Killing Dad: The Murder of Kevin Boyd
On August 6th, 1994, forty-two-year-old Lake Orion, Michigan resident Kevin Boyd was found dead by his sixteen-year-old son, Kevin Boyd Jr. Kevin had been stabbed multiple times and suffered blunt force trauma injuries to his head. The murder was cruel and brutal, but police had no clue who would have committed such a heinous and brutal murder. The truth behind Kevin Boyd’s murder would shock and devastate the Lake Orion community.
Kevin Eugene Boyd was born on September 27th, 1951, in Mars Mill, Maine. Kevin had been living in Lake Orion, Michigan for a majority of his life. He was one of seven children whose siblings describe him as “happy-go-lucky”. Kevin had red hair, freckles, and an infectious smile. He met Lynn in the 1970’s, marrying her in 1975. The couple welcomed their son, Kevin Jr, two years later. Kevin opened up Lake Orion Rental, a tool rental shop that provided well for the young family.
Underneath the façade of the happy family, however, the Boyd marriage was struggling. Lynn was suffering from alcoholism and had checked herself into rehab. After coming home from the rehab facility, Lynn dropped a bombshell in 1988. She had decided to end the marriage and move on with a woman she had met. Kevin left the family home and accepted the end of his marriage without argument, despite his disappointment. Lynn and Kevin both moved on with other individuals.
Kevin Boyd Jr. struggled after his parent’s divorce, which occurred when he was twelve years old. He began to experiment with tobacco and alcohol. According to Kevin Jr., both Kevin and Lynn were alcoholics and he suffered from abuse from his parents (News.com, 2018). Kevin Jr. struggled in school, getting kicked out of multiple schools, before eventually dropping out at a sophomore (News.com, 2018). At only sixteen, he had totaled two vehicles in accidents, but his father was in the process of buying him a third vehicle at the time of his death (Snapped). Kevin Jr.’s aunt said in an episode of Snapped that the boy tried to appear “like a bad ass” (Snapped). After several expulsions from school, Kevin Jr. was sent to live with his father.
The autopsy report of Kevin Sr. showed severe trauma to the head. It appeared Kevin Sr. had fallen asleep in a recliner. He was beat over the head with what police believed was a baseball bat. He was also stabbed more than twenty times. Missing from the apartment was the answering machine and Kevin’s wallet. Parts of the apartment appeared to be ransacked, but there was no evidence of forced entry. What happened remained a mystery, but the death was ruled a homicide.
Kevin Jr. was sixteen when he found his father dead in the apartment. The boy appeared distraught and explained to authorities that he had spent the night with a girlfriend in Lapeer, Michigan, the night before. He explained that he had been trying to contact his father that day, but his father did not answer the phone. He returned home, finding his father. He also shared with authorities that several guns were missing from the apartment, providing a possible motive for the crime.
Police received a call from a local musician who was playing at a local establishment the night that Kevin Sr. was killed. When he returned to his vehicle, a truck, he found a wallet and answering machine in the back of his truck. The wallet had money and identification inside, confirming the wallet belonged to Kevin Boyd Sr. Interestingly, the cassette tape from the answering machine was not inside the machine. Witnesses confirmed the musician had been playing inside the building all night, ruling him out as a suspect in the crime. Who would have put the wallet and answering machine in the truck and why?
Police surmised that the killing must have been committed by someone who knew the victim. There were no signs of forced entry, and the violent nature of the crime suggested a crime of passion. The fact that the answering machine tapes were taken suggested that perhaps whomever killed Kevin had called prior to coming to the apartment to arrange a meeting. Robbery was not likely since cash was left inside the wallet when it was discarded. The stab wounds were to his abdomen, face, back, arms, and other parts of the body. Some of the stab wounds were inflicted post-mortem. The evidence suggested that it was likely that two perpetrators committed this crime. The initial blow was likely to the head with a baseball bat, rending him defenseless.
During the investigation, everyone close to Kevin Boyd Sr. were interviewed. Police became concerned when learning of one of Kevin’s side hustles. Kevin was contracted with landlords to perform manual evictions. It was possible that a disgruntled tenant had sought revenge against Kevin for carrying out an eviction. Police investigated several possible suspects from this lead, but nothing substantial was discovered.
Kevin’s ex-wife Lynn was also investigated. She claimed that her and Kevin were amicable although they did not talk much beyond co-parenting their son. She stated that she had been home the night of her ex-husband’s murder, an alibi confirmed by Lynn’s girlfriend. She did, however, provide possible leads to authorities to follow up on. She suggested his girlfriend may be responsible. Kevin’s girlfriend left for Canada the day after the murder. She returned freely, however, explaining she left before being notified of the death. The trip to Canada was a pre-arranged trip. His girlfriend, however, did receive a substantial life insurance payout following the death. As it turned out, Kevin and his girlfriend had both taken out policies.
Police then followed up with a long-term employee of Kevin Boyd Sr., a named Don. Don stated he felt that Lynn Boyd should be investigated further as a suspect. He informed authorities that on the day of Kevin’s funeral, neither Lynn nor Kevin Boyd Jr. were in attendance. Where were they? Lynn and Kevin Jr. had been at the courthouse on the day of his funeral trying to substantiate rights to the Lake Orion Rental Company. Since then, Lynn had been selling off items at discounted prices for cash and taking money out of the company safe. Don explained that Kevin kept the passcode to the safe on a piece of paper in his wallet, and that was the only way Lynn could have learned the passcode. Upon examining the abandoned wallet, police discovered the piece of paper with the passcode was missing.
Months after the murder, Lynn Boyd’s girlfriend Julie requested a meeting with law enforcement. She explained that she wanted to provide information about Lynn Boyd’s involvement in the murder of Kevin Boyd Sr. Apparently, Julie had initially lied when she provided an alibi for Lynn Boyd. She stated that she believed in Lynn’s innocence and was trying to protect her. She has since realized that Lynn was involved in the murder. Apparently, Lynn confessed to Julie, and Julie had found coins that belonged to Kevin. Julie was afraid of being implicated in the crime, so she chose to come forward.
A week later, the mother of Kevin Jr.’s girlfriend notified police that Kevin Jr. had asked her son-in-law to dispose of a weapon. Upon questioning the son-in-law, police learned that Kevin Jr. had, in fact, gave him a gun to get rid of and he sold it to a drug dealer. Police were able to track the gun down and confirm that it was one belonging to Kevin Boyd Sr. Kevin Jr.’s girlfriend, who provided his alibi, was given a polygraph and failed miserably. Following the polygraph, she confessed that Kevin Jr. was with his mother the night of the murder.
Soon after, Lynn realized police were closing in on her. She called the police and requested a chance to provide a confession. She confessed to being part of the murder but claimed that her girlfriend Julie was the mastermind behind the crime. She gave a detailed account of the murder, which matched the forensic evidence, but struggled with one part of her confession. When referring to Julie, Lynn repeatedly said, “him”, raising suspicions that she was covering for the real accomplice.
Kevin Boyd Jr. was brought in for questioning and supported his mother’s theory that Julie was responsible for the crimes. He claimed he had not even been in the home. Eventually, however, he grew quiet. Police asked him, “What kind of person would do this to your dad?”, to which he responded, “You’re looking at him” (Snapped). Kevin Jr. provided a confession in which he told the story of his father’s murder.
Lynn had approached her teenaged son prior to the crime and suggested that their lives would be better if his father was dead. Both Lynn and Kevin Jr. were known to be very manipulative and often blamed their problems on Kevin Sr. Kevin Jr. helped his mother plan the crime and told her when his father would be home and asleep. He said that Lynn hit him over the head with the baseball bat, and Kevin arouse slightly. Lynn then hit him again with the baseball bat while Kevin began stabbing his father. He said, “I just went crazy” (Snapped).
Kevin Boyd Jr. and Lynn Boyd were both arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the fall of 1994. While awaiting trial, both were held in prison. Lake Orion Rental was without an owner and was auctioned off. While moving the last large piece of machinery, a t-shirt fell out with a knife wrapped inside. The t-shirt was confirmed to belong to Kevin Boyd Jr. and the knife was consistent with the stab wounds on Kevin’s body.
The trials of Kevin Boyd Jr. and Lynn Boyd began in 1996. The prosecution in each trial presented money as the motive, suggesting that Lynn and Kevin Jr. wanted to capitalize off the business Kevin Sr. had built. At her trial, Lynn Boyd placed all the blame solely on her son. She claimed that she was being a good mother and covering for her son. She protested that Kevin Boyd Jr. committed the murder on his own. She had told numerous stories, frequently implicating Julie despite no evidence to support that story. She was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
Kevin Boyd Jr. also told many versions of the crime at trial. He claimed to be with his girlfriend the night of the crime but admitted to knowing it was going to happen and giving his mother the key to the apartment. His defense suggested he was manipulated by his mother. The evidence against Kevin Jr., however, was too strong and included his confession and the knife wrapped in his t-shirt. He was charged as an adult, found guilty, and sentenced to life without parole in 1996.
Lynn Boyd remains incarcerated to this day where she will spend the rest of her life. She is currently seventy years old. In 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled that life without parole as a mandatory sentence was unconstitutional for those who committed their felonies as minors. This meant, Kevin Boyd Jr. would have a chance to have his sentencing revised. Boyd’s lawyer worked to have his life without parole sentence overturned, stating “If you want to look at culpability, it was his mother who recruited him” (News.com). He went on to explain that it is difficult to determine if a sixteen-year-old is beyond hope of redemption.
Kevin Boyd Jr was given a second chance at sentencing. His defense suggested that his mother was manipulative of him, and he was under her control. They also proclaimed that there is no proof putting him at the scene of the crime, stating he was guilty by aiding this mother only. Finally, they reviewed his life since incarceration. Kevin had received his GED, completed vocational programs, worked a variety of jobs while in prison, and has had no violations in over fifteen years. Kevin went on to say, “I’ve demonstrated no violent behavior. I have no substance abuse issues. I am not even a reflection of who I used to be” (News.com). Kevin was resentenced to twenty-five to sixty years in 2019. This made him eligible for parole, which he was granted in January of 2020.
Kevin Eugene Boyd was killed in cold blood by his ex-wife and son in a crime that was heinous and deeply depraved. Kevin’s friends and family state that he loved his son more than anything in the world and would have provided anything he needed. Was this a case of maternal manipulation or a tale of two cold-hearted money hungry killers? Lynn Boyd was motivated by money, and she allegedly told her girlfriend, “It felt really good to hit him with that bat” (Mathews & Hopgood, 1994). She recruited her son to kill his own father, demonstrating her true character. As Kevin Boyd Jr. is now free, we can only hope he was overcome the evil ways his mother taught him.
Mathews, L. & Hopgood, M. (1994). Motivation was money. Detroit Free Press, 20 Dec 1994
Kevin Boyd Sr.’s Murder: Who Killed Him? Where Are Lynn and Kevin Boyd Jr. Now? (thecinemaholic.com)
Kevin Boyd: Should a man in prison for dad’s murder get another chance? | news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site
Kevin Eugene Boyd (1951-1994) - Find a Grave Memorial
Martin, J. (1996). Teen gets life for killing dad. Detroit Free Press, 21 Aug 1996
Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS) - Offender Profile (state.mi.us)
Snapped (2021) Lynn Body. Oxygen. Season 28 Episode 23. Available on Peacock