The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 16, 2014

Book explores 32-year-old murder case

Danville native focuses on sister-in-law's death

A 32-year-old unresolved murder continues to haunt Eve Carson of Indianapolis, a Danville native.

For the past several years, Carson has been investigating the death of her sister-in-law, Joan Webster. The Harvard University graduate student disappeared in November 1981 from Boston’s Logan Airport; her remains were found buried in Hamilton, Mass., in April 1990.

Carson has funneled her research into a book, “Mommy’s a Mole: Unraveling the Joan Webster Murder and Other Secrets in a CIA Family.”

She will be in Danville on Saturday, Feb. 22, to sign copies of her book at Book World in the Village Mall.

“I never thought I’d investigate a murder case and write a book about it,” Carson said during a recent visit to Danville. “I trusted the family and authorities.”

Carson, a 1970 graduate of Danville High School, is the daughter of Suzanne Carson of Indianapolis and the late Joe Carson, whose father, Ben, founded Carson Pharmacy. She has relatives in the area, including an uncle, Dr. William Hensold.

All of the Carsons have a stubborn streak, Carson said, and that has helped in her quest to find answers to Webster’s death.

Also, she said, her upbringing in Danville gave her a strong core to get through the tragedy.

Carson married Webster’s brother, Steve, in January 1980, and was part of the immediate family when her sister-in-law disappeared. She and Steve divorced in 2004.

“She was just a peach,” Carson said of Webster. “She was extremely bright and enthusiastic about going back to graduate school. She was a very genuine, kind, caring person.”

The prime suspect in Webster’s death was Leonard Paradiso, a shellfish merchant. In 1982, he was arrested on suspicion of the 1979 murder of Marie Iannuzzi; he was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison. One of his fellow inmates claimed that Paradiso had admitted to killing Webster.

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