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How we reported this series

Globe staff photo

To report “Nightmare in Mission Hill,” Globe journalists spent thousands of hours — over two years — examining documents, photographs, audio recordings, and video.

Reporters knocked on doors throughout Mission Hill, visited witnesses across the country, and uncovered secret grand jury files, police interrogation tapes, and other key law enforcement documents. The team conducted more than 250 interviews.

Quotes within this story were either taken directly from sworn testimony, police interviews, audiotapes, or were heard by reporters. In cases where someone recounted dialogue or comments, those words appear in italics.

The series also relied upon four interviews that were conducted by Little Room Films and part of an HBO Original documentary film produced with the Globe. That production company entered into a financial agreement, which includes a confidentiality clause, with Joey Bennett. HBO says it is part of a standard archive licensing agreement for the use of family photos and audio materials and that the arrangement is in line with industry practices.


Chapter 1

This story is based on 911 call transcripts, recordings, and dispatch radio chatter; raw television news footage and b-roll from Oct. 23, 1989 and Oct. 24, 1989; police reports; federal grand jury testimony; media reports; crime scene photographs, autopsy reports; census data; Boston City Archive materials from Mayor Ray Flynn’s administration; and original interviews. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • 911 call
  • Rescue 911 video
  • Christine Norwood interview
  • City archive documents (Mandela movement)
  • Anthony Caldwell interview
  • Contemporaneous news articles
  • LaRoy Cox interview
  • Angela Brittle interview
  • Little Room Films interview with Joey Bennett
  • DonJuan Moses interview
  • Veda Bennett interview
  • Census data
  • Police dispatch radio
  • Evan Richman interview
  • Robert Ahearn federal grand jury testimony
  • Boston magazine 1988 profile of Ahearn and Tinlin
  • Robert Tinlin obituary
  • Official transcript of 911 police radio
  • Form 2000s for 1989
  • William “Billy” Dunn interview
  • George H. W. Bush speech to the nation
  • Mayor Ray Flynn’s Summer of ‘89 speech from city archive
  • Crime scene photos
  • Carol DiMaiti Stuart death certificate
  • News reports on Boston’s rising crime, gang problems, murder dilemma
  • Mayor Ray Flynn’s late night press conference
  • Carol DiMaiti Stuart autopsy report
  • Greg Moore interview
  • Globe article citing KKK events in Boston

Chapter 2

This story is based on federal and state grand jury testimony; police reports; contemporaneous media reports; raw TV news footage from Oct. 23, 1989 and Oct. 24, 1989; original interviews with people involved. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Robert Ahearn federal grand jury testimony
  • Robert Ahearn Suffolk County grand jury testimony
  • Boston magazine 1988 profile of Ahearn and Tinlin
  • Mayor Ray Flynn’s late night press conference
  • Paramedics report Oct. 23, 1989
  • Police report Oct. 23, 1989
  • French media report
  • Rescue 911 video
  • News reports on Boston’s rising crime, gang problems, murder dilemma
  • Louis Elisa interview
  • DonJuan Moses interview
  • Christopher Stuart death certificate
  • Police alerts for suspect

Chapter 3

This story is based on federal grand jury testimony; federal civil lawsuit testimony; police reports; search warrant affidavits; contemporaneous media reports; original interviews with people involved. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Boston Police homicide hotline tip sheets
  • Original tip to police regarding Alan Swanson
  • Police search warrant for Cornelia Court
  • Billy Dunn interview
  • Globe article headlined “Police cite reign of violence in neighborhoods”
  • Alan Swanson mug shot
  • Obituary of Ray Flynn’s father
  • WBUR story on busing and Ray Flynn
  • 1974 Globe articles on busing, Ray Flynn, Louise Day Hicks
  • Little Room Films interview with Jack Harper
  • Ray Flynn’s acceptance speech
  • Neil Sullivan interview
  • Mayor Ray Flynn’s late night press conference
  • Robert Ahearn federal grand jury testimony
  • Robert Ahearn civil suit testimony

Chapter 4

This story is based on federal and state grand jury testimony; police interrogation tapes; police reports; search warrant affidavits; contemporaneous media reports; original interviews with people involved. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Suffolk County grand jury testimony of police officers Robert Ahearn and Trent Holland, as well as Erick Whitney and Dereck Jackson
  • Erick Whitney police interrogation tape
  • News footage referencing Boston’s “murder problem”
  • Little Room Films interview with Joey Bennett
  • Little Room Films interview with Dereck Jackson
  • Boston Globe archives referencing William “Willie” Bennett
  • Dereck Jackson police interrogation tape
  • 1988 Boston magazine profile of police officers Robert Ahearn and Robert Tinlin
  • Peter O’Malley’s Boston Police Department card
  • Erick Whitney arrest file
  • Veda Bennett interview
  • Boston Police homicide hotline tip sheets
  • Police search warrant affidavit filed by Peter O’Malley
  • Globe archives referencing Trent Holland
  • Boston Police report in response to US Attorney’s report on misconduct
  • Police report and transcript of Charles Stuart examination of suspects in a police lineup

Chapter 5

This story is based on state grand jury testimony; police interrogation tapes; police reports; search warrant affidavits; contemporaneous media reports; original interviews with people involved. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Will Zecco interview
  • “Deadly Greed” by Joe Sharkey
  • Police search warrant of the Sheraton hotel where Chuck stayed
  • Carl DiMaiti grand jury testimony
  • Globe archives
  • Rescue 911 video
  • Little Room Films interview with Barbara Williamson
  • Christine Baratta interview
  • Carol DiMaiti Stuart autopsy report
  • Gayle Vincent interview
  • Kim Woodward interview
  • Police report, transcript, and audio of Charles Stuart examination of suspects in a police lineup

Chapter 6

This story is based on federal and state grand jury testimony; police interrogation tapes; police reports; transcripts of phone calls; handwritten letters preserved as evidence; search warrant affidavits; contemporaneous media reports; original interviews with people involved. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Matthew Stuart investigative files, including tapes and transcripts of statements made to police
  • Transcripts of telephone calls made by Janet Monteforte, the Stuart family, and others
  • Janet Monteforte’s statement to police
  • Police alerts and reports describing the items taken from Carol DiMaiti Stuart the night of the shooting
  • Little Room Films interview with Jack Harper
  • Billy Dunn interview
  • Little Room Films interview with Barbara Williamson
  • Leslie Harris interview
  • Sally Jacobs interview
  • Globe archives
  • John McMahon statement to police
  • Philip Scarpaci grand jury testimony
  • Michael “Dennis” MacLean grand jury testimony
  • Debbie Allen’s handwritten notes to Charles Stuart
  • Carl DiMaiti grand jury testimony
  • Mark Stuart grand jury testimony
  • Michael Stuart grand jury testimony
  • Debbie Allen grand jury testimony
  • Media reports

Chapter 7

This story is based on federal and state grand jury testimony; police interrogation tapes; police reports; search warrant affidavits; contemporaneous media reports; raw TV news b-roll from January 4, 1989; original interviews with people involved. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Little Room Films interview with Jack Harper
  • Audio recording of Carol DiMaiti Stuart’s funeral
  • Media footage of the police search for Charles Stuart, including Newman Flanagan press conference
  • Billy Dunn interview
  • Neil Sullivan interview
  • Little Room Films interview with Barbara Williamson
  • Betrayal in Beantown
  • Dead Wives Club
  • Media footage of the Bennett family’s response to Stuart’s death
  • Leslie Harris interview
  • Media footage, Globe archives, news reports
  • Veda Bennett interview
  • Mayor Ray Flynn’s “State of the City” address

Chapter 8

This story is based on federal and state grand jury testimony; police interrogation tapes; police reports; search warrant affidavits; contemporaneous media reports; original interviews with people involved. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Voicemail, texts from Dan Grabowski
  • Dennis MacLean grand jury testimony
  • David MacLean grand jury testimony
  • Matthew Stuart investigative files, including tapes and transcripts of statements made to police
  • Robert Ahearn federal grand jury testimony
  • Philip Scarpaci grand jury testimony
  • Dennis MacLean grand jury testimony
  • Debbie Allen’s handwritten notes to Charles Stuart
  • Carl DiMaiti grand jury testimony
  • Mark Stuart grand jury testimony
  • Michael Stuart grand jury testimony
  • Debbie Allen grand jury testimony
  • Billy Dunn interview
  • Police Commissioner Mickey Roache letter to US Attorney Wayne Budd
  • Boston Police written response to Attorney General report
  • Boston police investigative files, including statements made by witnesses David Wood, Faith Mickelsons, Donald Garnett
  • Nancy Gertner interview
  • Federal grand jury testimony of Francis O’Meara
  • Interview of Rashard Young
  • Veda Bennett interview
  • Pauline Bennett death certificate
  • DonJuan Moses interview
  • Detective Peter O’Malley’s internal affairs file


Brendan McCarthy can be reached at brendan.mccarthy@globe.com.