Steven Benson – 1985

By | November 12, 2016

Benson put a bomb in the family car


Margaret Benson’s home in Naples, Florida – the bombed car can be seen covered in plastic in the driveaway


Steven Benson was born at Naples, Florida in 1951. His mother was tobacco heiress Margaret Benson of the Leaf Tobacco Company (not Benson & Hedges as is often reported). He lived a life of luxury with his mother and adopted brother Scott, who was really his nephew, Margaret’s illegitimate grandson.

However, Margaret Benson was tiring of her son’s wayward behaviour and the lack of direction in his life and, when she learned he was clipping his fingers in the family till, she threatened to cut off his spending allowance.

Benson was not happy about this and on 9 July 1985 he put a bomb in the family car. A loud explosion shattered the smart district of Quail Creek, Naples. The family had all been in the car when Benson suddenly remembered that he had left something in the house and jumped out of the car to fetch it. A few seconds later, the car exploded killing Margaret and Scott Benson and burning Carol Lynn Benson Kendall (born 8 July 1944), a former Miss Florida runner-up, who was Steven’s sister and Scott’s real mother.

Forensic examination revealed that the bomb consisted of two 10 x 25 cm (4 x 12 in) metal tubes packed with gunpowder. Further investigation showed a fingerprint on one of the bomb casings — it matched Steven Benson. At 10am on 22 August Benson was arrested and charged with two counts of murder and one of attempted murder.


13002 White Violet Drive, Port Royal, Quail Creek, Naples, Florida, USA


9.18am Tuesday 9 July 1985


Steven Benson was found guilty of murder on 7 August 1986 and sentenced to 50 years in prison.


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