Murder In Boston- Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review


Murder in Boston Episode 2 begins with the police closing in on suspects in the Stuart murder case. A black jogging suit is taken into evidence and a Black man named Alan Swanson whom the suit belonged to becomes the chief suspect. He is arrested but not charged. The police are convinced they have found their man. There is a rush to judgment because of the furor caused by the murder of a White pregnant woman. In custody, inmates spit in Swanson’s food and generally treat him like he is guilty. 

However, Chuck Stuart’s story doesn’t add up, and two police officers are pulled off the case because they are sceptical of his claims to be a victim. Nobody was supposed to question the theory the authorities had jumped to, so a media circus surrounds the case, with The Boston Globe and Herard fighting for access to Chuck Stuart and his story. 

The police fail to find any evidence on Swanson, so they move on to a new suspect, and they arrest William Bennett, who had a long history of criminal activity and fit the bill better than Swanson. He had even previously been involved in the shooting of a police officer. We see an interview with his nephew, Joey Bennett, who confirms his uncle was a bad guy, but insists he wasn’t responsible for the Stuart murder. 

A friend of Joey’s, Dereck Jackson, is then worn down by the police and tells them he heard William Bennett was involved in the murder. They hold Bennett on a video store robbery as a way for them to keep him incarcerated while they build the grand jury case against him. 

Chuck Stuart’s hairdresser is interviewed and he says he was charming, but all about image, and ultimately came across as a regular guy. He shared nothing personal with him and also never wore a wedding ring, so the hairdresser was shocked when he saw on the news that he had been shot and his pregnant wife had been murdered. When Chuck was released from hospital, he wanted a haircut and to have his hair coloured because he was going to face the press. The hairdresser says there was a weird vibe about him, and he responded coldly when the hairdresser offered his condolences. 

December 28, 1989 at Boston police headquarters – Chuck picks William Bennett out of a lineup, but there is a very high chance he would have seen his face previously on the news, which prejudices the case. 

The episode ends with audio of the police dispatcher trying to find Chuck and his wife after the shooting, but Chuck never actually asks for help and is deliberately evasive, and then claims to be blacking out, and making excuses for why he hadn’t died just like his wife by claiming he ducked down when she was shot. Five days after the lineup, a recorded phone call between Chuck’s brother and sister is revealed. They know Chuck was involved and plan a meeting to figure out what to do with this information. 

The Episode Review

The case into the murder of Carol Stuart takes centre stage this week after the brilliant setup in the first episode of the racial prejudice that existed in Boston in the 1980s. It’s a brilliant deep dive into the investigation and features some really interesting interviews with people who lived through the case.

The episode expertly shows how police tried to railroad a couple of suspects rather than looking in the direction of Chuck Stuart being the actual murderer. There are a couple of interesting audio recordings that shed light on the case, with one particular one arriving at the end of the episode to tease more revelations in the final episode. Stay tuned!

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