MANSFIELD — Mansfield’s historic Renaissance Theatre and local news outlet Richland Source will collaborate to host a special hometown screening of the documentary film, “A Murder in Mansfield,” on Saturday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m.
The documentary focuses on the notorious murder of Noreen Boyle and the subsequent trial of her husband, Dr. John Boyle, which captivated the small city of Mansfield, Ohio for months and has since become part of local lore.
Conceived by Boyle’s son Collier Landry and directed by two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple, the film is an emotional exploration of the far-reaching impact of violence on people who witness or find their lives affected by it.
Landry, formerly Collier Boyle, worked with Kopple to chart the arc of his journey through incomprehensible trauma to a climactic meeting with his father in the prison where he is serving a life sentence.
“Ever since the day we wrapped production, I have always wanted the film to be shown in Mansfield,” Landry said. “The murder of my mother had an impact on not just me and my family, but on the whole city. That collateral damage was what we tried to explore.
“Ultimately, I hope the film shows that there is a way past and through terrible times even when that feels impossible.”
Pre-sale tickets are available now at www.mansfieldtickets.com. General admission is $10. Premium tickets are available for $20 and will include a Meet & Greet with Landry, Kopple, and others associated with the case and its aftermath. For up-to-the-minute details, the organizers have created a Facebook event.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BOYLE MURDER
Dr. John Boyle, a Mansfield osteopath, was convicted of killing his wife Noreen in their home on Dec. 31, 1989. Her body was found on Jan. 25, 1990, buried under the basement of a home Boyle was buying in Erie Pennsylvania, where he planned to live with his mistress.
Noreen Boyle had filed for divorce from John in November 1989. The couple was married for 22 years and had a 12-year-old son, Collier. Their 3-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was adopted.
The Boyles arrived in Mansfield in 1983 from Virginia. John admittedly carried on a number of extramarital affairs, a factor in his marriage falling apart. One of his mistresses, 28-year-old Sherri Campbell, gave birth to a daughter in January, 1990, less than two weeks after Noreen’s disappearance.
The trial lasted four weeks and played to a packed Richland County Common Pleas Courthouse every day. A TV was set up in the courthouse lobby and testimony was broadcast by the local cable TV station. Collier testified during the trial and John’s two-day appearance on the witness stand lasted nine hours.
It took the jury just six hours to convict him, on June 29, 1990. He was denied parole in 2010, and won’t be eligible again until 2020, when he is 77. Collier changed his last name to Landry and now resides in California.
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