A narcissistic father killed my mother

Most true-crime podcast hosts simply discuss murders that fascinate them, but Collier Landry actually lived through one.

On December 31, 1989, when Collier was 11, her father, Dr. John “Jack” Boyle, killed her mother, Noreen Boyle, and buried her in a crypt under the basement of their new home. His body would not be found until January 1990. The case became Mansfield, Ohio’s crime of the century and spawned a “Forensic Files” episode in 2000, a documentary in 2018 and now Landry’s own podcast.

“Moving Past Murder” serves as therapy and reconciliation for Landry and listeners dealing with betrayal and trauma in their own lives.

“Hundreds of people reached out to me on social media after listening to the podcast,” Landry told the Post. “They were abused by family or friends and fell into self-harm or drug addiction. It’s good for them to see my resilience.

Collier Landry’s new podcast tells the story of her traumatic childhood.
Cameron Radice

Indeed, Landry has a lot to deal with. The death of her stylish and popular mother set off a chain of events, including near-orphanage and final separation from her little sister, a star turn as a prosecution witness and the inability to go at school “or even the toilet paper aisle at Walmart” without being recognized as “the Boyle kid.” (He legally changed his last name to “Landry” years ago.)

Today Landry, 43, lives 2,000 miles from his former hometown of Los Angeles, where he is freelance cinematographer who worked on TV shows such as “Badland Wives” and “Every Other Weekend” and the upcoming documentary “1946.”

But Landry said while he doesn’t let what happened that night in 1989 completely define him, it will still play a huge role in his psyche.

Mom’s Boyfriend

Until that night, he led a comfortable life, attending a private school with 12 students per class and having affairs with the mother he adored.

Noreen Schmid Boyle is from working-class Philadelphia and worked as a dental hygienist while supporting her husband through medical school.

Childhood photo of Collier Landry and Noreen Boyle
Noreen Boyle used to take Collier on day-long adventures.

In the few years before her death, she was blessed with the wealth that flowed from Jack Boyle’s burgeoning career as an osteopath. According to Landry, about one in 13 Richland County residents was a patient at his doctor’s office.

“My mom always took me shopping – I think that was her hobby,” Landry said. “She knew I was bored, so she made the day a lesson in life or [an] educational experience. She would take me to an art museum or a science museum. We talked through a giant echo tube at the COSI [the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus].”

Noreen Boyle in coat and hat
Noreen Boyle sometimes embellished her story to hide her lowly origin.

While Noreen embellished her personal story a bit to assuage her insecurities — she told her wealthy friends some great stories about growing up in a mansion and having an MBA from Wharton — she was no snob, a said Landry.

“One thing I cherish about my mom is that whenever she met people, it was like they had known each other forever,” he said. “She really embodied, ‘How can I connect with you?’ She taught me to be a genuine caring person.

His father, however, did not always follow this same plan. Although well-liked by his patients, Landry said he could be mean and short-tempered at home. He called Collier fat. And he would have cheated on Noreen.

By the time the winter of 1989 rolled around, Noreen, 44, had told Jack, 46, that she wanted out of the marriage, but he persuaded her to try the relationship again by starting over in a gigantic house that he had bought in Erie, Pennsylvania. , where he planned to move his practice.

Meanwhile, prosecutors later claimed that Jack was secretly plotting to get rid of Noreen so he could marry his 26-year-old pregnant mistress, Sherri Campbell, and move her into the Erie residence.

two loud noises

Just before the clock struck 1990, while Collier was in bed at the Mansfield home, he heard two loud noises coming from Noreen’s bedroom.

He would never see his mother alive again.

Jack Boyle in the 1980s
Jack Boyle is currently serving a prison sentence for the murder of his wife.

In the days that followed, Jack told Collier that Noreen had gone on a trip. Collier knew her mother would never leave without telling her and pushed for a police investigation.

Within a month, law enforcement officials discovered the crypt with Noreen’s body in the Erie Mansion.

Investigators determined that Jack hired a jackhammer to create a hole in the floor, placed a plastic shopping bag over Noreen’s head, dropped her body into the floor cavity, then poured new cement over the floor. on it and covered it with a rug. The slim woman died of blunt force trauma and suffocation.

Collier, who had been 12 at the time of the trial, testified to what he heard the night his mother disappeared. He also detailed his father’s neglect and physical abuse of him and his mother.

The murder trial, broadcast on television, turned into such a sensation that the streets of Mansfield, which has a population of 46,000, emptied during the three days that Collier was at the stand, John Futty, a journalist who covered court proceedings for the Mansfield News Journal, the Post told.

Noreen Boyle with a Baby Necklace
After his mother was murdered, Collier was sent to foster care.

Although viewers expressed amazement not only at his intelligence but also at his composure, Collier faced an inner turmoil. “I knew that if the jury voted for acquittal, my father would kill me in revenge,” he said.

By the time prosecutors secured a first-degree murder conviction, Collier had spent months with adoptive parents who he said “were not good people.”

His adoptive mum and dad eventually adopted his pretty baby sister – whom the Boyles adopted from Taiwan in June 1989 – but a boy in his two-year-old wasn’t exactly a hot commodity for them.

His relatives did not intervene either. “Both sides of my family have let me down,” Landry said. “My mom’s side didn’t want me because I look like my dad, and her side didn’t want me because I testified against him.”

Dad changed his story

Eventually, a caring couple, the Zeiglers, adopted Collier, and suddenly he was down to two parents and a 9-year-old brother. but also a close-knit extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins ​​that numbered over 30 people. “Everyone was so welcoming and just so nice,” Landry said. “There was no weirdness.”

Collier with his father in the 1980s
Landry says hating his dad won’t change anything.

At his new public school, however, some kids accused him of being the son of a killer, even though “I finally adjusted,” Landry said.

But he had more trauma on the horizon thanks to his father’s attempts to win a new trial.

From his jail cell, Jack Boyle insisted his wife was still alive, that it was another unnamed woman found under the ground because the coroner’s report mentioned the wrong eye color .

Collier had to endure the exhumation of her mother’s body only to find it was Noreen. (Someone had mistakenly noted “brown” rather than “blue” eyes on the paperwork.)

Noreen and Jack Boyle
Noreen asked Jack for a divorce in the winter of 1989.

Afterwards, Jack went into “victim safety” mode in hopes that authorities would find new suspects. He said Noreen was involved in a baby-selling operation, was an international smuggler of gold jewelry, and plotted to burn down the Erie mansion out of jealousy.

At one point, the 6ft 3in Jack completely changed his original story. In a popular excuse for wife killers, he said he ended his wife’s life by accident while defending herself because she attacked him first. And he hid it only for fear of being blamed.

Although Collier found the accusations disturbing, he never believed any of them, nor did Noreen’s former friends or the justice system.

Meanwhile, Collier was growing and planning her own future in the entertainment industry. As a child, he enjoyed playing the miniature harmonica and singing for his father’s patients – Jack took him on hospital rounds in one of their rare father-son bonding experiences – and he eventually studied at the Ohio University School of Music.

Landry worked as a print model before entering the film industry.
Marc Cartwright
Landry Necklace
John Tijerina

The 6-foot-2 youngster did print modeling, and later learned cinematography by first doing unpaid production work.

Own your past

Young Collier in a chair with his name on it
Landry, who works in film, has always had an affinity for the arts.

In 2018, he produced a documentary, “A Murder in Mansfield”, which featured a meeting in prison with his father to get answers about why he chose murder over divorce. Jack stuck to the story of the accidental death, which hurt Collier deeply, but the pair still shared a surprisingly genuine hug on camera.

Landry acknowledges that from time to time over the years he has put money in Jack’s prison commissioner’s account at the Marion Correctional Facility in Ohio. He believes his father to be a narcissist and a psychopath, but he’s still the only father he has and hating him won’t change anything.

And Landry’s most recent project, the Podcast “Moving Past Murder”, helped him understand Jack’s manipulation all the more.

Landry began reading the nearly 500 seemingly innocent letters his father wrote to him from prison over the years, sharing snippets of family history, such as a story about how his grandfather who went to Catholic school transported the nuns to the city.

Collar Landry adult with his dog
Landry hopes his podcast will help others heal from trauma.

“My dad is eager to take all the attention away from himself or the impact he’s had on my family, and he’s going to sit in his jail cell and write me this stuff?” He lights gas,” Landry said of the letters.

One of Landry’s potential future podcast guests is a man who also had a father who murdered his mother. “He said he was suicidal, then saw my documentary and listened to the podcast, and he realized he wasn’t alone and decided not to kill himself,” Landry said.

Landry also hears from podcast listeners who suffer from more common circumstances — like having an unfaithful partner or a family member who influences them unscrupulously — and he believes they can learn from the tragedy he endured.

“I believe there is the people there,” Collier says, “who may think, ‘If this guy can do something about himself after what he’s been through, so can I.’

Rebecca Reisner is the author of ForensicFilesNow.com, a blog that features updates to episodes of the original “Forensic Files”. She is the author of the forthcoming book “Forensic Files Now” (October 15, Prometheus Books).

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