Paul Benjamin is the protaginist of the novel Death Wish for which the movie Death Wish is based on and the novel Death Sentence for which the film Death Sentence is loosley based on. Paul Kersey and Nick Hume are based on him.
Paul Benjamin was a Certified Public Accountant in New York City and lifelong liberal for many years. He lived a normal average life with his wife Esther and his daughter Carol. One day, his wife and daughter were attacked by muggers and his wife died form the attack while his daughter was left in a traumatized state. As he realizes that the police can't do anything to bring the muggers to justice, Paul wonders if the system is as reliable as he thought. After getting back from a buisness trip to Arizona where he made a buisness deal with Ames Jainchill he decides the only way to get justice is to stop crime all together. He ponders the idea of killing muggers and finally decides to become a vigilante. He kills Thomas Leroy Marston and some muggers trying to steal his car. Overall he kills 17 criminals over the course of 5 weeks. After leaving New York, Paul continues his vigilantism on the streets of Chicago. His daughter Carol had died in a mental institution and he tried to keep his vigilantism seprate from his work. After meeting Irene Evans, she and Paul begin dating and she begins to distract him form his vigilantism. As Paul tries to keep his vigilantism and his relationship with Irene Evans in check, a new vigilante named Orson Pyne starts killing muggers in a simmilar manner as Paul. The new vigilante is copying Paul's methoods for media attention and only kills muggers for publicity. As the new vigilante keeps killing muggers for media attention, Paul has no choice but to kill him. Eventually, he and Paul confront one another and Paul manages to kill him. This event leads Paul to give up being a vigilante for good and realizes that vigilantism can be used the wrong way and hurt society instead of help it.
Paul Benjamin is different from Paul Kersey and very different from Nick Hume. As Paul realizes that vigilantism is a way to get justice and Nick only kills the Darley Gang for revenge, Paul Benjamin realizes that vigilantism is bad and shouldn't do it anymore. At first he seems to feel he is doing good by taking out muggers and in a way he did lower the crime level, but later after Orson Pyne copied his methoods he began to question his motives and stop vigilantism all together. Paul was never out for revenge, just for justice. He decided that killing muggers wasn't justice. Although there are similarites between Paul Benjamin and Paul Kersey and Nick Hume as they all had members of their families attacked by criminals and set out for justice in their own ways.