When Charles Stuart laid the blame for his pregnant wife Carol’s murder on a black gunman and later emerged as the probable killer himself (PEOPLE, Jan. 22), there were bitter racial feelings in Boston. The police, the media and the city itself all came in for a share of the blame. Many of our readers, however, felt that Stuart bore most of the responsibility, and there was considerable speculation about the involvement of his brother Matthew. Several correspondents believe there is more to this story than has been told.
From the very first, I was sickened by this senseless murder, only to find that the man for whom I felt such sorrow is now presumed to be the killer. One thing that puzzles me is Matthew Stuart’s involvement. He says he was lured to the murder site and that his brother passed him Carol’s purse and a .38 revolver. If this is true, then Charles had to have already shot his wife and himself. Didn’t Matthew know this? The implications are ugly and sinister.
Cape Coral, Fla.
Charles Stuart, not the people of Boston, owes the black community of Mission Hill an apology. The people of Boston did not identify William Bennett as a suspect—Charles Stuart did. The police interrogation of black males in the Mission Hill area was exactly what they should have done. According to Stuart, there was a cold-blooded murderer walking around. If he had said his assailant was a white female, I would think and hope the police would follow up by interrogating white females.
Al Sharpton and Charles Stuart are/were both racial racketeers, playing on people’s fears, prejudices and guilt for their own personal agendas. The only way to stop this is for all of us to be equally outraged at any heinous crime, regardless of the race of the victims or perpetrators. Of course we are a long, long way from that.
Joseph H. Brown
I have been following the Chuck and Carol Stuart story from the beginning, and I was shocked that Chuck Stuart did something this horrifying. My sympathy goes out to Carol’s family and the family of William Bennett, who was suspected of Carol’s murder, for all the harm and continued hurt that Chuck and his brother caused.
Carol Stuart’s family has established a scholarship fund in her memory to benefit residents of the largely black Mission Hill area where she was killed—and where people felt unjustly blamed for the crime. Donations may be sent to: The Carol DiMaiti Stuart Foundation, Inc.; c/o Shawmut Bank, NA; P.O. Box 11029; Boston, Mass. 02211
WOMEN IN COMBAT
Hats off to PEOPLE for giving credit where credit is due. The women of America came through again, this time in combat. Specialist David McCoy is quoted in the article, “I’d trust them with my life.” He did, and so can the rest of the country.
Louise I. Dexter
Grand Island, Nebr.
As an 11-year Army veteran and current Navy reservist, I’m tired of the debate resulting from female combat performance in Panama. Female soldiers have served in possible combat situations for years. Facts are facts. In combat, a percentage of both male and female service members would be unable to handle the stress. But regardless of public outcry, we will all be going. It’s time to drop the debate and train us properly. Our country’s combat readiness is at stake.
Celeste Barrett Rubanick
PEOPLE is entitled to promote the idea of female soldiers in the combat arms. However, E-4 Cheryl Purdie should be relegated to a stateside file room forever for violating the most fundamental lesson in weapons training. What on earth is she doing pointing an M16 toward the Panamanian girl with the ice-cream cone? The whole picture looks like an accident waiting to happen.
Peter Stickney Anderson
TELEVISION HALL OF FAME
I wonder how your reporter left out the name of one of the nominees to the TV Academy Hall of Fame? Don Hewitt, the producer of 60 Minutes since its inception and a highly respected journalist, was one of seven inductees. You mentioned only six.
Late in the editorial process, Don Hewitt’s name was, in error, dropped from our story. We regret the omission.