It has been almost 30 years since Noreen Boyle was murdered by her husband, Dr. John Boyle. Their son, Collier Landry, was a prime witness during the investigation. He is also the subject of the upcoming documentary, A Murder in Mansfield, which will air on November 17, 2018, at 9:00 p.m. on Investigation Discovery. Landry has described his father as a violent guy; both he and his mother were scared of him. If you want to know more about Dr. John Boyle and the case, then we have the details for you here.
Noreen & John Boyle: A Relationship in Trouble
Dr. John F. Boyle Jr. was born on May 1, 1943, which makes his current age 75. Boyle graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973 and he is also a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathy.
|About Dr. John F. Boyle Jr.|
|Birth||May 1, 1943|
|Children||Collier Landry, Elizabeth Boyle|
|Alumni||University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia College of Osteopathy|
|Prison||Marion Correctional Institution|
Noreen B. Schmid Boyle was born September 28, 1945.
The couple had been married for 22 years. They met when they were just teenagers, 17 and 19 years old respectively, and married in 1968.
They first lived in Virginia, where John was employed by the Navy at a medical clinic. Since 1983, John and Noreen had been living in in Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio, where he was working as an osteopath. John had plans of moving to Erie, Pennsylvania to take up occupational medicine and review industrial injury claims.
The Boyles had two beautiful children. In 1978, they had their biological son, Landry Boyle. They adopted a daughter, Elizabeth Boyle, from Taiwan in 1989. She was just three.
However, their relationship was far from perfect.
Throughout his marriage with Noreen, John reportedly had several affairs. The last reportedly being with Sherri Lee Campbell, who became pregnant in 1989.
Landry Boyle was introduced to Campbell as his father’s patient. However, he understood that there was something more than friendship between the two when he saw them kissing.
Landry told his mother about John’s affair, but Noreen already knew about it.
In November 1989, the Boyles had started the process of divorce. Noreen had filed the papers, citing gross neglect and extreme mental cruelty as grounds for divorce. And she was asking for a large settlement in terms of alimony and property. For his part, John wanted to declare the adoption of their daughter Elizabeth invalid. As a mother, Noreen would have likely fought this request tooth and nail.
Around the same time, John began shifting away from his family and into a new life, mainly consisting of moving his practice to Erie, Pennsylvania and getting a new home there with his mistress.
That same month, John Boyle and Sherri Campbell purchased a lakefront house in Millcreek Township, Erie, Pennsylvania. John insisted that they needed possession of the house by January 1, 1990.
The Death of Noreen Boyle: Premeditated Murder?
John Boyle contacted the realtor for the new Pennsylvania house on December 4, 1989. What did he want? He wanted to know what was under the basement floor. An innocent enough request for the average home buyer, but with the events that happened a month later, this question would become quite suspicious.
Later in the month, on December 19. John rented an electric jackhammer to use the weekend of December 29.
On December 27, 1989, John got the keys for his new house…all ready to start his new life his girlfriend. With just one major problem: a looming, messy divorce.
On December 30, at the Mansfield house, 11-year-old Landry saw his mother before he went to bed.
Between 3:00 a.m. and 3:15 a.m. on December 31, he woke up because of a scream and two loud thuds. He said he was scared to get up because of his father.
The next morning when he woke up, Landry saw that his mother was not around. John told him that his mother was off on a mini-vacation and would be back in a few days.
But what young Landry didn’t know at the time was that his father had hit his mother over the head and then finished her off by suffocating her with a plastic bag.
Horrifyingly, three-year-old Elizabeth appears to have been a witness. She later told the lead investigator, Lt. Dave Messmore, she saw John hit Noreen over the head…and then “Daddy put Mommy on the floor and wrapped her up like a snowman.”
After the Murder
On December 31, 1989, John closed his Mansfield office and he informed his patients he was planning to work as a medical consultant at the Metro Health Center in Erie. By January 1, he was at the new Millcreek Township house.
On January 1, 1990, a friend reported to police that Noreen Boyle was missing.
John was seen January 2 or 3 at his girlfriend’s uncle’s home. The reason this is important will become apparent in a moment.
January 4, Dr. Boyle bought some green indoor/outdoor carpeting and, a few days later, on January 8, he had some shelving built in his new home’s basement. The contractor putting the shelving in noticed that, even though it was quite cold out, the basement windows were kept open.
On January 12, John’s girlfriend Sherri had their baby: a baby girl. The new family didn’t have much time together before the events of December 31 caught up with John.
A couple of weeks later, the authorities’ investigation into Noreen Boyle’s disappearance led them to John Boyle’s Erie home that he shared with Campbell and their newborn daughter.
Specifically, it led them to a spot in the basement that had some new shelves built over newly placed green indoor/outdoor carpeting. Under that, they found fresh cement filling in a hole in the basement floor.
On January 25, 1990, investigators dug up Noreen Boyle’s body from the basement of John Boyle and Sherri Campbell’s Erie home. John was taken into custody immediately.
Police found concrete from the Millcreek Township home’s basement on Campbell’s uncle’s property, where John had been sighted at the beginning of January.
Dr. John F. Boyle Jr. was charged with one count of aggravated murder and one count of felony abuse of a corpse.
Throughout the trial, John pleaded his innocence and said he didn’t kill Noreen.
On June 29, 1990, John Boyle was pronounced guilty of both counts and sentenced to life imprisonment.
John continued to fight the conviction after he was imprisoned. One argument made was that the body found in his basement hadn’t been accurately identified as Noreen Boyle. So, in 1995, the body was exhumed. Authorities confirmed by matching a blood sample from the body to the victim’s sister that it was indeed Noreen Boyle.
Currently, Dr. John F. Boyle is serving a life sentence in the Marion Correctional Institution. He is eligible for parole in October 2020.
Collier Landry Is a Director Based in Los Angeles
Never in his wildest dreams did Landry Boyle, now known as Collier Landry, think that he would lose his mother, Noreen Boyle.
John Boyle was described by Landry as a very violent man. So it’s not surprising that, after the murder, John didn’t want his son to talk to the police.
However, at 12 years old, Landry did end up being an important witness at his father’s trial. He wanted justice for his mother.
While testifying against his father, Landry said he thought it was a premeditated murder.
After his mother’s death and the trial, Landry was adopted by Ohio residents George and Susan Zeigler. His sister Elizabeth went to a separate home and they, sadly, lost touch.
Collier Landry attended Ontario High School in Mansfield, graduating in 1996. He went to Ohio University to study vocal performance, but dropped out to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. He also left Oberlin Conservatory to pursue his new dream.
A member of International Cinematographers Guild, he works as a cinematographer and director in Los Angeles.
Landry is the co-creator and main subject of the documentary about his mother’s murder, A Murder in Mansfield.
Despite the pain of losing his mother at the age of 12 and also not being able to his sister, Collier Landry still calls himself a lucky person. He is turning his pain into his strength and using his artistic talents to tell his story.