Willie Bosket Murders 2 In New York City

Willie Bosket was a fifteen year old living in New York when he murdered two men eight days apart

According to court documents Willie Bosket would kill the first man on the New York City subway during a robbery. Eight days later the fifteen year old would murder a second man again on the subway

The courts at the time did not know how to deal with juveniles who committed violent crimes so Willie Bosket would be sentenced to five years.

After serving the five years Willie Bosket would only be free for a few months before assaulting a 72 year old man. Willie would be sent back to prison and has not been free since due to a variety of assault charges on inmates and guards

Due to his violent tendencies Willie Bosket has been kept in solitary confinement for decades

Willie Bosket Photos

Willie Bosket

Willie Bosket FAQ

Where is Willie Bosket now

Willie Bosket is currently incarcerated at the Five Points Prison in New York

When is Willie Bosket release date

Willie Bosket is never getting out of prison

Willie Bosket Latest Sentencing

Willie Bosket, a self-proclaimed ”monster” whose five-year sentence for two subway murders when he was 15 years old led New York to toughen its juvenile criminal laws, will be sentenced this morning for his latest crime, stabbing a prison guard.

”I laugh at this system because there ain’t a damn thing that it can do to me except to deal with the monster it has created,” Mr. Bosket said last February when he acted as his own lawyer in the assault trial.

Mr. Bosket, who once admitted to commiting more than 2,000 crimes between the ages of 9 and 15, including 25 stabbings, could be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the attack, which occured while he was being interviewed by a journalist helping write his autobiography. The 26-year-old Mr. Bosket is already serving 28 years to life for assault and arson unconnected to his original murder conviction. State’s Most Violent Inmate

Because he is widely considered the most violent inmate in New York, Mr. Bosket is confined in a specially designed cell stripped of everything, including its lighting fixtures, to prevent him from swallowing them, as he has in the past. To increase his isolation, not even his guards may speak to him.

”The only noise Willie Bosket is going to hear is the sound of his toilet flushing,” said Thomas A. Coughlin 3d, the commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services.

But Mr. Bosket’s tale of crime and punishment raises troublesome questions about the criminal-justice system, human nature and the family.

Did the courts and juvenile authorities really help create the monster in Mr. Bosket, as he asserts? Or did his rage and penchant for violence stem from his upbringing on West 114th Street in Harlem? Or, as Mr. Bosket himself has often suggested, was he destined to follow the path of a father he never met who had an uncannily similar early life of crime?

Mr. Bosket’s supporters say the system is at least partly to blame. He was first put in a reform school at age 9 at his mother’s request. Since then, despite repeated escapes, he has been free a total of about 18 months.

In a 1981 deposition, Mr. Bosket said he went to reform school as a truant, but ”left with the knowledge of purse snatching and mugging and subconsciously, murder.”

Sylvia Honig, a social worker who first met him when he was 12, said reformatories let him conduct a reign of terror: attacking staff members with clubs, smashing windows, stealing, sodomizing other inmates, escaping in state vehicles.

”After a while, he got the impression he was omnipotent,” said Miss Honig, who became his closest friend, Andrew Cooper, the publisher of the black-owned City Sun weekly newspaper, which has just run a three-part series on Mr. Bosket, sees a broader problem. ”I’m not going to tell you Willie Bosket is a hero, but this case raises the issue of racism in my mind,” he said.”Since he was black, did the system ever identify him as a person worth saving?” Parallels With Father Same Reformatory At the Same Age

Mr. Bosket himself often ponders the eerie parallels in his life to that of his father, William James Bosket Sr. By a stunning coincidence, the elder Bosket was sentenced to the same reform school at age 9, the Wiltwyck School for Boys in Yorktown. Both father and son’s schooling stopped at third grade, but both are described by acquaintances as bright, witty and charming.

Willie Bosket’s mother, Laura, was preganant with Willie when his father was arrested for a double murder at the age of 20. His father later escaped, robbed a bank and made the F.B.I.’s most-wanted list before being caught and sentenced to the Federal penetentiary at Leavenworth, Kan.

But there he transformed himself into a ”well-disciplined, rational human being,” he once told Jet magazine. He became a computer programmer and used his income from operating the prison’s computers to attend the University of Kansas.

In 1980 he graduated with an almost straight A average, the first prisoner ever elected Phi Beta Kappa.

He was released in 1983 but then, after getting a good job in an aerospace company, was rearrested on charges of molesting his girlfriend’s daughter. His girlfriend disguised herself as a nurse, smuggled him a revolver and helped him escape before they were caught in a police shootout near Milwaukee.

As his last act, on March 7, 1985, he used his two remaining bullets to kill his companion and himself.

”Willie often wondered if there was some hereditary connection with his father,” said Matthew Worth, a reporter for the Utica Observer Dispatch. At Mr. Bosket’s suggestion, Mr. Worth had been interviewing him in Shawangunk prison for a year, when one day last April Mr. Bosket suddenly took out a homemade knife and stabbed the visitors room guard in the chest, ”It was so random, so senseless and stupid,” said Mr. Worth, who was too discouraged to continue writing the book.”He didn’t even know the guard.”

”We had made an agreement that he wouldn’t do anything to undermine the book, and then he betrayed me,” said Mr. Worth, who then testified against Mr. Bosket. ‘Legendizing Himself’ With No Way Out, He Blames Prisons

Donald Williams, the Ulster County assistant District Attorney who tried the case, feels the stabbing ”was just another attempt to gain attention.”

”He knows he’ll never get out of prison, so he’s attempting to legendize himself,” he said.

This explains Mr. Bosket’s strategy at the trial, Mr. Williams suggested, in which Mr. Bosket admitted in his opening statement that he had stabbed the guard, Earl Porter.

”I am telling you that the only regret Willie Bosket has is not killing Earl Porter,” he told the jury.

”I am going to show you why and I am going to show you why Willie Bosket is coming to hate this system.”

Mr. Williams and prison officials wonder what the system can do with a prisoner like Mr. Bosket who continues to commit crimes in jail? Mr. Bosket does not look dangerous – slightly built at 5 feet 9 inches and 150 pounds, he has a handsome, dimpled face.

But, according to one presentencing report, since 1984 Mr. Bosket has set fire to his cell seven times, attacked his guards nine times, and attempted several escapes.

After he set his cell afire in 1986 and assaulted a guard who came in to put out the blaze, he was found guilty of being a ”persistent felon.”

Normally, for the fire and assault, he would have received 3 1/2 to 7 years. But as a persistent felon, he got 25 to life.

There was irony in this, said James B. Flateau, a spokesman for the Department of Correctional Services. Mr. Bosket came back into the prison system in 1984 with a sentence of 3 1/2 to 7 years for mugging a half-blind 72-year-old man in Harlem. But because of his conduct in prison, he may now face a total of 53 years to life.

Mr. Bosket could not be interviewed for this story. He is being held in solitary confinement for the next 20 years. Uncontrolled Youth ‘He’s a Bad Man, You’re Like Him’

Those who know him believe Willie Bosket’s troubles started as a young boy in Harlem with a loving but passive mother but knowing almost nothing about his absent father.

”He used to ask, ‘Who is my father?”’ Miss Honig said. ”His mother and grandmother would say, ‘He’s a bad man, and you’re just like him.’ ”

In third grade at P.S. 207 his teacher was unable to control him, according to his own handwritten account at 13.

”Willie was having problems in school like pulling fire alarms and fighting with the students and the teachers and stealing school books and materials like colored paper,” he recounted in a bold, clear hand.

”Because the school thought Willie was krazy” he wrote, ”Willie was sent to Bellvue State Hospital for mental people.”

It was the first of several visits to Bellevue, where he threatened to set fire to the ward, had to be disarmed by hospital guards and threatened to kill a psychiatrist.

In 1973, at his mother’s request he was sent to a reformatory.

Miss Honig met him the next year as he was being transferred. ”I asked him what he was in for, and he said, ‘Stabbing people.’ ” ”Why did you do that?” ”Because they made me mad.”

A psychological test given Willie at Wiltwyck found him ”precocious, warm and empathetic.” But it warned that he needed support from adults ”in order to reach his above-average intellectual and creative potential.”

Instead, in 1974, a judge sent him to the Brookwood Center For Boys, a maximum security institution, where other inmates were in for murder, rape and armed robbery.

His years at Brookwood from 1974 to 1977, were critical for young Willie, Miss Honig believes. ”Because he was hardly ever disciplined, he became more assaultive and aggressive.”

In a diary she kept, she recorded how Willie was allowed to go into town with female staff members and get drunk, how he was permitted not to attend classes, how he hit another boy with a poker in the eye, how he sodomized another in the shower, how he stole cigarettes from a vending machine and sold them and how he drove a truck into a social worker.

Nonetheless, in 1977, at age 14, the school released him, sending him to a group home in Brooklyn and a job as a maintenance worker.

John Dieters, the supervisor of his wing at Brookwood, told Miss Honig: ”One of these days Willie is going to kill somebody.” Political Figure A Boy’s Killings Change State Law

Willie soon soon ran away to his family’s apartment in Harlem.

”They should have arrested him immediately,” Miss Honig said.

Instead Willie and a cousin, Herman Spates, began roaming the Seventh Avenue IRT subway line looking for drunks to rob.

On March 19, 1978, when one awoke as Willie was going through his pockets, he shot him in the temple with a .22-caliber pistol. Eight days later, he shot and killed another.

Asked how he felt, Mr. Bosket told the police, ”I shot people, that’s all. I don’t feel nothing.”

In June 1978 he was sentenced to five years in the custody of the Division for Youth, the maximum sentence under state law at the time.

But an angry outcry soon led Governor Hugh Carey to win passage of a new law letting juvenile offenders be tried as adults for murder.

At a Goshen youth facility, Mr. Bosket bashed two guards in the head with a mop handle and temporarily escaped.

His deepening anger showed in a letter to Miss Honig on May 26, 1982:

”I have now mentally prepared myself and have accepted the fact that I will be in prison for the rest of my life.

”I ridded myself of the sadistic killer in me because I knew it was wrong to be in me. But now it has come back, not because I wanted it to, but because the system forced it back.”

In December 1983, a few days after his 21st birthday, he was released.

On March 19, 1984, he was arrested for attempted robbery.

While at Goshen, Mr. Bosket learned about his father and began a writing to him at Leavenworth.

His father, by now a college graduate in prison, worried that Mr. Bosket was enamored with the revolutionary rhetoric of George Jackson, a former leader of the Black Panther Party who died during a controversial escape attempt from San Quentin in 1971.

”In your letter you seem taken with the ideas and writings of George Jackson most, and the need for confrontation with societal forces at large at some level of ‘revolutionary suicide.’ ” the elder Bosket wrote back.

”Frankly, that’s a bit too much excitement for me, and it has been my observation that the energies from such a thought basis tend to dissipate unfruitfully before the onrush of hard pragmatic realities. But then, I’m just old folks.”

Since then, Mr. Bosket has attacked one guard after another.

Even Miss Honig has stopped visiting him. ”I couldn’t go anymore,” she said. ”He’s living like an animal. The more they treat him like a monster, the more monstrous he becomes.”

The only lights are outside his cell door, which is covered with plexiglass to keep him from throwing feces or food. Video cameras focus on him.

Willie Bosket is allowed outside in a private area for one hour of exercise a day. But before he can come out of his cell, he must stick his arms and feet out to be manacled.

”He’s getting mad again,” said Miss Honig. ”I know it’s just a matter of time before he tries to kill someone or kill himself. He has told me, ‘If they kill me, then I can rest forever.’ ”

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top