HBO’s ‘Murder in Boston: Roots, Rampage, and Reckoning’ explores the various details surrounding the death of Carol Stuart, which took place in 1989 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Jason Hehir directorial not only explores the various social issues that became connected to the case but also sheds light on various people who found themselves severely impacted during the course of the investigation. Prominent among these names is William “Willie” Bennett, whose life turned upside down when he became connected to the killing. Now, the world wants to know what the former suspect is up to these days.
Who is William “Willie” Bennett?
Prior to the Carol Stuart murder case, Willie Bennett had already found himself facing criminal charges. His past records include a prison term for shooting a member of the police force in the leg, robbery, larceny, and possession of controlled substances, among other charges. Also known as “Wild Bill,” Willie was someone that the police were already aware of. When there came a tip that Willie may be involved in the Stuart case, the police decided to take him into custody.
However, according to people like Joey “Toot” Bennett (Willie’s nephew), the rumor of Willie’s involvement apparently started in a very bizarre manner. Joey shared that he had jokingly commented to his friend Dereck Jackson that his uncle might have been involved in the Stuart case. Johnson ended up telling Eric Whitney this. However, the rumor among the teenagers became an accusation when Eric Whitney apparently ended up telling his mother, Maralynda Whitney, an embellished version of the story in which Willie had apparently told his nephew himself that he had killed Carol Stuart.
Maralynda Whitney told her son’s version of the story to her partner at the time, Trent Holland, who was a police officer. The latter ended up telling the police, who brought Johsnon in for questioning. The then-17-year-old told the police on record that Willie had apparently indeed admitted to attacking the Stuarts. The police then decided to arrest Willie as a suspect in the case, though he was not charged pertaining to the case.
The police also entered Willie’s family home, which was later seen to be in disarray, with the Benett family members claiming that the officers had forcefully entered the house and had gone through their property. During their search, the police found a bullet hole in the house’s wall, which they apparently considered a strong lead in the case. When Charles “Chuck” Stuart ended up identifying Willie as his attacker in a police lineup on December 28, 1989, it seemed like the case might have finally been closed.
Where is William “Willie” Bennett Now?
The murder suspicion on Willie Bennett came to an end on January 3, 1990, when Matt Stuart, Chuck Stuart’s brother, came forward to share his version of what happened on the night of Carol Stuart’s death. Given that Matt’s account pointed towards Chuck being the man behind the death of Carol Stuart, the suspicions about Willie eased up. However, his trouble with the law did not come to an end.
It was actually on robbery charges that Willie had been kept in police custody, and he was indeed found guilty of a robbery in Brookline, Massachusetts. Hence, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison and was released in 2002. Now in his 70s, Willie’s primary goal in life seems to be his desire to leave the past behind and live in the company of his family. He seems especially close to his daughters Ebony and Aisha Bennett-Wilson. In fact, he did not even talk to the producers of the HBO show directly and instead chose to have a recorded conversation with Aisha.
More than anything, Willie seems to hold Chuck Stuart in quite contempt, claiming that the man was a “monster” for having killed his own wife and child. Meanwhile, Dereck Johnson has expressed his deepest regrets over what he told the police on record, as he now claims that his answers were actually something he was told to say beforehand. If given a chance, Jackson hopes to apologize to his friend’s uncle, while Willie seemingly remains angered about him being linked to the case at all. He is also adamant not to talk about the Stuart case if possible.