The deaths of Santa Barbara
Hayley Benson's death


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The beginning of the year 1988 is marked by the death of one of the more attaching characters, fragile Hayley Benson Capwell, perhaps because she replaced the sweet Mary DuVall in the hearts of the viewers.

After having past many tragedies since she came to rejoin her aunt, Gina DeMott, in Santa Barbara, Hayley seems to have found little stability. Naturally simple and warm, Hayley must however face more in the failure of her marriage with Ted Capwell, with a rape and a heavy culpability, since she is responsible for the death of Amy Perkins (at the time of the explosion of Buzz's Place).

Separated from the young Ted Capwell (she had agreed to marry him to avoid prison), Hayley starts to find a certain inner peace in the arms of the apprentice model, Jake Morton. Unfortunately, Jake is also the friend and the colleague of Ted Capwell. Resentment and jealousy will very quickly dominate their incipient friendship.

After long hesitations, Hayley, listening only to her heart (and not to the advise from her aunt who unceasingly repeated to her to remain married with the Capwell heir), ends up accepting Jake's marriage proposal. It is during a party at The Lair, organized by Cain, a party for the benefit of the animals threatened by the oil slick, that Hayley entrusts the news to Gina. Gina will end up accepting the situation and to be delighted by the happiness which tightened the arms of her niece.

But very quickly, this pleasant moment gets ruined by the arrival of Ted at The Lair. Ted did not manage to face his divorce, and above all he remained deeply wounded in his man pride: Hayley had so quickly replaced him in her heart and his bed; whereas, for long months (after her rape), she did not want to have a relationship with him anymore. Ted, who was already drunk, was unaware of them and joined the bar at The Lair.

At the bar, Ted drowns in alcohol the comfort and the forgetfulness he needed (at some moments, the similarity with his half brother Mason was so obvious). Hayley ends up joining him: she wanted to have a talk with him. Although they had divorced, Hayley preserved for Ted, her first love, a deep tenderness. Even if she was going to link her life with Jake, she therefore did not want to put an end to her relationship with her ex-husband. Because Hayley had known to see the tender and sincere heart hidden behind Ted's naivety.

Ted did not say word in spite of Hayley's insistence: for him, it was very clear; they did not have anything to say to each other anymore. Ted preferred to leave, but Hayley retained him: he could not drive his car in this state. In front of the entry of The Lair where she had followed him, Hayley lengthily tried to make him hear reality. But, Ted did not want to hear anything.

Going back towards the carpark to get his car, the young Capwell did not notice the car which came towards him. Only Hayley seemed to see it. Without thinking, she suddenly jumped on Ted, pushed him with all her force, thus finding herself facing the car headlights which were rushing towards her. Blister, drunk, was not able to avoid the young woman. Hayley had hardly the time to yell when the car hit her.

Urgently led to the Santa Barbara hospital, Hayley, after a moment of emotion shared with Jake, will die in the arms of the man who had known to give her faith again and confidence in love to her. Hayley then dies, leaving in tears a part of the inhabitants of the town, as well as many of the viewers.

Now that Hayley had just disappeared, the fragile balance which existed between the two men disappeared. Ted felt guilty, in charge for the death of Hayley. Overcome by the weight of sorrow, Jake felt unable to make the least reproach to Ted, even if a part of his heart considered him responsible. As the only words, Jake said to Ted: "It is time for you to grow up, to do something with your life... To make sure that Hayley did not died for nothing..."

Hayley had known to find a balance between the memory of Mary and her own personality. Throughout her stay in Santa Barbara, she tried to help her own, to tighten a friendly hand to all those who needed some. How many times did she seek excuses for the eccentric behaviour of her aunt? How many times did she forgive her lies? Hayley was like that: simple, sweet, and loving.

And like Mary DuVall, who will return under the features of an angel to lead Mason towards Julia, Hayley, during her burial, appeared as a ghost. She first appears to Ted to tell him that he is not responsible for anything, and especially not for her death. It was an accident. Then, she tells him that he will soon meet a person who will take a huge place in his life. Who does Hayley refer to? To Margot Collins? To Wanda Barkowski? Another woman? We will never know, because except Laken Lockridge and Hayley herself, no other woman will have marked the life of the last Capwell son.

Hayley will then appear to her aunt, which she will try to make her go back to the right way. Lastly, Hayley will reserve her last appearance for Jake. Conscious of the vacuum that she leaves, Hayley will tell him about love and hope. They will never cease existing for one another. She will not disappear from his heart. And, as for her, she will always keep this love in the deepest place of her heart, like the most beautiful of jewels.

Text written for this site by Lilian