In 1989, what was believed to be a robbery attempt on a couple seemingly led the police to hunt for the suspect. But within months, they learned of a plot far more sinister, pushing them to question the initial story. Investigation Discovery’s ‘The 1980s: The Deadliest Decade: The Yuppie Murder’ chronicles how the police came to believe Carol Stuart, a mother-to-be, was killed by her husband, Charles. However, despite circumstantial evidence pointing to his guilt, they never could confirm a motive. So, if you’re curious to find out more, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Carol Stuart Die?
Carol Ann DiMaiti was born in March 1959. A Massachusetts native, she met her husband, Charles Stuart, while she was working at a restaurant in Revere, Massachusetts. At the time, Carol was a college student, and Charles worked as a cook. The couple married in 1985 and eventually moved into an affluent suburb in Reading, Massachusetts. By then, Carol was a lawyer at a publishing company while Charles worked as a manager at a fur store. At the time of the incident, the 30-year-old was seven months pregnant.
On October 23, 1989, a frantic Charles called the authorities from his car phone claiming that his wife was shot in the head and he was shot in the stomach by a man who robbed them. First responders eventually found them, and both were rushed for treatment. While Charles survived his injury, Carol died during the early hours of October 24. Their child, Christopher, who was delivered prematurely, died more than two weeks later.
Who Killed Carol Stuart?
Charles Stuart told the police that he and his wife were driving back after attending a birthing class at a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, when a black man broke into their car and attacked them. The authorities then began to look for a suspect based on Charles’ description and zeroed in on Willie Bennett, who had a criminal record. However, it was only a few months later the police realized they had possibly identified the wrong man. On January 3, 1990, Charles’ brother, Matthew Stuart, went to the police with some startling information that changed the course of the case.
Matthew claimed to have made a prior arrangement with Charles to go to the crime scene. When Matthew came by in his car, Charles gave him Carol’s handbag with a .38-caliber gun and her jewelry. He then disposed of the bag with its contents by throwing it away into the Pines River in Revere. At the time, Matthew said that he only thought it was an insurance scam for the jewelry and maintained not seeing Carol’s body in the car.
With this information, Charles became the authorities’ prime suspect. However, before they could question him, Charles died by suicide on January 4, 1990. In the days after the revelation, extensive circumstantial evidence seemed to cement Charles as the killer. A close friend of his, David MacLean, said that in September 1989, Charles confided in him, saying that he was upset his wife didn’t get an abortion. According to David, Charles was worried Carol would stop going to work after childbirth and asked for David’s help in killing her.
The authorities also learned that Charles received a substantial amount of money as part of life insurance policies in Carol’s name. Furthermore, just weeks after he was released from the hospital, he bought women’s jewelry. The police speculated it could have been for Deborah Allen, a woman from his workplace. However, Deborah’s lawyer denied any romantic relationship between her and Charles.
Ultimately, the authorities surmised that Charles possibly needed the insurance money to fund his new career as a restaurant owner. They believed that he killed Carol and then shot himself to make it look like a burglary. Through the investigation, the police also found out that various members of the Stuart family knew of Charles’ plan or participated in it but didn’t talk to the police about it.
How Did Charles Stuart Die?
After Matthew Stuart talked, the authorities began looking for Charles Stuart. By then, he had checked into a hotel and asked for a 4:30 am wake-up call on January 4, 1990. He drove down to Boston and stopped on the lower level of Tobin Bridge. The authorities found Charles’ submerged body in the water and believed the 30-year-old killed himself by jumping off the bridge.
A suicide note left behind did not have Charles taking responsibility for the murder; it only said he couldn’t take the fact that his brother talked to the police and implicated him. In November 1992, Matthew pled guilty to multiple counts that included conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. In September 2001, he was found dead of an apparent drug overdose at a homeless shelter in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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