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#1
Old 03-14-2013, 09:26 PM
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Questions on Boston Murderer Charles Stuart & Willie Bennett

We know the infamous incident in the late 1980s when Charles Stuart shot his pregnant wife in Boston and himself and then falsely claimed that they were attacked by a black man. Eventually Willie Bennett (who had already been arrested for a video store robbery) was identified by Charles Stuart as the culprit. And we know the rest...Stuart's brother Matthew eventually comes clean and fingers his brother, and Charles eventually jumps off the bridge. Justifiable outrage follows and the African American community is justifiably angry with the white community who fell for this ploy so easily. Case closed...not quite. I have heard since then that Willie Bennett had since been arrested on another murder charge. Is this true? Also, what was Willie Bennett previously convicted of? Is it correct that he had previously been involved in a shootout with police? NOTE: In no way here am I attempting to excuse the truly heinous crimes of Charles Stuart, including the framing of Willie Bennett. However, I am reluctant to accept the notion that Bennett was some type of saint that got unjustly accused of something. That is, he was most certainly NOT GUILTY of the murder of Mrs. Stuart, but he was supposedly guilty of other felonies. Unfortunately a Google search turns up very little. So what is the truth here? Does anybody know?
#2
Old 03-14-2013, 10:16 PM
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I haven't heard anything recently, but I had assumed that Bennet had some sort of criminal record or the police wouldn't have located him in the first place.
#3
Old 03-15-2013, 09:21 AM
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I can't find anything in which anyone called Willie Bennett "some kind of saint" or anything similar. Bennett apparently had previously committed crimes. The police decided to look for a black male with a criminal history who more or less fitted Charles Stuart's description. They found one in Bennett, and Stuart identified him in a line-up. I can't find any news story in a quick search that says that Bennett has been arrested since then. You'd think that if he had been accused of any crime since then it would be a big news story.
#4
Old 03-15-2013, 09:29 AM
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In 1990 he was convicted of holding up a video store. Previously he had been convicted of shooting and robbing a double amputee taxi driver in 1981, and shooting a police officer in 1973. He was first arrested at age 14 for robbing parking meters, which probably is not a felony. He was arrested 60 times and arraigned 38 times.

Last edited by puddleglum; 03-15-2013 at 09:30 AM.
#5
Old 03-15-2013, 09:46 AM
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Source?
#6
Old 03-15-2013, 10:03 AM
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Here is an AP story from 1990 on him
He was sentenced to 12-25 for the video store robbery, I can't find anything after that.
#7
Old 03-15-2013, 10:06 AM
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Hm. Whatever he's been up to since, he is apparently not in prison at the moment.
#8
Old 03-15-2013, 06:17 PM
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From my point of view the interesting thing is the way he was picked out of a lineup. Supposedly the lineup consists people known to be innocent and the suspect, all of whom superficially resembe each other. How was Stuart able to pick out the suspect, considering he had never seen any of them? Was he tipped off, or was it a lucky random selection?
#9
Old 03-15-2013, 06:24 PM
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I don't think he picked out Stuart as his patsy before the fact. He probably just picked the one who looked like the most plausible killer.
#10
Old 03-15-2013, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
... NOTE: In no way here am I attempting to excuse the truly heinous crimes of Charles Stuart, including the framing of Willie Bennett. However, I am reluctant to accept the notion that Bennett was some type of saint that got unjustly accused of something. That is, he was most certainly NOT GUILTY of the murder of Mrs. Stuart, but he was supposedly guilty of other felonies.
And your point is...? What's the difference how many crimes he was guilty of? Did he commit the Stuart crime?
#11
Old 03-15-2013, 06:37 PM
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If he was arrested 60 times, he probably got away with at least one crime he actually committed. I don't know what that signifies to the OP, though.
#12
Old 03-15-2013, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
And your point is...? What's the difference how many crimes he was guilty of? Did he commit the Stuart crime?
I am not sure I get it either. Rodney King of LAPD beating fame was a habitual criminal who recently died through his own stupidity. He was never a saint either. I understand the media tries to portray it that way sometimes but I think most people know that one set of demonstrable facts doesn't have anything to do with the other.

The justice system is supposed to find out whether or not you are guilty of the specific crime at hand, not blame you for everything they can pin on you unless there are facts to support it.

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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
If he was arrested 60 times, he probably got away with at least one crime he actually committed. I don't know what that signifies to the OP, though.
I don't know about you but I have gotten away with lots of crimes (no murders yet but the night is young). I think everyone probably has. That isn't what the U.S. Justice system is supposed to guess about.

Last edited by Shagnasty; 03-15-2013 at 07:20 PM.
#13
Old 03-16-2013, 10:26 AM
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@needscoffee and shagnasty: Since you both seem to have missed my point, Shagnasty you yourself actually brought it up when you said that the the media "sometimes" tries to portray people such as Willie Bennett as saints. Okay maybe the word "saints" is a bit much, but I think you know what I'm getting at. The fact that Bennett was NOT GUILTY of the crime that involved the Stuarts does NOT make him a good citizen NOR does it mean that he was NOT guilty of the other felonies of shooting the amputee, the cop, and robbing the video store. HOWEVER, the mainstream media (and YES it does lean left) often tends to whitewash over those facts and make it appear that Bennett is this "innocent victim" of a horrible racist society. While there may be examples to show that society has racist tendencies, it becomes tiresome for me to hear how certain minority members have been falsely victimized when the facts are that while said victims may not be guilty of one particular crime, many of them are hardly fine upstanding law-abiding citizens who up that point led a life of exemplary citizenship and being good neighbors to the community. The whitewashing of facts by the media (or anyone else, for that matter) does nothing to promote unity and understanding within society.
#14
Old 03-16-2013, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
@needscoffee and shagnasty: Since you both seem to have missed my point, Shagnasty you yourself actually brought it up when you said that the the media "sometimes" tries to portray people such as Willie Bennett as saints. Okay maybe the word "saints" is a bit much, but I think you know what I'm getting at. The fact that Bennett was NOT GUILTY of the crime that involved the Stuarts does NOT make him a good citizen NOR does it mean that he was NOT guilty of the other felonies of shooting the amputee, the cop, and robbing the video store. HOWEVER, the mainstream media (and YES it does lean left) often tends to whitewash over those facts and make it appear that Bennett is this "innocent victim" of a horrible racist society. While there may be examples to show that society has racist tendencies, it becomes tiresome for me to hear how certain minority members have been falsely victimized when the facts are that while said victims may not be guilty of one particular crime, many of them are hardly fine upstanding law-abiding citizens who up that point led a life of exemplary citizenship and being good neighbors to the community. The whitewashing of facts by the media (or anyone else, for that matter) does nothing to promote unity and understanding within society.
Show me where the media considers Bennet a saint. He was an innocent victim in one case. I've never heard him decribed as a saint or anything that whitewashed other crimes he committed.
#15
Old 03-16-2013, 11:19 AM
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Provide a link to a news story in which he is portrayed as a saint or anything close to it.
#16
Old 03-16-2013, 11:27 AM
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So you're saying it's not a big deal that he was tried for a murder he didn't commit because he was a criminal anyway? I mean, the police apparently ignored evidence that Stuart's wounds were self-inflicted and went off on a hunt for the oft-blamed scary not-white guy. If the only evidence is the word of a man who may well have shot himself, it's a tad disturbing that they got that far with the case, and possibly the only thing that saved him was the conscience of Stuart's brother.

And this is GQ - you're going to need to provide the evidence that the media claimed Bennett was a saintly man.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 03-16-2013 at 11:28 AM.
#17
Old 03-16-2013, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
I don't think he picked out Stuart as his patsy before the fact. He probably just picked the one who looked like the most plausible killer.
Yes, and that's the important part. How did he derive the information that Stuart was the "real suspect" and not one of the ringers in the police lineup? Did some cop give him the "Cough Cough Number 5Cough" signal.
#18
Old 03-16-2013, 02:12 PM
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There would probably have been more than one legitimate suspect in the lineup. Given what I know about Boston, though, I wouldn't put it past them to have run a "suggestive" lineup, natch.
#19
Old 03-16-2013, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
There would probably have been more than one legitimate suspect in the lineup. Given what I know about Boston, though, I wouldn't put it past them to have run a "suggestive" lineup, natch.
That's the last thing you do in a lineup, put multiple suspects in it. This ain't The Usual Suspects. From the National Institute of Justice:
At its most basic level, a police lineup involves placing a suspect among people not suspected of committing the crime (fillers) and asking the eyewitness if he or she can identify the perpetrator. This can be done using a live lineup of people or, as more commonly done in U.S. police departments, a lineup of photographs.
#20
Old 03-17-2013, 02:54 AM
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The really interesting thing about this tragic case was Charles Stuart himself..after his suicide (which some say was "assisted"), all sorts of unsavory stuff about him came out. He had claimed to have been an honor student in HS, and had attended Brown University on a football scholarship-this was all false. He was a manager for a famous Boston fur store (Kakas)..after his demise, there was evidence of stock missing, accounts falsified, etc. Also, Stuart knew Bennett, and there is evidence that Bennett was Stuart's accomplice in some unsolved thefts from the Kakas store.
The "investigation" of Carol Stuart's murder by the BPD turned into a major embarrassment for the department-Police Commissioner Mickey Roach basically presided over a witch hunt, and obvious clues pointing to Charles were ignored. Mayor Ray Flynn (who was a personal friend of Roach) came out looking like a fool also.
#21
Old 03-17-2013, 05:53 AM
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ralph124c writes:

> . . . Also, Stuart knew Bennett, and there is evidence that Bennett was Stuart's
> accomplice in some unsolved thefts from the Kakas store. . .

Cite?
#22
Old 03-18-2013, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post
ralph124c writes:

> . . . Also, Stuart knew Bennett, and there is evidence that Bennett was Stuart's
> accomplice in some unsolved thefts from the Kakas store. . .

Cite?
See "Rogues and Redeemer" (Gerard O'Neil, Crown Publishers, ppgs. 335-361); also the Boston "Phoenix", October 1980; also "Boston" magazine, June 1980. Matthew Stuart (Charles' brother) died in 2012, due to a drug overdose. He received a bag from his brother, containing the pistol used to murder Carol Stuart. He never told the whole story about his brother's murder of his wife.
#23
Old 03-18-2013, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ralph124c View Post
The really interesting thing about this tragic case was Charles Stuart himself..after his suicide (which some say was "assisted"), all sorts of unsavory stuff about him came out. He had claimed to have been an honor student in HS, and had attended Brown University on a football scholarship-this was all false. He was a manager for a famous Boston fur store (Kakas)..after his demise, there was evidence of stock missing, accounts falsified, etc. Also, Stuart knew Bennett, and there is evidence that Bennett was Stuart's accomplice in some unsolved thefts from the Kakas store.
The "investigation" of Carol Stuart's murder by the BPD turned into a major embarrassment for the department-Police Commissioner Mickey Roach basically presided over a witch hunt, and obvious clues pointing to Charles were ignored. Mayor Ray Flynn (who was a personal friend of Roach) came out looking like a fool also.
From what I read about the case the condemnation of the police was 20/20 hindsight. The evidence against Bennett was much better than the evidence against Stuart. Bennett's MO was armed robbery and he had already shot two people. A cousin of his claimed to overhear him bragging about the murder and that he used a phrase that the killer used that was not publicly known. The only eyewitness picked him out of a lineup.
Stuart had no motive, and was a succesful person with no criminal history. He was injured much more than most people with self-inflicted wounds and initial reports said that the wounds were unlikely to be self-inflicted. The weapon and the stolen goods were not recovered even though Stuart never left the car.
The evidence was followed but it was leading to the wrong person.
#24
Old 03-18-2013, 08:03 PM
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ralph124c, I wasn't asking for confirmation that Matthew Stuart assisted his brother in covering up the murder or that he may have been a robber. I was asking for confirmation that he knew Bennett.
#25
Old 03-18-2013, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Show me where the media considers Bennet a saint. He was an innocent victim in one case. I've never heard him decribed as a saint or anything that whitewashed other crimes he committed.
I already said that "Saint" may be a bit much. As for whitewashing Bennett's prior record of felonies, according to Puddle Glum Bennett had numerous arrests and arraignments and it appears that he has been convicted of shooting a double amputee. I admit I would like to see verification of this, but that is my point. If Puddle Glum's posts are correct, then the media left much of this out when the murder occurred. While I said from the beginning that I have no intention of excusing Stuart's vile actions, the fact of the matter is that Bennett's history and lifestyle did him no favors and thus made it very easy for the cops and the general public to believe that he was capable of such behavior, considering that he was not some upstanding citizen. On another note: similarly after the Rodney King beating the initial reports portrayed him as an innocent family man brutalized by the evil racist LAPD. IS the LAPD brutal and racist? Perhaps...perhaps not. Nonetheless Rodney King was DEFINITELY not some upstanding citizen who was beaten for "driving while black." He was beaten for drunkenly driving his car around recklessly and endangering the public, and the pissed-off L.A. cops went overboard once they got him subdued.
#26
Old 03-18-2013, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
I already said that "Saint" may be a bit much. As for whitewashing Bennett's prior record of felonies, according to Puddle Glum Bennett had numerous arrests and arraignments and it appears that he has been convicted of shooting a double amputee. I admit I would like to see verification of this, but that is my point. If Puddle Glum's posts are correct, then the media left much of this out when the murder occurred. While I said from the beginning that I have no intention of excusing Stuart's vile actions, the fact of the matter is that Bennett's history and lifestyle did him no favors and thus made it very easy for the cops and the general public to believe that he was capable of such behavior, considering that he was not some upstanding citizen. On another note: similarly after the Rodney King beating the initial reports portrayed him as an innocent family man brutalized by the evil racist LAPD. IS the LAPD brutal and racist? Perhaps...perhaps not. Nonetheless Rodney King was DEFINITELY not some upstanding citizen who was beaten for "driving while black." He was beaten for drunkenly driving his car around recklessly and endangering the public, and the pissed-off L.A. cops went overboard once they got him subdued.
It had no relevance to this case. The media wasn't defending Bennett to start with, they were assuming he had comitted the crime. I'm sure his previous crimes were reported at the time. Once it was found out that he didn't commit the murder the only relevant part of the story concerning him was that he had been falsely accused. You haven't shown that that he's been portrayed in anything but a factual manner.

Last edited by TriPolar; 03-18-2013 at 08:43 PM.
#27
Old 03-18-2013, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
It had no relevance to this case. The media wasn't defending Bennett to start with, they were assuming he had comitted the crime. I'm sure his previous crimes were reported at the time. Once it was found out that he didn't commit the murder the only relevant part of the story concerning him was that he had been falsely accused. You haven't shown that that he's been portrayed in anything but a factual manner.
If information is left out then it's not entirely factual. That being said, that was what I was asking: was he some totally innocent man that was railroaded by the system or was he a criminal thug that just happened to be NOT GUILTY of this particular crime? I must admit I am curious about the supposed connection between Bennett and Stuart prior to the murder, assuming that the story is true.
#28
Old 03-18-2013, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
If information is left out then it's not entirely factual. That being said, that was what I was asking: was he some totally innocent man that was railroaded by the system or was he a criminal thug that just happened to be NOT GUILTY of this particular crime? I must admit I am curious about the supposed connection between Bennett and Stuart prior to the murder, assuming that the story is true.
What relevant information is left out? Maybe he ate paste in school when he was a kid, but that has nothing to do with this story. Show some evidence that anything about Bennett was covered up at any time.
#29
Old 03-18-2013, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
If information is left out then it's not entirely factual. That being said, that was what I was asking: was he some totally innocent man that was railroaded by the system or was he a criminal thug that just happened to be NOT GUILTY of this particular crime? I must admit I am curious about the supposed connection between Bennett and Stuart prior to the murder, assuming that the story is true.
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Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
Here is an AP story from 1990 on him
He was sentenced to 12-25 for the video store robbery, I can't find anything after that.
Already been answered. You might have to read it yourself though.
#30
Old 03-20-2013, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
So you're saying it's not a big deal that he was tried for a murder he didn't commit because he was a criminal anyway? I mean, the police apparently ignored evidence that Stuart's wounds were self-inflicted and went off on a hunt for the oft-blamed scary not-white guy. If the only evidence is the word of a man who may well have shot himself, it's a tad disturbing that they got that far with the case, and possibly the only thing that saved him was the conscience of Stuart's brother.

And this is GQ - you're going to need to provide the evidence that the media claimed Bennett was a saintly man.
He was identified by Charles Stuart in a lineup and arrested. His ordeal lasted only a few days. While I don't envy his experience, he certainly wasn't "tried for a murder" or anything even close.
#31
Old 03-22-2013, 05:56 PM
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"...the African American community is justifiably angry with the white community who fell for this ploy so easily..."

This is pretty screwed up.
#32
Old 03-24-2013, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
If information is left out then it's not entirely factual. That being said, that was what I was asking: was he some totally innocent man that was railroaded by the system or was he a criminal thug that just happened to be NOT GUILTY of this particular crime? I must admit I am curious about the supposed connection between Bennett and Stuart prior to the murder, assuming that the story is true.
I'm not sure if this is your intent, but it sounds like you're framing this like a false dilemma.

You seem to be wanting to ask, "isn't this all a big huff, since the jerk just got what he deserved accidentally?"

To which, the answer is no. A system of justice that accidentally punishes people, even if they incidentally deserved it...well, that's a problem.

The reason cases like this get so much attention isn't because of the particulars, it's because of the generalities. You can't undermine that by attacking the character of the "victim" in this case -- when injustice is perpetrated against somebody, you can't waive that off by just insisting they "had it coming."

...that said, I don't know that Bennett's situation here really justifies the outrage, or if it just looks terrible in bullet point form. But trying to attack Bennett's character just seems pretty off-point.

Last edited by typoink; 03-24-2013 at 03:21 AM.
#33
Old 03-24-2013, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
From my point of view the interesting thing is the way he was picked out of a lineup. Supposedly the lineup consists people known to be innocent and the suspect, all of whom superficially resembe each other. How was Stuart able to pick out the suspect, considering he had never seen any of them? Was he tipped off, or was it a lucky random selection?
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Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
Yes, and that's the important part. How did he derive the information that Stuart was the "real suspect" and not one of the ringers in the police lineup? Did some cop give him the "Cough Cough Number 5Cough" signal.
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Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
That's the last thing you do in a lineup, put multiple suspects in it. This ain't The Usual Suspects. From the National Institute of Justice:
At its most basic level, a police lineup involves placing a suspect among people not suspected of committing the crime (fillers) and asking the eyewitness if he or she can identify the perpetrator. This can be done using a live lineup of people or, as more commonly done in U.S. police departments, a lineup of photographs.
I guess I don't understand your question. There was no real suspect to pick out. There's also no guarantee the police will put ringers with alibis into the lineup. All Stuart had to do was pick one guy and that guy would become the person we're now talking about instead of Willie Bennett.

I guess it's possible that he might accidentally pick someone so holy his story would fall apart...but remember, the main problem this tale exposed was everyone's willingness to assume a black man -- any black man -- would be guilty.
#34
Old 03-25-2013, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
I guess I don't understand your question. There was no real suspect to pick out. There's also no guarantee the police will put ringers with alibis into the lineup. All Stuart had to do was pick one guy and that guy would become the person we're now talking about instead of Willie Bennett.

I guess it's possible that he might accidentally pick someone so holy his story would fall apart...but remember, the main problem this tale exposed was everyone's willingness to assume a black man -- any black man -- would be guilty.
The reason everyone assumed a black man did it was because one of the people who got shot said a black man did it. Having someone point a gun at you and then shoot you with it makes that person stand out in your mind. Thus people tend to believe people who identify who shot them.
#35
Old 03-25-2013, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
I guess I don't understand your question. There was no real suspect to pick out. There's also no guarantee the police will put ringers with alibis into the lineup. All Stuart had to do was pick one guy and that guy would become the person we're now talking about instead of Willie Bennett.

I guess it's possible that he might accidentally pick someone so holy his story would fall apart...but remember, the main problem this tale exposed was everyone's willingness to assume a black man -- any black man -- would be guilty.
There is a guarantee that there are fillers in a lineup. That's how you run a lineup. You don't line up six people who may have committed the crime and ask the victim to pick the one who looks most like the perpetrator. If the perp was picked, either Stuart was lucky, or he was tipped off, like in this case.

edited to add: And there was a real suspect in the lineup. Based on his past criminal record, Bennett was a real suspect. He just hadn't done it.

Last edited by Bill Door; 03-25-2013 at 02:11 PM.
#36
Old 03-25-2013, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
There is a guarantee that there are fillers in a lineup. That's how you run a lineup. You don't line up six people who may have committed the crime and ask the victim to pick the one who looks most like the perpetrator. If the perp was picked, either Stuart was lucky, or he was tipped off, like in this case.

edited to add: And there was a real suspect in the lineup. Based on his past criminal record, Bennett was a real suspect. He just hadn't done it.
This was actually my point: While Bennett most certainly was NOT GUILTY of committing this atrocity, the fact of the matter is that Bennett was a known felon and right or wrong, that automatically makes you a suspect much of the time, even if you may be totally innocent of the particular crime you are now accused of (as was the case of Willie Bennett).
#37
Old 03-26-2013, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
This was actually my point: While Bennett most certainly was NOT GUILTY of committing this atrocity, the fact of the matter is that Bennett was a known felon and right or wrong, that automatically makes you a suspect much of the time, even if you may be totally innocent of the particular crime you are now accused of (as was the case of Willie Bennett).
I know, but my point is that if the police conducting the investigation tell the witness who the suspect is, the entire procedure is rendered moot, and Stuart appears to have been tipped off.
#38
Old 03-26-2013, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
I know, but my point is that if the police conducting the investigation tell the witness who the suspect is, the entire procedure is rendered moot, and Stuart appears to have been tipped off.
I don't know the evidence that Stuart was tipped off. However either way we are both correct in our points.
#39
Old 03-26-2013, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
This was actually my point: While Bennett most certainly was NOT GUILTY of committing this atrocity, the fact of the matter is that Bennett was a known felon and right or wrong, that automatically makes you a suspect much of the time, even if you may be totally innocent of the particular crime you are now accused of (as was the case of Willie Bennett).
I'm not sure what your point really is. Are you saying that Bennett deserved whatever he got in this case because he did something else wrong (and that King also really deserved to get the shit beat out of him, because again he did something else wrong once)?

I mean, it almost sounds like you're trying to convince someone -- maybe yourself -- that, really, the police don't make mistakes OK, and/or that if they do it will never hurt nice people like yourself.
#40
Old 03-26-2013, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
The reason everyone assumed a black man did it was because one of the people who got shot said a black man did it. Having someone point a gun at you and then shoot you with it makes that person stand out in your mind. Thus people tend to believe people who identify who shot them.
No, that's exactly backward. Charles Stuart chose to say a black man did it very specifically because he knew people were predisposed to believe a black man as the suspect, and once the hysteria was going, people might not look at his story as closely. So "one of the people who got shot" said a black man did it because he knew people would be inclined to assume it was true.

If this is the case I remember, Stuart didn't go to police and say "Willie Bennett shot my wife" or "that guy over there," he said "a black man did it," and police then rounded up Willie (and possibly others) on the basis that they fit that description. The press certainly ran with the "black man shot a white woman" issue. The story is still a reference point for racial fears.

Last edited by Sailboat; 03-26-2013 at 12:06 PM.
#41
Old 03-26-2013, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
I'm not sure what your point really is. Are you saying that Bennett deserved whatever he got in this case because he did something else wrong (and that King also really deserved to get the shit beat out of him, because again he did something else wrong once)?

I mean, it almost sounds like you're trying to convince someone -- maybe yourself -- that, really, the police don't make mistakes OK, and/or that if they do it will never hurt nice people like yourself.
What my point really is has ZERO to do with me thinking that Rodney King deserved to get the shit beat out of him; please do not jump to such conclusions. My point IS that when you have a bad criminal reputation as Willie Bennett did, then JUSTIFIABLY people (including law enforcement and the general public) are going to believe it when you get accused of a crime, especially if you have a history of committing violent felonies, even though you may not be guilty of the actual crime you are accused of. In other words, if you have been living the life of a thug, don't be surprised if you get accused of thuggish behavior even when you may not be in this particular instance. HOW that translates to me saying that he should have been charged anyway or that Rodney King deserved to be beaten is beyond me.
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