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Matthew Stuart meets with Boston prosecutors and tells them that his brother, Charles, was actually the person responsible for murdering Charles’s wife, Carol. The killing of Carol Stuart, who was pregnant at the time, on October 23, 1989, had touched off a national outrage when Charles Stuart told authorities that the couple had been robbed and shot by an African American man while driving through a poor Boston neighborhood.
In the summer and fall of 1989, both Boston daily newspapers had been trumpeting a so-called crime explosion. Actually, the screaming headlines had more to do with a desire to sell papers than any actual crime wave, but the public was on edge. Charles Stuart, a fur salesman, used the public mood to his advantage when he planned the murder of his wife.
“My wife’s been shot! I’ve been shot!” screamed Stuart into his cell phone as he drove through the Mission Hill area of Boston. Paramedics responding to the call for help found that both Charles and his wife had been shot. Carol was barely hanging on to her life and Charles had a fairly serious wound to the stomach. Immediately, Charles identified an African American male in a black running suit as the perpetrator.
The crime was the biggest story in Boston that day and even led some national newscasts. Across the country, the story was portrayed as an example of what could happen to affluent people traveling through bad neighborhoods. In many papers, liberal policies were attacked and held responsible for the tragedy. Carol Stuart died, and although doctors were able to save her baby temporarily, the child also died days later. Charles Stuart underwent intestinal surgery for 10 hours, but his life was not endangered.
The Boston police began to comb the housing projects in Mission Hill. African American men were strip-searched on the streets on any pretense. Meanwhile, Stuart was showing unusual interest in a young female co-worker, asking that she phone him at the hospital where he was recovering. Detectives, fixated on finding the Black perpetrator Stuart had described, didn’t bother to find the ample evidence that Stuart was unhappy in his marriage and particularly upset with his wife for not having an abortion. Stuart had discussed both his obsession with the co-worker, and his desire to see his wife dead, with several friends and family members in the months before the murder.
In December, Willie Bennett, an African American ex-con, was arrested after his nephew jokingly bragged that he was responsible. Stuart picked Bennett out of a lineup in which the others were all clean-cut Boston police officers. This was the last straw for Matthew Stuart, who had assisted his brother in carrying out the scheme. Matthew thought he was helping Charles with an insurance scam when he carried a bag away from the murder scene. In it was the gun and the couple’s wallets and jewelry. In return for immunity, Matthew testified against his brother.
Charles Stuart found out that Matthew was going to turn him in and immediately fled. The next morning, Charles Stuart drove to the Tobin Bridge over the Mystic River, and jumped to his death. Willie Bennett was released after witnesses told a grand jury that the police had pressured them into identifying him.
Brother Called ‘Frankenstein’ in Wife’s Slaying
Charles Stuart, who accused a black mugger of killing his pregnant wife only to become the prime suspect himself, is being called a “Frankenstein’s monster” by his brother, who also charges police with botching the murder investigation.
Michael Stuart broke his silence in the case, the October, 1989, murder of Carol DiMaiti Stuart, in an interview published in Friday’s Boston Herald.
Michael said he concluded only days after the killing that his brother, Charles, was responsible, but he still believes someone else pulled the trigger.
Carol was shot in the car Charles was driving after they left a hospital birthing class. He was also shot but called police on his car phone, leading them to the scene of the crime.
The killing set off the biggest manhunt in Boston history for a black man Charles said had committed the crime. The city’s black community was outraged by events in the investigation, which allegedly included threats against some witnesses to testify against a man Charles fingered but who was ultimately exonerated.
Charles Stuart apparently leaped to his death on Jan. 3, 1990, after another brother, Matthew, implicated him in the killing. Matthew Stuart pleaded guilty this month to insurance fraud and related crimes and was sentenced to up to five years in prison.
The twisted murder tale has obsessed Boston and no one has been charged with the killing since Charles Stuart apparently committed suicide by jumping into Boston Harbor.
I-Team Exclusive: Man Wrongly Accused In Notorious 1989 Murder Grants Rare Interview
BOSTON (CBS) – It has been 28 years and Willie Bennett is still haunted by the memory of Charles Stuart.
Stuart claimed Bennett shot him and his pregnant wife in their car in Boston&rsquos Mission Hill neighborhood. In an exclusive interview, Bennett told WBZ-TV&rsquos Cheryl Fiandaca that he will never forget what happened to him. &ldquoIt&rsquos over now. I used to get chills every time I used to hear that, that man&rsquos name,&rdquo he said.
The emotionally charged murder rocked Boston to its core.
The car where Charles Stuart shot his pregnant wife Carol Dimaiti Stuart on October 23, 1989. (WBZ-TV)
On October 23, 1989 Charles Stuart called 911 claiming he and his wife, Carol, had been ambushed by a 6 foot tall black man on their way home from a Lamaze class at Brigham and Women&rsquos Hospital. Carol and the baby later died. Stuart, who was shot in the abdomen, survived.
Police began searching for suspects and a few weeks later, they zeroed in on Willie Bennett. &ldquoHell no I wasn&rsquot surprised,&rdquo he told Fiandaca. &ldquoI knew what was going on. They were coming for me anyway because of my past. I was a wild one.&rdquo
Charles Stuart and his pregnant wife Carol Dimaiti Stuart. (WBZ-TV file image)
Willie Bennett admits he was no angel and had a long criminal record, but he did not shoot the Stuarts. &ldquoI know I didn&rsquot do it. They know I didn&rsquot do it. It&rsquos just that I had a reputation in the projects and everything that happened in Mission, they were considering it was me,&rdquo he said.
All that changed on January 3, 1990, when Stuart&rsquos brother, Matthew, told police Charles was responsible for the shooting. But before Charles Stuart could be arrested, he jumped off the Tobin Bridge.
According to Bennett, if Matthew Stuart had not come forward, things would have turned out differently for him. &ldquoOh, I would have went to jail. No doubt about it, I would have went to jail,&rdquo he said.
Bennett did go to prison for armed robbery in Brookline which he claims he did not commit. He Served 12 years and was released in 2002. Now, at age 67, Bennett says he just wants to spend time with the people who always supported him, his siblings and his children.
Willie Bennett in police custody in December 1989. (WBZ-TV file image)
He credits them for getting him through the dark times. &ldquoI&rsquom a strong person. I&rsquove been through a whole lot. I&rsquove been in prison half of my life. I&rsquom not doing any more of that silly [expletive] that I used to,&rdquo he said. &ldquoI can&rsquot forget. Regardless of how much time, I can&rsquot forget.&rdquo
Bennett says he can&rsquot forget because his name is now forever linked to Charles Stuart&rsquos – a man he calls a monster: &ldquoI aint got nothing to say about that man. He did what he did and now he&rsquos gone. I&rsquoll see him in hell, if there is a hell,&rdquo he said.
Bennett says he is still angry about being wrongfully considered a suspect in the Stuart case and he is bitter that he was never compensated for all he went through.
Man accused of hiring hit man to kill fiancee Police say he thought he would benefit from her insurance policy
A Pasadena man was charged yesterday with hiring a hit man for $20,000 to kill his fiancee during a staged robbery, all in hopes of reaping a financial windfall, according to Baltimore police and the victim's relatives.
But the scheme that left Teresa McLeod dead and the suspect wounded Friday night quickly unravelled as city police investigated several discrepancies in the man's account.
Ironically, although police and relatives said the suspect, Robert Harris, 23, hoped to cash in on a life insurance policy, the victim's mother said yesterday that the $150,000 policy was intended to benefit the victim's 9-year-old son.
Police yesterday arrested Mr. Harris, of the 1000 block of Tennant Harbour, at his lawyer's office in downtown Baltimore and charged him with first-degree murder.
The alleged hit man, Russell Raymond Brill, 22, of Arbutus had been arrested Sunday night and also charged with murder.
Police charge that Mr. Harris hired Mr. Brill earlier this month to kill Teresa McLeod, 27, on Joh Avenue in Southwest Baltimore.
Police said Mr. Harris even supplied the shooter with the weapon, a 9 mm Glock semiautomatic handgun that was found yesterday hidden in a cemetery.
Ms. McLeod was shot repeatedly in the back and several more times in the head after she fell to the ground near a 1989 Ford Taurus. Mr. Harris was shot once in the thigh.
"I think I knew in my heart from the time I heard that she was dead that this was planned," said Barbara Arthur, the victim's mother.
As his bride-to-be lay dead in the street, Mr. Harris, who is white, dialed 911 on his car phone and told a dispatcher that he and his girlfriend had just been robbed and shot by a black male wearing a camouflage jacket and black and white pants.
The slaying has striking similarities to the 1989 Charles Stuart case that inflamed racial tensions in Boston. Mr. Stuart fatally shot his pregnant wife and wounded himself in a robbery hoax. He called police from his car phone and said a black man was responsible.
Months after the slaying, Mr. Stuart apparently jumped from a bridge and was found dead the day after his brother implicated him.
Baltimore Detective Darryl Massey, one of three investigators in the McLeod slaying, said he does not know if the suspects were copying the Stuart case. But he said there are "too many #F similarities, even down to the cellular phone" to think otherwise.
Baltimore police said that they quickly focused on Mr. Harris after reviewing his statements. Agent Robert W. Weinhold Jr., a police spokesman, said the suspect was inconsistent "to the point where he was uncooperative" during interviews with detectives.
"We learned that Mr. Brill and Mr. Harris became acquainted this month," Agent Weinhold said. "An agreement was reached and investigators believe Mr. Harris drove his fiancee to Joh Avenue on Friday evening to carry out the planned robbery and execution."
Investigators said it is unclear when the oral murder contract was made, but said that money never changed hands. Little could be learned about the alleged hit man yesterday. Mr. Brill has no adult arrest record. His brother refused to comment.
Family members said Ms. McLeod worked as an office manager in a Southwest Baltimore doctor's office and had taken nursing classes at Anne Arundel Community College.
She owned the two-story townhouse in the Anne Arundel County community of Elizabeth's Landing where she lived with Mr. Harris, her mother and her son, Ricky McLeod.
"She was like the life of the party, the clown, the cut-up," her mother said yesterday. "How can you forget her when this house is hers? Her walls. Her colors."
Teresa McLeod had often spoken about taking out a life insurance policy, her mother said. "And I heard her joking with Rob, 'Boy, if anything happens to me, you're going to be sitting pretty,' " her mother recalled.
But the $150,000 policy lists Ricky as the ultimate beneficiary. "[Mr. Harris] thought that she had all that money for him," Ms. McLeod's mother said.
Maj. Wendell M. France, head of the city's homicide unit, said Mr. Harris' story fell apart when detectives "recognized some basic inconsistencies in the scenario and they just continued to interview until they had some results."
Police refused to elaborate on all the inconsistencies. But one odd element to the case, police noted, was that Ms. McLeod was shot multiple times, while her fiance suffered only one minor gunshot wound to his thigh.
This Day In History: October 23rd
1864: During the U.S. Civil War, Union forces led by Gen. Samuel R. Curtis defeated the Confederate forces in Missouri that were under Gen. Stirling Price.
1869: John (William) Heisman was born. He is recognized as one of the greatest innovators of the game of football.
1910: Blanche S. Scott became the first woman to make a public solo airplane flight.
1915: The first U.S. championship horseshoe tourney was held in Kellerton, IA.
1915: Approximately 25,000 women demanded the right to vote with a march in New York City, NY.
1929: In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged starting the stock-market crash that began the Great Depression.
1930: J.K. Scott won the first miniature golf tournament. The event was held in Chattanooga, TN.
1942: During World War II, the British began a major offensive against Axis forces at El Alamein, Egypt.
1944: During World War II, the Battle of Leyte Gulf began.
1946: The United Nations General Assembly convened in New York for the first time.
1956: Hungarian citizens began an uprising against Soviet occupation. On November 4, 1956 Soviet forces enter Hungar and eventually suppress the uprising.
1956: NBC broadcasted the first videotape recording. The tape of Jonathan Winters was seen coast to coast in the U.S.
1958: Russian poet and novelist Boris Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. He was forced to refuse the honor due to negative Soviet reaction. Pasternak won the award for writing "Dr. Zhivago".
1962: During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. naval "quarantine" of Cuba was approved by the Council of the Organization of American States (OAS).
1962: The U.S. Navy reconnaissance squadron VFP-62 began overflights of Cuba under the code name "Blue Moon."
1971: The U.N. General Assembly voted to expel Taiwan and seat Communist China.
1973: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon agreed to turn over the subpoenaed tapes concerning the Watergate affair.
1978: China and Japan formally ended four decades of hostility when they exchanged treaty ratifications.
1980: The resignation of Soviet Premier Alexei N. Kosygin was announced.
1983: At Beirut International Airport, a suicide bomber destroyed a U.S. Marine compound and killed 241 U.S. Marines and sailors. 58 French paratroopers were killed in a near-simultaneous attack.
1984: "NBC Nightly News" aired footage of the severe drought in Ethiopia.
1985: U.S. President Reagan arrived in New York to address the U.N. General Assembly.
1989: In Boston, MA, Charles Stuart claimed he and his pregnant wife, Carol, had been shot in their car by a black robber. Carol Stuart and her prematurely delivered baby died. Charles Stuart later died, an apparent suicide, after he was implicated in the murder of his wife and child.
1989: Hungary became an independent republic, after 33 years of Soviet rule.
1992: Japanese Emperor Akihito became the first Japanese emperor to stand on Chinese soil.
1992: A former French health official was sentenced to four years in prison for allowing 1,200 hemophiliacs to receive AIDS-tainted blood.
1993: Joe Carter (Toronto Blue Jays) became only the second player to end the World Series with a homerun.
1995: Russian President Boris Yeltsin and U.S. President Bill Clinton agree to a joint peacekeeping effort in the war-torn Bosnia.
1996: The civil trial of O.J. Simpson opened in Santa Monica, CA. Simpson was later found liable in the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
1998: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reach a breakthrough in a land-for-peace West Bank accord.
1998: Japan nationalized its first bank since World War II.
1998: Dr. Barnett Slepian, a doctor who performed legal abortions, was killed at his home in suburban Buffalo, NY, by sniper fire through his kitchen window. James Kopp was charged with second-degree murder.
‘Roxbury Strong’ tells a neighborhood’s story
Jayden Pontes rehearses a scene from “Roxbury Strong” as Shay Jean looks on. Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe/Globe Freelance
“What makes up a so-called neighborhood?” actor Jayden Pontes asks — or rather, raps, at the opening of Ron Jones’s new play, “Roxbury Strong: A Story of Emergence.” Other actors step forward to offer possibilities: bricks and mortar, roads, storefronts, schools, churches, playgrounds, and parks. But no, says Shay Jean, speaking deliberately: “When it’s all said and done, a neighborhood is its story.”
That opening claim is central to plot of “Roxbury Strong” — and to its broader intentions. The play will be performed by Boston-area high school students — mostly from Boston Arts Academy — Thursday and Saturday at Hibernian Hall. It revolves around first-person stories from Roxbury residents and aims to reframe conventional narratives about their neighborhood.
“When I came to [Boston College], people explicitly told me, ‘Do not go to Roxbury,’ ” says Jones, an actor, playwright, and director of the nonprofit Dialogues on Diversity. Jones is originally from Washington, D.C., but he has lived mostly in Boston since 1984. He said that characterizations of Roxbury in the early 1980s involved guns, drugs, and violence. Today, that narrative has shifted somewhat, to include gentrification, rising prices, and displacement.
It’s not that those factors didn’t and don’t play large roles Roxbury’s story, Jones said. It’s that the story’s more complicated.
“I think there’s a lot of affirmation in owning your narrative, and not letting an environmental narrative become yours,” Jones says. “That’s not just in Roxbury. That’s if you’re in the most violent part of Chicago, or if you’re in the coal mines of Appalachia.”
The play was commissioned by the community-based nonprofit Madison Park Development Corp., in celebration of its 50th anniversary. The organization’s artistic director, Dillon Bustin, reached out to Jones, who had performed his one-man show “The Movement” at Hibernian Hall last summer.
MPDC traces its history to 1966 — a pivotal moment in the context of Boston’s urban renewal and the national civil rights movement. Bustin said the organization wanted to do something to commemorate this history. He thought of Jones’s work.
“I knew he was very experienced at working with young people, with devising stage work out of oral history interviews, with using visual images, which was all the sort of thing I had in mind,” Bustin says.
And so Jones began the process of writing “Roxbury Strong” last April. He spent hours in Northeastern University’s archives. He estimated that he conducted more than 70 hours of interviews with nearly 50 people who had ties to the neighborhood. He interviewed people from all walks of life, from Boston Police Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross to Tariq Russell, a lifelong resident who has been shot nine times in multiple incidents.
The interviews, some of which Jones provided to the Globe in video form, touch on a broad range of topics. In one, John Jackson, administrative coordinator at the Tobin Community Center and former basketball coach at Roxbury Community College, talked about the joy of winning the men’s Division III national championship in 2000, and his disappointment that the media and city ignored it. “There’s only six national [basketball] championships, in the whole USA,” Jackson said. “We had one of them and we had nothing, no fanfare.”
In another, director and curator of the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists Edmund Barry Gaither (who has worked in Roxbury since 1969) discussed how gentrification could become a positive force in the neighborhood, if done well.
Gross discussed the mishandling of the Charles Stuart case in 1989. Stuart, who was white, murdered his pregnant wife and then shot himself to make it appear they had been the victims of a robbery, telling the police their assailant was a black male. The police investigation in Mission Hill and surrounding neighborhoods involved the stopping and searching of black men without warning — and the eventual arrest of William “Willie” Bennett. (Bennett remained behind bars until Stuart was implicated in the murder by his own brother and killed himself.)
“There was a perception that because there was the homicide of a white female, the black community as a whole was being punished,” said Gross, who was a police officer at the time.
Jamila Capitman, 29, is an artist, entrepreneur, and educator who has lived in Roxbury since 2004. In her interview with Jones, she discussed the “spiritual” response to the persistent gun violence in the neighborhood.
“This is a sacred space, going back to the fact that there are so many lives lost within the space that we call Roxbury,” Capitman said. “People celebrate their dead here. You drive through the streets and you see these memorials with teddy bears and flowers and candles. That’s not garbage. That’s not a mess. That’s not trash. That’s not graffiti. That’s a spiritual thing.”
In a follow-up interview with the Globe, Capitman says that one of the emotionally difficult things about gentrification is the lack of awareness — or apparent interest — in this aspect of the neighborhood’s history. “When you have a gentrifier move in who doesn’t have understanding, then you lose a piece of that history,” she says. “You wonder, is my trauma, is my pain, worth anything to the people who are buying the property?”
Weaving these different threads together was a challenge for Jones. “The hardest thing about this process was trying to distill those interviews into a single script,” he says.
His solution was to frame “Roxbury Strong” around the story of a boy, played by the 16-year-old Pontes, and an older woman, played by Jean, who’s 17. The boy is struggling to find a job, and he complains to her about gentrification. The woman asks him whether he knows anything about the neighborhood’s history — and hires him to go and learn about it.
So he talks to people in the neighborhood, and a chronological picture of Roxbury emerges. The other characters are people whom Jones interviewed, and most of the dialogue is drawn directly from their conversations, with some changes. With the exceptions of Jean and Pontes, each actor plays multiple roles, sometimes vastly different ones (Fredrick Woodard plays both Gaither and Russell, for instance). In the background, video and photo projections show Roxbury through the years. Music from local songwriter and rapper Mike Boston — some of which was written in collaboration with the actors — is featured in the play.
Roughly the first three quarters of “Roxbury Strong” deal with the past, but the end addresses the future: with further gentrification, with persistent inequalities, and how these might be corrected.
The future is an important piece of Roxbury’s story, because that story isn’t over. “No one really owns a neighborhood, because a neighborhood is constantly in flux,” Jones says to Gross in a video of their conversation. “What matters most about a neighborhood is what you do when you’re in it, what is going to be the story that we’re going to be telling 100 years from now about this place, and this time, and these people? And my hope would be it’s that people here are resilient.”
Roxbury Strong: A Story of Emergence
Written and directed by Ron Jones. Aug. 18 and 20. Hibernian Hall, 184 Dudley St., Roxbury. Free.
BIZARRE SLAYING CASE HAS A SHOCKING END
A man who told police his pregnant wife was fatally wounded by a robber as they left a hospital childbirth class killed himself Thursday by jumping off a bridge in Boston Harbor, hours after his brother implicated him in the slaying, police said.
According to his brother, Charles M. Stuart had planned and executed the robbery and shooting of his pregnant wife, then shot himself to cover up one of the city's most heinous crimes in recent history, police said.
By leaping to his death from the Tobin Bridge around 7 a.m. Thursday, Stuart, 29, completed his sudden transformation from ultimate victim to ultimate villain.
Matthew Stuart, 23, reportedly has also admitted he disposed of the murder weapon.
Sources familiar with the investigation say police are now investigating information from relatives and others that Charles Stuart had an elaborate scheme to kill his wife and enlisted the help of his brother.
Authorities are reviewing information that Charles Stuart conducted a "dry run" of the area where his wife was slain, and that he had called off an earlier plan to kill Carol Stuart after making it appear their Reading home had been burglarized.
Matthew Stuart's lawyer, John Perenyi, said he and Matthew Stuart met with an assistant district attorney, Thomas J. Mundy Jr., who is directing the grand jury investigation into the shooting, about 8 p.m. Wednesday. Matthew Stuart told authorities his brother shot his wife and then shot himself, Perenyi said.
Perenyi said Matthew told investigators he disposed of the gun and personal belongings of Carol Stuart without knowing what they were, and that his client was not a suspect either as a participant or an accessory in the crime. Matthew Stuart was not held after giving his statement to authorities.
Charles Stuart, the manager of a Back Bay fur shop, killed himself after learning Matthew had told police that he had been an accomplice in the murder Oct. 23 of Carol Stuart, 30. The woman's premature baby, Christopher, was delivered by Caesarean section but died 17 days later.
Suffolk County District Attorney Newman A. Flanagan said William Bennett, a former convict who had been the prime suspect in the case, has been cleared of any involvement in the shooting. Bennett remains held on unrelated charges of armed robbery. Flanagan blamed news reports for singling Bennett out as a suspect.
Flanagan said Charles Stuart had dropped out of sight Wednesday night, sometime before Flanagan had instructed Boston police homicide detectives to arrest Stuart in the murder of his wife and child.
Authorities theorize Stuart killed his wife in order to collect on several insurance policies he held on her totaling several hundred thousand dollars. A source within an insurance company confirmed that Charles Stuart recently collected $83,000 from a $100,000 policy on his wife, one of two the couple had each taken out two weeks before the shooting.
This week Stuart used a $10,000 certified check, plus the trade-in value of his 1987 Toyota Cressida he was driving the night of the shooting, to buy a brand-new $22,277 Nissan Maxima. The 1990 car was found parked on the lower deck of the bridge from which he jumped to his death.
On the passenger's seat was a short note in which Stuart said he loved his family but that he could not take "the pressure." The note did not have a confession, investigators said. Stuart's body was pulled from the Mystic River below the bridge about 12:30 p.m.
The bizarre twist began Wednesday afternoon, when Matthew Stuart went to Suffolk County homicide investigators and admitted he had helped his brother hide the snub-nosed .38-caliber revolver used in the shooting, as well as Carol Stuart's jewelry and other personal belongings.
The disappearance of those things had corroborated Charles Stuart's story that he and his wife were shot by a mugger who panicked after getting into their car shortly after they had left a birthing class at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Perenyi said Matthew had harbored suspicions and finally decided to go to Flanagan's office and implicate his brother after Charles Stuart had identified Bennett during a lineup of suspects last week.
Perenyi said Matthew Stuart had told a family member who is a lawyer, and other family members, about what he knew.
Perenyi said Charles Stuart had arranged before the shooting to have Matthew meet him at the street intersection where the shooting came off.
When Matthew arrived there in his car, Charles Stuart tossed a Gucci bag through the open window of his car into the window of Matthew's car, Perenyi said. According to Matthew, Charles Stuart told him to "Take this to Revere."
Perenyi said Matthew did not look inside the bag until he returned to his parents' home in Revere. When he learned of the shooting several hours later, Matthew said, he threw the gun in the Pines River in the Oak Island section of Revere but kept an engagement ring.
Matthew Stuart has said he then drove off to dispose of the incriminating evidence, while Charles Stuart used his cellular telephone to call for help.
Police divers combed the Pine River's waters under a railroad bridge Thursday and found Carol Stuart's bag, with her wallet and makeup. Divers are expected to resume their search for the gun today.
Assistant District Attorney Paul K. Leary said the district attorney's office never ruled out Charles Stuart as a suspect, but was not actively investigating him.
Sources say some potentially incriminating evidence in the car was disturbed in the rush to offer medical help to the Stuarts, and some detectives said they wondered why Stuart was shot in the abdomen while his wife was shot in the head.
More troublesome was the route Stuart took while leaving the hospital.
Because the Stuarts lived in Reading, the more logical route home from the hospital was Brookline Avenue. Police were perplexed and suspicious that Stuart had instead turned toward Huntington Avenue. Stuart had told police that it was while his car was stopped at a light at Huntington Avenue and Francis Street that the gunman entered the back seat.
Charles Stuart implicated for staged murder of his wife - HISTORY
A 26-year-old East Boston man and his lover stand accused of hatching a heartless scheme to kill the man’s wife, wound him and claim the shocking shooting was racially-charged — a horrific murder-for-hire plot that calls to mind the notorious Charles Stuart case. (which i will never forget. )
NJ still has the death penalty, however, it has not had an execution since 1976.
murdered: Nazish with her two sons, aged five and three. The youngest witnessed the horror.
In court: Antoinette Stephen stands behind a partition during her arraignment on a fugitive from justice charge.
Mourners carry a casket with the body of Nazish Noorani toward a hearse during her funeral services.
Mourning: Lubana Tanbeer, left, is comforted by her relative Razia Zaib while attending a candlelight vigil for Tanbeer's sister Nazish Noorani
The husband of a young Muslim woman killed in New Jersey while out walking with him and their three-year-old son planned her murder in a series of chilling text messages, it has been claimed.
Kashif Parvaiz, 26, who has been charged after admitting he was involved in the killing of his wife Nazish Noorani, also 26, sent a series of messages to his alleged lover and gunwoman, Antoinette Stephen, which chart their movements in the hours before the attack.
Mrs Moorani was killed just three blocks from her sister's house in the heavily Pakistani area of Boonton on Tuesday evening. The shooting left Parvaiz with four superficial gunshot wounds but he survived. The young boy, who was found covered in his parents' blood, was unhurt.
What a sick man. His wife was beautiful.
What is with the girlfriend?
This time, police see perfect picture of evil
By Peter Gelzinis August 20, 2011 Boston Herald
We had seen this evil before.
It hardly matters that Kashif Parvaiz was just 4 years old when Chuck Stuart decided to end his marriage by firing a bullet through the head of his pregnant wife, Carol, shooting himself in the abdomen . . . while blaming all on a “black man.”
Since that September night on Mission Hill in 1989, Stuart’s epic malevolence has become a tragic part of our cultural landscape.
Kashif Parvaiz’s alleged plot to get out of his marriage by having his wife, Nazish Noorani, murdered Tuesday night in a New Jersey suburb during an orchestrated attack in which he was also wounded, looks like an eerie piece of deja vu.
Indeed, there would appear to be a lot of Chuck Stuart in Kashif Parvaiz. Like Stuart, Parvaiz also told the cops that a “black man” was among the attackers who killed his wife and shot him.
And, yes, the police in Boonton, N.J., immediately launched a search for these phantom murderers, just as Boston police tore through Mission Hill in the aftermath of Chuck’s heinous lie.
But fortunately, here is where the similarity between Kashif Parvaiz and Chuck Stuart ends. Unlike what happened in Boston, it took only a couple of days for Morris County prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi to issue the following statement:
“After considerable investigative analysis, law enforcement quickly concluded that this was not a bias crime.
“This was sadly the alleged handiwork of the victim’s husband, who allegedly did the unthinkable and plotted to murder his wife . . .”
Newman Flanagan, who was Suffolk DA at the time of the Stuart case, didn’t arrive at that conclusion until months later, when Stuart threw himself off the Tobin Bridge.
And trust me when I tell you, Flanagan still couldn’t believe it.
Not until Stuart killed himself was this city ready to let go of the “Camelot couple” myth that adorned the doomed Stuart marriage.
We wanted so much to buy the notion that a handsome young fur salesman and his devoted, expectant wife were set upon by a mayhem-minded thug after taking a wrong turn into a “bad” neighborhood.
We would learn that the only evil person in Mission Hill that night was Chuck Stuart, who staged the murder, and his dim-witted brother, Matthew, who disposed of the gun Chuck used on Carol and himself.
A key part of Chuck Stuart’s diabolical scheme was to exploit Boston’s raw nerve of race. The soothing that came to this city was delivered by the proud grieving and graceful family of Carol DiMaiti Stuart. They converted their heartache into scholarships for Mission Hill children.
But that is only part of the legacy of the Stuart case. When one half of a picture-perfect couple meets with sudden violence and death, cops, mindful of his deception, are no longer quick to rule out the husband.
Those cops in New Jersey did not make a ghastly situation worse by up-ending an innocent neighborhood.
In that, they perhaps unknowingly borrowed something good from the twisted saga of Chuck Stuart.
chuck and 9-month pregnant Carol. the baby lived a couple days. :(
Kashif Pervaiz had told his wife Nazish that he was moving to Boston to get a doctorate from Harvard. But records show he lived in East Boston, and never attended Harvard.
Doomed mom Nazish Noorani met her future husband - and now accused killer - Kashif Parvaiz at a Pakistani festival in Brooklyn six years ago, a grieving cousin told the Daily News Friday.
"It was love at first sight for her," the cousin said of Noorani, who was buried Friday. "She seemed so happy. This guy began showering her with all these gifts. Gold bracelets. New cars. She thought it was a fairy tale."
Noorani's relatives were suspicious.
"We are all so protective of each other," said the cousin, who asked not to be identified. So the family met with Parvaiz at a Dunkin' Donuts near their homes in Boonton, N.J.
"We asked him what he does, where he has lived, how he is going to provide for my cousin," the cousin said.
An "evasive" Parvaiz told them he attended NYU, but couldn't produce an ID. "We knew he was full of it," the cousin said.
The next day, the cousin said, Parvaiz emailed them a photograph of his purported NYU identification card. It was a fake.
The cousin said he told Noorani Parvaiz was a fraud, but she refused to listen.
"She said, 'I'm going to marry him come hell or high water,'" the cousin said. "We found out later [they were] already married."
Noorani's family insisted on a proper ceremony at the Knights of Columbus hall across from her parents' house in Boonton - near where she was gunned down Tuesday night.
When Parvaiz moved to Boston last year - he said he was getting a doctorate from Harvard - Noorani stayed in Flatbush to raise their two young sons.
Noorani found out Parvaiz was cheating on her three months ago, when she found a MySpace photo of him with another woman, the cousin said.
"Kashif told her that he lived in a dorm room at Harvard," the cousin said. Parvaiz was really living in East Boston there's no record he attended the Ivy League school.
OMG. i just was remembering the chuck stuart case in this thread recently, and now this. he couldn't live with the guilt anymore i think. he took part in Carol's murder (thinking it was just an insurance robbery scam) , and then turned his brother in. sad sad sad all around. the chuck stuart case will never be forgotten in Boston. see post #3. i wonder if this Noorani case triggered something in him.
Boston Herald 9/3/11
Matthew F. Stuart, the lone survivor of one of the most infamous domestic murder mysteries in the city’s history, is dead at age 45, authorities confirmed this morning.
Stuart’s body was discovered at 2 a.m. yesterday at Heading Home, a sober emergency shelter in Cambridge. It was unclear how long he had been staying there. The cause of his death was pending an autopsy.
Stuart was a key player in covering up the Oct. 23, 1989, slayings of his pregnant sister-in-law attorney Carol DiMaiti Stuart and her unborn son Christopher at the hands of his big brother Charles “Chuck” Stuart, who on Jan. 4, 1990, fell to his death from the Tobin Bridge after Matthew turned himself into the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office. Charles Stuart was 30 years old.
Dan Riviello, a spokesman for the Cambridge Police Department, confirmed Stuart was dead, that his family had been notified and that the Office of the Medical Examiner has custody of the body.
Cara O’Brien, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, said investigators were called to the shelter at 2 a.m. yesterday, where the body of a 45-year-old man had been found. O’Brien did not refer to Stuart by name.
“It doesn’t appear to be suspicious or involve foul play,” she said.
Wendy Jacobs, Heading Home’s deputy executive director, said of Stuart’s passing, “It’s absolutely tragic.”
Jacobs said the shelter, whose mission is to end homelessness, houses up to 21 people per night in a dormitory style “small, home-like environment” and would have provided Stuart breakfast and dinner. For him to even be staying there, she said, required him to be an active participant in getting back on his feet.
“Our staff would have been helping him develop a plan to overcome barriers to end his homelessness and help facilitate the process,” she said. “I don’t know where he was in that plan.”
Stuart served nearly three years in prison after pleading guilty in 1992 to obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud for disposing of the handgun Charles Stuart used to shoot his wife in the head on Mission Hill after the Reading couple left a birthing class at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Charles Stuart, a manager for Kakas Furs on Newbury Street, suffered a life-threatening gunshot to the gut as part of the ruse, blaming the shootings on a black robber, nearly igniting a race war in Boston as police tried to track down the phantom man who’d destroyed a white, suburban family.
In fact, Matthew Stuart had thrown the murder weapon and his sister-in-laws wedding ring into the Pines River in Revere, where he and his brother grew up. The gun and valuables were later recovered.
Stuart was on probation when, in 1997, he was arrested in Revere on suspicion of dealing cocaine. The charge was later dropped for lack of evidence.
A BOSTON TRAGEDY: THE STUART CASE - A SPECIAL CASE Motive Remains a Mystery In Deaths That Haunt a City
After dinner at a restaurant last September, a close friend says, Charles Stuart complained that he had noticed something about his pregnant wife, Carol, that he had never seen before, ''that she had the upper hand'' in their marriage.
As the friend, David F. MacLean, recalled last week, Mr. Stuart was upset that his wife had refused to get an abortion and he was worried that she would not go back to her job as a lawyer after giving birth, lowering the couple's income. Mr. Stuart then made a startling proposal, Mr. MacLean said. He asked for help in killing Carol Stuart.
This account by Mr. MacLean may be the closest anyone can get to the mind of Mr. Stuart, who the police now suspect shot and killed his wife and then seriously wounded himself in the stomach on Oct. 23 as part of an elaborate and tragic scheme. Mr. MacLean's account was given last week in an interview with WCVB-TV, and he is believed to have repeated it on Friday to a grand jury investigating the case.
At the time of the shootings, Mr. Stuart told the police that the couple had been attacked by a black gunman after they left a childbirth class at a nearby hospital. His story unleashed racial passions in Boston and touched off a wave of national sympathy for Mr. Stuart, his slain wife and their prematurely delivered son, Christopher, who died 17 days after the shooting. But on Jan. 4, 12 hours after his youngest brother, Matthew, told investigators he had taken part in the incident, Mr. Stuart apparently leaped to his death from the Tobin Bridge over the edge of Boston Harbor.
Much about the case remains uncertain. But friends, relatives and law-enforcement officials now say Mr. Stuart may have been consumed by his own rapid financial success. He was a man who had gone from being a short-order cook in a bar a decade ago, making $4 an hour, to the manager of a fur salon on Newbury Street, earning more than $100,000 last year.
It was a long journey from his hometown of Revere, a blue-collar community best known for its dog track and neighborhood bars, to the affluent environs of Newbury Street, with its fashionable boutiques and crowded restaurants in Boston's Back Bay. And it was a long passage from the vocational school where Mr. Stuart studied culinary arts to his job at the furrier Kakas & Sons, with a lawyer wife, a car phone and a slate-blue house in a comfortable suburb with a swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
But Charles Stuart, who turned 30 in December, seemed to hunger for more. Neighbors said he talked of opening a restaurant, and he attended a course last spring at the Boston Center for Adult Education, called 'ɻuying and Operating a Restaurant Successfully,'' an instructor says. Investigators say that for now their best guess is that he wanted to collect on several life insurance policies held by his wife, which are known to have amounted to at least $182,000.
But even his relatives are still not sure they understand how Mr. Stuart, a tall, handsome, affable man who had never been in trouble with the law before or displayed a flair for the imaginative, could have devised such a bizarre scheme.
''This was not the Chuck I knew it must be another Chuck,'' said Stephen F. Reardon, a cousin and co-owner of Reardon's bar in Revere. ''It must have been a Chuck with a sick thing inside of him.''
Dr. Robert Coles, a psychiatrist at Harvard University and author of books on moral development, said that from what he has heard of the case he believes Mr. Stuart was an extreme example of a psychopath, an antisocial personality with little sense of remorse, a propensity to lie and often an ability to deceive others into believing his fantasies.
''In most psychopaths there is cruelty and callousness, but Stuart outdoes that,'' Dr. Coles said.
He said the case was not so much about Boston and its history of ethnic and racial animosity, as many people have suggested, as it is about Mr. Stuart's own personality and perhaps his family background. The Family A Dark Role, Even If Unwitting In fact, as lawyers for members of the Stuart family have acknowledged, Mr. Stuart's three brothers and two sisters, as well as their spouses and friends, either participated in part of the crime, wittingly or unwittingly, or learned about it at various points without telling the police.
A lawyer for Michael Stuart, a 27-year-old firefighter, said last week that Charles Stuart had asked Michael to help in killing Carol Stuart ''weeks before'' the Oct. 23 shooting. Michael refused, the lawyer said, but by Oct. 26 had been told that Charles's public account was not true by another brother, Matthew, 23.
John J. Perenyi, a lawyer for Matthew, has said that his client had driven into Boston by prearrangement with Charles Stuart to meet him near the hospital and picked up a silver, snub-nose .38-caliber revolver as well as Carol Stuart's jewelry and handbag. Matthew thought his brother was only planning a jewelry insurance scam, Mr. Perenyi said, although the police have said Charles Stuart had offered him $10,000 for his role. Matthew had been through a 'ɽry run'' with Charles a few days before, and there have been reports from neighbors that Matthew also participated in an aborted fake burglary at the Stuart house in Reading, where Charles may have intended to kill his wife and make it look like a robbery.
Both Michael and Matthew were pallbearers at Carol Stuart's funeral. When Matthew finally went to the police on Jan. 3, his lawyer said, ''There wasn't a lot of support in his family for him going to the authorities.''
Carl DiMaiti, Carol Stuart's brother, mused about the Stuart siblings in an interview with WLVI-TV last week. '⟊n you believe that they came over to our house to comfort my parents?'' he asked. ''It is just mind-boggling that they could sit with us, or allow us to visit Chuck, to cry over him and pray for his recovery, knowing that Chuck was responsible for what happened to Carol.'' The Clues A Life Story, Embellished In hindsight, there were clues earlier in his life about Charles Stuart's capacity to embellish.
He told friends, and the story made its way into his resume and later into the Boston papers, that he had gone to Brown University on a football scholarship but had dropped out because of a knee injury and eventually graduated from Salem State College in Salem, Mass.
But a spokesman for Brown said a check of its records revealed that Mr. Stuart had never even applied to the school. An official at Salem State said Mr. Stuart had enrolled there in September 1979, but dropped out after two months.
Mr. Stuart may have wanted to obscure the memory that he actually went to Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational High School in Wakefield, north of Boston, a school that teaches trades like auto repair, cosmetology and pipe fitting and offers academic subjects in alternate weeks. By 10th grade, Charles Stuart had chosen culinary arts, spending every other week working full time in the school's kitchen and helping to run its restaurant, the Breakheart Inn.
Bill Lord, his instructor, remembers the teen-age Mr. Stuart as 'ɺn excellent cook who expressed no interest in going to college.'' Mr. Lord said Mr. Stuart was 'ɺ good kid.''
''I never ever once had to send him to the vice principal's office for misconduct, like you had to with a lot of kids,'' Mr. Lord said. 'He Was Very Happy'
Over the years, they kept in touch, and Mr. Lord said that last year Mr. Stuart had stopped by the school one day for lunch. ''He was very happy because he was making lots of money and thought he had very good prospects.''
The teen-age Charles Stuart was interested in sports, but contrary to his own account, he never played football. Instead, he played baseball and was 'ɺn average fielder and a poor hitter,'' his former coach, Dennis Bisso, recalled. He also played basketball, and was a good shooter but rather slow, said Dave Barriss, his basketball coach.
Mr. Stuart was born on Dec. 18, 1959, the son of an insurance salesman and a part-time bartender who was 'ɺ natural entertainer, with a new joke every day,'' recalled Stephen Reardon, his cousin. The family lived in a modest red Cape Cod-style house on a dead end street, and young Chuck and his brothers attended the Roman Catholic elementary school run by the Immaculate Conception Church nearby.
When he graduated from vocational school in 1977, Mr. Stuart got a job as a cook at a now-defunct Italian restaurant in Revere, the Driftwood. It was there that he met Carol DiMaiti, a Boston College student who was working as a waitress.
''He was very popular with the women, and she fell madly in love with him,'' said Rosemarie Bartolo, who also worked there at the time. But Carol's father, Giusto DiMaiti, who was the bartender in the Driftwood, 'ɽidn't like him,'' Mrs. Bartolo said. She had been going out with a boy who was a college student and, like her, was an Italian-American, Mrs. Bartolo recalled.
Seen as Quiet and Reserved
Like many people who knew them, she said that where Carol was outgoing and ''talked about her problems pretty freely, Chuck was quiet and reserved, kind of introverted.''
In about 1981 Mr. Stuart gave up cooking and applied to Kakas & Sons, the fur store. He told his teacher, Mr. Lord, that ''he was having trouble with his legs, standing all day.''
Both Ted and Jay Kakas, co-owners of the furrier, refused requests for an interview. But in October, soon after the shooting, Ted Kakas told The Boston Globe, ''He was just an all-round terrific guy. I think I can say he was loved by all of our employees.'' The store was closed for Carol Stuart's funeral because everyone who worked with Chuck wanted to attend.
To all appearances, things were going well for Chuck and Carol. They got married in 1985, bought a house in Reading, a much more affluent town than Revere, and after Carol became pregnant last year, they began buying baby clothes and furniture. Carol was due in December.
'⟊rol was so happy and sweet,'' said her hairdresser, Mali Sheikhi, in Newton, near the publishing company where Carol worked. ''I was always telling her, 'You never seem to have any problems.' ''
It was only after Mr. Stuart's apparent suicide 10 days ago that another side surfaced. Maureen Vajdic, the Stuarts' neighbor, remembered that Carol had begun complaining last summer, after she got pregnant, that Charles was going out on Friday nights by himself and staying out late.
At the time, Mr. Stuart was becoming interested in a 22-year-old woman who worked in the Kakas shop, Deborah Allen. Friends say Ms. Allen, a graduate of Brown University, is strikingly attractive. They went out for meals together, and last fall, before the shooting, she took him on a tour of her prep school. Mr. Stuart gave her a pair of sneakers and a sweatshirt.
After the shooting, Ms. Allen began calling him regularly in Boston City Hospital, where he lay recovering from his stomach wound for six weeks. In a statement made public by her lawyer, Thomas E. Dwyer, Ms. Allen said she called at Mr. Stuart's request and charged the calls to his telephone credit card. But when Mr. Stuart tried to turn their relationship into something more intimate after he was released from the hospital in December, Ms. Allen broke it off, Mr. Dwyer said. If Mr. Stuart's interest in her so soon after his wife's death raised any suspicion, she never told anyone. The Tale The Final Days Of Charles Stuart It is not known how Mr. Stuart got the idea that he could successfully deflect attention from himself by saying the couple was attacked by a black gunman. But there had been a series of drug-related shootings last September and October in the city's black neighborhoods. 'ɼhuck and I had talked about the number of shootings that had gone on there,'' said Peter Jaworski, an employee at the fur store.
Mr. Stuart's upbringing in Revere may also have played a part. 'ɽon't discount the way people think here,'' said a customer at Reardon's bar. ''Racism is a fact, good or bad. We divide people up into groups, and you will notice no blacks live in Revere.''
But it was Mr. Stuart's coolness after the shooting that amazed even his own relatives. Patrick Reardon, another cousin, said he was in the hospital room with Mr. Stuart when the police first questioned him about the shooting, two days after it occurred. ''I was boasting to friends about how good his recall was,'' Mr. Reardon said.
Repeated Details of Shooting
''He went through the whole thing. They asked him several times, and he repeated it every time,'' he said. ''He didn't seem to get annoyed. The way Chuckie had described the assailant led you to believe that it was real. He went as far as to describe a stripe in the sleeve of the running suit and how the gunman reached into the inside of his zipper jacket for the gun, turned and faced him.''
Nor did Mr. Stuart apparently have trouble composing a message that was read by a friend, Brian Parsons, at Carol's funeral. ''Good night sweet wife, my love. God has called you to his side,'' he wrote. Referring to her killer, the message continued, ''In our souls we must forgive this sinner because He would too.''
Within two weeks of being released from the hospital early last month, Mr. Stuart was buying women's jewelry, first a $999 pair of diamond solitaire earrings, later a $250 14-karat gold brooch. ''It struck me as funny, because why would he be shopping,'' said John White, who sold him the brooch. ''He didn't express any grief at all.'' The police have speculated that the jewelry was intended for Ms. Allen, but she has denied receiving any items from Mr. Stuart.
Mr. Stuart told his relatives he was going to return to his house in Reading. Socially, if not emotionally, he had moved from Revere. He had stopped playing in a Thursday night basketball league there several months before his wife's death, and before that had stopped having drinks with his teammates at the Speakeasy pub after games, friends say.
It was as if Mr. Stuart was living out the poem by Robert Frost that graced his high school yearbook - ''The Road Not Taken.'' Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
On the last night of his life, with the police looking for him, Mr. Stuart checked into the Sheraton Tara motel in Braintree. He requested a wake-up call for 4:30 A.M. Then he drove into Boston, stopped his car on the bottom level of the Tobin Bridge, and turned on the hazard lights on the $22,000 Nissan Maxima he had bought only two days before. Leaving a note on the front seat that said he could not bear the charges against him but did not make clear his own role, he got out and propped up the hood.
When the police found his car at a few minutes before 7, they were not sure, until they found his submerged body, that this was not another hoax.
Lady Arbella Stuart, cousin of King James I of England.
Arbella didn’t give up hope that James would relax the severity with which she was being treated, but he didn’t, and Arbella sank into bouts of black despair. As she languished in The Tower, William Seymour loitered in France, an impoverished exile making no effort to help or communicate with his wife despite her supporters plotting her release.
Her last known letter was written to the king in a desperate attempt to move him to pity, and to save her dearest William, but James was unrelenting.
Refusing all food, Arbella turned her face to the wall and died on 25 September 1615, aged forty. Her body, embalmed for the sum of £6.13s 4d and placed in a plain coffin, was carried out of The Tower at night and taken up the river to Westminster Abbey.
There with no ceremony except a hurried burial service, she was laid in the vault alongside her aunt Mary Queen of Scots and her cousin Prince Henry. This meagre funeral with nothing to mark her burial place was deplorable for the king’s cousin and it wasn’t until years later that a simple stone was laid on the floor by the tomb.
It states simply – ‘Arbella Stuart 1575-1615’.
This day in history
Today is Friday, Oct. 23, the 296th day of 2015. There are 69 days left in the year.
Today’s birthdays: Baseball Hall of Famer and former US senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, is 84. Director Philip Kaufman is 79. Soccer great Pele is 75. Director Ang Lee is 61. Jazz singer Dianne Reeves is 59. Country singer Dwight Yoakam is 59. Activist Martin Luther King III is 58. Director Sam Raimi is 56. Parodist ‘‘Weird Al’’ Yankovic is 56. Reporter Dr. Sanjay Gupta is 46. Actress Emilia Clarke is 29.
In 1707, the Parliament of Great Britain, created by the Acts of Union between England and Scotland, held its first meeting.
In 1915, tens of thousands of women paraded on Fifth Avenue in New York City, demanding the right to vote.
In 1956, a student-sparked revolt against Hungary’s Communist rule began as the revolution spread, Soviet forces entered the country and put down the uprising.
In 1983, 241 US service members, most of them Marines, were killed in a suicide truck-bombing at Beirut International Airport in Lebanon a near-simultaneous attack on French forces killed 58 paratroopers.
In 1989, Charles Stuart claimed he and his pregnant wife, Carol, had been shot in their car by a black robber after they left a birthing class at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (Carol Stuart and her prematurely delivered baby died Charles Stuart later died, an apparent suicide, after he was implicated.)
Last year, Thomas. M. Menino revealed he has stopped his treatment for inoperable cancer. The former Boston mayor died on Oct. 30.