‘Ex-liar’ Richard Bennett, blames cocaine and liquor for mismanaging funds

‘Ex-liar’ blames cocaine and liquor for mismanaging funds


MONTESANO — Describing himself as a reformed pathological liar, Richard Bennett admitted Thursday that he spent nearly $100,000 of an elderly man’s life savings.

But Bennett told a Grays Harbor Superior Court jury that he never meant to defraud 78-year-old John Boyd, whom he called a friend and business partner.

Rather, Bennett said, it was a problem with cocaine and alcohol that caused him to “mismanage” some of the money. “At the end, I used real bad judgment,” the former Aberdeen businessman told the jury.

Charged with one count of first-degree theft by deception, Bennett, 53, of Central Park, told the jury he has offered to pay back the money.

Prosecutors say he bilked Boyd, a retired mill worker and Daily World paper carrier, of most of his life savings.

Bennett befriended Boyd after the victim’s wife died in June 1995. In what prosecutors call a scheme, Bennett had Boyd withdraw $58,300 and $40,000 in two lump sums. Then the
money was deposited in separate bank accounts in the name of Bennett’s ex-wife.

Over a two–month period, Bennett closed out those accounts, using the money to buy everything from new furniture to automobiles, including a 1977 Mercedes Benz that he spent at least $5,000 to restore, according to testimony from prosecution witnesses.

An Aberdeen police sergeant and an FBI agent who investigated and questioned Bennett testified yesterday that Bennett confessed to using some of Boyd’s money on drugs and alcohol.

Sgt. James Clarkson said Bennett also admitted to being a “pathological liar” and in one
phone conversation from Canada told the officer that he wanted to “come home.”

“He was tired of running,” Clarkson said.

Bennett, the defense’s sole witness, paused often in apparent attempt to fight back tears and at one point held his hands up in a “time out” gesture, as he was questioned by his attorney, Don McConnell of Olympia.

Bennett testified that he has indeed had problems with drugs and alcohol.

“You (also) heard that I’m a pathological liar,” he said, then paused, “I am,” he said, adding quietly, “I just don’t do that any more.”

Bennett said he and Boyd have known each other since Bennett moved to Aberdeen around 1990. Boyd was the paper carrier to his home at the time.  Bennett testified that
eventually he came to know Boyd “very well.” In 1993, Boyd asked him to help retrieve a pickup truck that he had sold but had not been paid for.

In December 1995, Boyd stopped by Bennett’s mail service business in downtown
Aberdeen and told him that his wife had died.

At the time, Bennett said, he had no idea that Boyd had any money. In fact, he said, he and his wife would often give Boyd tips for delivering their newspaper and saved their aluminum cans for him.

“That’s how we thought he was,” Bennett said. Bennett said he and Boyd
became friends. They had breakfast and lunch and sometimes dinner together
almost every day and each had a key to the other’s house.

He said their business partnership began after Boyd told him that family members were feuding over his will.

Boyd, whom Bennett described as “pretty crusty,” came to his house in March 1996 cussing and “almost in tears” over a relative who wanted a larger share of his estate, the defendant told the jury.

It was when he tried to help Boyd with that situation that he learned that Boyd had a
retirement account worth more than $104,000. Bennett said Boyd, whose wife Gladys had handled the financial matters, also didn’t realize he had the account.

“I swear to God he did not know about it,” Bennett said. Bennett said he and Boyd entered into an agreement where the defendant would withdraw funds, and they would invest the money in “places unknown” to Boyd’s relatives.

Bennett said the two lump sums were taken out of Boyd’s account to buy property. Bennett testified that he also tried to invest some of his own money but that fell through because it was tied up in Canada and the exchange rate to the American dollar was poor.

Bennett said the 1977 Mercedes Benz 450 SLC — which he called “a very rare model” — was
another investment, one Boyd was very much aware of, having been present when the car was purchased. Boyd was also of sound mind at the time, the defendant told the jury.

“Did Mr. Boyd at any time tell you that he didn’t want you to do these things?” Bennett was asked by his attorney. “Never,” Bennett responded.

Bennett testified that he began “mismanaging” the funds after he went to Canada to be with a cousin who was undergoing surgery for a brain tumor that later proved fatal. “It was a situation where the stress caused me to start drinking,” Bennett said. “When I came back to Aberdeen, I was pretty well drinking every day.”

The trial was scheduled to continue this morning with the prosecution’s cross examination. Attorneys expected the case to go to the jury some time today.


This article was originally featured on the front page of
The Daily World, Friday, February 20, 1998.

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7 thoughts on “‘Ex-liar’ Richard Bennett, blames cocaine and liquor for mismanaging funds

  1. Kattie D says:

    He constantly lies about every aspect of his life: his self, his history, his vocations and avocations, and his emotions. This false data guarantee his informative lead, or “advantage” in a relationship. It yields an active state of disintimisation. It casts a pall of cover up, separateness, asymmetry and mystery over the narcissist’s relationships.

    Five months the relationship lasted and it was VERY unhealthy for me. I finally lost my temper, (not a pretty sight) but he won’t be trying to squirm his way back in. I have exposed him good and proper. I did feel guilty about it because I am not comfortable with anger but on reflection he definitely deserved it! Wait ’til he hears from the authorities…

  2. Nick E says:

    Where we might occasionally tell a white lie, a psychopath’s lying is compulsive. Most of us experience some degree of guilt about lying, preventing us from exhibiting such behavior on a regular basis. Psychopaths don’t discriminate who it is they lie to or cheat, there’s no distinction between friend, family and sucker.

    Psychopaths also tend to switch jobs as frequently as they switch partners, mainly because they don’t have the qualities to maintain a job for the long haul. Their performance is generally erratic, with chronic absences, misuse of company resources and failed commitments. Often they aren’t even qualified for the job and use fake credentials to get it.

  3. Tashina says:

    A trait this man had for the many years I knew him, and one that everyone who knows him to this day would confirm. If his lips are moving he is lying.

  4. Kecia Landers says:

    As the proliferation of crime-causing diseases makes obvious, there are a host of motives that feed into people’s stealing, killing, drug-taking, etc. We have laws against these behaviors because they are wrong and because it is hard to manage a society when people (as more and more do) readily satisfy their personal urges at the expense of others. And trying to assess the combination of motives that drives people to commit crimes serves primarily to invite the more resourceful criminals to present the most saleable excuses for their misbehavior.

  5. Jude Wrye says:

    In Crime in the United States, 2002 (Washington, D.C., 2003), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that of the 13.7 million estimated arrests in 2002, drug abuse violations accounted for 1.5 million arrests, or about 11 percent, making drug abuse violations the highest single category of arrest, followed by driving under the influence (1.5 million arrests), simple assaults (1.3 million), and larceny/theft (1.2 million).

  6. Ambrose Daring says:

    Isn’t it strange, us humans with our extreme arrogance lording it over everything, get laid low by a few plant extracts, and those that don’t get laid low kill and maim each other, rob and steal off everyone else to either get to it or supply it, and then hide away in grubby little hovels making everyone elses life miserable. The other way of course is to suck up cocaine at middle class parties pretending to be a bit edgy and cool because you have talcum powder, chalk, probably some laxative and a wee bit of illegal drug hanging out of your nose and then boring everyone rigid. We should make life really hard for smugglers, dealers and addicts. After all in many places they make everyone else’s life miserable, I don’t suppose in the vast majority of cases anyone had a gun to their head to start taking drugs, I have no sympathy, it was a choice probably to look cool at the time.

  7. Hey

    We’re stuck like glue.

    Call me: (XXX) XXX-2986

    Admin note: Phone number edited for privacy.

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