Murder of Buzz Clinton by Beth Ann Carpenter and Haiman Clein examined on Fatal Family Feuds

Mugshot of Beth Ann Carpenter
Beth Ann Carpenter is serving a life sentence. Pic credit: CT Dept. of Corrections

Fatal Family Feuds is investigating the murder of Anson “Buzz” Clinton, who found himself caught up in a family feud in East Lyme, Connecticut.

His murder was committed by gangland drug dealer Mark Despres at the behest of his sister-in-law Beth Ann Carpenter and arranged by Carpenter’s cocaine-addicted boss and lover, lawyer Haiman Clein.

When 28-year-old Buzz Clinton was shot five times on an Interstate off-ramp on March 10, 1994, the police first suspected he was a victim of a drug deal gone wrong; however, the truth was far more bizarre.

A tip-off led the cops to Despres, who claimed he’d been hired to do the murder by local attorney Haiman Clein. Clein then told the investigators that he arranged the murder for Carpenter.

Carpenter’s sister, Kim Carpenter, was married to Clinton, an exotic male dancer whom Carpenter’s parents thought was a deadbeat dad. Kim’s parents were so appalled by what they perceived as their daughter’s and Clinton’s partying lifestyle that they attempted to win custody of their grandchild.

However, Clinton fought a custody battle for his daughter, Rebecca, against the Carpenter parents, and he won. The police suspect that Beth Carpenter then seduced Clein into arranging the young man’s murder.

Haiman Clein and Mark Despres agreed to testify against Beth Carpenter in Buzz Clinton murder

Clein and Despres agreed to plead guilty and testify against Carpenter. The former received a 35-year sentence, while the hitman was given 45 years.

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In the meantime, Carpenter fled to Ireland. She was arrested in Dublin three years later and eventually extradited back to Connecticut.

Carpenter was put on trial in 2002, when she claimed Clein and Despres had acted alone. She said Clein had only informed her of the murder a few days after it was committed.

Her defense team argued that Clein was an adulterer drug addict who had tried to seduce and impress Carpenter by having Clinton killed. However, the jury concluded that the glamorous defendant had actually been the one doing the seducing and had persuaded Heim into contacting Despres.

Beth Ann Carpenter convicted of killing Buzz Clinton

In August 2002, Carpenter was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. She managed to avoid the death penalty only because Irish officials had made the removal of execution as a punishment option a condition of her extradition.

At the sentencing, Judge Robert Devlin Jr called the murder “insane” and told Carpenter, “You among all the people involved, it was you who could have and should have stopped this insane notion that killing Buzz Clinton would solve the problem concerning Rebecca.”

Clinton’s mother, Dee Clinton, told Carpenter she hoped she would “see the fires of hell.”

Carpenter’s mother, Cynthia Carpenter, insisted her daughter was innocent and called the conviction a “terrible injustice.”

Fatal Family Feuds airs Saturday at 9/8c on Oxygen.

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James Vernon
6 months ago

Is Kim Carpenter the mother of Rebecca? if so, does she currently have custody (since this tragedy occurred due to disputes regarding who should raise her)? Now the dispute lines are even more extreme since the murder & depriving Rebecca from her father is grievous.

6 months ago

Well MORONS, was it worth it? Enjoy prison.

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