Noreen Boyle: The tragic death behind A Murder in Mansfield

Noreen Boyle photo
Noreen Boyle was murdered by her estranged husband, John “Jack” Boyle, at their home in Mansfield, Ohio. Pic credit: Family photo

Noreen Boyle was murdered by her estranged husband, John “Jack” Boyle, in 1989, and decades later, their son, Collier Landry, created a documentary, A Murder in Mansfield, about the murder.

On June 1, 1968, Noreen and Jack tied the knot, and by the spring of 1983, they moved into a two-story brick and wood house at 616 Hawthorne Lane in Mansfield, Ohio.

It was around the same time Jack had completed his tour as commanding officer of the Navy medical clinic in Dahlgren, Virginia.

Jack worked as a physician and owned a medical practice where he treated patients with Medicare and Medicaid.

With a net worth of more than $600,000, Jack and Noreen lived well. They owned a 1989 white GMC pickup truck, a 1988 Range Rover, and two BMWs that they had leased.

They were also able to send their son to private school.

Unlike his wife, Jack was not into the lavish lifestyle. His brother stated that Noreen would buy the best clothing, and if she saw an item she wanted, she would “buy it in every color.”

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Noreen didn’t come from an affluent background, but she reportedly told her friends that she had a privileged childhood while living in Philadelphia.

She said her father was a Marine Corps general who had hired nannies and maids. And after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance, she earned an MBA.

In actuality, her father was a mechanist, her mother was a secretary, and Noreen didn’t have an MBA. She completed a two-year certification in dental hygiene.

Noreen Boyle disappeared after filing for divorce

In the summer of 1988, Jack met a woman named Sherri Lee Campbell while she was working as a waitress at the Holiday Inn.

She told him she had been divorced twice, and that’s when Jack lied and said he was also divorced. It wasn’t long before they started dating.

The following year, Campbell told Jack that she was pregnant with his child and that she was going to give birth on Jan. 15. When she was five months pregnant, he admitted that he was still married.

By that time, Noreen had already found out about the affair and the pregnancy.

Boyle family phot
Noreen and Jack with their infant son, Collier. Pic credit: Family photo

Jack’s brother said she “freaked out,” especially since they were in the process of bringing their 2-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, whom they adopted from Taiwan, to the United States.

In spite of that, Noreen decided it would be best to end her 22-year marriage.

On Nov. 17, 1989, Noreen filed for divorce. She asked for ownership of the house, custody of their son and adoptive daughter, $1,500 a month for child support, and $4,000 a month for alimony.

The following month, Noreen went missing.

Dr. John ‘Jack’ Boyle moves out of state with pregnant girlfriend

On Nov. 11 of that same year, Jack and Campbell met up with a real estate agent in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he had planned to move his medical practice.

He introduced Campbell as his wife before they were shown eight houses in the area. Several days later, he settled on a lakefront home in Millcreek Township, and they were set to move in on Jan. 1, 1989.

But around 8 p.m. on Dec. 30, 1989, Jack and his mother went back to Ohio and spent the night with Noreen and the children.

When everyone went to bed, Collier, who was 11 years old at the time, woke up in the middle of the night because he heard his parents arguing.

He went to bed, but when he woke up, his mother was nowhere to be found. Jack told him that Noreen had left and that she would be gone for a while.

Noreen Boyle’s was found dead in the basement

Several of Noreen’s friends called the police on Dec. 13, 1989, and filed a missing persons report.

Officers spoke with Collier, and he told them that the night before she disappeared, he heard “arguing, a scream, and then a thump like a body hitting a wall.”

The police later obtained a warrant to search Jack’s Mansfield home, but they could not find evidence that would help them find Noreen.

They then obtained another warrant to search Jack’s new home in Pennsylvania.

It was then that they learned he had rented a jackhammer and purchased a 12-by-27-foot green indoor-outdoor carpet while he was in Mansfield.

Detectives also uncovered that before buying the house, he asked the realtor, “what was under the basement floor of this new home.”

On Jan. 25, 1990, after the police searched the garage, they searched the basement, where they noticed green carpeting underneath shelves.

When they removed it, they found soft concrete. As they dug through the concrete, they found Noreen’s body.

Noreen Boyle weight during autopsy raised questions

Police arrested Jack at his home in Mansfield, and he was charged with aggravated murder and tampering with a corpse.

Jack pleaded not guilty to the charges in Mansfield Municipal Court, and his bond was set at $5 million.

Investigators believe that on Dec. 31, 1989, Jack hit Noreen on the head. He then put a plastic bag over her head and suffocated her to death at their Mansfield home.

They said he then transported the body to his house in Pennsylvania and buried it in the basement.

Noreen’s autopsy was completed at the Cuyahoga County coroner’s office, and when they weighed the body, they were surprised that she weighed more than her expected weight.

Many people began to wonder if the body was Noreen’s.

In 1995, the body, which had been buried in Baltimore, Maryland, was exhumed to collect a blood sample. The results from the blood test determined that the body belonged to Noreen.

Collier testified against his father during the trial

On June 4, 1990, Jack went to trial in a Richland County Common Pleas Court, where his son took the stand and portrayed him as an ill-tempered father who didn’t have enough time for his son.

In an interview with the Beacon Journal, Collier said, “I was so angry at my father that I exaggerated some things I said. I said I spent nine percent of the time with my mother and one percent with my father.”

He said, “That wasn’t true. Maybe when I was a lot younger, but it was more like 50-50. Or maybe 60-40, with 60 percent with my mother.”

Collier, who by that time had been placed in the care of a Mansfield couple, told the court that he heard his mother and father arguing around 3:15 a.m.

Jack also said he got into an argument with Noreen, but it was around 2:30 a.m. because, by 3 a.m., he said she had already packed her suitcase. Then she got into a car that was parked on the street.

John “Jack” Boyle mugshot
John “Jack” Boyle was sent to prison for murdering his estranged wife, Noreen Boyle. Pic credit: Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections

One of their neighbors testified that he was watching television between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. And from his position, he was able to see the front area of their house.

If anyone left their house around that time, he said he would have seen them, but he saw no one enter or exit the house.

That same year, he was convicted of the crimes and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. 

Jack’s medical license was also revoked.

In 2017, Collier, who goes by the name Collier Landry, produced a documentary called A Murder in Mansfield.

Collier returned to Ohio and confronted his father, who was behind bars at the Marion Correctional Institution.

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