts-family-recalls-stuart-case-22-years-later/ 8. Tampa Bay Times: https://www.newspapers.com/article/tampa-bay-times-the-stuart-family-crime/21342825/ 9. Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2020/01/04/they-were-treated-like-animals-murder-hoax-that-made-bostons-black-community-target/ 10. The Huntington News: https://huntnewsnu.com/7206/campus/resident-writes-of-rich-mission-hill-history/#:~:text=The%20area%20was%20deemed%20dangerous,on%20a%20nondescript%20black%20person. 11. The Boston Globe: https://www.newspapers.com/image/439851664/?terms=matthew%20stuart&match=1 12. The Boston Globe: https://www.newspapers.com/image/444547447/?terms=%22matthew%20stuart%22%20carol%20stuart&match=1 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Discussion (0)
Starting point is 00:00:00 What is going on True Crime fans? I'm your host Teeth. And I'm your host Daphne. And you're listening to Going West. Hello everybody. Oh my goodness. If you're not following us on social media, then you don't know I've had the flu all week. It has been so bad. That's why we didn't come out with an episode on Tuesday, which we've never done. We always do come out with something eventually if we are sick, but we just decided to take
Starting point is 00:00:36 it off because I've never been so sick in my life. It has been truly miserable. Yeah, we've literally been sleeping in separate bedrooms because she's just been miserable for the last week. Self-isolation has been sad. Right, yes, but she's finally been feeling a little bit better kind of on the men, so we're trying to get this done today for you guys. It's so weird though,
Starting point is 00:00:56 because Heath and I are not looking at each other right now. Like, I'm trying to face the other direction and he's facing the other direction. So this is really foreign, but here we are. Thank you guys for tuning in. This will be an interesting episode. But we're here in spirit. I can see the back of your head.
Starting point is 00:01:12 Exactly. Perfect. Alright well, let's not waste any more time guys. This is episode 357 of Going West so let's get into it. Your holiday could use a little extra, a bit more, or maybe a whole lot of. Add some extra to your holiday gatherings when you add ice cold Coke to your cart. Coca-Cola, real magic. Buffalo, New York has transformed itself into one of the best destinations in the country for art and culture.
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Starting point is 00:02:57 In October of 1989, a 30-year-old pregnant woman was murdered after being apprehended at a stoplight in Boston. When her injured husband called police to explain what happened, an intense investigation began, revealing a surprising suspect. This is the story of Carol Stewart. Carol and Demati was born on March 26, 1959 in Medford, Massachusetts, which is a northwest suburb of Boston, to parents Evelyn and Juosto Demati and her older brother, Carl. She's described as warm, intelligent, and gregarious by her friends and family, and her older brother, Carl. She's described as warm, intelligent, and gregarious by her friends and family, and her brother, Carl, remembers glowingly, quote,
Starting point is 00:04:11 "'My sister really believed in the innate goodness of every one of us. I think the key word in describing Carol is giving. She's been every day of her life giving herself to others. She was perhaps the most unselfish person that I've ever known. Carol came from a tight-knit family and even after moving out, she would speak to her mother every day on the phone. Her dad, Ever the Proud Father, kept Carol's report card and
Starting point is 00:04:39 his wallet for years after she graduated from school, because Carol was a very accomplished and motivated student who dreamed of becoming a lawyer. After graduating from high school in 1977, Carol headed to Boston College to obtain her undergraduate degree, and upon completion, she headed straight into law school at Suffolk University, graduating in 1985 at the age of 26. Though Carol was laser-focused on her aspirations of becoming a lawyer, she also made time during
Starting point is 00:05:12 her pursuit of education to fall in love and get married. When she was still a teenager, she began working at a restaurant called Driftwood in the nearby suburb of Revere as a waitress, and Charles Stewart, known as Chuck to his friends and family, was employed as a line cook. Charles had grown up in Revere and went on to attend Brown University on a football scholarship, but when a knee injury totally soiled his chances at a professional career in sports, he transferred to Salem State College. While the young couple navigated their education, they saw each other as much as they possibly could, and maintained their relationship all the same. Then, in 1985,
Starting point is 00:05:53 so seven years after they met, they were happily married. They purchased a home in the quaint Boston suburb of Reading, complete with a pool in the backyard, which they would let the neighborhood teens use in the summer. Which is very sweet. Exactly, and friends remember that Carol was really excited to fill the house with kids, but that she wanted to fulfill her career aspirations first. So the stewards busied themselves, laying the groundwork for successful futures, and in the meantime, maintained an active social life in their community, and they would often
Starting point is 00:06:24 take their black labs that they had out in the neighborhood for walks, like every day. Charles started working for a fur coat store called Edward Caucus Furs, managing a branch of the store and did pretty well for himself, like I guess you could kind of consider them at this point, middle to upper class. Now Ted Caucus, who was the president of Edward Caucus at the time, said, quote, he was just an all around terrific guy.
Starting point is 00:06:50 I think I can say that he was loved by all of our employees. He was just terrific. We cherished him. Charles was known as an absolute pillar in his workplace and also in his community, even organizing a charity food drive at Thanksgiving, and a charity toy drive at Christmas.
Starting point is 00:07:09 So he and Carol were both just incredibly giving people together, and everyone thought that they were absolute soulmates. Carol's best friend Kimberly remembered, quote, �They're the best type of people, really unusual people. They would do anything for you. They had a huge number of friends, and I think you can really say that everybody loved them. So, after finishing law school, Carol started working as a lawyer for a publishing company,
Starting point is 00:07:35 and both Carol and Charles were regarded as hard working, and were well liked and respected by all of their colleagues. So after holding off on starting a family in order to, you know, bankroll more money, Carol became pregnant in 1989 at the age of 30. Both Carolyn Charles seemed pretty thrilled by this and were excitedly decorating the nursery, just prepping for the baby to arrive. On Monday, October 23rd, 1989,
Starting point is 00:08:04 Carol was about two months away from giving birth to a baby boy around the holiday season. And the stewards were enrolled in a birthing class at Brigham and Woman's Hospital in Boston. So that late October night, they were driving in for the evening to attend this class. And sometime between 8 and 8.30pm, the class concluded, and the couple began their 20-minute drive back to Reading. Then at 8.35pm that night, police received a call from Charles on his car telephone. The first thing he said was, my wife's been shot, I've been shot.
Starting point is 00:08:40 The dispatcher Gary Magloughlin was desperate to pin down their location, but Charles was fading quickly. When asked where he was, Charles said, quote, I have no idea, I have no idea. So Gary just tried to glean context clues from what Charles could see from the car and offer anything that would give away his location. But at 8.44 pm while still on the phone with the operator, Charles succumbed to the severity of his injury and passed out behind the wheel of the car, coming to a stop on the side of the road.
Starting point is 00:09:14 Gary pleaded with him over the phone, quote, hang on Chuck, come on with me, you can't blink out man, I need you. Then all he could hear was Charles' muffled breathing as the phone slipped out of his hand. Gary was so frustrated that he could be heard saying, Chuck, Chuck pick up the phone, and then, damn. Gary later remarked, quote, he was very, very articulate to the things he could be. In my opinion, Mr. Stewart is a hero in all of this, believe me. Squad cars flooded the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, alternating their sirens on and off so that Gary could communicate with the officers when they sounded close or farther away.
Starting point is 00:09:57 Now, using this method, they were able to locate the Stewart's six agonizing minutes later. The couple were in their car on St. Alphonse's Street near the intersection of McGreevy Way in Mission Hill, only about three minutes away from the hospital that they had just left. They were rushed to separate hospitals with Carol arriving back at Brangham and Women's Hospital at 912 p.m. Which she had just left less than an hour earlier. Exactly. So she was admitted to an operating room for an emergency cesarean section immediately upon arrival. As Charles was loaded into an ambulance to be taken to a separate hospital, he was asked who this culprit was. With such a horrific crime, the shooting of a pregnant woman, police needed to get ahead
Starting point is 00:10:45 of the media attention in public outcry, hoping to catch this person quickly. So eager to begin their investigation, before they even knew of Carol, Charles, or the baby were going to make it, police ardently took down Charles' description of their attacker. Charles recounted an African-American man believed to be about 30 years old and six feet tall. He was said to be clad in a dark-colored tracksuit and had a raspy voice and a beard. Now upon arrival at the hospital, Charles was sent into emergency surgery that lasted 10 hours, and by the time he was out, his wife Carol was gone.
Starting point is 00:11:27 After too much blood loss, too little oxygen to her brain, in a traumatic C-section, Carol's body had sustained far too much damage, and she was pronounced dead at 3am on Tuesday, October 24, 1989. Over 800 mourners showed up to memorialize 30-year-old Carol at her funeral, and although Charles was still in critical condition and bound to his hospital bed, he wrote a tribute to his late wife. His best friend Brian, who is actually married to Carol's best friend Kimberly, read, quote,
Starting point is 00:12:01 Good Night Sweet Wife My Love. God has called you to his hands. Not to take you away from me or the happiness or gladness you brought me, but to bring you away from the cruelty and the violence that fills this world. He said that for us to truly believe, we must know that his will was done, and that there was some right in this meanest of acts. In our souls, we must forgive this sinner because he would too. My life will be more empty without you as well the lives of your family
Starting point is 00:12:33 and friends. You've brought joy and kindness to every life you've touched. Now you sleep away from me. I will never again know the feeling of your hand in mind, but I will always feel you. I miss you and I love you." And actually Carol's service was held in the same church where she and Charles got married just four years earlier. Their priest, Father Gallagher, delivered the Eulogy at Carol's service, saying sadly, quote, "...many of us were here four short years ago to pray for and with a very happy young bride and groom. This time we come again to pray for Carol Stewart's mortal soul. We are naturally overwhelmed by human emotions, anger, resentment, deep sorrow, perhaps revenge.
Starting point is 00:13:20 No one can do anything to erase the nightmare that is happening. No one can do anything to erase the nightmare that is happening. Get rid of all bitterness, passion, anger, malice of every kind, and in place of that, be kind, compassionate. Meanwhile, was Carol's friends and family reeled from the shock and horror of the sudden loss? The Stuart's three-pound baby, who they planned to name Christopher, was clinging to life at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Though her family held out hope that he would make it, Dr. Sadly couldn't detect any brain activity from baby Christopher. So on November 9, 1989, after 17 days of fighting, he was finally pronounced dead. Police were now faced with a double homicide, and growing tension in Boston aimed towards
Starting point is 00:14:09 the mission hill neighborhood, and specifically the African-American community, because of Charles' description of the man that he claimed was behind this. And in general, with the crime rising more and more, people wanted to get out of the city. One of the Stewart's neighbors said, quote, I wouldn't go into Boston if you gave me $100,000. It's just not safe. But sadly, this fear began to manifest itself in racial tension. Tensions in fear were at an all-time high, and please were desperate to put someone behind bars for the crime, and to ease the outrage that was broadcast on every news channel
Starting point is 00:14:48 and written in every newspaper daily after the shooting occurred. Per police protocol, they looked into Charles's involvement as a precaution. However, he appeared to be this totally upstanding citizen in every single way. I mean, he didn't even have so much as a traffic ticket on his record. But detectives were eager to interview him anyway, but his doctor said that he was still too weak in the aftermath of the attack and also his surgery. Although his doctor did say that it was pretty unlikely
Starting point is 00:15:17 that the gunshot had been self-inflicted and noted that men are especially unlikely to shoot themselves in that area because it has the potential to damage or cut off feeling to their genitals. And it was a very serious injury, so this bullet actually cut through his liver, stomach, and even severed blood vessels to his groin. Yeah, so it was not looking good.
Starting point is 00:15:40 And because of this, police focused elsewhere and put together the couple's final moments, which would hopefully lead them to getting the perpetrator off the streets. Law enforcement started lining up what they were able to surmise from Charles' memory and what Dispatcher Gary McLaughlin reported from their 911 call, and here's how it goes. While stopped at a stoplight at the corner of Huntington Street and Francis Avenue, just one minute away from the hospital, a man approached the car and jumped in. He forced them at gunpoint to drive to an undisclosed location where Charles offered his watch and their wedding rings, but the robber demanded their wallets instead.
Starting point is 00:16:25 He wound up with their watches, Carol's jewelry, including her wedding ring, and between $50 and $100 in cash. He also took their car keys, but Charles happened to have an extra set with him. Charles recalled that the man spotted the car phone inside their Toyota Crescita, and exclaimed, quote, I think your 5-0, which many of us know is a slang for police officers. So after thinking they're suddenly police, he shot the couple and fled. Charles then called state police from his car phone and desperately tried to explain where they
Starting point is 00:17:01 were while he was nearing unconsciousness, which as we know he eventually did. For 13 minutes, he was slumped in the front seat with the call still active, while Gary directed the ambulance and squad cars to the proper location based on what he could hear over the open phone line. The intersection where the stewards were found, which was St. Alfonso's street near McGrevy Way, like Heath said, was adjacent to a Mission Hill public housing development. So police believed that the gunmen either lived there or frequently committed crime in that neighborhood. Two 38 caliber bullets were found at the scene. One had been lodged in Carol's head, and the other that Charles said was aimed for his
Starting point is 00:17:48 head, but he was able to dodge, was sent through his stomach and lodged into the car. This episode is brought to you by Chambers Plan. You won't find two businesses with the same challenges, but you will find 30,000 businesses with Chambers Plan employee benefits. They've all chosen value-added features that evolve with the times, with industry leading rate stability, so there won't be any nasty surprises come renewal. All from a not-for-profit local provider. See how Chambers Plan can benefit your business at hellochambers.ca.
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Starting point is 00:20:09 It's your workout, your rules! For Peloton's best offers of the season, head to 1peloton.ca slash offers. I'll access membership separate, Terms Apply. So, after getting this statement from Charles, police descended upon Mission Hill, questioning locals, and revisiting those who had been convicted of crimes there before. Now, hundreds of tip calls flooded in for law enforcement to sift through, and though the media seemed to be aiming the blame at Mission Hill and its lower income residents, the residents were just as outraged that the crime had happened in their neighborhood. The first serious suspect that the police zeroed in on was Alan Swanson, a Mission Hill
Starting point is 00:21:03 local who had robbed someone at gunpoint just three days before Carol's murder. He was also a known drug dealer. So based on this and his criminal record alone, police arrived at Alan's house with a search warrant, and inside they even found a black tracksuit that was soaking in the sink that appeared to have blood splatters on it. So obviously police were like elated by this, thinking that they had their guy. So they arrested Alan, taking that track suit for further testing.
Starting point is 00:21:33 But then, another suspect emerged. Like Alan, Willie Bennett was known by police, and seemed to prey on vulnerable victims, even having robbed a wheelchair-bound paraplegic. Which is fucking horrible. Yeah, that's obviously like just a really shitty thing to do, so… but we are going to get into that in just a little bit. Also similar to Alan, Willie had just committed a robbery shortly before Carol's murder. So three weeks prior to the attack on the stewards, Willie had robbed a video store at
Starting point is 00:22:05 gunpoint and was described as having a raspy voice, which was a key descriptor in Charles' depiction of his robber. Now, after Willie came under suspicion, a group of mission hill residents claimed that not only did Willie own a gun whose bullets matched those found at the scene, but he had been bragging about shooting a white family while showing off his gun. A local woman claiming to know him also came forward to say that she had heard Willie explain that the bullet hadn't been meant for Carol, but that it had been meant for Charles.
Starting point is 00:22:40 Meanwhile, testing came back for Alan's trackuit, and the substance it was stained with was confirmed not to be Carol's blood. It's kind of weird because they said that it wasn't Carol's blood, but I'm just like, what is it? Yeah, what is it though? Yeah, I don't know. But it was kind of weird. That Charles had said there was a guy in a dark tracksuit,
Starting point is 00:23:00 and then they find this guy, and then he happened, it's to have one, and there's a substance on it, but it's not connected so then with that Allen was released, he's not being looked at anymore and Willy found himself at the center of the investigation instead but as he was being investigated a furious manhunt continued to ensure that they had the correct person staffing over a hundred extra police officers to do patrols of predominantly black communities. The City Councilor for Mission Hill described the city in the days after the attack as a
Starting point is 00:23:34 war zone in which every black man was the enemy. Investigators focused their efforts on taking Willie down for the murders of Carol and Christopher, but seeking more evidence, police raided the home of Willie's mom, sister, and girlfriend. Willie's niece, who is seven at the time, remembers the harrowing ordeal perfectly all these years later. She explained, quote, 15 officers marching down the hill, that their big ol' shields in front of them and all of a sudden I hear this noise like bang, bang, like they're trying to get inside the building, but the door was locked.
Starting point is 00:24:11 They had like a big sledgehammer banging on the door like bang, bang. Police ransacked the apartment and came away with nothing and Willie hadn't even been home at the time. Willie's family said the experience had been terrifying for them. His sister Vita recalled, quote, "'I feel trauma just as the stewards. I feel real bad for Carol. I really do and for that unborn baby.'"
Starting point is 00:24:38 But she said the whole family knew without a doubt that their brother had nothing to do with the murders and that whatever was said about him was a complete and utter lie. Willie's other sister, Diane, was shocked at his arrest, claiming that it was impossible that he could have had anything to do with it because she had been with him on the night of the attack. By her account, she, Willie, and Vita headed to the convenience store to pick up a few things for their mom that night, and that they had been close enough to the scene of the crime to actually hear the gunshots ring out, with Willie outside in the car not off-committing
Starting point is 00:25:15 murder. Diane remembers that she and her sister even left the store and ran to Willie still waiting in the parking lot to ask what had happened. He said he wasn't sure, but that he had heard the gunshots too. Now, obviously we know at this time, Willie is kind of a piece of shit. Oh, I mean, he's a super piece of shit. But did he commit this crime?
Starting point is 00:25:38 And this is really tough because there's not any physical evidence, but we have people saying, oh, I heard him bragging about, you know, shooting and robbing this white couple and we have him also committing other crimes in the past, so people are looking into that. But again, there's just nothing to go on. So it does make sense that police are pursuing him at all. I mean, to be fair, he... At the very least, questioning him. He's committed violent crimes in the past and people are coming forward saying that he
Starting point is 00:26:07 did this. So it is good that they're looking into it, but it seems like they kind of kept pushing it when they didn't have anything, when they probably should have just said, okay, he didn't do it. Well, let's talk about that. So there was no evidence that he was linked to the crime. But with no one else on the hook for it, police were kind of scrambling to put someone behind bars. So in the midst of Willie's arrest and the mounting pressure from the community, tips and rumors continued to trickle in, and several pointed the finger in an unexpected direction.
Starting point is 00:26:39 Or I usually expected one. Or yeah, if you've listened to this show for a long time, it is pretty usual. But, I mean, I kind of unexpected in this one. Yeah. So, some suggested that Charles had been involved in orchestrating the attack on his wife, and lied about it being an unknown, black assailant. A few tips even reported having seen Charles circling that very neighborhood in his company's van in the days prior to the robbery.
Starting point is 00:27:08 Though it seemed unlikely, police entertained the notion that perhaps, Charles was living a double life, and maybe he had been seeking drugs from Willie who was known to deal drugs in the past. Now, it was possible that he had kept his habit concealed from his family and possibly even his wife, and that the shooting had been retaliatory, like some sort of penance for his debts. But they couldn't find any link between Willie and Charles prior to the attack on October 23rd. Now, there was also a rumor that Charles had been looking into hiring a hitman for his
Starting point is 00:27:42 wife. And actually one coworker of Carol's at the publishing firm noted that, while the theories seemed a little bit outlandish, he did remember Carol mentioning that Charles seemed less enthusiastic about having a baby. She had been so thrilled at the prospect
Starting point is 00:27:58 of becoming a parent that she had mentioned potentially leaving her job to become a full-time mom. And he remembered that Charles was not very happy about this plan. Now Charles, who was finally out of the hospital by the time this was coming out, was now able to assist in the investigation. And interestingly, police placed Willie in a lineup among similar suspects, and Charles plucked Willie from among the others. Which is kind of interesting.
Starting point is 00:28:26 But still, there was no physical evidence against Willie, so this seemed to make up the minds of police. But unbeknownst to him, Charles was still on their radar. Fresh out of the hospital, Charles had already cashed out his life insurance policy on Carol, because just a few weeks before Carol's death, weeks, Charles had taken out a $100,000 American Express life insurance policy on her. He was also the beneficiary of an $82,000 policy provided by her work and another $100,000
Starting point is 00:29:01 policy with Traveler's Insurance Company. The Boston Globe later reported that Charles was also set to receive a payout of $480,000 from yet another insurance policy that he had opened, this time with a prudential insurance company, but prudential later denied this claim. But either way, he made hundreds of thousands of dollars off her death, and multiple sources close to Charles claim that he was planning to open a restaurant with the money that he received from the payments. But for the time being, the first thing he did was purchase a brand new car, which just
Starting point is 00:29:38 feels like kind of weird. Sounds kind of weird. And so, and you know, we're not the only ones to think that, please thought that was really freaking weird too So you know, especially I mean he had just lost his wife and child and he Caches out on her insurance policy right when he gets out of the hospital and then buys a brand new car So police took note of these developments and then an Explosive piece of evidence that would upend the entire investigation came from an unlikely
Starting point is 00:30:06 source, Charles' own brother, Matthew. So Charles was one of six from a large tight-knit Boston Catholic family, and they had supported him and been at his side this whole time, as well as carols and Christopher's from the beginning. But weeks later, around the holidays, one sibling who had been harboring a deep secret began to crack under the pressure. Matthew, who was the youngest of six, came to his siblings to tell them that he knew what really happened that night, and that it had nothing to do with Willie Bennett.
Starting point is 00:30:42 By Matthew's account, Charles had come to him earlier that year and asked if he wanted to get involved in an insurance scam if Charles were to offer him a cut of it which would have been $10,000. So Matthew actually agreed to this, and Charles later instructed him to meet him downtown and take a few items from him, discarded in a bag. Do you guys feel swindled? Because the first time I read this shit, I felt extremely swindled. So they met on the evening of October 23rd, the night of Carol and Christopher's murders,
Starting point is 00:31:18 and Matthew greeted him in the driver's seat, taking the bag from him, and then returning to his hometown of revier in the suburbs where they had all grown up. Now at the time Matthew recalled seeing a large package in the front seat, which he later realized to his horror was Carol, rapidly losing her chance at survival. Yet he didn't realize that was her body originally? Yeah, I mean, he obviously knew. And then so this would have happened
Starting point is 00:31:47 before Charles shot himself. Exactly, yeah. So when he returned to Revere, his sister Shelley informed him of what had happened, telling him that Carol had been rushed to the hospital and was fighting for her life, and thus, Charles siblings all headed into the city to be by her side.
Starting point is 00:32:08 Now, when Matthew later opened the bag that Charles had given him, he found a handgun and Carol's jewelry, including her wedding ring. So Panicked, Matthew discarded the items in a nearby body of water and tried to put it out of his head. But he held onto Carol's wedding ring just in case. It just really sad. I mean, I understand this is his brother and maybe obviously has that loyalty to his brother, but you just find out that your sister-in-law and your new nephew, baby, who has not been born yet, are dying in a hospital after being shot.
Starting point is 00:32:41 And you realize that your brother did it, and you have the evidence to prove it shot and you realize that your brother did it and you have the evidence to prove it and you throw it away in a body of water instead of just holding on a second and keeping it? Well, I mean, just the fact, the audacity of Charles to put his family in this position in the first place, Carol's family through this heartbreak, and Willie's family through all this shit. I mean, the guy is just a fucking asshole. I mean, I guess it's hard to really understand because, you know, in some cases, it feels like people would really do anything for their family, even if it was something this big. But obviously, his brother Matthew is very, very conflicted over what to do here. But that's why I'm like, I can't believe he got rid of it
Starting point is 00:33:26 But then it's like I'm gonna keep the wedding ring just in case but not keep the rest of it when you got rid of it after finding out What it was related to but then also Charles needed somebody to make this whole robbery thing look real and the only way that was gonna happen is if somebody took whole robbery thing look real and the only way that was going to happen is if somebody took their jewelry and their watches and their wallets away from the scene and that was only going to be somebody that he knew right but then obviously that backfire too well here's a thing so for the coming months Matthew was really haunted by the secret that he was keeping just totally racked with all this guilt so he eventually brought the issue to his siblings and then his parents and then the police. So at the end of all of this, even though it was months
Starting point is 00:34:11 later, he did come forward. Which is amazing, especially because he's in a complice now, so the fact that he's putting that to the side and saying, I may get in trouble, but this is the right thing to do is really great. Yeah, so he told them his story and showed them the ring, and they finally knew what really happened. So on January 3rd, 1990, just a few days after Christopher was set to be born. Police set out after Charles, but he was nowhere to be found. Then early the next morning, a report from a maintenance worker for the Mystic River Bridge in Massachusetts came in about an abandoned vehicle, which turned out to be Charles's.
Starting point is 00:34:56 So when they arrived, there was obviously no sign of him, but inside the car was a suicide note. He wrote that he couldn't handle the consequences of his actions, and that he loved his family. And then later, his body was pulled from the Tobin River nearby. And we don't have the exact note, but obviously we can all surmise that his actions equal him murdering his wife and his unborn baby. Right. So based on where Matthew said he had dumped the items that Charles had given him, police
Starting point is 00:35:26 were able to find the gun that he had used, which had coincidentally been stolen from caucus furs, and it had the exact amount of spent casings that he had used on himself and also on Carol. So with this shocking revelation, the case was now closed. And this just must have been so hard for anybody to wrap their heads around. Like just a couple months earlier, this happy, like reportedly wonderful couple was about to start a family.
Starting point is 00:35:54 And then within a couple months, they're all dead at the hands of the same person, you know, Charles. So it's just crazy how that all unfolded, that at the end of it Charles was dead anyway because he couldn't He couldn't handle what he had done. So it's like why did he do that? It just seems very pointless and he left so much destruction and like I said heartache in his wake It just it really is so senseless and it usually I think a lot of times in this case You know, maybe there's another person out there
Starting point is 00:36:27 and we didn't read anything about him seeing another woman at this time, like it's not like he was trying to start a new life necessarily. It really just seemed like he wanted that money, you know? Right, but it's like, okay, so you've got a few hundred thousand dollars and how is that worth murdering your wife and your unborn child? Like, maybe he didn't want a family that soon,
Starting point is 00:36:48 maybe he didn't want a family at all, and as the due date was nearing, he felt like that was what he had to do, and then once he did it, he realized that was not the thing to do. It's just, it's insane. Well, the ego of people like this truly believe that they're not gonna get caught.
Starting point is 00:37:06 And I think once he knew that the police were onto him, like I don't believe that Charles just had this epiphany of, oh, I did a bad thing, I need to take myself out as well. I think he knew like, hey, I'm gonna go to prison for the rest of my life. That's why I'm gonna take myself out. Totally. So Matthew Stewart pleaded guilty to conspiracy for his role in concealing Charles's murders,
Starting point is 00:37:29 and he was sentenced to three to five years in prison for this crime of which he served three. And he was actually never able to recover from this entire situation and spent the next decade of his life in and out of prison on drug and theft charges. And then in 2011, he died of a drug overdose in a homeless shelter. So this, I mean, this whole thing ruined, it just ruined the entire family on both sides.
Starting point is 00:37:59 So his family has declined to talk about his demise, but Carol's family issued a statement to the media that demise, but Carol's family issued a statement to the media that read, quote, are condolences go out to the family of Matthew Stewart. Willie spoke out after his release explaining that he felt that he had been set up and that both he and his family's lives were ruined by the unwelcome attention that they received due to these totally false accusations. Willie later said, quote, considering it was me. I'm a strong person. I've been through a whole lot. I've been in prison half of my life. I'm not doing any more of that silly shit that I used to. I can't forget. Regardless of how much time I can't forget.
Starting point is 00:38:56 And hopefully that is true that you're on a good path, Willie. So Willie served 12 years in prison for the armed robbery of the video store that he committed on October 2nd, 1989, exactly 3 weeks before Charles killed his wife and his unborn son. Willie also said that he believes Charles is a monster, and added quote, I ain't got nothing to say about that man. He did what he did, and now he's gone. I'll see him in hell if there is a hell. However, some investigators still doubt Charles's involvement, which honestly blows my fucking mind, claiming that he couldn't or wouldn't have shot himself in that manner, and still believe that Willie or someone else was involved.
Starting point is 00:39:42 Which would then mean that Matthew lied and went to prison for three years for no reason, and then... Yes, there's just no way. It's just, it doesn't line up for me. I mean, even Charles's family accepted the outcome of the horrific sequence of events, and were honest about the fact that their brother was involved. Charles's brother Mark even called him sick and described his actions as unconscionable and unforgivable. The murders are still one of the most notorious and controversial in Boston's history, and
Starting point is 00:40:12 became the subject of a book called Murder in Boston as well as a movie entitled Good Night Sweet Wife, whose title borrowed prose from the letter that Charles wrote to his late wife for her funeral. In her memory, Carol's parents Evelyn and Juosto unveiled a scholarship for struggling students living in the Mission Hill neighborhood, and within its first week, it received over $100,000 in donations. Thank you so much everybody for listening to this episode of Going West. Yes, thank you guys so much for listening to this episode. We are back and on Tuesday we'll have an all-new case for you guys to dive into. Yes. Thank you everybody
Starting point is 00:41:06 again for dealing with my sickness and the delay and the no episode on Tuesday But we will be coming out with normal episodes next week's despite the next week's next week Despite the Thanksgiving holiday so we can be with you on Thanksgiving if you are going to be by yourself that day Yeah, that's it. That's a great time to listen to a true prime story. Yeah, we're gonna have some really interesting, actually one story in particular that we're gonna tell. I don't know if I want to do it on Tuesday or Friday.
Starting point is 00:41:37 Oh, actually both. Tuesday and Friday are gonna be freaking nuts. Yeah, so please, please tune in. Also, I wanted to make one quick announcement right before we head out today. I just released some music. It's under the name ghostly. You can find me on Instagram at ghostly.la.
Starting point is 00:41:57 I just put out a video for it. I'm really, really excited. I'm very, very passionate about this project. So please go check it out if you have time. It would mean the world to me, and that's all I'm gonna say about that. It's a song called NUM, it's really good. It's on Apple music and Spotify and everywhere else,
Starting point is 00:42:13 and you can just go listen to it. It's really, really good. And we should all support our favorite host, Heath. Oh, thanks so much. All right, guys, so for everybody out there in the world, don't be a stranger. Thank you. you

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