Boston Tabloid: The Killing of Robin Benedict

Blackstone Audio. Jan. 2023. 10:14 hrs. ISBN 9798212241335. $19.95. CRIME
Boston-based author Stradley (Slaughter in the Streets) updates the headline-making 1983 case once referred to as the “prostitute and the professor” murder. With a brisk, newsreel-like manner, Patrick Lawlor delivers Stradley’s meticulous research into the backgrounds of both murderer and Tufts University professor Douglas Williams and victim Robin Benedict, a sex worker in Boston’s adult entertainment district, known as the Combat Zone. Listeners will be captivated by the information on Benedict’s murder, the investigation, and Williams’s ensuing trial. Lawlor dynamically shares several versions of the case from differing points of view: Williams, Benedict, their families, the attorneys, the police, and the public. He judiciously uses tone, volume, pacing, and well-timed pauses to build each person’s voice. Defense attorney Thomas Troy’s brazen bravado matched his public persona. State Trooper Paul Landry was frustrated when taken off the case. Williams had a weak tone when giving excuses and was lovesick in letters written to Benedict. The Benedict family was incensed when Williams was released early, serving only eight and a half years of his 18-year sentence for manslaughter.
VERDICT A compelling recounting of one man’s obsession and a shocking case judged in the court of public opinion.
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