Steven Benson (murderer)

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Steven Benson
Steve benson.jpg
DOC Mugshot
Born (1951-07-26) July 26, 1951 (age 63)
Florida, United States
Criminal penalty
Life sentence
Criminal status Incarcerated at Taylor Correctional Institution
Spouse(s) Debra Franks Larsen Benson
Children Christopher Logan Benson Victoria Elivibeth Benson
Parent(s) Margaret Benson(Deceased) Edward Benson(Deceased)
Conviction(s) First degree murder, attempted first degree murder, arson of a dwelling

Steven Wayne Benson[1] (born July 26, 1951)[2][3] is a convicted double murderer of his mother, tobacco heiress Margaret Benson; and his brother (actually his nephew but later adopted), tennis player Scott Benson.[4] (Margaret Hitchcock Benson was heiress of the Lancaster Leaf Tobacco Co., Lancaster, Pa., and had no connection with Benson & Hedges brand cigarettes manufactured in the US by Philip Morris.)

On July 9, 1985 Benson placed a car bomb on the family car, in which Margaret, Scott, and Steven's sister, Carol Lynn Benson Kendall (a former Miss Florida runner-up), were waiting for Steven to join them in the vehicle when the Suburban exploded. Kendall survived but was badly burned; Margaret and Scott died instantly from the bomb impact.[5] Represented by attorney Michael McDonnell, Steven Benson was ultimately convicted of first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, arson of a dwelling. He avoided the death penalty, and was sentenced to life in prison.[6][7] Benson has been transferred to different prisons during his time, because of constant threats and abuse from other prisoners. Because of the murder, Benson was attacked by other prisoners while serving his sentence in prison.[8]

In media[edit]

Dominick Dunne's investigative crime show Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege, and Justice devoted an hour for the case of Steven Benson.[9]


  1. ^ "Inmate Population Information Detail - Steven Benson". Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ Aten, Tim. "In the Know: Is that Benson guy still in prison? » Naples Daily News". Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Crimes of the Riches". The New York Times. September 13, 1987. 
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "Anniversary recalls notorious crime". Marco Eagle. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  7. ^ "Benson Guilty Of Murders `He Doesn'T Believe It,' Lawyer Says". Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  8. ^ "Anniversary recalls notorious crime » Marco Eagle". Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  9. ^ "Court TV to air Benson story tonight". Retrieved 2013-10-23.